Maarten Schäfer

We could of course have stayed at the hotel and lounged around on the beach enjoying the mild winter sun and the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf, but you can’t really call that ‘discovering the UAE’.

We decide to take a trip to the oasis of Masfut, a small town in the mountainous southeast of the emirate of Ajman near the border with Oman. The road cuts straight through the emptiness of the orange sand dunes with only the occasional herd of wild camels to break the stillness. As we draw nearer to our destination the landscape changes: mountains loom in the distance and acacia trees dot the landscape.

It also becomes clear why we have a four-wheel drive: as we enter Masfut the tarmac ends and we are hobbling over unpaved tracks to reach the historic fort that rises 200 metres above the town. From here we get…

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