Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Watch Pottery Being Made at Thoban, Fujairah

Stop Off at Thoban

It is worthwhile stopping off at the Thoban Pottery Factory to see traditional pots being made and to buy these crafts at factory prices.

Thoban is one of the many small towns that one passes on the road between Dubai/Sharjah and Fujairah city. It is 44kms before Fujairah city and 14kms before Masafi with its popular stopping place, the Friday Market.

The Thoban Pottery Factory is a popular stopping off place for many tourist buses.

Finding the Factory

Coming from Dubai/Sharjah, 15 kms after turning right at Dhaid’s Mosque Roundabout one passes an Eppco Petrol Station on your right and the turn off to Manama on your left. Continue for approximately 300 metres and, as you see the shops of Thoban there is a road to the right with about three signposts, one of which points the way to the Thoban Pottery Factory.

Coming from Fujairah you need to drive through Thoban and before you see the road going right to Manama, get into the left lane and do a U-Turn. As you go back towards Fujairah and before the Thoban shops commence, slow down to take the road going right.

For more detail check this article, Directions from Dubai to Fujairah.

The sign declares that one drives 800 metres down this road. After you see a bus shelter on the left with an image of a pot, turn left for another 300 metres until you reach the driveway on the left (which is also signposted). This driveway will take you past houses on the right and it will begin to veer to the left again towards the factory.

Ask for a Tour

The Thoban Pottery Factory has been owned and managed for seventeen years by Ali Rashid.

Peshawar-born, Abdul Qadir (yes, the same name as the great Pakistani leg spin bowler), has supervised the operation at the Thoban Pottery Factory for about the same number of years. Abdul is the one most likely to give you a tour.

Types of Pots

Thoban is the place for turning traditional Arabic terracotta pots but the factory also makes pots of a European design.

The three main types that are made are:

1. Pots with antique designs

2. Pots for planters

3. Pots for interior and exterior decoration including fountains and lamp stands

Raw Material

The clay that is used comes from the UAE (RAK) and Iran. It is mixed during a day-long process.


The Thoban Pottery factory has eight fulltime potters who were trained in India and Pakistan before they came to the UAE.


The factory sells pots at the door but they also distribute to gift shops in Dubai, to stalls at the Friday Market and direct to some restaurants that like to serve their food in the clay biryani bowls.

Pottery Process

The potters are so adept at their craft they can turn out a small pot in a few minutes.

When the pots are taken from the wheel they are placed outside in the sun for a day for drying.

The firing stage is next and twice a month the kiln is filled with approximately 1,000 large and small pots. They are placed in three lines inside the kiln which is made of bricks and plastered with clay.

The kiln is diesel fired and reaches between 700-900C in this hardening phase that lasts for 36 hours.

When the firing finishes it takes a day for the cooling of the kiln before the pots are brought out to display and sell.

There is no glazing of the pots because, according to Abdul Qadir, “Our customers want the natural colours.”

Visiting Days and Hours

The Thoban Pottery factory is open every day except Friday between these hours:



Contact Details

Thoban Pottery Factory

P O Box 12320


Fujairah, UAE

Tel: (06) 8827528

Fax: (06) 8827528

Manager: Ali Rashid

Supervisor: Abdul Qadir: 050 3904499; 050 5157196

Location on Google Maps

View Thoban Pottery Factory, Fujairah in a larger map

Take a Look

Some pictures of the pottery making and the finished items are in this photo album.

Geoff Pound

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

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