Ras Al Khaimah, which translated means ‘top of the tent’, is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and it’s located all the way in the north, bordering with Oman. Most expats living in the UAE think of it as a laid-back little place with mountains, beaches and hotels that are perfect for weekend getaways. And yes, that’s definitely one side of it.
But what else does Ras Al Khaimah really have to offer? We went there to check it out for you so keep reading if you would like to know more about this beautiful place also referred to as RAK.
First off we must say, Ras Al Khaimah really IS laid back and has a beautiful scenery. Driving through the mountains to get to the centre makes you appreciate nature again although there is not much greenery compared to other countries in the world but it gave us a sudden urge to go hiking. And in fact, hiking is one of the things you should definitely try here in the Hajar Mountains, next to climbing and mountain biking.
Once you are driving more towards the centre of the city, you will find lots of small little houses, which gives it more of a village kind of flair. Walking the streets away from the city’s centre can be quite entertaining as there is loads of goats and chickens roaming around. And don’t underestimate the historical and cultural background of Ras Al Khaimah!
If you want to find out more, visit the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, a fort located in the old part of the town that was built in 1749. Here you can find a huge collection of old archaeological artefacts. Another site to visit would be the Dhayah Fort, which is about 15 km outside of town but placed in a breathtaking scenery between the mountains and the sea.
Ras Al Khaimah offers more than 60 km of coastline and the beautiful blue waters are perfect for a swim. If you are a scuba diver and want to see what’s below the surface, speak to one of the many hotels and they will happily assist you. The waters here are home to many different species, like the whale shark, turtles, rays and all sorts of other fishes.
Sand boarding, camping, BBQing…the list is endless when it comes to things to do in the dessert. In case you wanna have a high-class camping experience in the dessert, visit the Bassata Desert Village.
The camp offers a dinner buffet with live cooking stations, non-alcoholic drinks, horse and camel rides, entertainment, henna and party music. You will definitely be taken good care of!
And if you like to see more camels, head down to the Camel Track Al Sawan. Camel races are on from September until April, free of charge.
Ghost Town Ras Al Khaimah
Ghost Town Ras Al Khaimah is a coastal village, believed to be occupied since the 16th century and abandoned almost 40 years ago, before the discovery of oil and gas in the region.
The entrance is free of charge and open to the public day and night.
Iceland Water Park
The Iceland Water Park is themed as a Penguin Home Land. Besides traditional water park attractions, Ice land offers some unique attractions with the Penguin Falls, the world’s largest man-made waterfall, the Rocky Polar Mountains with the largest assortment of water slides, Penguin Bay, aqua soccer, Coral Isle (which is a snorkeling pool) and other thrilling experiences at the Arctic Wave Pool, Tundra Baths, Eddy Pond and the Kids Cove, a dedicated area for the kids.
Staying in Ras Al Khaimah
Last but not least, Ras Al Khaimah is home to many well-known resorts. We are talking 5-star luxury hotels where you can relax and unwind at the pool or beach, get a first class spa treatment or dine in one of the many fabulous restaurants. Weekend getaway or a whole vacation, you will most definitely have a fabulous time!
This is just some of the things we saw and experienced while visiting Ras Al Khaimah but will definitely do another trip. Let me know if I forgot anything worth visiting in my list of things to do in Ras Al Khaimah and I will make sure to check it out on my next visit!