Ras Al Khaimah is the best haven for many Dubai residents. Backed by the massive Mountains, which roll dramatically to the shore, Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost of the United Arab Emirates, makes a great base for exploring and sightseeing in a rugged area.
Historically, this area is very important, as archaeological excavations here reveal that this area has been inhabited since the third millennium BC. Ras Al Khaimah National Museum does an excellent job of explaining this long-term history.
Although much of the city is modern, the atmospheric Islands Al Hamra area is a major tourist attraction as it lends a taste of the serene Emirati life to pearl divers and fishermen before the oil boom of the mid-20th century. Learn more about the best places to visit in Ras Al Khaimah.
The 9 Places To Visit in Ras Al Khaimah :
1.Jabal Bil Ays
Jebel Jais is located about 55 kilometers northeast of Ras Al Khaimah, and is part of the Al Hajar Mountains range. It is the highest mountain in the United Arab Emirates, with a peak height of 1934 meters. There is a recently opened 20km road to the top (not quite to the summit) that is serpentine in reflection all the way up the mountainside, with viewing platforms along the way for beautiful distant views.
Near the top of the road, a series of landscaped terraces with viewing platforms and cafés offer scenic views that tumble over rocky peaks down to the coastal plain, making this a prime spot for photographers, especially in the late afternoon when the orange-colored boulders glow .
Ras Al Khaimah has plenty of sun seekers and relaxation lovers. The emirate’s long coastline stretches with luxury resorts, all offering their own private patch of golden sand. Most will also allow non-guests to use their facilities for a day pass. The beaches are well taken care of and full of amenities, including sunbeds, sun umbrellas, cafes and restaurants right on the sand, fresh water showers, and just about everything you need for a day of tan. Several watersports are also available, including kayak and jet-ski rentals.
3.Jebel Jais Zipline
The longest zip-line in the world (with a distance of 2.8 km) on Jebel Jais, one of the main adventure activities in the UAE, has become a tourist destination for adrenaline junkies.
From the take-off point, near the top of Jebel Jais, the zipline zips down the mountain, where the ziplines travel at speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. In addition to the thrill of the flight itself and the views of the enormous mountains, the highlight of the trip is the landing on the midway platform, suspended in midair.
4.National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
The Ras Al Khaimah National Museum is located in a fort that was the residence of the ruling family until the early 1960s. The museum houses an excellent collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts.
The Qawasim Room on the first floor is particularly interesting, as it contains a collection of documents, manuscripts, and treaties between the rulers of Ras al-Khaimah and Great Britain. There are also exhibits of traditional weapons belonging to the ruling family, in addition to archaeological displays about the early settlers in the region until the late Islamic era. The museum’s ethnographic section presents traditional life in the emirate, including architecture, pearl diving, date cultivation, agriculture and fishing.
To learn more about the area, the private full-day tour of Ras Al Khaimah delves into its cultural and historical attractions, as well as a scenic view of its coastline, with plenty of photo stops along the most scenic parts of the Corniche and at the marina along the way. Among the most prominent tourist attractions are the Museum, Al-Zia Castle and Al-Hamra Island. All transportation including pick-up and drop-off from Ras Al Khaimah hotels are included.
This 16th century adobe fort, about 20 kilometers north of Ras al-Khaimah, was strategically located on top of a hill facing the Gulf to defend the area from attack by the British. As a defensive military tower, Dhaya Fort played an important role in the history of Ras Al Khaimah.
The fortifications and other destroyed watchtowers can be seen south of the hill. The battle of 1891 between the principality and British forces resulted in the destruction of many fortifications here. The panoramic views from the fort walls are worth a visit here, and for anyone interested in history, exploring the fort itself is one of the top things to do in this small principality.
6.Al Jazirah Al Hamra
If you love archeology, then this deserted fishing village, located about 20 kilometers south of Ras Al Khaimah, will be right up your alley and offer a great sightseeing opportunity. Al Hamra Island has been left to slowly decay, with its traditional coral-block architecture becoming a reminder of simple local life before the oil boom.
Emiratis here used to make a living from pearl diving and fishing, but the villagers all left in the 1960s, and the dry desert climate helped preserve the buildings.
7.Al Hajar Mountains
The rugged Al Hajar Mountains dominate the Ras Al Khaimah landscape and create a beautiful area to get out into nature on a day trip. The surrounding desert features constantly changing rust-colored sand dunes, while in the mountains, the stunning jagged landscape is the kind of big-sky country that most visitors wouldn’t expect to find in the UAE. The stone is of great interest to geologists as they have the world’s largest surface exposure to ophiolites (igneous rocks from the oceanic crust).
Located about 26 kilometers southeast of Ras al-Khaimah, Ain Khatt is an area of mineral-rich heated pools, where the waters are known for their relaxing and healing properties. The resort is located in the middle of an oasis filled with palm trees backed by mountains. The healthy waters are a major holiday attraction for the locals as well as the tourists.
In addition to soaking your worries away in a sauna, the surrounding area is home to nearly 170 archaeological sites. Items discovered by archaeologists in the area include prehistoric tombs and mudbrick fortifications dating back to the 19th century, indicating the long and continuous settlement of this area.
9.Ice Land Water Park
Iceland Water Park is heaven on a hot day, with an arctic theme for horseback riding. If you don’t fancy the bustle, steer clear of weekend days, when the park is packed with families trying to escape the heat. This is the best attraction for families in Ras Al Khaimah, with water slides, an Olympic-sized pool and a pool area for young children. There is also a wide range of eating options in the food court.