Astonishing Ras Al Khaimah

There’s no need to choose between a beach holiday or city break in Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost of the United Arab Emirates. This place has both a contemporary capital full of shops, bars, and restaurants, and more than 40 miles of honey-coloured sand – all with a backdrop of the lunar-like Hajar Mountains.

There’s a blend of old and new UAE here. Modern shopping malls sit alongside age-old spice souks, fine dining restaurants make way for traditional Bedouin cafés, and away from the glamorous hotels of the centre, the Al Wadi Desert has camps where you can sleep under the stars. Lastly, a word on the city’s mangroves. They stretch along the coastline and through the urban centre – a hub of fish, flamingos, and birdlife. Explore by kayak or paddle board, and you’ll experience both total tranquility and the buzz of the city along the way.

Less well known than its flashy neighbours, Ras Al Khaimah is one of the United Arab Emirates’ best-kept secrets. People are drawn here by the promise of white sandy beaches (some of the very best in the Middle East) and fantastic resort hotels, such as the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort and the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. Check out Flamingo, Rak and Al Rams for the best of the beaches.

The history of Ras al-Khaimah stretches back 7,000 years with attractions like Dhayah Fort and the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah affording a glimpse into the architecture, archaeology, and Bedouin heritage that’s perhaps harder to find elsewhere in the UAE. It’s also a destination with an eye firmly on the future; but development here takes place in a sustainable way to help protect its natural attractions which include mangroves, pearl fishing and the UAE’s highest mountain peaks.

The flight time from the UK to Ras Al Khaimah is roughly seven hours.

You will need a tourist visa if travelling to Ras Al Khaimah from the UK and staying for less than 30 days. Please visit GOV UK for entry requirements to Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE or, alternatively, visit CIBT visas for more information.

Summers in Ras Al Khaimah tend to be hot and muggy whereas winters are mild with comfortable temperatures.

Ras Al Khaimah is set to Gulf Standard Time therefore it’s four hours ahead of GMT.

The official language of Ras Al Khaimah is Arabic.

Ras Al Khaimah is the UAE's northernmost emirate, located northeast of Umm Al Quwain and Ajman at the end of the Arabian Peninsula, in West Asia and the Middle East.

Ras Al Khaimah is 120 kilometres (74 miles) from Dubai. It takes approximately 90 minutes by road to reach Ras Al Khaimah from Dubai.

You can drink alcohol in Ras Al Khaimah if you’re staying within a resort or at a hotel. Alcohol isn’t usually served in regional restaurants or non-tourist areas.

Ras Al Khaimah is a safe place to visit. Local people are welcoming and friendly, and harassment outside of resorts and hotels is rare. In general, Ras Al Khaimah has a safety index of 84.35 and a crime index of 15.65, which makes it one of the United Arab Emirates’ safest countries.

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