Ras Al Khaimah:

A joy ride
  • 07 Jul - 13 Jul, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • High Life

Just an hour north of Dubai on the UAE’s wide highways, Ras Al Khaimah rises gradually out of the orange desert and stretches for around 50km along the coast. Whether it's unspoiled sandy beaches, scenic hikes or fun-filled water sports you're after, this emirate has a lot to offer. However, it’s best-known for its outdoor activities. You can explore the desert either by horseback, camel or as part of a 4WD safari. There is, of course, the luxurious side to this spot, too with swanky hotels, spas, a couple of malls and water sports. The majestic Jebel Jais and the surrounding Hajar mountain range are the highest mountain peaks in the UAE and when there’s rainfall, its valleys – known locally as wadis – are filled with plants and streams. The drive up the mountain road is dizzying, but when you reach the viewpoint – just short of the 1900m peak – the views through the valley and out to the ocean can be spectacular, providing there’s no haze. Ras Al Khaimah is also home to a few interesting archaeological sites like Jazirat Al Hamra ghost and Dhayah Fort. The undulating terracotta deserts of Ras Al Khaimah also hold ancient oasis. Here, camping options range from charming and low-key to ultra-luxurious. Thanks to exceptionally low light pollution and minimal cloud cover, it’s a fantastic way to see the constellations at night. Pearl fishing is still a way of life here. If you want to stay above water, you can choose between wakeboarding, parasailing, and fly boarding.