Ras Al Khaimah, the northern-most emirate of the UAE, offers its visitors a truly authentic Arabian experience; from its golden beaches, lush mangroves and terracotta deserts, to the towering Hajar Mountains bordering Oman. Along with boundless natural attractions and activities, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a number of ancient archaeological sites, giving visitors a fascinating insight into rich culture that still runs through the very heart of the local population.
After breakfast at your hotel, drive to Dhayah fort, the last place to fall in the hands of the British in their long war against the Al Qawasim tribe. Walk 300 steps to this 16th century mud-brick fort, which is now a Ras al Khaimah icon, for sweeping views of acacia forests, palm gardens, mangroves and the sea. Visit a date farm at the foot of the Dhaya hill and learn about the 18 varieties of dates that are grown locally.
Travel back in time to the Bin Majid Museum where you can learn about Bin Majid, the famous navigator who was born in Ras Al Khaimah and was integral to the region’s maritime history. For a relaxing lunch by the beach, make your way across the street to the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa.
A short drive away, on the other side of the creek is the Kuwaiti Souq. For a bit of the local flair, go fabric shopping and get yourself a bespoke kandora or abaya tailored at Dar Al Gala. Spend some time at the unassuming Mohammed Bin Salim Mosque, not far from the Museum. Located in the Old Town of Ras Al Khaimah, it is the largest surviving traditional mosque in the UAE.For another look into the emirate’s history; visit the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum. Former palace of the ruling family, then known as Al Hisn Fort, the Museum now features traditional weapons, belonging to the ruling family, as well as archaeological displays illustrating the earliest settlers in the area.
As the sun goes down, enjoy a walk along the Al Qawasim Corniche towards Yansoon that boasts of a rooftop terrace presented as a Majlis, the traditional Emirati area to meet and entertain guests. Enjoy a shisha and an elaborate spread of Arabic delicacies that comes with a side of lush mangroves, all with a backdrop of the majestic Hajar Mountains.
Disappear in the rugged mountains and wadis of southern Ras Al Khaimah for your second day. Pack your 4WDs and pick one of our recommended routes towards Masafi and experience a life far removed from the glitz and glamour of the cities. Make sure not to miss the town market offering everything from locally grown fruits and vegetables to handmade pottery. The market especially comes alive on Fridays.
Spend the afternoon kayaking through the mangroves or at the beach. For adventure lovers, Ras Al Khaimah’s beachside properties offer a vast array of watersports. For those wanting to luxuriate, the spas at the Waldorf Astoria, Banyan Tree or the Marjan Island Resort and Spa have many treatments to choose from.
End the day by taking in the views at the 18th hole at the Al Hamra Golf Course in one of its many bars and restaurants. Alternatively, head to the Al Hamra Village and choose from a selection of restaurants and cafes such as Muse at the Marina. If you are looking for a luxurious evening, look no further than the dining options at the Waldorf Astoria or Sands at the Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach.