Ras Al Khaimah is steeped in seven million years of bold history. “From your homeland, travel abroad to find glory” is from a timeworn traditional Bedouin poem you’ll find inscribed on the towering golden clock in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria. If you are short of time and want to experience an action-packed 48 hours in Ras Al Khaimah, this perfectly curated programme of adventure weaves you through the fascinating history and culture of the mountains, desert and sea.

Explore the millennia-old mountains, hike in the peaceful footsteps of bygone shepherds and their loyal flocks and tribes, or experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement of traversing deep ravines, canyons and jagged peaks 1,680 metres above sea level as you reach speeds of up to 150 kilometres per hour on the longest zipline in the world.

 

Ras Al Khaimah boasts over 60 kilometres of breathtaking coastline. White sandy beaches, pretty islands, flamingo-filled mangroves, bustling harbours, marinas, and ancient fishing villages line the shores of the northernmost Emirate. Discover the ancient art of pearl fishing or swim in the tranquil temperate waters of the Arabian Gulf.

Folklore, folk music and dance play an essential part in Ras Al Khaimah’s rich history that dates back to the Bronze Age some 7,000 years ago. Celebrate days of old and ramble through vibrant markets selling colourful spices, traditional food and clothing, and learn about the local tribes and nomadic Bedouins.

 

The Jebel Jais Mountains form the highest peak in Ras Al Khaimah and soar 1,934 metres above sea level. The highest peak in the United Arab Emirates attracts thrill-seekers and nature lovers for mountain-inspired adventures, adrenaline-pumping experiences and nature-appreciating activities while protecting its ancient millennia-old geology and fascinating history.

Day One

  • Kuwaiti souq
  • Suwaidi Pearls Farm and lunch
  • Dhayah Fort
  • The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
  • Desert Camp for sunset and dinner

 

Start your morning early so you can practise your bargaining skills and explore the bustling Kuwaiti souq; you’ll find everything from arty nik-naks, trinkets, colourful herbs and spices, mops, alarm clocks, camel sculptures and other bewildering goods. Try a mind-blowingly strong Arabic coffee or a perfectly chilled Arabian-inspired ice cream from Ashuk, a favourite local café.

Celebrate the history of pearl fishing in Ras Al Khaimah and experience the Suwaidi Pearls Farm. From the original fishing village in Al Rams, your tour will begin as your guide explains the importance of the bay and its protective mangroves. You can open your oysters to see if you’ve hit the jackpot and find an Arabian pearl to take home and treasure.

After a hearty lunch, you’ll head slightly inland to Dhayah Fort. The twin-peaked golden mud-brick fortress was built during the 19th century and restored in 2011. It stands proud amidst the arid mountains and the fertile date wadis. This castle-like structure is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Journey into the city and another fort, the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, contains fascinating discoveries from the earliest settlers through the late Islamic period. The interactive ethnographical display shows traditional life in the Emirate, pearl diving, date agriculture, fishing, farming and ancient architecture.

In the evening, experience luxury-inspired desert adventures and unforgettable journeys through uncharted lands; explore the terracotta sands of Ras Al Khaimah, the desert way. Dine in the luxury camp in the heart of the Arabian desert as oryx and gazelle watch on.

Day Two

  • Jais Sledder
  • Jais Flight
  • Lunch at 1484 by Puro
  • Jais Viewing Deck Park
  • Kayaking
  • Sunset walk
  • Dinner at Lexington Grill

 

Spend a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping morning in the Jebel Jais mountains and experience the world’s longest zipline as you swoop up to 150 kilometres per hour across deep ravines and jagged peaks. Hurtle down the mountain range swerving through glorious panoramas with views of the spectacular coastline in the new Jais Sledder.

Lunch in the highest restaurant in Ras Al Khaimah, 1484 by Puro. The restaurant boasts otherworldly views across the mountains and a delicious menu that features cuisine from around the world. After lunch, visit the Jais Viewing Deck Park, which features seven viewing decks and powerful binoculars that command unparalleled panoramas across the mountain range, peaks and valleys.

 

Head back down the mountains and kayak through the Ras Al Khaimah mangroves, home to pastel pink flamingoes. Your knowledgeable guide will share the importance of the existence of mangroves within the coastal system and point out the western reef heron, Kalba collared kingfisher, and, if you are lucky, the greater spotted eagle.

Before going out for dinner, enjoy some downtime and perhaps a sunset walk on the beach before transferring to the palatial Waldorf Astoria to dine in their multi-award-winning steakhouse, Lexington Grill. The authentic New York-inspired restaurant serves impressive cocktails at the Long Bar, expansive outdoor terraces and elegant interiors. Choose from deliciously tender meat that’s slowly aged on racks and organic vegetables sourced from local suppliers.

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