THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

The most exciting things to do in Ras Al Khaimah – UAE’s northernmost emirate

What to see and do in the UAE’s northernmost emirate – from an eerie ghost pearling village to desert activities, watersports, golf, culture and more

Near+Far

20 May 2024

best things to do in ras al khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah (known affectionately to locals as RAK) is the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates – a popular spot with UAE residents for staycations and ex-pats looking to escape the city and enjoy a slower pace of life. In recent times, international travellers have woken up to the fantastic array of attractions Ras Al Khaimah can offer. Its diverse topography of the rugged Hajar mountainsburnt-orange deserts, mangroves and golden natural beaches make it one of the most naturally beautiful landscapes in the Middle East, and the emirate offers plenty of activities from golf, shopping and dining to the longest zipline in the world and highest restaurant in the UAE. Here are the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.

Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah: culture and heritage

Al Jazeera Al Hamra

Al Jazeera Al Hamra

One of the most famous things to do in Ras Al Khaimah is to pay a visit to the ghostly remains of Al Jazeera Al Hamra – the only remaining historical pearling village in the entire Gulf region. The collection of abandoned buildings sits near the coast and comprises a fort and watchtowers, mosque, souq and extensive courtyard houses of various designs – with everything from small, simple crumbling houses to a a large courtyard residence that belonged to the wealthy pearl merchant. At its peak at the turn of the century, the village had more than 500 homes – with most of its inhabitants leaving between 1968 and 71 following the discovery of oil. Today, you can wander around its abandoned lanes and picture its rich history.
ajah.ae

National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah

The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah lies near the city’s harbour and is a must-visit place for anyone looking to understand the history of the emirate, alongside the UAE as a whole. Housed in a former fort in Ras Al Khaimah Old Town, the museum has archaeological collections relating to human history in the area and has artifacts partly donated by members of the ruling Quwasim family and residents of Ras Al Khaimah. There’s a lovely inner courtyard and various galleries – with expansion in the pipeline.
rakheritage.rak.ae

Suwaidi Pearl Farm: best things to do in ras al khaimah

Suwaidi Pearl Farm

To truly understand Ras Al Khaimah, and the Gulf’s pearling history, pay a visit to Suwaidi Pearl Farm – located in the foothills of the Jebel Jais mountain and an insight into the past, but also the present and future of pearling. The farm was opened by Abdulla Al Suwaidi in commemoration of his late grandfather, Mohammed, a pearl diver who would disappear for minutes at a time seeking these translucent gems from the depths which would then be worn by ruling families. The farm invites vistors aboard a traditional pearl fishing boat, educates about the protection of mangroves and reveals the innovative scientific techniques used in modern-day pearl farming. A gift shop even sells precious Arabian pearls to take home.
suwaidipearls.ae

Ras Al Khaimah Old Town

A stroll around the old town is one of the most wonderful things to do in Ras Al Khaimah – a maze of twisting lanes, hole-in-the-wall coffee stops and mosques sandwiched between the creek and Arabian gulf. Now home to retired mariners, the charming seaside suburb is filled with dusty lanes and it’s easy to spend an few hours sipping on tea and hunting for the likes of gold bangles, plastic bits and bobs and snacks. The old town is busiest in the evening – but make a note that shops shut from around 1pm until 4.30pm and modest dress, and that more modest dressing is appreciated.

things to do in Ras Al Khaimah: Dhayah Fort

Dhayah Fort

The 18th-century Dhayah Fort sits atop a hill and offers panoramic views of date palm gardens and the majestic Jebel Jais Mountains. Now a historical monument worth a wander around, it was the site of a battle during the Persian Gulf campaign of 1819 and was captured by British troops. The fort is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List and a beautiful place to visit and understand more about Ras Al Khaimah’s rich history.

Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah: nature and adventure

Jebel Jais

Some of the best views in the UAE are seen from Jebel Jais – the country’s highest mountain, standing 1,934 metres above sea level. The rugged and dramatic mountainscapes like Ras Al Khaimah with Oman’s Musandam Governate and offer hiking trails, mountain biking, camping, mountain-top restaurants and cafes and the world’s longest zipline. One of the most famous things to do in Ras Al Khaimah is to take the longest zipline in the world – the Jais Flight. Strapped into a harness, partakers travel 2.8 kilometres at an incredible 120 to 160 kilometres an hour – which gives you three whole minutes to soak up the mountain’s outstanding natural beauty as you soar above. For those wanting more time to truly experience the beauty, there’s the two-hour Sky Tour – a five-kilometre course of six ziplines running from 337 to 1,000 metres and averaging a speed of around 60 kilometres an hour. For a slower way down the mountain there’s the Jais Sledder, an eight-minute track running for 1,800 metres and one of its six official hiking trails – from the 4.3km Ghaf Summit (Jebel Jais Upper Trail to the UAE’s highest point to the 5.5km Samar Trail past ancient terraced farms.

Jebel-Jais-Flight-Worlds-Longest-Zipline

The Bear Grylls Explorers camp

It’s no secret Ras Al Khaimah is the adventure capital of the UAE – and one of the best places to experience this spirit is at the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp. In partnership with the famous adventurer, the ‘resort’ offers overnight camping experiences and survival courses, where visitors are taught how to survive in the extremes – offering key life skills, along with being a great bit of fun for friends, families, and even team building. The campsite is spread across the mountain with cosy modern caravans complete with air conditioning, fridges, private bathrooms and barbecues. Bring your own food, or purchase from the shop, and enjoy a barbecue as you overlook the stunning mountain rage. Fun activities like abseiling and an aerial maze are also available, with children ages six and above able to participate in the fun.
beargryllscamp.ae

Sonara Camp Al Wadi

Ras Al Khaimah’s deserts are an endless haze of burnt orange, home to hundreds of species, and the best way to experience this raw beauty is on a desert safari. As one of the UAE’s most trusted and highly rated desert activity companies, not to mention luxurious, Sonara is a failsafe company to opt for when booking a desert safari in Ras Al Khaimah. The camp lies in the Al Wadi nature reserve home to Arabian Oryx, sand and Arabian Gazelles and the Arabian Red Fox. Guest book packages of experiences and activities, including dining, with sandboarding, camel riding, hawk shows, private game drives and multi-course dinners on offer, depending on price point.
nara.ae/sonara-alwadi

ras al khaimah desert with camels

Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre

Head out to one of Ras Al Khaimah’s most famous luxury resorts to visit the Al Wadi Equestrian Adventure Centre – set in 1,235-acres of nature reserve and protected desert home to wildlife, native flora and more. While the resort is the place for a picture-perfect desert stay, complete with private pool villas and Arabesque dining, day visitors can enjoy a host of desert and nature-based activities like desert safaris, horseback riding, archery and falconry – surrounded by Ras Al Khaimah’s terracotta dunes.
@alwadiequestrian

Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah: sports

Al Marjan Island

With 64 kilometres of coastline, on of the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah is enjoy a host of watersports, and one of the most popular places to enjoy these is Al Marjan island. The modern and beachy island development is home to a handful of premium beach resorts like Rixos, Movenpick and Pullman, and as a result is home to plenty of watersports operators offering. There’s everything from high-powered motorised persuits like jetskiing, flyboarding and donut riding to more peaceful non-motorised options like kayaking and paddleboarding – perfect for enjoying Ras Al Khaimah’s calm waters and the island’s soft sandy beaches.

things to do in Ras Al Khaimah al marjan island
Al Marjan Island from the air

Al Hamra Golf Club

Ras Al Khamiah is a fantastic vacation destination for golf lovers, home to the Al Hamra Golf Club – a DP World Tour venue which is open year round and offers some attractive rates. The beautiful Par 72 Championship golf course measures 7,400 yards with five tee options on each hole, suiting all skill levels, and offers golf lessons and is home to a alovel all-day and also offers ‘stay and play’ package which partners with Ras Al Khaimah’s top hotels like the Waldorf Astoria and Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort.
alhamragolf.com

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