Arabic, English
Flight time
6 hours and 55 minutes from the UK
time difference
UTC/GMT +4 hours
best time to go

Introducing Ras Al Kaihmah

Ras Al-Khaimah is a little hidden gem in a vast world where immense luxury and bright city lights distract the masses. But this lesser known emirate of the UAE isn’t a place of illusions or distractions; it’s a pretty honest version of life in the United Arab Emirates and it’s our best kept secret for those who want to travel off the beaten path for something a little bit different yet just as exciting. Often overshadowed by the glitz and glam of Dubai or the country’s capital of Abu Dhabi, the charming city of Ras Al-Khaimah can’t compete in glamour or grandeur but we promise you that it’s every bit as stylish and sophisticated. In fact, it’s the understated extravagance that makes Ras Al-Khaimah a seriously chic and up-and-coming destination that you just won’t to miss out on – and it’s also highly coveted by those who prefer alternative travel. The locals will tell you that it’s the perfect blend of traditional culture and Middle Eastern luxury and you’ll have everything from fine dining to golfing trips, desert tours to water sports, family attractions to historical sites, city museums to mountain hiking, yacht clubs to equestrian adventures, and beautiful beaches to hip music events. So whether you’re here for some wholesome family fun, a great group adventure or you’re in search of the perfect romantic city for two, Ras Al-Khaimah is the friendly alternative to glamorous Dubai or bustling Abu Dhabi, and it offers a little bit of everything for everyone. And as the gateway to remote and quirky desert villages, it will give you the best of both worlds so that you can enjoy the thrill of the city and the adventure of the Awafi Desert. If you want city, beach and dunes all with the promise of great weather, the wonderful city of Ras Al-Khaimah is a must-visit destination.


Like most cities in the United Arab Emirates, Ras Al-Khaimah is extremely family friendly and offers just as much for groups and couples. It’s safe, clean, well-connected and there are many luxury hotels and resorts to choose from. Most resorts offer babysitting services, kid-friendly menus in their on-site restaurants, and kids clubs that can accommodate all ages. There are so many different attractions and tourist sites to suit all ages, and you’ll also find the friendly mix of locals and expats to be extremely welcoming. Public transport links are also pretty good in and around the city and travel to/from Dubai is also easy.


Middle Eastern cuisine is well known for its use of olive oil, herbs and spices but when it comes to mealtimes, you’ll really be spoilt for choice. The diverse culture brings a huge selection of international restaurants and you’ll find everything from traditional Arabic cuisine to Iranian and Lebanese to European and even oriental dishes. If you want a taste of something authentic, be sure to try stuffed camel, Shawarma kebabs, the local dish of Al Machboos (chicken and rice), or the local hummus with pitta bread.

History and Culture

Ras Al-Khaimah is the northernmost emirate of the UAE and situated on the coast, this city was home to a collective of fishing villages in the 1960s. Ras Al-Khaimah translates as “headland of the small huts” which describes the indigenous homes which once lined the city. The earliest traces of human activity date all the way back to 5,500 BC and today it’s become a stylish travel destination for those who want to escape the clichés of Dubai.

Highlights of Ras Al Kaihmah

Khatt Springs
The Khatt Hot Springs is the ultimate indulgence for anyone visiting the area. This blissful oasis is famous for its springs filled with bubbling sulphuric water and is said to be able to cure a whole range of ailments in the body. Come here to wind down, relax and enjoy the use of the hot spring pools. There’s an on-site restaurant for your convenience and hotels are situated nearby for anyone who wants to stay overnight.
Al Jazirah Al Hamra
Experience a modern day ghost town and head to Al Jazirah Al Hamra to walk the paths of old fishermen and their families from the 1960s. Located just south of the city, this coastal village has been completely abandoned but was originally home to the various sub-tribes of the Al-Zaab Tribe. Visit the site and you will get to walk through abandoned buildings, old homes and an old mosque, which are all believed to be haunted. Great fun for the whole family – and the kids too if they aren’t too scared!
Dhayah Fort
Soak up the city’s history and come and see the 16th Century fort building which still stands today. Dhayah Fort is a mud-brick construction which was built to overlook the gulf as a defensive military tower. Pack your camera, make your ascend and get the most incredible views from the top. This is the perfect spot to capture a beautiful Arabian sunset and can be reached from the city centre by public bus or taxi.
Bedouin Oasis Desert Camp
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind camping experience in the desert and spend your time stargazing, sitting around a campfire and getting fully immersed in authentic and traditional Arabian culture. Here, you will get a taste of life of the nomadic Bedous tribe and you will get the very rare opportunity to spend the night getting close to nature and tasting amazing food cooked up by the local hosts, whilst experiencing an ancient desert lifestyle.
Manar Mall
If you’re in the UAE for a luxury shopping experience like many of the tourist who come here, you simply cannot miss the Manar Mall, a complex which is famed for its striking architecture and unique modern design. This is the best shopping destination in the city and there are over 120 retail shops to browse through. Not only is there a huge choice of high end retail shops, but it’s also jam-packed with entertainment and fun for the whole family. It overlooks the water and boasts a children’s play centre plus a large cinema.

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