If you’re visiting Ras Al Khaimah, chances are you’ll be staying in a resort where there’s no need to actually leave the complex. They’ll be plenty of pools, restaurants, huge sandy beaches, watersports, spa and fitness facilities to enjoy. However, if you do decide to venture out and explore the local area, Ras Al Khaimah offers plenty of alternative Arabian experiences. It’s where Dubai locals go to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, in search of quieter beaches and outdoor pursuits and a spot of culture…
History and Culture
Ras Al Khaimah is particularly archaeologically important, said to be inhabited since 3000BC. Housed within an 18th century fort, the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum does a good job of explaining this far reaching history. The museum transports you back to a time of pearl divers and fishermen before the region’s oil boom in the 1960s, as well as showcasing the region’s traditional weapons and other ancient archaeological artefacts.
You can also visit a real-life ghost town, Jazirat al-Hamra, the UAE’s best preserved ancient village. It gives a real sense of what life was like for the locals in the pre-oil era, making a living from fishing and pearl diving. Walk through the eerily empty streets of abandoned schools, shops and dwellings at sunset for a particularly atmospheric experience.
Dust yourself off being heading to the jazzy new RAK Pearls Museum. Here you can learn about the dangerous conditions pearl divers had to endure, before being wowed by a stunning collection of the shiny gems.
If the Pearl Museum inspired you, take a trip to the Pearl Farm, where you can have a go at opening an oyster to see if there is a pearl inside (if there is, you can keep it!)
If you’re into wellness, a visit to these hot springs is a must. Set in the midst of a palm lined oasis, with the stunning Hajar mountains providing the backdrop, this is where Dubai locals come to get away from it all. The mineral-rich water is noted for it’s therapeutic and healing properties.
Great driving road – Jebel Al Jais
If you fancy an exhilarating drive, this is one of the best roads in the emirates and an experience you don’t want to miss. Hire a Range Rover, Ferrari or an Aston Martin (or even a mountain bike if you’re feeling energetic!). Whatever your mode of transport, enjoy the journey to the top of the highest mountain the UAE and admire the spectacular views. Believe it or not, there are plans to build a ski resort up here (it has been known to snow, although no doubt machines would be required for the ‘occasional’ top up!)
A trip to Ras Al Khaimah would not be complete without a memorable day in the desert. Beginning with an hair-raising drive bounding across the sand dunes in a 4×4, before a camel ride and traditional Arabic dinner around a campfire.
Falcons and camels are a big part of Arabian heritage, and you can experience both in Ras Al Khaimah.
Camel races take place in the winter months. It’s unexpectedly like the Wacky Races, with robot jockeys sitting on top of the camels whilst the owners drive alongside in their 4x4s, operating the remote control.
If you prefer a calmer, less exuberant activity, head over to the Ras Al Khaimah Country Club and try your hand at horse riding, taking a trek through the emirate’s nature reserve.
With temperatures regularly over 30°C in the summer months, watersports are understandably popular. All kinds of water based adventures are on offer, from micro-gliding, parasailing, jet skiing, waterskiing, banana boat rides, doughnut rides, fishing trips, scuba diving, sailing, flyboarding… the list goes on!
Day trip to Dubai
Most hotels run a free shuttle service to Dubai (just less than an hour away), enabling you to take advantage of all the tourist attractions in the city.
If you’re interested in travelling to Ras Al Khaimah, give one of our specialists a call on 020 3582 1567. Some of us at letsgo2 HQ have just returned from a trip there and are ready to give you the lowdown on the best places to stay!
Our featured hotels include:
Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah and Doubletree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island