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Holidays in Ras Al Khaimah

Just a 45-minute drive from Dubai Airport, Ras Al Khaimah is the northernmost emirate in the UAE and is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. Ras Al Khaimah is a great alternative to Dubai: affordable and relatively undiscovered.

Varied scenery is key here. Think 64 km of white sand beaches, flamingo-inhabited Mangroves, a bustling city scene and mountainous terrain. And there are plenty of exciting adventures on offer too: you can hike UAE’s highest mountain peak – Jebel Jais – and fly down the world’s longest zip line. With year-round sun, it's a great choice for those looking for a sun-filled holiday no matter the season.

General information about the Ras Al Khaimah region

How to get there

There are no direct flights from London to Ras Al Khaimah, but a quick 45-minute taxi ride from Dubai airport will get you to your hotel for around AED 180 to AED 230 (around £40 - £52). UK citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival.

When to visit

Sun-seekers will find a sunny escape from the bleak, grey skies in the UK from November to April. During this time, daily temperatures hover around 25 degrees, with blue skies and water temperatures of up to 25 degrees. In summer, it can get really hot, with highs of over 40 degrees, also the best time to go to get a great deal.

How much do things cost?

The local currency of the UAE is Dirham, which can be obtained from ATMs both at Dubai airport and in the hotel resorts. To give you an idea of average prices, a night in a mid-range hotel can start from 100 AED (£22) per night, while luxury hotels can start from 500 AED (£112) per night. Budget around £25 to £50 per day for food, travel, and sightseeing.


Ras Al Khaimah is very welcoming and liberal in comparison to some of the other emirates. Of course, travellers should still be culturally aware while visiting. The local customs and norms are still largely influenced by traditional Arab and Islamic values, and visitors are expected to dress modestly and respect the local culture. Look to pack light summer clothing that isn't too tight.

Top 5 reasons for visiting Ras Al Khaimah

  1. It's conveniently located: Ras Al Khaimah is just a short drive from Dubai, making it an easy and convenient destination for those visiting the UAE. The emirate is well-connected by road, air, and sea, making it accessible for visitors to reach and explore.

  2. Natural beauty: Ras Al Khaimah boasts stunning landscapes, from its rugged mountains to its pristine white sand and spacious beaches with crystal-clear waters. The emirate is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and beachcombing.

  3. Adventure and outdoor activities: Adventure seeking pirates will be in their element here, with a range of outdoor activities to choose from such as rock climbing, mountain biking, and kayaking. Year round sunshine allows for numerous sporting and adventure opportunities.

  4. Cultural heritage: You'll be able to visit a few different cultural heritage sites, including historic sites and monuments that provide a glimpse into the region's past. Visitors can explore ancient forts, tombs, and ruins, as well as cultural attractions like the Suwaidi Pearl Farm.

  5. Luxury and relaxation: While you can certainly argue that Ras Al Khaimah is a budget-friendly destination, it is also home to a number of luxury resorts and spas.

Not-to-be-missed sights and activities in Ras Al Khaimah

Suwaidi Pearl Farm

The Suwaidi Pearl Farm is considered one of the last traditional pearl farms in the Gulf region, and has been producing high-quality pearls for generations. Visitors can learn about the traditional process of pearl cultivation and see them being produced. The farm is surrounded by lush mangroves and can only be reached by boat.

Jebel Jais

At 1934m, Jebel Jais is UAE's highest mountain. A well-developed road makes it possible to drive to the summit in a rental car, where you can enjoy views of the mountain landscape. Adventures can also take flight on Jais Flight, the world's longest zip line or slide down the mountain on the Jais Sledder, the region’s longest toboggan ride.

Desert safari

Possibly one of our favourites, a desert safari is a must while on holiday in Ras Al Khamaih. You can find various tour operators offering tours in the morning and evenings, some tours even include quad and camel rides. Expect to pay around £45 for a three-hour tour.

Dhayah Fort

The Dhayah Fort is an old defensive structure built on the foundations of 16th-century structures. As the "gateway to the Emirates", the fort, which is located on a mountain, was also a heavily contested strategic point in the battles with the British in the 19th century. Many historical and valuable objects were discovered here during excavations, which can now be seen in the Al Hisn Fort National Museum.

Sonara Camp

The Sonara Camp is an eco-friendly camping site that offers a range of accommodation options, including traditional Bedouin tents and more modern tents with amenities like air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. Guests can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird-watching, kayaking, and fishing, as well as luxurious dining and entertainment experiences, with herds of oryxes and gazelle as dinner companions.

The cost of an overnight stay varies depending on the time of year and the type of accommodation chosen. However, on average, a night at the Sonara Camp can cost between AED 200 and AED 600 per person (£45 - £135).

Al Jazeera Al Hamra

A former fishing village, Al Jazeera Al Hamra is one of the oldest inhabited areas in the UAE and is considered an important cultural and historical site. The village is known for its traditional coral and mud-brick buildings, which have been preserved in their original state and provide a glimpse into the way of life of the region's past residents. Visitors can explore the narrow streets and alleyways, visit the old mosque, and see the traditional homes and fishing boats. Don't forget to bring your bathing suit, Al Jazeera Al Hamra also features a beautiful public beach that runs the entire length of Al Hamra Village. The water here is quite shallow, so it makes for a great beach for families with young kids.

Old town "RAK City"

We highly suggest visiting the Old Town (also known as RAK City). Check out the city's souk, a commercial district where you can experience the hustle and bustle of the market streets. The National Museum in the Al Hisn Fort is also located in the old town. Those who are open to culinary delights should definitely stop by the fish market.

Beaches in Ras Al Khaimah

With 64 km of coastline, you can bet that Ras Al Khaimah is home to many stunning white-sand beaches. Around 50 or so, in fact, which are characterized by gently sloping sands that give way to warm, crystal-clear waters. While most beaches are exclusively for hotel guests, there are a few public beaches that you can visit free of charge. Check out Jazirat Al Hamra Beach, Flamingo Beach, Al Mairid Public Beach and Al Qawasim Corniche Beach for beaches that are open to the public.


The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is making efforts to promote sustainable tourism, with a focus on preserving its natural environment and cultural heritage. The goal is to see the Emirate become the regional leader in environmentally conscious tourism by 2025. There's a strong emphasis on delivering authentic tourism experiences through preservation and conservation, promoting responsible adventure tourism and setting environmental goals that several hotels and resorts have already adopted such as energy-efficient lighting, water conservation, and waste reduction.

The local government is also taking steps to protect the beaches and coastline with measures to reduce plastic waste and maintain the health of marine ecosystems.