Are you tired of the same old tourist traps? Craving something a bit more authentic? Let me let you in on a little secret—Ras al Khaimah, a hidden gem of the UAE. This incredible place offers some of the most scenic landscapes, historic villages, and adrenaline-pumping activities you can find in the region.
Today, we’re going to take a whirlwind tour of the top tourist places in Ras al Khaimah, and I promise, by the end of it, you’ll be itching to book your next vacation here!
Jebel Jais: A Mountain of Adventures
Standing at a jaw-dropping height of 1,934 meters, Jebel Jais is not just a mountain; it’s an adventure paradise. For the road-trippers, the 35-kilometre journey up the mountain is itself an exhilarating experience.
A 60-km drive from Ras Al Khaimah City Center makes it accessible for everyone. Pack some snacks, make a playlist, and enjoy the road trip!
The route is speckled with sharp corners and hairpin turns, all while offering stunning panoramic views of the region. And if you’re an adrenaline junkie, don’t miss the world’s longest zipline, the Jebel Jais Flight.
Things to Do at Jebel Jais
- Ziplining at the Jebel Jais Flight: Feel the wind in your hair!
- Viewing deck: For the romantics and selfie enthusiasts.
- Jais Sky Tour: Because the mountain is too big to explore on foot.
- Bear Grylls Adventure Camp: For the survivalists among us.
- Picnic, Camping, Trekking, and Barbecuing: Good old-fashioned outdoor fun.
Jazirat al-Hamra, also known as the Ghost Town of Ras Al Khaimah, is an abandoned village located on the Arabian Peninsula in the United Arab Emirates. It is situated on a former tidal island connected to the mainland by a causeway. The village was once a prosperous pearling center, inhabited by the Zaab tribe but was abandoned in the early 1960s following the collapse of the pearl diving industry.
Today, Jazirat al-Hamra is a haunting reminder of its past glory. The village’s mud-brick buildings are crumbling and overgrown with vegetation, but their once-grand facades can still be seen. The narrow streets are deserted, and the air is filled with the eerie sound of the wind whistling through the abandoned buildings.
Visitors to Jazirat al-Hamra can explore the village’s ruins at their own pace. There is no entrance fee, and the village is open to the public 24 hours a day. However, it is important to be respectful of the village’s history and culture. Visitors should dress modestly and avoid taking any souvenirs.
Things to Do at Jazirat al-Hamra
- Historic Walk: Traverse through abandoned coral black houses and wind towers.
- Photography: Capture the preserved historic architecture against the stark desert backdrop.
The National Museum of RAK: Chronicles of a Bygone Era
The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates. The museum houses various artefacts and exhibits that tell the story of Ras Al Khaimah from its earliest days to the present.
The museum’s permanent exhibition, “Chronicles of a Bygone Era,” takes visitors on a journey through the history of Ras Al Khaimah, from its early days as a pearling centre to its modern-day status as a thriving tourist destination.
It also has a collection of archaeological artifacts from Ras Al Khaimah, including pottery, metalwork, and jewellery.
Things to Do at the National Museum of RAK
- Qawasim Room: Explore treaties, manuscripts, and traditional weapons.
- Ethnographic Display: Understand the rich traditions and daily life of Ras al Khaimah.
- Learn about traditional Emirati culture: The museum has several exhibits on traditional Emirati culture, including clothing, food, and music. These exhibits offer visitors a glimpse into the everyday lives of Emiratis in the past.
- Visit the museum’s library and archives: The museum’s library and archives contain a wealth of information on the history and culture of Ras Al Khaimah. Visitors can access this information to research or learn more about the region.
Shimal: The Cradle of History
Shimal is a small village located in the northern part of Ras Al Khaimah. It is believed to be one of the oldest settlements in the United Arab Emirates, and it is home to a number of archaeological sites.
One of the most important archaeological sites in Shimal is Julfar. Julfar was a major port city in the Middle Ages, and it played an important role in trade between the East and the West. The city was abandoned in the 18th century, but its ruins can still be seen today.
Another important archaeological site in Shimal is the Shimal Fort. The fort was built in the 18th century to protect the village from pirates and invaders. It is now a museum that houses a collection of artifacts from the region’s history.
Visitors to Shimal can also explore the village’s traditional houses and mosques. The village is also home to many shops and restaurants, where visitors can sample local cuisine and purchase souvenirs.
Things to Do at Shimal
- Tomb Exploration: Discover pre-Islamic tombs with intriguing designs.
- Husn al-Shimal Fort: Visit this small Islamic era fort perched high on the rocks.
The Hajar Mountains: The Canvas of Nature in Ras Al Khaimah
The Hajar Mountains are a mountain range that stretches along the northeastern coast of the United Arab Emirates and Oman. They are the highest mountains in the UAE, with Jebel Jais, the tallest peak, reaching 1,934 meters (6,345 feet) above sea level.
The Hajar Mountains are a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities such as hiking, camping, climbing, and mountain biking. The mountains are also home to a number of waterfalls, wadis (dry riverbeds), and other natural attractions.
Things to do in the Hajar Mountains
- Go hiking. There are a number of hiking trails to choose from in the Hajar Mountains, ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs. Some of the most popular hiking trails include the Stairway to Heaven, the Wadi Ghalilah Trail, and the Jebel Mebrah Trail.
- Go camping. Camping is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Hajar Mountains. There are a number of designated campsites in the mountains, as well as several wild camping spots.
- Go climbing. The Hajar Mountains offer a variety of climbing routes, from easy beginner routes to challenging routes for experienced climbers. Some of the most popular climbing spots include Jebel Jais, Jebel Mebrah, and Wadi Ghalilah.
- Go mountain biking. The Hajar Mountains offer a variety of mountain biking trails, ranging from easy trails to challenging trails. Some of the most popular mountain biking trails include the Jebel Jais Mountain Bike Park and the Wadi Ghalilah Trail.
- Visit the Wadi Ghalilah Waterfall. The Wadi Ghalilah Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall located in the Hajar Mountains. You can swim in the pools at the bottom of the waterfall or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.
- Visit the Hatta Dam. The Hatta Dam is a reservoir located in the Hajar Mountains. You can go swimming, boating, fishing, and camping at the Hatta Dam.
Wadi Shawka is a beautiful wadi (dry riverbed) located in the Hajar Mountains, just 92 kilometres from Dubai. It is known for its stunning scenery, which includes towering mountains, lush palm groves, and crystal-clear pools. Wadi Shawka is also home to several small villages where you can learn about the traditional way of life in the UAE.
Things to do in Wadi Shawka
- Camping: Wadi Shawka is a great place to go camping. There are several designated camping areas where you can pitch your tent and spend the night under the stars.
- Birdwatching: Wadi Shawka is home to various birds, including flamingos, herons, and egrets. Birdwatching is popular in the wadi, especially during the winter months.
- Hiking: There are several hiking trails of varying difficulty in Wadi Shawka. Some of the popular trails include:
- The Shawka Dam Trail: This is a 10-kilometer round-trip trail that takes you to the Shawka Dam, a reservoir that provides water to Ras Al Khaimah.
- The Wadi Shawka Pools Trail: This shorter trail leads to a series of natural pools where you can swim and cool off.
- The Jebel Jais Mountain Trail: This more challenging trail takes you to the highest peak in Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais.
Khatt Springs: The Fountain of Wellness
Khatt Springs, also known as The Fountain of Wellness, is a natural spring in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. It is a popular spot for swimming, relaxing, and enjoying the stunning scenery.
The spring water is believed to have healing properties, and many people visit Khatt Springs to bathe in the water and improve their health. The water is also said to be good for the skin and hair.
Things to do in Khatt Springs
- Relaxing: Khatt Springs is a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can sit back and enjoy the scenery in several seating areas.
- Taking a walk: There are several walking trails around Khatt Springs, including a trail that leads to a waterfall.
- Having a picnic: Khatt Springs is a great place to have a picnic with friends and family. You can set up your blanket and enjoy a meal in several picnic areas.
- Visiting the spa: There is a spa located at Khatt Springs where you can get a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps.
Ras al Khaimah is not just a destination, it’s an experience. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a history buff, or someone who just wants to chill, there’s something here for everyone. So why wait? Unearth the hidden treasures of Ras al Khaimah today!