Although travel is still limited, the highly effective COVID-19 vaccine means that even international travel will start getting easier soon.
Currently, adventurous travelers who want to explore the diverse attractions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) must test negative for COVID-19 96 hours before departure. Before traveling, always check if your airline requires any health information or other documents. With safe travel guidelines and precautions, you can make the most of your trip to the UAE.
The UAE (sometimes simply called the Emirates) is a modern country with ancient lands, massive deserts, unique tribal groups, and rich Arab heritage. UAE was formed in 1971 by the union of seven different Emirates named Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).
While most people know about Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the other five emirates are a lot less visited. In this article, we will cover the beautiful and lesser-known ‘Ras Al Khaimah’ surrounded by the majestic Hajar Mountains making it a great place for exploring and sightseeing. The city has gained a lot of importance under the leadership of the crown prince of RAK – Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi. Here’s the list of top attractions in and around Ras Al Khaimah:
Jebel Jais is a part of the Hajar Mountain Range and is the highest peak in the UAE with its summit at 1934 meters above sea level. The mountain presents stunning sunrise and sunset views. There’s a 35 km route to the top of the hill with around eight hairpins and sharp corners making it one of the best routes in the world.
You can visit the Jebel Jais any time of the year since the temperature is lower than the mainland.
For sun-seekers, beach lovers, and relaxation fans, Ras Al Khaimah has a lot to offer. The emirate’s long shoreline is packed with luxury hotels and spas offering their private beach area and patch of golden sand. When it comes to facilities and activities, the private beach resorts are hard to beat. There are sun loungers, shades, cafes, restaurants, banana boat rides, freshwater showers, and pretty much everything you need for a day of topping up your tan.
Hajar Mountains are a major part of the Ras Al Khaimah and dominate the RAK scenery, creating a magnificent area to step into nature for a day trip. The surrounding desert has ever-changing rust color sand dunes which make RAK a kind of big-sky place that’s hard to find elsewhere in the UAE. The Hajar Mountains are of tremendous interest to geologists, as they have the world’s greatest surface exposure of igneous rock formations from the oceanic crust. Jabal Al Mebrah, also known as Jabal Yibir (1537meters) is one of the highest points in the mountains and is a favorite hotspot for geologists and photographers.
Located at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, Khatt Springs is a relaxing spot where you can enjoy hot springs with therapeutic properties. This place has three hot springs with mineral-rich waters for you to soak after having a tiring day in RAK tourist places. Apart from this, the surrounding area is home to 150+ archeological sites that include prehistoric tombs, 19th-century mud-brick fortification towers signalizing ancient settlements in the area.
National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah is located in the western part of RAK city in a fort that was the residence of the ruling family (Qawassim Rulers) until the early 1960s. The museum has a collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts along with some traditional weapons of the ruling family. The museum also exhibits discoveries from the earliest settlers to the late Islamic period. On visiting the museum, visitors can learn about the discoveries from the earliest settlers to the late Islamic period about architecture, date agriculture, farming, fishing, and pearl diving in various galleries.
The museum remains closed on Mondays.
Jazirat Al Hamra
For those who like ruins and abandoned places, Jazirat Al Hamra is a perfect place to explore. The town’s inhabitants who once lived on a small island were indulged in maritime and pearl trading and abandoned their houses in the middle of the 20th century before the modernization started. Jazirat Al Hamra presents an undisturbed picture of life and is a unique area of RAK city as well as the UAE. The town shows all elements of traditional life, a small market, several mosques, and a variety of coral house types.
Shimal is a small rustic village located near the Hajar Mountains. The place holds a great historic significance and is home to numerous pre-Islamic tombs. For those who appreciate history, this place is a must-visit. Visitors can see several items related to pottery, bronze and copper weapons, stone vessels and beads, etc. The greatest discovery in the Shimal is considered to be the finding of a huge circular tomb from the Umm Al Nar period.
Wadi Shawka is a seasonal watercourse and a hiking destination in the RAK city. It is considered to be a favorite spot for hiking, camping, and picnic lovers. The trail offers pool dips, off-road drives, natural springs, greenery, and mountains. The mountains offer a picturesque beauty in the backdrop of the area. It’s located at a distance of 92 km from Dubai and people come here too because of the great road-trip experience. You can easily spot a few villages around Wadi Shawka and interact with the locals.
Dhayah Fort is an ancient building situated around 18km north of the Ras Al Khaimah. The fort is made out of mud and brick and has served as a site of the last battle between the local tribes of this area and the British soldiers in 1918. The surroundings of Dhayah Fort present a beautiful panoramic view of the zigzag staircase to the fort. One can see the green date palm oasis, the Hajar Mountains, and the city area with breathtaking views.
There’s something special about Ras Al Khaimah that you would understand only if you visit. So plan your trip to this amazing city and we hope that this article will help you make your own RAK city experience a reality!