A trip to the United Arab Emirates for most would consist of a visit to Dubai and perhaps some time at the Burj Khalifa. However, the real gem of the region lies somewhat closer to the top of the tent, the northern reaches of the United Arab Emirates. We are, of course, talking about Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the northernmost of the seven United Araba Emirates. Known for its location atop the region, Ras Al Khaimah is home to more than 345,000 people, most of whom work within the infrastructure, manufacturing, and tourism industries.
Not beholden to the same influx of oil reserves as the rest of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah has been led increasingly toward supporting its tourism and manufacturing sectors to prop up the presently prosperous economy. Sheikh Saud leader of RAK has put an increased focus on the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority Board.
As Ras Al Khaimah continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and with vaccines on the horizon, it is only a matter of time until tourism begins to flourish in much the same way as it was in the years leading up to the pandemic. In the interim, let’s take a moment to explore how visitors to the region may best prosper during their trip.
Preparing For a Trip to Ras Al Khaimah
A visit to Ras Al Khaimah can be as enlightening, adventurous, and relaxing as one might desire. Often known as RAK, Ras Al Khaimah is seated just about an hour north of Dubai, pending traffic, where it faces the Arabian Sea and neighboring Oman. Cheaper and more accessible than Dubai for the budget-wary traveler, Ras Al Khaimah offers a similar shine as Dubai without the crowds or heightened expenses.
1. Prepare Your Flight – No direct flights are arriving at the airport of Ras Al Khaimah from the United Kingdom. As a result, many travelers from the U.K. will opt to fly in through the Dubai International Airport before transferring via road.
2. Dress Appropriately – Any visit to a nation foreign to your own should include respecting local traditions and clothing attire. Visitors to Ras Al Khaimah should prepare to have their shoulders and knees covered, especially when visiting religious sites. Loose-fitting clothes with a scarf as a headcover are ideal for women, who otherwise are implored to dress modestly.
3. Plan an Itinerary – Once arrived in Ras Al Khaimah, the tendency to want to do everything can become overwhelming. As a result, visitors who don’t plan out their trip will almost assuredly end up missing out. To have the best trip possible, particularly in culturally rich and historically textured places like RAK, make sure to plan out an itinerary ahead of time.
Key Destinations to Visit in RAK
Once we’ve arrived in Ras Al Khaimah it is time to hit the ground running. In order to help prospective visitors to the gem of the UAE, let’s take a moment to highlight some particularly fascinating places to visit within Ras Al Khaimah proper.
Jebel Jais – The Tallest Mountain in the U.A.E.
A visit to Ras Al Khaimah would be incomplete if free from a visit to the Hajar Mountain Range. The Jebel Jais is the tallest mountain in all of the United Arab Emirates with a summit exceeding 1,934 meters. Adventure-focused travelers will want to take the snaking road through Jebel Jais to arrive at the world’s most exciting zipline.
Whether or not you summon the courage to zipline through the Hajar Mountain Range, you will be stunned and taken aback by the majestic natural views. Spring is the best time to visit the Hajar Mountain Range as temperatures are moderate and skies typically clear.
Jazirat al-Hamra – Abandoned Fishing Village
Nestled just 20kms south of the city of Ras Al Khaimah, visitors to the region will find themselves staring at the ancient and historic ruins of Jazirat al-Hamra, an abandoned fishing village. A sense of haunted history lingers in the air as visitors begin to feel out of time and out of place at Jazirat al-Hamra.
Abandoned since the 1960s, the village of Jazirat al-Hamra was once home to an avid pearl diving and fishing industry. Pearl diving helped to fuel much of the economic prosperity for Ras Al Khaimah due in large part to their lack of oil reserves in the region. Thanks to the dry climate of Ras Al Khaimah, the abandoned village of Jazirat al-Hamra is still in stunning condition with perfectly preserved buildings.
Khatt Springs – Relaxation in Mineral-Rich Pools
Another key destination for visitors to RAK is Khatt Springs. Khatt Springs consists of a large area brimming with hot pools that are enriched by minerals. Known and revered for its therapeutic benefits, Khatt Springs earns visitors from all over the planet for its steaming pools of therapeutic water.
When visitors are done soaking away the aches and pains of yesterday, they’ll want to take some time to explore the historical richness of the region. Within walking distance of Khatt Springs, travelers will find themselves mired in a region brimming with over 170 historical archaeological sites, many of which can be traced back to the 19th century if not longer ago.
Ras Al Khaimah makes for a fascinating place to visit and a truly refined place to relax. Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?