Adventure-holics have a new destination these days – Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Whether they’re queueing up to be next in line for a ride on the world’s longest zipline at Jebel Jais, or trekking up the Hajar Mountains, Ras Al Khaimah it is. It is a fairly laid-back, tranquil city that’s bordered by the Hajar Mountains on one end and the Arabian Gulf on the other.
By all accounts, Ras Al Khaimah is scenic; it is known for its beautiful landscapes and its wonderful sunny yet mild climate. Ras Al Khaimah also has a rich cultural heritage that appeals to many travellers, not to mention some of the UAE’s most pristine beaches. It’s the best place for that adventurous trip you’ve been planning, with plenty to keep you occupied when you’re not adventuring.
1. Going On A Desert Safari Adventure at Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah’s desert is one of its coolest adventure elements. The dunes are unique – they are terracotta-coloured, with soft, glistening sands. Its desert is very fertile – it hosts a huge diversity of desert plants.
If you’re enjoying a desert safari during the spring or winter season, you can see rare plants such as hyacinths, thumbs and desert ephemerals flourishing in the desert. On your desert safari, you get to enjoy cool sports such as dune bashing, sand boarding, quad biking and camel riding. If you opt for an evening or overnight safari, you’ll enjoy belly and Tanura dancing in the tent, plus an incredibly sumptuous dinner.
2. Jeep Safari Adventure in the Hajar Mountains
The Hajar Mountains with its rugged cliffs, paths and incredible terrain is laid open for you to enjoy. If you are not inclined to trek or climb, best to get into a jeep and explore the Hajar Mountains that way. Your jeep safari will stop at fabulous viewing points along the way. You can even picnic at the viewpoints, as there are many decks to stand and enjoy the views. The UAE’s highest named point measures 1,527 metres high, and is called Jabal Yibir.
3. Challenging Yourself To Climb The Via Ferrata
Jebel Jais is also well known for the Via Ferrata, which is a protected climbing route made famous in the Swiss Alps. Via Ferrata is a steel cable that’s been nailed to the mountain to allow the climber to hold on securely while climbing. Jebel Jais’ Via Ferrata provides an extra bit of fun – it allows for a bit of protected climbing, which leads to zip-lining, canyoning, rappelling and more. Challenge yourself to beat the Via Ferrata at Jebel Jais and you’re ready for anything.
4. Exploring Al Marjan Island
There are four man-made islands that stretch out for 4.5 kilometres around Ras Al Khaimah. Collectively, they are known as Al Marjan, famous for fun activities, luxury beach resorts and the bi-annual 12-hour music festival.
If you want to experience some cool nightlife while in Ras Al Khaimah, then head to Al Marjan. Obtaining a day pass to the island and exploring the 3 beautiful parks, the pristine beaches, and a children’s play area is one of the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.If you are a watersports fan, you can surf, scuba dive, paraglide and much more here.
5. Attending a Magical Falcon Show
Falconry is a Middle Eastern tradition, one that the Middle East takes great pride in. Visit the Banyan Tree Al Wadi Resort and witness this pride for yourself. The Falconry show here is incredible. You’ll see a variety of birds – incredible hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, and kestrels. You’ll see the handlers confidently feeding and petting these dangerous birds, and getting them to hunt prey on command. You can also enjoy a tour of the Falconry Mews and get to know how these beautiful birds are bred or rehabilitated here.
6. Conquering The Jebel Jais Zipline
Being the highest peak in the UAE, Jebel Jais is uniquely situated to be the center of adrenaline-fueled activities. The peak stands majestic at 1,934 meters; it has several deep canyons and eroded cliffs that give it a rugged character.
The views alone can take your breath away, not to speak of the zipline which zips you down the mountain for a distance of 1 kilometer, at speeds of 150 kilometers per second. All you do is sign up, queue up, and go through the pre-flight checklist and then fly face-down, zooming all the way to the bottom. Conquering the Jebel Jais zipline is one of the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.
7. Exploring Ras Al Khaimah’s National Museum
Visit the National Museum to understand the UAE’s rich cultural heritage. You’ll understand how a community of seafaring desert dwellers built a modern and wealthy city. At the National Museum, you can check out original treaties signed by Ras Al Khaimah’s ruling families, traditional Arabian weapons, ancient pots and fishing instruments. The National Museum itself is a 19th-century fort that gives you an idea of what the UAE was like before the oil boom.
8. Enjoying A Relaxing Dip In The Khatt Hot Springs
If you’ve had your fill of adventures in Ras Al Khaimah, then maybe it is time to chill and soak in the goodness of hot springs. Visit the Khatt Hot Springs, a natural hot spring that come out from the foot of the Hajar Mountains. Here you’ll find not one but three refreshing and rejuvenating hot springs, full of sulfur-rich water that bear many health benefits. The Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa offers full spa treatments as well as dips in the hot springs, so do take advantage of that.
9. Kayaking Adventure In The Mangrove Forest
Explore Ras Al Khaimah’s rich coastal mangrove ecosystems where rare species of flora and fauna flourish. You can go on a guided mangrove tour, or manage your kayak yourself. Feast your eyes on the many exotic birds here – you’ll see beautiful pink flamingos, sandpipers, plovers, herons, terns, gulls, and cormorants. The mangrove forests are beautiful and rich with life.
10. Feasting Your Eyes On The World’s Top Pearl Collection
If you were wondering just how the UAE made its money before the oil boom, it was through pearl diving. Ras Al Khaimah’s major income came from pearls, and a visit to the Pearl Museum establishes that fact. Here you can see all the equipment used for pearl diving in the old days, and the methods used to harvest pearls. Enjoy watching exquisite dioramas of pearl diving villages with everyone involved in the pearl diving process. Also feast your eyes on the most magnificent collection of pearls that have been salvaged from Ras Al Khaimah’s waters.
Ras Al Khaimah is an excellent destination for a vacation at any time of the year. The weather is mild compared to the other emirates in the UAE, which makes it a good place to visit even in the summer. You’ll love Ras Al Khaimah’s stunning topography, excellent leisure activities and rich cultural heritage.
Narrating stories from the perspective of two souls who are both devoid of pretensions or appetite for anything ostentatious. This blog is about living life, pursuing passions, realizing dreams, appreciating culture and history, and just being happy. View all posts by Ivan Jose