If you ask the Average Joe where he wants to go on an adventure, the odds are good that he wouldn’t say the United Arab Emirate (UAE), but the Average Joe should look again! The UAE offers a diversity of experiences, both for the tame and the wild adventurer alike, and one of the best examples of this is Ras al Khaimah.
The UAE is composed of seven different emirates, all located on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the southwest portion of the Persian Gulf. (The Persian Gulf is also referred to as the Arabian Gulf. Although there is a dispute over the name, Persian Gulf is the more accepted term.) On the northern tip of the peninsula lies the emirate of Ras al Khaimah. The emirate is fourth in size, and also fourth in population in the UAE, and expatriates make up the majority of the population.
Because of its location on the Persian Gulf, Ras al Khaimah enjoys a more moderate climate than other emirates; however, temperatures in the summer still ring the bell on the thermometer in the low 100s. Plan a visit in the cooler months, especially if you’re taking one of many the desert adventures.
There is no oil in Ras al Khaimah, however there is mineral wealth in the mountains. Ras al Khaimah, under the leadership of Sheik Saud bin Saqr AL Qasimi, has diversified their economy with great success – the country consistently receives an “A” rating from the international rating community, and its business community is thriving. Tourism is growing fast, with adventure tourism leading the way. Shopping, restaurants, and spas abound for those looking for more luxurious activities, and the beach offers water sports aplenty.
You can find almost anything you want to do in Ras al Khaimah, so let’s look at what’s available, shall we?
Ras al Khaimah has a mountain range, the Ru’us al Jibal, which is part of the Hajar Mountains. The Hajar Mountains are a 70-million-year-old chain, starting in the Musandem Peninsula and running southward as far as Sur in Oman. Jebel Jais is the highest peak in the Ru’us al Jibal and it is the highest peak in the entire UAE.
Ras al Khaimah features a pristine coastline to the north, with the mountains on the east and desert to the south, and a fertile region in the center.
Jebel Jais is the highest peak in the UAE, and it’s located in Ras al Khaimah. The emirate has developed two different adventures for adrenaline junkies: the world’s longest zipline and a via ferrata climbing tour. You can also hike or bikealong trails or drive an incredible dedicated road to the peak.
You can swim, dive, snorkel, water ski, or jet ski in the coastal waters of Ras al Khaimah, or you can just enjoy the lying on the beach – whatever water sport you choose, you can enjoy it at Ras al Khaimah.
If you’re into studying marine life, you can book a guided diving excursion into the waters off of Ras al Khaimah. One-third of the 80 known species of dolphins and whales are found off the coast, along with four known species of turtles, and over 700 species of fish.
If you like fishing, you can book a deep sea fishing expedition, or you can try fishing in the creek which divides Ras al Khaimah in half.
Ras al Khaimah began life as a trading port, so sailing is second nature here. Sheik Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi is the Patron of The Royal Yacht Club of Ras al Khaimah, which is a members’ club for yachting, sailing, and water sports.
The Bedouins make the desert of Ras al Khaimah their home, and have done so for millennia. You can book a stay at several desert camps and experience life as a bedu. If nomadic wandering and tent-living isn’t your thing, book a safari to explore the desert instead.
If, when it’s all said and done, you’re just a city dweller at heart, Ras al Khaimah offers you a bit of everything – shopping at high-end malls or crawling the local markets, dining at upscale restaurants or grabbing soup at a café, luxuriating at a spa or being fascinated at the museum – you can find what you’re looking for in Ras al Khaimah.
Whatever your taste in vacations – high adventures or city temptations – you’ll find a plethora of choices in Ras al Khaimah. Be a good guest, and learn what you need to know about the culture before you travel, and get ready for the vacation of a lifetime!