Discover the magic of exoticism and adventure just outside Dubai! Located close to Dubai, the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has all the attractions of Arab culture and outdoor adventure. In this still relatively secret location, you can not only relax on the beach, but also try sea kayaking in the green mangroves, picnicking on the sand dunes, rock climbing, the world's longest zipline or a survival course at Bear Grylls Camp. After a trek in the mountains, you can refresh yourself in a green oasis, watch flocks of flamingos on the salt flats or ride a horse through the orange-red sand desert.
Although it has always been considered a very important business hub between the East and the West, Ras Al Khaimah still remains a quieter version of the super-modern Dubai that is the symbol of tourism for the whole emirate. However, this does not mean limited opportunities, quite the opposite. With its culture, traditions and long history, Ras Al Khaimah has countless things to offer, and a visit here is considerably cheaper than in nearby Dubai.
Ras Al Khaimah is just a few hours flight from European destinations and new routes are opening up all the time. It also has the advantage of being just 45 minutes by road from Dubai International Airport. You can take a leisurely day trip there and then return to the peaceful atmosphere of Ras Al Khaimah in the evening.
It is the fourth largest of the seven autonomous emirates and is located in the northern part of the federation. The territory is divided into northern and southern parts, separated by a promontory of the neighbouring Emirate of Fujairah. The coastline of Ras Al Khaimah is bathed by the waters of the Arabian Gulf, and so, despite the fact that the locals enjoy year-round sunshine, it is characterised by a pleasant climate. This allows you to enjoy both the beach and sea swimming, as well as an active holiday during which you can explore the Al-Hajar mountain range or the rocky teeth of the UAE's highest peak, Jebel Jais, rising to an altitude of 1,934 metres. Generally, the best time to visit is winter and early spring.
One of the best views of the Al-Hajar Mountains opens up from the "Jebel Jais Viewing Deck". This is made up of several viewing platforms on which you can picnic. For record collectors, a ride on the world's longest zipline, which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, is a must. From the UAE's highest mountain, you'll soar at speeds of up to 150 km/h and land on a transparent platform suspended in mid-air. Calmer nature lovers can enjoy a romantic breakfast or lunch at the 1484 by Puro restaurant. You'll love the mountain views and delicious fresh treats.
You can also try canyoning or rappelling in the Al-Hajar Mountains. Furthermore, the area is a renowned paradise for climbing, hiking and mountain biking, which can be combined with climbs to local peaks such as Jebel Jais. There is also a beautiful trail through the Wadi Showka valley.
TIP: For adrenaline enthusiasts, we recommend staying in the unique log cabins made from recycled materials at the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp. In addition to accommodations, the camp offers several types of survival courses, and you can choose from some of the toughest terrain in the wilderness. In addition, you can try mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing.
You can then explore the reddish-brown desert dunes on horseback or camel, which can be hired at the Al Wadi Equestrian Centre. An authentic ride across the undulating dunes with a stop in the lush green fertile oases is one of the best experiences.
In addition to sporting activities, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a number of ancient archaeological sites that reveal a glimpse of a rich culture dating back seven thousand years. You'll be transported back in time as if by magic when you visit Dhayah Fortress. The only standing fortress in the UAE was built in the 18th century with mud bricks on a much older foundation. Set on a hilltop, it offers fantastic views of the outspread sea in the distance, the surrounding green palm gardens rippling in the gentle breeze and providing cooling shade, and the dramatic mountain peaks all around.
As well as hotels and a modern shopping centre, the emirate's Ras Alcapital also has an old town where you can soak up the old days of the Orient in the alleyways with small shops and authentic goods.
Ras Al Khaimah has always been a centre of trade and one of the main commodities has always been pearls. Even today you can visit one pearl farm, the Suwaidi Pearls Farm. During a guided visit, you will not only learn about the history of the pearl trade itself, but you can also try your hand at oyster opening, scuba diving or kayaking through the mangrove forests full of life.
Due to its location, Ras Al Khaimah is also an ideal location for water sports such as parasailing and sailing. Don't forget to visit Al Marjan Island, which is an artificial island. It is home to a huge variety of plants and animals and snorkelling amongst the colourful fish is truly beautiful.