Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah

Things to do in  Ras Al Khaimah

Zipping through the desert

The northernmost of the seven United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah—sometimes abbreviated to RAK—is often overlooked in favor of neighboring Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which has afforded the emirate something of an undiscovered-gem status. It, too, has an enviable waterfront and glitzy beach resorts, although there are plenty more things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, from exploring the varied topography of the Hajar Mountains and visiting the lofty peak (and supposedly world’s longest zipline) of Jebel Jais, to Bedouin cultural excursions deep into the desert and plenty of adventure-sport offerings.

Top 3 attractions in Ras Al Khaimah

Jabal Al Jais

Looming from the eastern edges of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the Uniter Arab Emirate’s (UAE) northernmost emirate, Jabal Al Jais is a group of mountains in the Al Hajar range along the country’s border with Oman. Forming the UAE’s highest peak at 6,345 feet (1,934 meters), the Jabal Al Jais region combines awe-inspiring scenery with exciting attractions for outdoor enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.More

Ras Al Khaimah National Museum

As the northernmost emirate in the UAE, Ras al Khaimah has a fascinating history that’s displayed at this national museum. Housed in an 18th century fort, the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum was the home of the emirate’s ruling family until 1964, and was opened to the public as a national museum in 1987. Once inside the historic fort, enjoy a casual, self-guided tour of artifacts detailing the early history of peoples inhabiting the desert. You’ll also find ethnological displays, as well as documents and treaties from deals with Britain in the 19th century.The most prominent feature is the old tower, which rises above the two-story buildings and was once an important lookout point for guarding the royal family. Because the museum doesn’t offer guides, it’s good to visit the museum as part of a half-day tour of town, where the local guides who administer the tour can tell you about the artifacts. Favorites include the ancient weapons that were used to defend the fort, as well as equipment that divers used when diving for pearls offshore.More

Dhayah Fort

Crowning a hill below the Hajar Mountains in Ras Al Khaimah emirate, the 19th-century mud-brick Dhayah Fort is the United Arab Emirates’ last remaining hilltop fort. Built from the remnants of earlier fortifications, it’s famous for serving as a holdout for the local Al Qawasim peoples when they attempted—but failed—to resist British forces in 1819.More

Top activities in Ras Al Khaimah

Private Ras Al Khaimah Guided City Tour

Private Ras Al Khaimah Guided City Tour

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All about Ras Al Khaimah

When to visit

Ras Al Khaimah offers ideal conditions October-April, when the UAE’s scorching summers taper into more comfortable weather. This brings an influx of tourists to the emirate, but not enough to spoil its peaceful vibe. Ras Al Khaimah’s mountainous backdrop means its temperatures stay cooler than other emirates, thereby extending its visiting season into early and late summer, especially for outdoor enthusiasts. Winter brings sports and music events, from January’s Triathlon to DJ beach parties.

Getting around

Ras Al Khaimah’s public transport is skeletal: Only a limited bus network operates in the city. Consequently, the most convenient options are self-drive, cabs, and ride-hailing apps. If you’re planning a sightseeing trip in or out of town, it’s worth considering organized tours or the intercity buses that link Ras Al Khaimah with Dubai and other emirates. If you’re heading for Jabal Jais for its mountain adventures, check to see if shuttle buses run from the city.

Traveler tips

There’s more to Ras Al Khaimah than beaches and mountainscapes. Locals still observe some centuries-old Bedouin traditions. One not to miss is camel racing, a winter sport played out at the emirate’s Al Sawan racetrack early on Friday mornings between October and April. Hire a cab to get there, and watch large groups of camels thundering around the sandy track, each ridden by electronic robot jockeys wearing racing colors—it’s a sight to be seen.


People Also Ask

What is Ras Al Khaimah known for?

Although it’s one of the UAE’s lesser-known emirates, Ras Al Khaimah is becoming a destination for adventure and beach lovers. In addition to top-notch hotels and beaches, you’ll find that the nearby Hajar Mountains and sands are outdoor-adventure hubs, offering desert safaris, the world’s longest zipline, hiking trails, and bungee jumping.

How do I spend a day in Ras Al Khaimah?

Start with a ride down the world’s longest zipline (1.7 miles or 2.8 kilometers) in the craggy Hajar Mountains. Later, hit Ras Al Khaimah’s beaches, or explore its National Museum or Dhayah Fort. Finally, take a desert safari, enjoying an all-terrain vehicle circuit, dune-bashing, and starlit Bedouin-style barbecue.

What is special in Ras Al Khaimah?

Unlike other desert-bordered UAE emirates, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a mountain backdrop ideal for adventure and nature enthusiasts, along with a gentler, less-glitzy vibe than its neighbors. Tourists come for its quieter beaches, and the activities promised by its nearby mountains, from scenic footpaths to ziplining, biking, and obstacle courses.

Is Ras Al Khaimah worth visiting?

Yes, Ras Al Khaimah is worth visiting. Scenery and outdoor thrills call from the nearby Hajar Mountains. Its peaks, including Jebel Jais, host ziplines, extreme sports, and adventure trails. Plus, there’s plenty to entertain and relax, from beaches and watersports to the city’s National Museum and fun-packed desert safaris.

Is Ras Al Khaimah better than Dubai?

It depends on your tastes. Ras Al Khaimah easily beats Dubai with its scenery and wilderness adventure sports in its neighboring Hajar Mountains. And while the city of Ras Al Khaimah boasts fewer family attractions, its laid-back beaches and gentler atmosphere are better suited to slow-go vacations.

Is Ras Al Khaimah part of Dubai?

No, Ras Al Khaimah is a separate emirate from Dubai, with a distinct identity, history, and atmosphere. Around 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Dubai on the UAE coastline, Ras Al Khaimah is a 75-minute drive from Dubai via the E11 desert highway, which crosses emirates like Sharjah.

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