The desert is the heart and soul of Arabian life in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. It’s the birthplace…
Getting to Ras Al Khaimah
In addition to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, which is recognised as one of the region’s fastest-growing air hubs, Ras Al Khaimah is served by an additional three international airports located within a two hour drive of the CBD: Abu Dhabi International, which is home to Etihad Airways; Dubai International, the world’s busiest international airport and the global hub of Emirates Airline; and Sharjah International Airport, home to Air Arabia, the region’s largest low-cost carrier. This fact makes Ras Al Khaimah one of the world’s best-connected and most accessible destinations for international travellers.
The UAE boasts some of the world’s best and most-efficient motorways, making inter-emirate travel a breeze. Dubai is just an hour away by car, while Abu Dhabi is a little over two hours’ drive from downtown Ras Al Khaimah. If you are taking a taxi from Dubai International Airport, expect to pay as little as AED250 (US$68). For an even more affordable option, Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority’s intra-emirate bus network ranks among the best in the business, with dozens of shuttle services operating daily and linking the Northern Emirate with Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain for as little as AED15 one-way. All of the journeys are bookable online.
Once you are here
Like Uber, Careem has helped revolutionise the way people book and pay for taxi services and private car hire in the Middle East. To book a ride, simply download the Careem app, link your credit or debit card and choose which ride service you prefer – three categories of vehicle types are available, ranging from budget and standard to premium. You can even request a RAK Transport Authority ‘Hala’ taxi. Using the app, you can also check the nominated route and access details about your driver and confirm their ETA.
Discover more: Careem
While public transport is widely available in Ras Al Khaimah, certain destinations, such as Jebel Jais, are only accessible by car. The good news is that if you are planning on visiting Jebel Jais, there are plenty of options available, whether you book a Careem, RAK taxi or take a private limousine from your hotel.
Ladies taxis are available for the exclusive use of female travellers visiting Ras Al Khaimah and can be booked through the Careem app. Each cab is driven by a professionally trained lady licensed by RAK Transport Authority.
Discover more: RAK Transport Authority Ladies Taxis
If you prefer to get behind the wheel yourself, you’ll be happy to read that car hire is cheap by international standards. The UAE is also home to some of the world’s best motorways, while the majority of major international rental car companies are present in the Emirates, alongside many well-respected local firms. Cars can be collected from all airports across the country or dedicated locations in Ras Al Khaimah, while vehicles are available for hire from just US$50 per day.
When visiting Al Marjan Island or nearby Al Hamra, why not hire one of the plentiful, environmentally friendly Circ e-scooters to discover everything these dynamic destinations have to offer?
To get started, download the Circ app from the Apple App Store or Google Play (depending on your preferred mobile platform), and use the app to identify the nearest available scooter to your location. E-scooters can be unlocked for AED3 (US$0.82) and cost just AED1 (US$0.27) for every minute of use. There are plenty of dedicated cycle paths and roads in both locations, making the e-scooters a fun and safe option for couples and families.
Discover more: Circ e-scooters
With mountain peaks rising to almost 2,000 metres and 64 kilometres of low-lying coastline, Ras Al Khaimah’s diverse topography makes it one of the region’s most dynamic destinations in terms of the kind of weather you might encounter. While coastal temperatures can reach the high-40s Celsius in summer, Jebel Jais is consistently 5-10 degrees cooler at this time, while in winter temperatures can plummet to below zero on the mountain range, with snow often seen in January. If you are planning to visit Jebel Jais at this time, be sure to pack your winter woollies!
Discover more: www.visitjebeljais.com
Jebel Jais and the Hajar Mountains offer some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet to explore on foot. Jebel Jais alone is home to more than 100 kilometres of sustainable hiking trails, ranging from easy one-hour treks to challenging multi-day adventures. The area’s incredible biodiversity means you will have the chance to spot rare plants, mammals, birds and other indigenous natural attractions along the way.
Discover more: Jais Hiking
Rising to a height of almost 2,000 metres, Jebel Jais is also the perfect destination for hikers to gaze on the wonders of the universe at night. The Jais Viewing Deck Park, which is located 1,250 metres above sea level and almost 30 kilometres into the heart of the Hajar Mountains, offers an optimal vantage point to peer at the night sky. The trail leading to the Park is also lit solely by solar-powered energy, in line with sustainable destination principles.
Discover more: Jais Viewing Deck Park