Ras al Khaimah Holidays

Surrounded by desert, sea and mountains, on holidays to Ras Al Khaimah you’ll have sunrise and sunset to yourself and dizzying adventure high up in the sky.

A rare glimpse of the elusive Arabian oryx, Champagne dinners on white sands and trekking by Arabian horse through valleys and pools; Ras Al Khaimah holidays are for those inclined to discover lesser-known places. Imagine Middle Eastern style picnics on oriental rugs as you sink into oversized pillows on the beach, dune bashing out into the desert and kayaking through mangroves. This quieter emirate in the UAE has so far managed to keep its secrets away from the crowds but those in the know come here to go off-the-grid in blue skies luxury against a backdrop of dramatic Hajar Mountains.

You can tick off the crazy on holidays to Ras Al Khaimah – zip line on the Via Ferrata’s one kilometre sky high route, 4x4 over rolling dunes and climb the highest mountain in the UAE, but equally you can star gaze through telescopes, discover how Arabian explorers navigated the terrain and fall asleep under the stars to the night sounds of the desert. We love this part of the world for its mystique, romance and solitude – scorching days, cooler nights and unabashed indulgence.

The beaches are a dream – miles of white sand sloping into brilliant blue seas, nomadic life of years gone by can be found in abandoned ghost towns home to perfectly preserved 14th-Century buildings, and frenetic souks, early morning fish markets and unique mosques ascertain where you are in the world. Just an hour’s drive from Dubai this under-the-radar emirate is making shapes to become a rather a special place.

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Ras al Khaimah Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Ras al Khaimah

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

An Arabian fortress of decadent pool villas for luxury desert escapism.

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach

Elegant and stylish, this exclusive beachfront resort offers blissful seclusion.

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

An Arabic-influenced resort right on the waterfront with copious facilities.

Get to know Ras Al Khaimah and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT +4 hours


United Arab Emirates Dirham


7 hours





Where is Ras Al Khaimah? Bordering the Kingdom of Oman, Ras Al Khaimah is the northern most emirate in the UAE and the fourth largest, about an hour’s drive from Dubai.

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Getting around The coastline stretches some 35 miles and as hotels, restaurants and attractions are quite spread-out, car hire is the most convenient way to get around. Parking is also free. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive.

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Food and drink Arabic cafés, shisha, lavish hotel restaurants on the beach and local dining on the Corniche, there’s plenty to indulge in. Expect Indian, Lebanese and Turkish influences, fresh seafood platters and a very intriguing camel’s milk ice cream. You’ll find authentic Moroccan restaurants, glamorous New York-style steakhouses and world-class sushi menus.

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What to do in Ras Al Khaimah Hike Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the United Arab Emirates, follow the trails to peace and tranquillity in the Hajar Mountains and chase the sun on a dune bashing tour. For sky-high thrills, try out the longest zip line in the world and fly through mountains at peaks, or keep your feet firmly on the ground and explore the dust covered pearl fishing village of Al Jazeera Al Hamra just south of the city where you’ll find 14th-Century houses abandoned long ago. There are plenty of scuba diving opportunities among over 700 species of fish – sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to spot a whale or rare green turtle. End the day on a sunset cruise by catamaran or a candlelit dinner overlooking the beach.

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Historical Sites Ras Al Khaimah has some of the oldest historical sites in the UAE. Take a walk along Al Rams Corniche to see the 19th-century village where homes are built from coral and wood. Dhayah Fort dates back to the Bronze Age and is the UAE’s only remaining hill fort. Al Jazeera Al Hamra is a former pearling village and the oldest in the Emirates. Both sites are on the UNESCO Heritage tentative list due to their historical and cultural importance to Arabia.

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Natural Landscapes From the vast swathes of golden beaches to the highest mountains in the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah has plenty of untouched and natural beauty. The coastal fringes have flamingos wading in the mangroves and turtles swimming offshore whilst the desert is a place of peace and tranquillity and home to Arabian oryx, foxes and sand cats.

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