Charlotte Pike explains why Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the northernmost emirate of the UAE, is a great destination to visit with your family

Sunset over the mountains in RAK

Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost of the seven United Arab Emirates, is the new Middle Eastern holiday destination you might never have heard of. RAK (pronounced ‘rack’), as it’s known locally, is a fast-growing visitor destination offering beach, mountains and desert, with a more local feel than some better-known emirates. 

RAK is much smaller, less developed and more relaxed, meaning it’s very family-friendly, safe and easy. Hotels are great and there are plenty of things to do locally. 

One of RAK's glorious sandy beaches

Major hotels are well equipped for families and have excellent pools, children’s clubs and beaches. There are plenty of activities for children, too. For a breathtaking ride, hire a car and drive up to Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest point, for seriously amazing views. For more adventure, check out the Jebel Jais Flight, the world’s longest zipline.

Head into the desert for a camel ride or dune bashing, the latter more suitable for older children. There are lots of camels to see and, if you’re really lucky, a Bedouin camp. Book through your hotel concierge.

19th-century Dhayah Fort

A mangrove tour is a fun way to see RAK from the water and there’s plenty of wildlife to spot, while the 19th-century Dhayah Fort is fascinating to explore. The steep, short climb is manageable and it’s the only remaining fort of its kind in the UAE. RAK National Museum is worth a short excursion, which gives a feel for traditional homes and forts in the UAE. And, while in the old part of town, look out for excellent local markets where you can pick up delicious fruit and dates.

Finally, the RAK mall is small, but has a good selection of shops, restaurants and a cinema. 

The Lowdown: RAK

Special Offer

Family Traveller Holidays offers seven nights at the five-star all-inclusive Hilton Al Hamra Beach Golf Resort from £3,669 per family (based on two adults and two children under 12) with return flights and transfers during Easter 2020.  Call 020 3198 8380 

Find out more about RAK: rasalkhaimah.ae