Discovering an amazing destination. Ras Al Khaimah offers outdoor activities and adventures in a unique landscape.
A varied territory that ranges from sandy coasts to green mangrove forests, from the terracotta-colored sand of the desert to the majestic mountains that host the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, the Jebel Jais, where temperatures are about 10 degrees below the level of the sea. Ras Al Khaimah, the Emirate of nature, offers sustainability, unprecedented outdoor experiences, major international events and an authentic Arab experience thanks to over 7,000 years of history, so much so that it has been included in the ranking of the most beautiful places in the world of 2022 by Time magazine.
Desert and Nature
For a unique experience among the terracotta colored dunes of the desert, Al Wadi Nature Reserve is home to the luxurious Ritz Carlton resort which, in addition to offering private villas with views, organizes desert excursions with camels and horses at the Al Wadi Equestrian Center, lessons private archery and falconry shows. Visitors who want to dine under the stars can enjoy Sonara Camp, an exclusive food experience immersed in the beauty of the Al Wadi desert. To admire Ras Al Khaimah from above, the recently opened RAK Airventure located in the Manar Mall, the most famous shopping center in the Emirate. It is a hot air balloon experience almost 30 meters high, offering an aerial view of the majestic Hajar mountains, the dunes, the mangroves and the city with crowded markets, palaces and mosques. Recently inaugurated – also in the Manar Mall – the Luminaze, an art installation that represents a labyrinth of light.
Jebel Jais, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, is part of the impressive Al Hajar mountain range. With an altitude of 1,934 meters above sea level, it records on average temperatures 10 ° C lower than other well-known locations in the country, offering the opportunity to experience outdoor adventures and enjoy spectacular views at considerably milder temperatures. Not surprisingly, Ras Al Khaimah is recognized as a privileged destination in the Middle East for activities in nature thanks to the numerous opportunities for excursions, trekking and mountain bike routes suitable for all ages and all levels of sport. The Jais Adventure Park is home to several attractions such as the scenic Jais Viewing Deck Park, the Jais Flight, the longest zipline in the world, the Jais Sky Tour, a route of seven ziplines that stretch for 5km, and the Jais Sledder, the longest toboggan run in the region. Here are also the “1484 by Puro”, the highest restaurant in the UAE, and the rooftop
lounge “The View by 1484”. The Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, the first facility in the world designed by the famous TV host and mountaineer Bear Grylls, offers courses of varying length; while Camp 1770, the largest campsite in the Emirates, is a privileged starting point for exploring the many hiking trails and for experiencing local hospitality through cuisine and the stories told by mountain tribes. Finally, the Wingsuit Diving Platform was recently inaugurated: it is the first base jumping platform in the UAE and home of the base jumper Khalifa Al Ghafri, also known as the “Batman of the United Arab Emirates”.
Long stretches of pristine white sand beaches are home to numerous beachfront facilities: from ultra-luxury resorts to family-friendly ones, to city-center hotels. Many international brands present in the Emirate. The newly opened InterContinental Mina Al Arab and Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island with a 300-meter beach and Ras Al Khaimah’s largest floating water park. Banan Beach is a glamping resort located on Al Marjan Island. Featuring a relaxed atmosphere, it features tipi tents
located around a central fireplace, private chalets, family attractions and barbecue areas. While the Longbeach Campground combines the traditional camping concept with luxury services and activities, creating an immersive glamping experience. On New Year’s Eve, Al Marjan Island hosts an extraordinary fireworks display by the sea, which in the last three years has set five Guinness World Records, attracting visitors from all over the world.
With over 7,000 years of history, dating back to the Bronze Age, Ras Al Khaimah is home to interesting forts, ancient settlements and historical sites, of which four – Julfar, Shimal, Al Jazirah Al Hamra and Dhayah – included in the Tentative List of the UNESCO cultural heritage. The UAE, and Ras Al Khaimah in particular, have an extraordinary past linked to pearl fishing, still considered one of the most precious traditions of the region today. To find out more, visit the Suwaidi Pearl Farm located in Al Rams, the northernmost district of Ras Al Khaimah. Here, visitors can board a traditional pearl fishing boat accompanied by a guide who offers a journey through the evolution of this sector from ancient times to the present day. And for a journey through time, nothing better than the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah.
More and more international and prestigious sporting events are hosted in the Emirate, such as the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, the fastest half marathon in the world, now in its 15th edition, the UAE Cycling Championship, the UAE Tour and the DP World Tour golf tournament. In 2021 Ras Al Khaimah launched the first Highlander hiking experience, the only certified international hiking association in the world, which will return to the Haiar mountains from 18 to 20 November next. From 4 to 8 December the extraordinary landscape of Jebel Jais will host a stage of the 1000 Miglia Experience UAE. The Emirate has also been selected by the World Minifootball Federation (WMF) to host the Minifootball World Cup in 2023. On October 22nd and 23rd the spotlight will be on RAKtopia, a new festival where music, art, nature and wellness will meet at Longbeach Ras Al Khaimah Campground.
Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect destination to explore nature with the whole family, including four-legged friends. From spectacular wadi walks and mountain hikes on Jebel Jais to beaches, from desert adventures to hotels, the offer of experiences for a holiday with your dog is wide and available throughout the Emirate from sea to desert and mountains.
Sustainability and Safety
To support the extraordinary milestone reached in terms of arrivals, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has recently adopted a new and significant approach towards sustainability: Balanced Tourism, which marks a milestone in the overall growth of the Emirate and its desire to become a leader in the field of sustainable tourism by 2025. Ras Al Khaimah has also strengthened its image in terms of safety by obtaining the certification of the first safe city in the world by the Bureau Veritas SafeGuard Label and the Safe Travels Stamp of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) following the COVID-19 pandemic.