Visiting Ras Al Khaimah for the first time? We’ve got you covered with our handy list of top tips for how to get here, where to stay and what to do  


Prime location in the heart of the action

Ras Al Khaimah’s prime location in the heart of the Northern Emirates means it is only a relatively short drive from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the UAE’s largest emirates and main international air gateways.


Arriving by air

You can fly direct: Located just 18km from the central business district, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is one of the region’s fastest-growing international hubs and currently welcomes flights from five international airlines: Air Arabia, Air India Express, Gulf Air, IndiGo and Qatar Airways.

From Dubai International Airport: One of the world’s busiest air hubs, DXB as it is widely known, is located a little over an hours’ drive from Ras Al Khaimah.

From Sharjah International Airport: Less than an hour from downtown Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah Airport is also the main hub for Air Arabia, one of the region’s largest low-cost airlines.

From Abu Dhabi International Airport: The home hub for Etihad Airways, the UAE’s second-largest airport is located around a 2 ½ hour drive from downtown Ras Al Khaimah.

Entry visa requirements

As one of the world’s most popular tourism and business destinations, the UAE makes it easy for foreigners to visit the Emirates, whether it’s for work or leisure.

Citizens of 20 countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, China, the U.S. and Japan automatically qualify for a 30-day visa on arrival, while citizens of 50+ other countries are eligible for a multi-entry 90-day visit visa that’s valid for six months from the date of issue. To learn more about entry requirements to the UAE, click here.


Where to stay in Ras Al Khaimah

Ideal options for families

Al Marjan Island is fast becoming a family favourite, thanks to its combination of amenities, attractions, and family friendly beachside resorts.


The DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island boasts five swimming pools, a Chuckles Kid’s Club and a unique pirate theme park, while Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island – the world’s largest Hampton with 515 guestrooms – is an ultra-modern, budget-friendly alternative that offers outstanding facilities including 750 metres of private beach, family guestrooms and a kids’ club.


With its highly flexible accommodation options and outstanding guest amenities, which include that the dedicated Rixy Kids Club and Teens Republic, the all-inclusive RIXOS Bab Al Bahr offers the ultimate family getaway.

Meanwhile, the Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island presents another ideal, family friendly option. With its 300-metre-long beach, 418 guestrooms and suites, six specialty bars and restaurants, three outdoor pools, kids club and extensive watersports facilities, it’s a fantastic place to kick back and relax when not taking in the sights and sounds of Ras Al Khaimah.

Meanwhile, Mina Al Arab is home to the stunning InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Mina Al Arab Resort & Spa. With a selection of sea-facing rooms, suites and outstanding beachside villas with pools, which are ideal for families, as well as club rooms with extra privileges, this five-star resort is also renowned for its dining options, which include New York-inspired NoHo, Shasha Pool Bar, and Levant & Nar, a contemporary restaurant serving inspiring Levantine cuisine.

Romantic options for couples

The five-star Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah is one of Al Hamra’s star attractions. Known for its elegant accommodation, eight restaurants and lounges, award-winning spa, and premium leisure facilities, it offers couples the ultimate luxury retreat.

Located nearby is The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, which boasts 32 beachfront villas, each with private pools. Accessible by boat, this exclusive resort also offers tailormade dining with a focus on farm-to-table produce.

Meanwhile, Mina Al Arab will soon welcome the Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, which is scheduled to open later this year (2023) and will boast the emirate’s first-ever overwater villas.

Making the most of your time in Ras Al Khaimah

Mountain adventure

Whether you are visiting for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, Ras Al Khaimah has plenty of natural and man-made attractions to captivate you during your time in our amazing emirate.

Adventure seekers should make a beeline to Ras Al Khaimah’s world-famous Jebel Jais. Located just an hour’s drive from downtown Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais soars almost 2,000 metres above sea level, making it the UAE’s tallest peak and an ideal location for a host of incredible, adrenalin-fuelled attractions.

Jebel Jais’ undisputed star is Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline at almost 3km in length – which propels passengers suspended above the rugged mountain terrain at speeds of up to 160km/h.

For family friendly action closer to terra firma, check out the Jais Sledder, which slings passengers down a steel track aside the Hajar mountain range at speeds of up to 40km/h. Featuring sharp hairpin curves and undulating straights, the ride covers a total distance of almost 2km in around eight minutes.

Meanwhile, the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp offers visitors a host of exciting activities, including abseiling, rock climbing, hiking, archery and survival courses.

The location is also home to dozens of mountain trails, making it a hugely popular option for hikers, particularly during the winter months, when seasonal rains fill the mountain wadis and bring the landscape to life with an abundance of wildflowers.

7,000-year-old culture brought to life

History and culture buffs will love the living monuments that showcase Ras Al Khaimah’s 7,000-year-old Arabic heritage and culture. One of the most iconic in this sense is Dhayah Fort, 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.

While in Al Rams, be sure to visit Suwaidi Pearls and take the short, leisurely boat ride to 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.

Next up, travel back to the city to The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, which 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 been uncovered across the Emirate.

Another popular destination is Al Jazeera Al Hamra, the historic pearling village that is also a prospective UNESCO World Heritage site. The open-air museum invites visitors 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.

After immersing yourself in Ras Al Khaimah’s centuries-old culture, why not change things up with a spot of retail therapy? For a truly authentic shopping experience, visit 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.

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