Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thoban, Fujairah: The Craft Capital of the Emirates?

Thoban is a dusty unassuming town that one drives through on the way from Dubai to Fujairah but if you care to stop you’ll discover that it has more traditional crafts per shop than any other town in the UAE.

Wood and Metal Crafts

Slow down and you’ll see outside most of these little shops some cabins, offices, the traditional Emirati sabelah (sun shelters) and areesh (summer hut) for the backyard, swings and seats made from wood and steel. Perhaps it’s the proximity to the Friday Market that has turned Thoban into a manufacturing centre for traditional and modern crafts.

Traditional and Modern Pottery

The most famous craft centre is the Thoban Pottery Factory which has been producing traditional Arab terracotta pots for almost two decades.

Date Palm Crafts

The Al Nakheel Heritage and Craft Works is a fascinating shop. 85% of its stock is made from Al Nakheel—the common date palm. These palm products are made in a factory in Masafi.

They sell small items such as floor mats, food covers, baskets and trays but they also sell large furniture like chairs and tables and children’s play equipment, all made from the date palm.

Many of their products are UAE souvenirs and Emirati items like the traditional stick or cane that is used by men for dancing.

Other items (and those not made from Al Nakheel) include mountain honey, picnic equipment such as blankets, basic BBQs, grills that come in different sizes and lanterns.


Approaching Thoban from Fujairah, Al Nakheel Heritage and Craft Works is in the second block of shops on the right side of the road.

Coming from Dubai/Sharjah go to the end of the Thoban shops, then drive for about 1-2 kilometres until you can do a U Turn. Don’t go too fast as it is in the second block of shops on the right coming from the direction of Fujairah, just after the 100 kpm speed limit sign and the blue road sign.

Thoban is 44 kilometres from Fujairah and 14 kilometres the Dubai side of Masafi.

More information in this article: ‘Directions from Dubai to Fujairah’.

Check Out the Location on Google Maps

View Al Nakheel Heritage & Craft Works in a larger map

Contact Details

Al Nakheel Heritage and Craft Works


Fujairah, UAE

Manager: Mohamed Khames El Bady

Mob: 050 5850313; 050 1240812

Take a Look

Some photographs of some of the palm and other products at the Al Nakheel Heritage and Craft Works can be found in this photo album. Be aware that the range of products and the prices listed are bound to change in the months to come.

Geoff Pound

This article is also posted in the Fujairah in Focus—Facebook Page.

Image: A very comfortable furniture set made from Al Nakheel (date palm).

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