The desert is the heart and soul of Arabian life in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. It’s the birthplace…
For an action-packed start to your Ras Al Khaimah adventure, head straight for Jebel Jais. Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais is the region’s top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Soaring almost 2,000 metres above sea level and home to adrenalin-pumping attractions including Jais Flight– the world’s longest zipline – the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp and the Jais Sledder, the UAE’s tallest mountain is a must-visit highlight on every RAK travel itinerary.
After spending the morning in an adrenalin-fuelled rush, head to 1484 by Puro – the UAE’s highest restaurant situated 1,484 metres above sea level – to chill out and enjoy a delicious and leisurely lunch while soaking up the incredible views over the canyons and valley below.
Later, head to Dhayah Fort, one of the region’s most historic destinations and a prospective UNESCO World Heritage site, which is located at the foot of Jebel Jais in Al Rams.
Dating back to the Late Bronze Age (1600 – 1300 BC), the fort is located atop a 70-metre-high hill that overlooks lush, date palm gardens. It offers incredible panoramic views of the stunning Hajar Mountain range to the east and sparkling coastline of Al Rams to the west. Thanks to its cinemascope-like views, it is truly a must-visit destination at sunset.
Be sure to book a table this evening at Levant & Nar, the acclaimed Levant-inspired waterfront restaurant located at the InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa. The menu features new twists on Arabian classics, showcasing the freshest seafood sourced from local suppliers. Afterwards, enjoy a shisha or late-night drink on the outdoor terrace and listen to the sound of the ocean just metres away.
Wake early and hit the beach this morning either at your hotel or one of the many public beaches located across the emirate. While you are there, try out one of the many water sports options available, from parasailing, jet skiing and banana boat rides, to kayaking, paddle boarding or even a deep sea fishing trip. Popular locations with extensive hire options include Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club and Al Qawasim Corniche.
After lunch, continue your aquatic adventure by heading back to Al Rams and visiting Suwaidi Pearls, where you can take a short boat ride and tour the region’s only working pearl farm. Ras Al Khaimah’s pearling history spans close to a millennium, while the emirate itself was known as one of the busiest working ports in the region thanks to its pearl industry. On the tour, you will learn how modern pearls are cultivated and sustainably sourced. You may even get to open an oyster with the chance of discovering an Arabian pearl inside.
In the evening, head by boat to The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah and dine at the island-inspired Shore House Restaurant, where you can soak up the casual vibes on the beach terrace and enjoy delicious seafood while watching the sun set over the horizon.
Today, why not start early and take a kayak tour through Ras Al Khaimah’s famous mangroves? Not only will you learn about Ras Al Khaimah’s unique ecosystem, but you’ll likely spy a variety of wildlife in their natural environment, including pink flamingos, western reef heron, Kalba collared kingfishers and perhaps even a greater spotted eagle.
Ras Al Khaimah’s incredible natural diversity is equalled by its importance to Arab heritage and culture, as you’ll discover when you visit The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah. Housed in a traditional fort, this monument to Ras Al Khaimah’s 7,000-year-old history boasts an impressive and extensive collection of archaeological and ethnological artefacts, the majority of which have been sourced from the 1,000+ archaeological sites that have bene uncovered across the Emirate.
Delving further into Ras Al Khaimah’s remarkable heritage, grab a cab and head to Al Jazeera Al Hamra, the historic pearling village that is also a prospective UNESCO World Heritage site. The open-air museum, which is the only location of its kind to endure in the Gulf region, allows you to step back in time to experience how this thriving community would have existed 200 years ago. Today, the site features a well-preserved fort, an ancient mosque, souq and extensive courtyard, which boasts a variety of dwellings constructed from locally sourced materials including fossilised beach rock, mangrove tree beams and date palm trunks.
To end the day, why not change things up and enjoy an authentic shopping experience at the bustling Kuwaiti Souq, where you’ll find an array of locally produced artworks, tailored clothing, trinkets and jewellery. Or if your preference is for something a little more modern, head to one of Ras Al Khaimah’s world-class shopping malls, where you’ll discover the trendiest international brands alongside some local favourites.
In the evening, book a table at the Lexington Grill & Bar at The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. This New York-inspired, signature steakhouse features a range of private dining rooms and outdoor tables, and an extensive menu of unique air-dried beef cuts – a first for the Middle East.
It also boasts one of the region’s largest cellars, which houses a selection of more than 350 premium wines from around the world.
All in all, a brilliant way to end your action-packed, three-day escape to Ras Al Khaimah!