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10 Compelling Reasons to Visit Ras Al Khaimah Enchanting UAE Gem

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Which is the first place that pops into your mind when you talk about UAE? I bet it's Dubai. But do you know there are other places which are there in UAE that you've not heard of? Well, one out of those is Ras Al Khaimah. Settled on the majestic Arabian Gulf, Ras al Khaimah is one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. This emirate is home to many of the residents and is also the capital of the emirate. Ras al Khaimah City is known to have two parts in its city: one being the Old Town and the other being Nakheel. The northwestern Hajar mountains surround the creek, which is home to mangroves. Ras Al Khaimah is known to have the most fertile soil among all of the Emirates of UAE. 

While one can surely get a lot of glittery, shiny nights in Dubai with a lot of luxury and vibrant life, one could also definitely have a peaceful night in the Emirates of Ras al Khaimah. With a vast band of beaches, mangroves, forests, deserts, and mountains, this place is definitely your go-to destination. Ras al Khaimah housing archaeological evidence which dates back to the 3rd century BC, will surely have a lot of adventures ready and up for you. 

Ras al Khaimah has had a continuous population for 7000 years. This is really rare in any part of the world. This is why there are many remnants from way back, and there are many historical and archaeological sites that date from various eras. There are also remnants of Umm Al Nar culture, which dates back to the 3rd Millenium BC. The area also has the burials of both Wadi Suq and Umm Al Nar preserved. There is another burial that is peculiar due to the presence of about 18 fine bronze arrowheads and has been gaining a lot of attention. Recently there have been studies regarding the four-thousand-year-old human remains which are being conducted. 

1. The world's longest zipline

Jebel Jais, which is home to the highest mountain in UAE, is now considered to have the longest zipline, which was certified by the Guinness World Records. People from worldwide come for this thrilling experience. All adventure seekers make sure that they visit this place at least once in their lifetime. You can have your own thrilling adventure by travelling through the zipline at speeds that zoom in up to 120 kph to 150 kph. This zipline is located at a height of 1680 meters, which makes it one of the sports that one with a faint heart can't handle. This total flight takes up to two to three minutes just for one way trip, and then the participant can land on a platform before getting on another zip line for their way back flight. This zipline extends to a total of 2.83 kilometres. It usually costs around 650 dirhams per person. 

Tips you can use while going for the zipline sport:

  • You can participate in this sport if you're a minimum of 40 kg and a maximum of 130 kg, and you should have a height of a minimum of 122cm. 
  • The participants who are under 18 and still meet all of the conditions can go ahead and participate. However, it is to be noted that the participant needs a guardian or a parent to accompany him or her during this sport. 
  • You should also have good health and medical condition. 
  • It is mandatory for you to present the original passport or the Emirates ID at the counter. 
  • You can wear any sort of athletic clothing which makes you comfortable. 
  • Wearing running or some sturdy shoes is recommended, which will help you gain some support. 
  • If you are coming during winter, it is recommended to wear thick jackets, which will help against the extreme weather in the mountains. 
  • You can get access to free car parking, toilets, a cafe, a gift shop, and lockers, all on-site. 

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2. Suwaidi pearl farm

One place you want to go fishing while finding some precious stuff? Then Suwaidi pearl farm is the place! With a majestic backdrop of the most dramatic mountains and as the horizon slopes slowly into the water, Suwaidi pearl farm is located alongside the sea and mountain that Al Rams settles. This place is extremely known for its fishing activities. One of the reasons this place is internationally famous is due to its pearl farm and its age-old preservation of this farm. Pearling was once considered a pillar of the country's economy. This pillar was first created by Abdullah Al Suwaidi in 2005, which had seen a high rise in pearl production with much quality that even royals, nobles, and celebrities from faraway land used to covet these. It was after Abdullah Al Suwaidi that this place got its name Suwaidi pearl farm. Suwaidi being the last one in the line of generations is still trying to preserve this pearl farm which would have otherwise gone and forgotten by the world about a century ago. 

One can see the men who dive into the waters in search of pearls and weaving nets, and cleaning up after their work is done. One can also get a wonderful taste of culture, nature, and turquoise waters, the mangroves all in one place. The incredible lustre of the pearls which are collected makes them the most exquisite among the others found in the world. This is due to the environment in which it is bred. It is said that a good environment will ensure the good quality of the pearls. The freshwater from the mountains, which lowers the salinity in the water, is one of the secrets which gives an ideal situation for growing healthy pearl oysters. 

Pearl farming is definitely one of the hardest works, as it needs a river to be out in the sea for months and months together. They survive amidst the sea by having only one meal a day. The dive lasts for 60 seconds, and to find a good amount of pearls, these divers need to dive at least fifty to two hundred times per day. The only protective gears they sport are a pair of nose clips and finger guards. They need to ensure that they collect as many pearls as possible before they run out of breath. This pearling is one of the works which finds its way back to 7500 years ago when it was one occupation that helped people gain their wages. 

Here is what you can do at Suwaidi pearl farm: 

  • Kayaking 
  • Pearl diving 
  • Take some experience in oyster opening 
  • Touring around the mangroves 
  • You can also enjoy the traditional lunch prepared by the Emarati women from the village 
  • You will also get a brief history of the pearl farm and also about its culture and the ways through which it is processed. 

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3. Al Wadi Nature Reserve

Now that you've had your vacation full of starry shiny nights and it's time to go back, but you still want more of nature, then Al Wadi Nature Reserve is a place to soothe all your wishes. It's time to take your tents out and go for a nature camping trip here at Al Wadi Nature Reserve. This place is a marvellous 1235-acre area that is protected within the Wadi Khadeja in Ras Al Khaimah. With the nature-friendly reserve, you can surely enjoy a lot and get relaxed and stay away from all of the worries you've been through. You can take your much-wanted rest here while embracing nature and wildlife at its best. This reserve is sure to send you back with a lot of memories to hold on to for a lifetime. The reserve houses the Ritz-Carlton-managed resort Al Wadi Desert in Ras Al Khaimah. 

Here are 3 things that you'd want to do once you're at the nature reserve: 

1. Camel caravan ride: Well, what better way to enjoy an exquisite Arabian desert sunset than to hop onto the back of a camel and set out on a camel caravan ride! This journey will take you deep into the desert and away from the daily hustle-bustle. You can also get a full view of the sand dunes and get some pictures clicked. The wave-like dunes are sure to soothe your eyes and give you a peaceful evening. The sundowners will also enhance your trip to the highest level. 

2. Horse riding: Once you're at the Equestrian Centre, you can take a full tour of the stables which are a house to over 30 horses and some camels as well. After which you're free to go on a desert tour. You can ride either on horseback or a camel safari will also do. Lessons are also given for the first-timers, while the experienced riders can also saddle up and ride onto an enchanting experience. Pony rides have also been made available for the little kids to enjoy. 

3. Under the star dine: You can certainly see the stars even in the city, but once you're at the nature reserve, you sure see it differently. Beauty can only be admired when you actually take out time to admire it. Get a nice spot with a wonderful view and set up your dinner to enjoy a dining experience that you'd probably not get again. You can count the stars as well while dining under a roof full of them. 

4. Mesmerising Natural Beauty

Nestled in the northernmost part of the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a breathtaking array of natural wonders that captivate the senses and leave visitors in awe. From majestic mountains to serene beaches, this Emirate offers a diverse landscape that promises unforgettable experiences for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. One of the most remarkable features of Ras Al Khaimah is Jebel Jais, the highest peak in the UAE. The Hajar Mountains cradle this majestic giant, and ascending its winding roads rewards travellers with awe-inspiring vistas of rugged terrain and verdant valleys below. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the "Jebel Jais Flight" zipline is an exhilarating way to soar above the mountains and witness the scenery from a truly unique perspective. The enchanting Wadis of Ras Al Khaimah are another highlight of its natural beauty. These ancient dry riverbeds wind through rocky landscapes and are often adorned with lush greenery and freshwater pools. Exploring these hidden oases is an adventure into a world untouched by time, offering tranquilly and an opportunity to connect with nature.

The deserts of Ras Al Khaimah beckon travellers with their golden dunes and boundless vistas. Engaging in a desert safari adventure is a must, where visitors can experience the thrill of dune bashing in 4x4 vehicles or try their hand at sandboarding down the slopes. As the day draws to a close, witnessing the sun setting over the vast desert horizon is a mesmerising sight that will remain etched in my memory. Ras Al Khaimah's coastline is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Pristine beaches with soft, powdery sand stretch along the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. The warm embrace of the sea invites visitors to swim, snorkel, or indulge in various water sports. For a tranquil escape, the mangrove forests along the coast offer opportunities for kayaking and birdwatching, as well as a chance to immerse oneself in the serenity of nature.

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Al Wadi Nature Reserve, a sanctuary for local wildlife. Arabian oryx, gazelles, and an array of bird species call this reserve home. Visitors can see these wonderful species in their natural habitat by taking a guided wildlife drive or a leisurely nature walk within the reserve. Whether it's basking in the glow of a stunning sunset, marvelling at a starlit sky in the desert, or simply revelling in the harmony of the natural world, the mesmerising beauty of Ras Al Khaimah is a true testament to the wonders of the UAE's northern gem.

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5. Al Marjan Island: A Beach Lover's Paradise

Al Marjan Island is a true beach lover's paradise, located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. This man-made island is a stunning waterfront development designed to offer visitors and residents an unparalleled beachside experience. The island is surrounded by the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf, boasting a coastline adorned with pristine, sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. These idyllic beaches provide the perfect setting for relaxation, leisure, and water-based activities. Beachgoers can unwind under the warm sun on the soft, powdery sands, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. The crystal-clear waters invite visitors to take a refreshing dip or swim, providing respite from the heat of the day. Those seeking a bit of adventure can indulge in water sports such as jet-skiing, paddleboarding, and kayaking, adding excitement to their beach experience.

As the day draws to a close, the beaches of Al Marjan Island offer breathtaking sunset views over the horizon, painting the sky with a palette of vibrant colours. This serene spectacle creates a picture-perfect moment, ideal for romantic strolls along the shoreline or simply unwinding while watching the sun bid its daily farewell. Al Marjan Island goes beyond the typical beach getaway by providing a host of world-class amenities and facilities. Visitors can enjoy beachfront dining at various restaurants and cafes, savouring delicious cuisine with a view of the sea. There are also beach clubs and resorts that offer exclusive beach access, luxurious pools, and a range of leisure activities to cater to every traveller's preferences. The island's design and landscaping make it a pleasant place for walking, jogging, or cycling, with picturesque views at every turn. Additionally, the waterfront promenades and green spaces allow visitors to bask in the beauty of nature while enjoying a leisurely stroll with loved ones.

For those seeking a blissful escape, Al Marjan Island offers a variety of accommodation options, ranging from luxury resorts to serviced apartments, all with easy access to stunning beaches. With its sun-kissed shores, azure waters, and array of leisure options, Al Marjan Island stands as a testament to the UAE's commitment to creating unforgettable experiences for beach enthusiasts. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both, this beach lover's paradise promises to leave you with cherished memories of your time by the Arabian Gulf.

6. Jebel Jais: UAE's Highest Peak

Jebel Jais, standing tall as the UAE's highest peak, is a majestic mountain located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. This natural wonder is a prominent part of the Hajar Mountains range, which stretches along the eastern border of the United Arab Emirates. Rising to an impressive height of around 1,934 metres (6,345 feet) above sea level, Jebel Jais offers an unparalleled mountain experience and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The journey to the top of Jebel Jais takes visitors through winding mountain roads that showcase the rugged beauty of the Hajar Mountains. At the summit, the temperature is notably cooler than in the lower regions, making it a refreshing escape from the desert heat. Visitors are rewarded with a refreshing climate and a panorama of dramatic rocky terrain, deep valleys, and picturesque vistas that extend to the coastline and beyond.

One of the most thrilling attractions on Jebel Jais is the "Jebel Jais Flight," which is the world's longest zipline. This adrenaline-pumping experience allows adventure seekers to soar through the skies at exhilarating speeds, suspended over the rugged landscape, and take in awe-inspiring views from a unique perspective. Apart from the zipline, Jebel Jais also offers opportunities for hiking and trekking enthusiasts to explore its pristine trails. Various trekking routes cater to different levels of difficulty, providing options for both seasoned mountaineers and casual hikers. Along these trails, visitors can discover the unique flora and fauna that thrive in the mountainous environment. The natural beauty of Jebel Jais is not confined to daytime alone. The mountain also offers an unforgettable stargazing experience during the night. With clear skies and minimal light pollution, stargazers can witness a stunning array of stars and constellations, creating a magical and awe-inspiring celestial display.

For those seeking a peaceful retreat, there are designated camping spots on Jebel Jais where visitors can set up tents and spend the night surrounded by nature's grandeur. Camping under the stars and waking up to a breathtaking sunrise is a soul-reviving experience. Jebel Jais stands as a testament to the UAE's diverse landscape, offering a captivating blend of adventure, natural beauty, and serene tranquillity. Whether you seek heart-pounding thrills or a serene communion with nature, this highest peak of the UAE promises an unforgettable journey and memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

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7. Hajar Mountains: A Scenic Wonderland

The Hajar Mountains, which sweep magnificently across the northeastern part of the UAE and Oman, are a scenic wonderland that enchants everyone who enter its embrace. These rugged mountains are renowned for their striking beauty and diverse landscapes, offering a plethora of experiences for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. The Hajar Mountains boast a mesmerising blend of rocky peaks, deep valleys, and terraced slopes adorned with colourful flora. The barren yet enchanting scenery creates a sense of awe and wonder, showcasing the raw beauty of nature in its most unfiltered form. This dramatic landscape provides a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities and exploration. Hiking and trekking enthusiasts are drawn to the Hajar Mountains for their numerous trails that cater to varying levels of expertise. The routes give a chance to connect with nature while admiring the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, ranging from easy hikes through scenic valleys to strenuous ascents up to steep summits.

The region's ancient wadis (dry riverbeds) are a hidden treasure within the Hajar Mountains. Some wadis are adorned with lush greenery and date palm plantations, creating unexpected oases of serenity amid the arid landscape. These hidden gems beckon travellers to explore and discover their unique beauty, often culminating in natural pools where one can cool off and unwind. For adventure seekers, the Hajar Mountains present opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering. The sheer cliffs and rocky formations challenge climbers while rewarding them with an adrenaline-pumping sense of accomplishment and stunning vistas from higher vantage points. Wildlife enthusiasts are also in for a treat in the Hajar Mountains. The rugged terrain provides a habitat for various species of animals, including Arabian oryx, mountain goats, and a variety of birdlife. With patience and a keen eye, one might be rewarded with sightings of these beautiful creatures in their natural environment.

The Hajar Mountains are not merely a daytime attraction. As the sun sets, the mountains undergo a captivating transformation. The warm hues of the setting sun paint the rocky landscape in golden tones, creating a spectacle that is both mesmerising and serene. Stargazing in the clear night skies is equally rewarding, as the absence of city lights allows the stars to shine brightly, offering a breathtaking celestial show. Whether you seek adventure, a peaceful retreat, or a chance to immerse yourself in the raw beauty of nature, the Hajar Mountains stand as a scenic wonderland that promises unforgettable experiences and memories to cherish for a lifetime.

8. Historical Forts: A Glimpse of the Past

Ras Al Khaimah, a land steeped in history and heritage, boasts several historical forts that offer a captivating glimpse into the past. These ancient structures, scattered across the emirate, stand as enduring symbols of the region's rich cultural legacy and serve as reminders of its strategic importance throughout the centuries.

  • Dhayah Fort: Perched atop a rocky hill in the town of Dhayah, Dhayah Fort is one of Ras Al Khaimah's most prominent historical landmarks. This fort played a crucial role in the resistance against British forces during the 19th century. Its strategic location offers panoramic views of the surrounding plains, mountains, and coastline, making it a fascinating spot to explore and understand the challenges and triumphs of the past.
  • Al Hisn Fort: Located in the heart of Ras Al Khaimah city, Al Hisn Fort is a meticulously restored historical site. Originally built as a defensive bastion in the 18th century, the fort today functions as a museum, giving tourists a glimpse into the emirate's traditional way of life, its rulers, and the evolution of its governance.
  • Sheba's Palace (Shimal Fort): The ruins of Sheba's Palace, also known as Shimal Fort, lie to the north of Ras Al Khaimah city. Though mostly in ruins, the site provides a look into the region's ancient history, and it is thought to have been an important home dating back to the pre-Islamic era.
  • Al Jazirah Al Hamra Old Town: While not a traditional fort, the old town of Al Jazirah Al Hamra is a fascinating historical site. It features well-preserved traditional coral-stone houses and structures that provide a glimpse of life in the region during earlier times. Strolling through the narrow alleys and exploring the architectural remnants of the past offers a unique sense of time travel.

These historical forts and sites in Ras Al Khaimah stand as tangible links to the emirate's past, offering a glimpse into the lives of its ancestors, their resilience, and the cultural heritage that continues to shape the identity of the region today. Exploring these landmarks not only enriches one's understanding of history but also fosters an appreciation for the cultural diversity and historical significance of Ras Al Khaimah.

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9. Arabian Wildlife: Encounter Nature's Majesty

Ras Al Khaimah, a region blessed with diverse landscapes, offers a captivating encounter with Arabian wildlife that showcases nature's majesty in all its splendour. From its rugged mountains to its pristine coastline and desert expanses, this emirate provides a sanctuary for a variety of unique and fascinating animal species. One of the most iconic animals in Ras Al Khaimah is the Arabian oryx, also known as Al Maha. This magnificent antelope, with its elegant long horns and striking white coat, is an emblem of pride and conservation success in the region. Through dedicated efforts, the Arabian oryx population has been nurtured and protected, making it possible for visitors to witness these graceful creatures roaming freely in their natural habitat.

Ras Al Khaimah's mountains and wadis are home to a variety of wildlife species, including the elusive Arabian tahr, a sort of wild goat that deftly navigates the steep cliffs and rocky terrain. Keen observers may also spot mountain gazelles gracefully leaping through the mountainous landscape. A vast assortment of bird species can be found in the emirate's shoreline and mangrove woodlands. Birdwatchers can delight in observing migratory and resident birds, including flamingos, herons, and various seabirds, making the area a haven for avian enthusiasts and photographers alike. Ras Al Khaimah's deserts may appear desolate at first glance, but they are teeming with life; each creature has adapted to survive in this harsh environment. The Arabian sand gazelle, with its sandy-coloured coat, is an expert at navigating the dunes, while the elusive desert fox is known for its nocturnal forays in search of food. The desert's reptiles, such as the spiny-tailed lizard, showcase unique adaptations that enable them to thrive in arid conditions.

Encountering Arabian wildlife in Ras Al Khaimah demonstrates the region's commitment to conservation and sustaining the delicate balance between humans and nature. Various eco-friendly initiatives and protected areas, such as the Al Wadi Nature Reserve, provide a safe haven for these majestic animals to roam freely and sustainably. For nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers, Ras Al Khaimah's encounter with Arabian wildlife is a memorable experience that reminds us of the importance of preserving and cherishing the natural world. Whether exploring the mountains, observing birds along the coast, or embarking on a desert safari, this encounter with nature's majesty leaves an indelible impression and fosters a deep appreciation for the wonders of the wild.

10. Bedouin Oasis: An Authentic Cultural Experience

The Bedouin Oasis in Ras Al Khaimah provides a completely authentic cultural experience, allowing visitors to travel back in time and immerse themselves in the traditional way of life of the Bedouin people. This enchanting oasis serves as a window into the rich heritage and customs of these desert-dwelling nomads who have inhabited the region for centuries. Nestled amidst the vast desert dunes, the Bedouin Oasis is a tranquil haven where visitors can learn about the customs, traditions, and daily routines of the Bedouin lifestyle. Upon arrival, guests are warmly welcomed into the oasis and invited to experience the genuine hospitality that is deeply ingrained in Bedouin culture. The Bedouin people are known for their deep connection with nature and the desert. Visitors can partake in various activities that provide insights into their nomadic way of life. Bedouin guides may lead guests on desert walks, where they share their knowledge of the desert's flora, fauna, and survival techniques passed down through generations.

In the shade of traditional goat hair tents, known as "bait al-sha'ar," visitors can savour authentic Bedouin cuisine. These delicious meals are often cooked over open fires, creating an unforgettable culinary experience. Sharing meals with the Bedouins allows guests to engage in meaningful conversations and gain an understanding of their values, stories, and ancient traditions. Music and dance are integral to Bedouin culture, and evenings at the oasis often feature captivating performances of traditional songs and dances. Visitors can join in the rhythmic beats of the drum and experience the joyous spirit of the Bedouin festivities. The Bedouin Oasis also offers opportunities to engage in artisanal crafts and skills passed down through generations. Guests can try their hand at weaving, pottery, or camel tending, gaining an appreciation for the resourcefulness and ingenuity of the Bedouin people.

As the night descends upon the oasis, guests can experience the magic of stargazing in the desert, where the absence of city lights unveils a dazzling celestial display. Listening to ancient Bedouin tales and folklore under a canopy of stars adds a sense of wonder and enchantment to the experience. The Bedouin Oasis serves as a bridge between the past and the present, preserving the cultural heritage of the Bedouin people while allowing visitors to forge meaningful connections with this ancient way of life. This authentic cultural experience offers a profound appreciation for the simplicity, resilience, and time-honoured traditions of the Bedouin community, leaving visitors with cherished memories and a newfound understanding of this remarkable culture.

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Would you still love to have some reasons to visit Ras Al Khaimah?

Then there are 5 reasons why you'd definitely want to add it to your list: 

  • Find the perfect place to set up your camp. The camping experience at Ras al Khaimah is unlike any other.
  • For all the horror fans out there, here's a chance to visit the real haunted village at Ras Al Khaimah. 
  • The rich history and diversity make it one of the places you'll love to go. 
  • Watch out for the wide variety of desert fauna while you're at Ras Al Khaimah 
  • Adventures? You've got it right out handed to you! From hikes to ziplining, you've got the bucket list almost checked out! 

Conclusion

Ras Al Khaimah, with its captivating landscapes, rich culture, and thrilling adventures, promises an unforgettable experience for every traveller. From exploring historical landmarks and engaging in adventure sports to savouring the local cuisine, every moment spent in this hidden gem of the UAE will leave you with cherished memories. So, start planning your journey to Ras Al Khaimah today and immerse yourself in the magic of this fascinating emirate.

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