Located towards the northern end of UAE’s Persian Gulf coast, Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) is nestled between the Arabian Gulf and Hajar Mountains. The name which translates to ‘top of the tent’ is most likely given due to its location on the top of UAE which resembles a triangular tent top. The emirate has a 27 mile coastline and is home to tranquil lagoons, golden beaches, mountains and virgin desert terrains. This diverse and scenic landscape of the emirate makes it an ideal destination for adventure.
Currently RAK is somewhat of an undiscovered jewel when it comes to tourism. However Ras Al Khaimah travel is a hit among those who prefer going off the beaten path and exploring new destinations.
The emirate is an abundance of intriguing natural attractions. From the desert hot springs of Khatt, the breathtaking landscape afforded on a mountain trek, golden beaches, and beautiful lagoons the options are endless.
The emirate offers a myriad of activities such as tours of the city, the mountains and the desert, as well as activities such as Dhow cruises and camel racing.
The coastline along the Persian Gulf is emerging as a destination for resort vacations. The resorts in RAK are where the nightlife is, with musicians and belly dancers. The area is developing several travel-friendly attractions such as golf, a flying club, diving, and a water park.
The National Museum is located in a fort that was the residence of the ruling family until the early 1960s. The Museum houses a collection of archeological and ethnological artifacts that include discoveries from the earliest settlers to the late Islamic period and traditional weapons belonging to the ruling family. Visitors can indulge in learning about architecture, pearl diving, date agriculture, farming and fishing in the various galleries.
The Dhayah Fort, a major historic attraction located between the palm gardens of Dayah and the Hajar mountains, was built of mud-brick in the 16th century on a hill facing the Gulf. It was a strategic military tower that was very important in the history of Ras al-Khaimah. Other ruined fortifications can be seen to the south of the hill and watchtowers are still visible in the nearby town of Rams.
Khatt Springs consists of three springs of hot mineral water. The sulfuric water has relaxing and therapeutic properties. Khatts Springs is also home to many archeological sites and tombs. The items uncovered range from stone tools to 19th-century mud-brick fortification towers. A large number of prehistoric tombs were also discovered in the Khatt Springs area.
Saqr Park is the only park in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. It is a popular destination on weekends for families and hot spot for family barbeques. There are a number of children’s play areas throughout the park. There is also a rollercoaster and Big Splash ride as well as three halls of electronic games.
Ras Al-Khaimah is the place to indulge in a traditional shopping experience. The emirate has a only a few malls with Manar Mall being the most popular among tourists and citizens. However, the emirate has an abundant of small shops mainly in the Al Nakheel area and souqs – the most popular being the Old Souq which provides the most traditional shopping experience.
Like many other less popular emirates Ras Al-Khaimah has no public transportation system – so getting around should mostly be done in local taxis or by renting a car. Taxis are the main form of transport, available any time of day or night. Taxis don’t use meters, so the fare needs to be negotiated before setting off on your journey.
Lebanese cuisine mixed with some Arabic and Indian influences is often considered a local food. What you can expect in most restaurants are traditional Lebanese mezze (hummos, mutabal, salads, falafel), kebabs, biryani, fish, or lamb. Ras Al Khaimah’s diverse cultures have brought in different tastes for food, and restaurants of many types and origins are available. Due to the large Indian poulation, there are plenty of great Indian restaurants. All major international fast food restaurants chains are also present in Ras Al Khaimah.