In the northernmost Emirate of the UAE lies Ras Al Khaimah, a destination ideal for a family holiday for five days or so. Make some time to explore the majesty of the mountains, the ever-moving sands of the desert, and the calm waters of the Arabia Gulf.

 

Day One

  • Water sports at the hotel
  • National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
  • RAK Airventure at Manar Mall
  • Dinner at Skeek Restaurant & Café

Enjoy a morning of peace at one of the many beaches in Ras Al Khaimah; you’ll find a wide range of exciting watersports at most international hotels that line the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Try your hand at parasailing, jet skiing, donut rides, kayaking, paddle boarding or even a fishing trip to the deeper waters.

For an understanding of the history of this unique Emirate, head to the centre of the city to find the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. It contains fascinating discoveries from the earliest settlers to the late Islamic period. The interactive ethnographical display shows traditional life in the Emirate, pearl diving, date agriculture, fishing, farming and ancient architecture.

Discover Ras Al Khaimah from the skies as you fly almost 40 metres above the ground in a tethered hot air balloon. You’ll bear witness to a view of the city of Ras Al Khaimah, the white sandy shores, turquoise waters, and to the north, Saraya Islands and the striking Jebel Jais Mountains. Wander through the impressive Manar Mall and explore popular international high street clothing and accessory shops such as H&M, Superdry, Marks & Spencer, Zara and Next. Makeup and skincare brands include MAC Makeup and Sephora.

After a sunset stroll along the beach, pop into Skeek, a fun and youthful Emirati restaurant with spectacular views across the Arabian Gulf. The menu is packed with delicious Arabic food. Try the family-style mezze dishes, oversized seafood platters, and mixed grill specials. Dinner isn’t complete until you’ve tried their gloriously strong coffee, served black and sweetened with cardamon.

 

Day Two

  • Jais Sledder
  • Jais Flight
  • Lunch at 1484 by Puro
  • Visit to Jais Viewing Deck Park
  • 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 with powerful binoculars that command unparalleled panoramas across the mountain range formed over 70 million years ago.

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. If you’ve still got a spring in your step, enjoy one of the rare teas and a shisha in the Camelia Lounge.

Day Three

  • Kayaking in the mangroves
  • The Rainforest experience at Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
  • Animal feeding
  • Dinner at Bread & Barrel

After breakfast, kayak through the Ras Al Khaimah mangroves that are 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. 

To unwind, the Rainforest at Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Wadi Desert is a one-of-a-kind wellness experience where you’ll enjoy a unique blend of European hydrothermal culture and Middle Eastern bathing rituals. Explore 16 different experiences as you weave through a carefully considered sequence of hydrothermal stations such as affusion showers, aroma steam, brine cavern, hammam,  ice igloo, rain walk and sole therapy.

After an enjoyable Middle Eastern or Indian lunch in the resort’s all-day dining room Kaheela Restaurant, spend the afternoon surrounded by some of Ras Al Khaimah’s native wildlife in the desert. You’ll have the opportunity to feed the resident oryx and gazelles and learn about these fascinating animals from the expert guides at the Al Wadi Desert resort. The kids will enjoy riding lessons or learning about the fastest bird in the world, the Peregrin falcon.

 

Head to one of the delightful destinations on the beach for a sunset cocktail or two. The recently opened Intercontinental in Mina Al Arab embraces beachside

Explore the Al Hamra Marina before having dinner in Bread & Barrel, the favourite local ex-pat haunt in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s a chill-vibed bar with great playlists set on Pier 1. The bar has a fun café-inspired theme with home-baked bread, delicious bar bites, hearty European mains, pizzas and seriously yummy desserts. Bread & Barrel has a great selection of bottled beer and a carefully selected range of wines and spirits from around the world. There are different happenings throughout the week, including ladies, quiz and all-you-can-eat wings nights. Big screen sports are shown throughout the day. Enjoy the air-conditioned bar or sit outside on the family-friendly terrace under the twinkly nighttime lights and watch the bobbing boats and world go by.

Day Four  

  • Suwaidi Pearls Farm
  • Dhayah Fort
  • Desert Camp

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.

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 Bassata Desert Camp in the heart of the Arabian desert as oryx and gazelle watch on.

Day Five

  • Bear Grylls Explorers Camp
  • Shopping Kuwaiti Souq and street food experience

If you are an inspiring adventurer, enjoy pushing yourself and want to learn some tough survival techniques, head to The Bear Grylls Explorers Camp Ras Al Khaimah. The instructors will put you and your family through your paces as they teach you Bear’s visionary rope, archery and survival techniques across the challenging terrains in the desert and mountains. The instructors will encourage you to embrace new experiences and push your boundaries.

Practise your bargaining skills, 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 perfectly chilled Arabian-inspired ice cream from Ashuk, a favourite local café.

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