Guest Post by Pranitaa Purohit on 8 Spectacular Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Surrounded by the fierce Hajar Mountains, and wrapped in mellow charm, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is an adventurous city. Being here is like tapping into the Arabian spirit. The UAE is a young country, founded in 1971. RAK captures its essence in the form of adrenaline-fueled activities. It has been nurturing nature which offers beach-sloths and outdoor enthusiasts to revel and rejoice. You can thank the impressive blend of the landscape. Its sandy shores, sprawling lagoons, mangrove forests, hot mineral springs, date farms, and shifting sand in the desert.
From the tallest mountain in UAE to decades back archaeological excavations; here are top things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.
Try the longest zipline in Jebel Jais
The highest peak in the UAE, looming at 1934metres, Jebel Jais is tucked at the North-Western Hajar Mountain range. It was formed 70 million years ago. It boasts breathtaking vistas, hair-raising adventures; and a welcome respite from the heat with temperatures around ten degrees cooler than sea level. The most thrilling way to enjoy this fantastic landscape is to hang on to the world's longest zip-line; measuring 2.83km. From 1680m fly down the mountains at 150kmph. The daredevils go for trekking on hiking trails of 16km. At the end, catch a breath in camping, set up a barbecue, take spectacular pictures, and go cycling.
Ascend the Dhayah fort
An 18th-century fortification, the highest hilltop fort in the UAE; and the last bastion in the region to fall to British cannon attacks. That's Dhayah fort, one of the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, a mandatory visit. With a backdrop of steep mountains, visitors can explore the top of fortress via steep stairways. This gives a sweeping panoramic view of the environment, the dramatic Hajar Mountains, green date-palm oasis, and the city area. In the evening, you can catch the picturesque view of a sunset as well.
Be Audience to Camel Races
A sport deeply rooted in the Arabian soul, camel racing is an interesting activity for travellers. In the pre-oil discovery days, camels were the primary medium for the nomads to travel to and fro. It's truly an exhilarating sight. Over dozens of these friendly creatures race in their wobbling style to reach the finish line. The camels are fastened to their backs with ‘robot jockeys' that are remote-controlled whips operated by their owners. It is mainly a winter pastime, where you can catch their practice on weekdays.
Soak in the Sun at the Beaches
Ras Al Khaimah is proud of its beautiful beaches and has got plenty of sun seeker fans. The emirate's long shoreline is studded with luxury resorts. Each featuring their own private patch of golden sand; packed with a wealth of amenities to ensure the fun of guests. Many show off natural lagoons; and a line of watersports, like kayak hire, jet-skis, windsurf, wakeboard, banana boat rides, and others. The beaches are well cared for including sun loungers, sun shades, cafes, and restaurants, freshwater showers; and pretty much everything you need for a day of leisure. With a day pass, the guests can take advantage of the amazing facilities. Visiting the beaches is one of the spectacular things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.
Visit the Deserted Town Jazirat Al Hamra
Ras Al Khaimah drives you to a world of peace and solitude. One such place is the abandoned pearling village, Jazirat Al Hamra at about 20 kilometres south of the city. Visiting the hamlet is one of the most popular things to do in Ras Al Khaimah. The inhabitants had left in 1968 almost 40 years ago. Forts, schools, mosques, and many other buildings stand in the area; an image of the past. It was a thriving community, currently a sort of open-air museum; without the ticket office or guide. It provides a very photogenic sightseeing opportunity. If nothing, you can be fascinated by the fact that Brad Pitt shot his Netflix series here. The moment you book the UAE visa, don't miss adding this to your bucket list.
Explore the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum
The national museum is situated in a fort; served as a residence of the ruling family in the 1960s. Situated in the old town area, this is a place that excites all history enthusiasts. The museum exhibits archaeological, historical, and ethnographical objects. The fascinating heritage has an array of exhibitions and collections; displaying clothing items, shells, and other seashore creatures, daily equipment, and weapons, jewellery. The Qawasim Room on the first floor contains documents, manuscripts, and treaties between the rulers of Ras Al Khaimah and the UK Government. Visitors can enjoy and learn about architecture, pearl diving, date agriculture, farming, and fishing.
Take a Therapeutic Break at Khatt Springs
Khatt Springs are natural hot pools rich in minerals; hemmed in by a lush green oasis, majestic mountains, and palm trees. The water is noted for its healing and therapeutic properties. Locals and tourists are drawn to this rejuvenating hub. They have full access to this area including the private pools, treatment rooms, and cafes. It offers several relaxing facilities like hot stone treatment, therapeutic hot springs, precious stone treatments, and Ayurvedic treatments. There are 170 archaeological sites, having items from the previous decade, at this area.
Discover History at Shimal
At 12 kilometres north of Ras Al Khaimah, there is a little village of Shimal; cuddled near the Hajar Mountains. The place holds great archaeological importance. It is home to several hundred pre-Islamic tombs; a settlement dated from 2000-1300 BC. Excavations unearthed several items like pottery, weapons crafted of bronze and copper, stone vessels, and beads. One of the greatest discoveries in the area is a large circular tomb from the Umm al-Nar period. Visitors can enjoy an astounding view of the entire area from Islamic-era Husn al-Shimal Fort; perched on a rock outcrop above.
At an hour distance from the exotic city of Dubai, the Ras Al Khaimah is a great escape for travellers that know how to have fun. For families and adults alike, the attractions of Ras Al Khaimah are manifold, with an array of land and sea-based activities. So, plan ahead and do take a trip for a day or two to this beautiful city.