The Port of Khor Fakkan faces the Gulf of Oman from the east coast of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Musandam Peninsula. The Port of Khor Fakkan is about 174 nautical miles (296 kilometers or 184 miles by air) northwest of the Port of Sultan Qaboos in Muscat, Oman. The Port of Khor Fakkan is also about 630 nautical miles (912 kilometers or 567 miles direct) southeast of Imam Khomeini Port in Iran across the Persian Gulf.
The Port of Khor Fakkan is one of the UAE's few natural harbors and the best harbor in the Sharjah Emirate. With a population of about 32 thousand in 2004, the Port of Khor Fakkan is also the largest city in Sharjah. Due to its geographic isolation and political considerations, most modernization efforts in Sharjah have been directed to the emirate's capital; however, the UAE has invested in modernizing the Port of Khor Fakkan container facilities.
The Port of Khor Fakkan has long been a location for human habitation. Archeologists identified 34 graves and evidence of a settlement dating to the 2nd millennium BC clustered in the outcroppings that overlook the harbor. The Rifaisa Dam in the mountains was built over an ancient village, evidenced by the still-visible rooftops of old houses.
The natural cove on which the Port of Khor Fakkan is located was important in medieval days. It was attacked by the governor of Portuguese India, Afonso de Albuquerque, in 1507 and fought over for the next two centuries by the Portuguese, Persians, and Omanis. The Portuguese build a fort there, but it was in ruins by 1666. The Omanis ultimately won the area.
In 1832, when the Omani sultan was visiting his African possessions, the sheikh of Al-Shariqah (known in English as Sharjah) seized the town and Port of Khor Fakkan. The British recognized Al-Fujayrah as a separate state in 1952, but the Port of Khor Fakkan remained with Sharjah.
The Port of Khor Fakkan has a natural harbor, the best in the Emirate. But it is geographically isolated, and few investments have been made in the port. Even so, the Port of Khor Fakkan was thought to be Sharjah’s busiest when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) won independence in 1971.