Ras Al Khaimah is one of the world’s best kept family holiday secrets.
The most northerly of the UAE’s emirates, it shares the Arabian Gulf coast with near neighbour Dubai and sits in a similar magnificent desert landscape against the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains. But Ras Al Khaimah is relaxed and uncrowded, the skyline is defined by the four graceful minarets of Sheikh Zayed Mosque, its manmade islands win eco-awards and there’s as much green as there is blue and gold in the city’s natural colour palette. Families from Dubai come on holiday here to enjoy the resorts, beaches and wonderful weather of home just with more heritage, traditional culture and a gentler pace of life.
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is 45 minutes by road from Dubai International Airport: the main transport hub of the UAE with direct flights daily throughout the year from London airports.
RAK City is just over half-an-hour’s drive from the border of Oman and less than an hour by plane from the beautiful Omani capital, Muscat.
RAK is home to Jabal Jais, the highest peak in the Hajar Mountains.
From palaces to hill forts and traditional fishing villages, the region has many of the most historic sites in the UAE.
A wide range of accommodation includes family hotels in the city centre, luxury resorts on Al Marjan and opulent desert spas.
RAK is the only emirate where mangroves grow and the city’s parks and gardens are lush, shady retreats when it’s too hot for the beach.
Average temperature is 39˚C in summer and 28˚C in winter.
Four beautifully landscaped islands floating in the Arabian Gulf are just as idyllic as they sound. Designed for living and playing, some of the region’s loveliest homes are in Al Marjan, along with a range of 5-star family resort hotels. Everything you need from sports to spas, gorgeous beaches, lush gardens and fun activities are in place and RAK City is half-an-hour away for shopping malls, museums, souks, mosques, local restaurants and markets.
The ancient fishing village of Jazirat al Hamra lends its name to the luxury hotels, golf courses, beaches, restaurants and pretty gardens which make up Al Hamra Village. Overlooking the sea and less than 20 minutes from RAK City, this is a favourite resort area for sporty family holidays, interesting heritage and a lively atmosphere day and night.
The old city puts you right in the heart of colourful RAK where you’ll find traditional souks and markets balanced by designer shopping malls and specialist stores. If you want local cooking, museums, monuments and a glimpse of sea-faring history, this area is perfect.
Almost everyone in RAK drives so car-hire is the best way to get around and explore the area outside the city. Most resorts have transport to attractions and can arrange tours. If you want to walk, the best place is the Corniche or one of RAK’s many city centre parks.