Are you planning a trip to the UAE and want something different from the usual hotel stay? You’re in luck…
Ras Al Khaimah has become world-stage for a vast range of exciting sporting events throughout the cooler winter months. Ras Al Khaimah has been on the map for over seven millennia and offers a formidable stage with ancient forts and abandoned shepherd homes, exotic beaches, running and cycling trails, jagged mountain peaks and goat-worn trails, and iconic undulating desert lands.
The Hajar Mountain range is the region’s most sought-after destination for adventures, including extreme mountain biking races. The mountains give riders access to rare, rain-soaked wadis, ancient ruins and trails, curious goats, their timeworn single-track paths, and formidable jagged peaks. Showka dam is the UAE’s oldest MTB event location with its adrenaline-pumping descents, lung-bursting climbs, and bone-shaking rocky steps.
Saturday 15 October 2022, from 7 am to 9 am
Returning for the second consecutive year, the United Arab Emirates National MTB Challenge returns with an intimidating collection of eight races across the country. The first event is at Showka Dam in Ras Al Khaimah. The challenging course is a tricky combination of single-track rocky climbs, technical descents and wadi crossings, making it the fastest in the UAE.
Saturday 29 October 2022, from 7 am to 9 am
Blue Tank Chaser is a challenging double-track course commencing just above the entrance to the Showka Wadi with a steep 12-kilometre climb to the telegraph mast. A short rotation around the U-turn returns riders to the same point at hair-raising speeds. The course is rocky and slippery with shale, so you’ll need strength, determination, and moderate fitness to consider competing in this entry-level course.
Saturday 29 March 2023, from 5.50 pm to 7 pm
Twighlight XC is an extreme race that challenges your wit, strength and stamina. The raw track gives you the toe-curling best of single and daringly fast double tracks at Showka Dam in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s the most thrilling race which rounds up the 2022-23 season. The mass start race commences at 5 pm and continues as the sun sets over the mountains and into complete darkness as you complete the race by torchlight. Twighlight XC is a daring 5 kilometres course, and you are challenged to complete as many circuits as physically possible in 90 minutes.
Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect playground for lovers of the great outdoors and untold adventures. Prepare for an exciting journey as you trek through various ecosystems such as sandy deserts, coastal terrain, salt flats, mangroves and mountains. Participants will hike through the jagged mountain peaks past tumbled-down shepherd’s homes, playful mountain goats and the occasional camel. If you are lucky and the race is after the rare rains, the mountains and wadis burst into a kaleidoscope of colour.
51 kilometres in three days
Friday 18 to Sunday 20 November 2022, from 6 am to 6 pm
The Ras Al Khaimah Highlander adventure takes place in the Jebel Jais mountains, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates. Towering 1,934 metres above sea level, Jebel Jais boasts breathtaking vistas and thrilling adventures that will leave you inspired. Highlander is a self-guided multi-day backpacking experience. It is not a race but will challenge your body and mind. Highlander is a global community where participants connect with nature and meet like-minded souls.
Marjan Island has a glorious 2-kilometre corniche lined with seemingly endless palm trees. Visitors or residents of the island can enjoy a healthy and sociable lifestyle by walking, jogging, running or cycling along the wide tracks. The track is popular during the cooler hours of the morning or evening. Marjan Island is now home to annual sporting events, including the Ras Al Khaimah triathlon and the world’s fastest half marathon, which take advantage of the impressive route.
Saturday 15 January 2023, from 6.30 am to 11 am
Returning to Ras Al Khaimah for its fourth edition in 2023, the scenic Super Sports Events triathlon will again be held on scenic Marjan Island, a manmade archipelago of four islands. The triathlon is flat, fast and suitable for all athletes. Competitors will swim in the temperate, calm waters of the Arabian Gulf, cycle along palm-fringed traffic-free roads and run alongside the white sandy beaches on designated running tracks. Races include the Junior Super Sprint, Sprint, and Olympic distances; each category has various age ranges and the option for relay teams to participate.
Saturday 18 February 2023, from 7 am to 12 noon
The longest-standing race in Ras Al Khaimah, the half marathon, returns to the emirate in February for its sixteenth edition with a new technical partner, Under Armour. The half marathon is already attracting world-class long-distance athletes, running enthusiasts and amateurs from across the globe to compete in the world’s fastest marathon. The half marathon and other shorter races, relays and a fun run will take place on the picturesque coral-shaped Marjan Island. Runners will have impressive views of the Arabian Gulf, white sandy beaches and the backdrop of the Jebel Jais Mountains.
Ras Al Khaimah will host the 2023 WMF World Cup, which will act as a springboard for promoting mini-football in the United Arab Emirates. The world cup will encourage residents and visitors to play the sport, foster liveability, and engage with local schools and sports clubs throughout the emirate and further into the UAE.
26 October to 4 November 2022, from 9 am to 5 pm
Ras Al Khaimah will host the 2023 Minifootball (WMF) World Cup, a mega football competition held bi-annually and attracts thousands of spectators and fans from around the globe. The tournament will bring together 24 national teams cementing the destination’s reputation for staging world-class international sporting events.