Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah: The perfect weekend getaway!
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are understandably known for their tourist attractions, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only emirates with fantastic things to see and do. Ras Al Khaimah is hub of sights, sounds and experiences not to be missed, especially for the adventurous types amongst our readership. So are you headed to RAK and wondering how you’re going to spend your time? Our comprehensive guide of things to do in Ras Al Khaimah has you covered.
The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is the fourth largest in the UAE and was renowned for pearl production. Precious stones from RAK were considered the best in the world. The emirate shares its boundaries with Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and an international border with the Sultanate of Oman. This is one of the many notable facts about RAK, another being that its history dates back to the Bronze Age!
Things to Do in Ras Al Khaimah
From pristine beaches to ancient towns, there are so many places to visit in Ras Al Khaimah. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
Historical Places in Ras Al Khaimah
History buffs can visit these attractions in Ras Al Khaimah.
VISIT THE DHAYAH FORT
A visit to the Dhayah Fort is a staple option in any “things to do in Ras Al Khaimah” bucket list. Nestled in the Hajar Mountains, this hilltop fortress is one of the more prominent heritage sites. It dates back to the 16th century and was originally constructed as a defense against foreign invaders. A significant landmark in the country’s history, the clay-brick structure is easily recognisable via two distinct towers that provided the high ground for those keeping watch.
VISIT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RAS AL KHAIMAH
Visit one of the oldest forts in the country and explore the rich Emirati traditions of the past at the National Museum of Ras al Khaimah.
The museum, which was once a former fort, also served as the residence of a ruling family before it was converted into the National Museum in the 1980s. In fact, amongst the countless artefacts and historical exhibits are original treatises signed by former ruling families. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the emirate, the RAK museum can be your first stop when you visit this historically rich city.
Judging from archaeological excavations at the museum, RAK has been home to several trading civilizations since 5000 BC and has a rich history and continuous settlements for 7,000 years. From traditional weapons to fishing instruments, and ancient pottery, the museum is a great spot for anyone looking to glimpse into the emirate’s past.
- Location: Al Hisn Road
- Timings: 08:00 am – 06:00 pm (Saturday – Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday), 03:00 pm – 07:30 pm (Friday)
- Contact: +971-7-233-3411
VISIT THE GHOST TOWN OF JAZIRAT AL HAMRA
One of the more unique places to visit in Ras Al Khaimah, Jazirat Al Hamra, is an abandoned pearl fishing village that still retains a bit of the country’s history. A tour of the historical neighbourhood gives visitors a glimpse of community life in the UAE before the discovery of oil. Be on the lookout for buildings made from coral stones. Once a thriving community, the place is like an open-air museum, but without a ticket office. Lying 12 or so miles from RAK’s main town, Jazirat Al Hamra is also famed as a site for the horror production, Djinn.
VISIT THE HISTORICAL VILLAGE OF SHIMAL
History buffs can also make their way to Shimal. Located almost 12 kilometres north of RAK, the quaint village is the largest pre-Islamic site in the emirate, featuring more than 200 ancient tombs with most of them belonging to the Wadi Suq period. Archaeological finds that have been uncovered in the area include ancient stone vessels, weapons, pottery, pottery and beads. Perched on a rocky outcrop, the Husn al-Shimal Fort offers a better view of the entire area.
Adventure in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is filled with landscapes that enable adventures aplenty. Make sure you tick them all off your list!
GO ON A SAFARI IN HAJAR MOUNTAINS
Offering organized tours, there are several operators across the UAE that offer safari trips through the Hajar Mountains in Ras Al Khaimah. One of the more convenient ways for exploring RAK, safari tours are a great option for families to get acquainted with the region’s natural wonders. Take an off-road adventure with a scenic drive along the foothills of the mountain while stopping to take pictures at archaeological stops along the way. For the best experience, contact the local tour operators for the latest offers and travel packages.
LOOK FOR PEARLS
Suwaidi Pearl Farm, located in the small fishing village of Al Rams at the bottom of the Al Hajar mountain range in Ras Al Khaimah, provides an insight into the age-old Emirati tradition of pearl farming. The folks at Suwaidi Pearl Farm will take you on a tour in a pearl diver’s boat. There, you will explore the neighbouring mangroves while learning about how pearls play an important part in the history and culture of UAE.
Morning, afternoon, and evening cruises are all available, and once you are back on the shore, you can replenish with an authentic Emirati dinner and explore the area. A tour with lunch costs around AED 355 exclusive of tax at the Suwaidi Pearl Farm.
- Location: Al Rams
- Timings: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm (Saturday – Thursday)
- Contact: +971-7-221-1124
HIKE OVER THE UAE’S LARGEST MOUNTAIN
There are plenty of free things to do in Ras Al Khaimah too! One of the best things to do here is to explore the many mountains and rocky terrains that are signature attractions in the region. One of these is Jebel Jais – the highest peak and also one of the most popular camping spots in the UAE. Standing tall at 1,934 metres this majestic mountain offers stunning views of surrounding canyons and eroded cliffs.
The Jebel Jais Via Ferrata is a protected mountain route that is located at the Jebel Jais — the highest mountain in the UAE. The Via Ferrata is a mountain climbing route. It involves is a steel cable that is affixed to the rockface and runs along the whole route while climbers who are harnessed to it attempt to scale it. This 1-km long climbing course involves walking, climbing and zip-lining.
ZIPLINE ACROSS THE JEBEL JAIS VALLEY
Speaking of ziplining; did you know that the zip line in Jebel Jais has been certified as the largest in the world by Guinness World Records? One of the many reasons why tourists flock to the Jebel Jais Valley – especially during Eid holidays and summers when prices for the service are discounted – activity involves soaring across the mountain at speeds of 150kmph over a distance of 2.8km via a zipline. Depending on when you go, the Jebel Jais zipline pricing may cost you anywhere from AED 360 to AED 450.
The company that manages the zipline and Via Ferrata is Toroverde. Those who have booked any of the service’s attractions can head to their dedicated parking lot 30 minutes before their sessions at which they will be transported to their destinations via shuttle bus. An essential spot for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, the best time to visit Jebel Jais is during the cooler months.
GO ON A DESERT SAFARI
A desert safari in the Bassata Desert Village is a great way to experience traditional Arab life in the desert. From riding camels between the dunes to sand skiing, there are several tour operators that offer desert safaris in RAK. After a day of fun, sit down for a delicious BBQ dinner under the night sky. One of many popular Ras Al Khaimah tourist attractions, the ultimate desert experience at the Bassata Village also features dune bashing and belly dancing.
EXPERIENCE THE LIFE OF BEDOUINS
The best way to connect with the UAE’s nomadic past is to experience the Bedouin life in UAE it firsthand. Fortunately, a booking at the Bedouin Oasis Camp Ras Al Khaimah covers this and more. The desert camp offers visitors everything from a Bedouin-style tent — with rustic traditional exteriors but a modern interior to ensure a comfortable stay — to camel rides and the chance to view spectacular sunsets over the dunes.
Other activities offered include quad biking, camel riding and dune bashing on land cruisers. Located at the heart of the RAK desert, the camp is located 20 minutes from the main city. A popular option in the things to do in Ras al Khaimah list, visitors at the camp are expected to take their meals on carpeted floors and partake in traditional Bedouin cuisine, with a few choices reserved for international dishes.
- Location: 321/BC, RAK Free Zone, PB 17104
- Contact: +971-55-228-4984
RELAX IN THE HOT SPRINGS
Located southeast of RAK, the village of Khatt is located at the foot of the Hajar Mountains and is home to three hot springs. The water in the springs is renowned for its therapeutic properties — a relaxing retreat for visitors looking to soak and unwind in its mineral-rich waters after a day of sightseeing.
KAYAK IN THE MANGROVES
Salt flats and mangroves form a large part of the inland and coastal landscape in RAK. Extending right to the centre of the city, the mangroves are home to a variety of animal species like flamingoes. Visitors can witness them with kayaking trips. Accessible via guided tours, these kayaking excursions are a great way for participants to take in the region’s unique ecosystem and have fun while doing it. With pricing packages depending on a participant’s age and the number of people in your party, it’s the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy.
Ras Al Khaimah isn’t all about travel and nightclubs. There are several establishments that offer activities which kids enjoy too. From a zoo to go-karts and more, here is an overview of kid-friendly places in RAK.
RACE IN A GO-KART
What kid doesn’t like go-karting? And the best place to enjoy it in Ras Al Khaimah is at the RAK TRACK. A recent addition in the emirate, the RAK TRACK gives visitors the chance to race each other along a winding track in rental go-karts.
Offered on an Arrive and Drive basis, services here are priced according to the number of people per go-kart and the type of vehicle chosen. For example, a 15-minute session on an 11 HP go-kart will set you back by AED 115 while one for the same duration on a 9 HP kart will cost you AED 95. Additionally, there is also an option for double seater go-karts with the rental price set at AED 95 for a 15-minute ride around the track.
- Location: E11 Sheikh Mohammad Bin Salem Road
- Timings: 04:00 pm – 11:00 pm (Monday – Wednesday), 03:00 pm – 12:00 am (Thursday – Saturday)
- Contact: +971-7-222-2128
ENJOY THRILLING WATERSPORTS
From launching off the water on a fly board and zooming on the waves on a powerful jet-ski to calmer activities like kayaking and fishing — there is something for everyone at RAK. Currently, one of the best places which offer all of these is Fly Fish Watersports at the Marjan Island Resort and Spa and the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa.
VISIT RAK ZOO
From housing white lions to exotic birds, panthers, wolves and deer, no kid can refuse a trip to the RAK Zoo. The third-largest zoo in the UAE is home to a number of rare and endangered animal species too. Additionally, the zoo also offers activities that the whole family can enjoy like camel rides and horseback riding lessons for kids. Other attractions at the RAK Zoo include a cycling track and an array of restaurants. A ticket for the zoo costs around AED 40 for adults and the place is free for children to visit.
- Location: Al Fahlain, Ras Al Khaimah
- Timings 09:00 am to 10:00 pm
Beaches in RAK
The beaches in Ras Al Khaimah are stunning. Let’s take a look
VISIT THE STUNNING JAZIRAT AL HAMRA BEACH
Bordering the western side of the Jazirat Al Hamra ghost town, this is a public beach with miles of golden sands and pristine waters. Take a swim in the ocean or lay out a beach towel and work on your tan. That or just walk along the beach and collect seashells.
Sunsets are a sight to behold at the Jazirat Al Hamra Beach, so make sure that you stick around long enough to see the sun go down. Of course, you can always make the best of cooler months by setting up camp on the sands and sitting around a bonfire too.
VISIT AL MARJAN ISLAND
Al Marjan Island in RAK is home to some of the best beach resorts and is also the site of a bi-annual music festival, which earned it the title of “party island.” Hotels in Marjan Island come pack with the best amenities and services that are sure to make your stay worth it on this beautiful island.
While the island is famed for its active nightlife, it offers several family-friendly activities as well. A day pass will also give you access to the private beach. Featuring three parks, bike rentals and a play area for kids, the island is a perfect leisurely escape for visitors looking for fun things to do in Ras Al Khaimah.
Longbeach Campground at BM Hotels and Resorts combines a classic camping experience with lavish amenities and fun activities to give you the perfect “glamping” experience. The campground, which is located along a 300-meter stretch of beach, is ideal for staycations, families, romantic getaways, and groups of friends. Choose from a number of exquisite tent options and take advantage of an all-inclusive activities package that includes access to the beach, pool bar, outdoor spa, water sports, a floating theatre, and more. A stay at the Longbeach Compound starts from AED 650.
- Location: King Faisal Street, Al Nadiyah
- Contact: +971-7-203-4099
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the best hotels to stay in Ras Al Khaimah?
Some of the best hotels to stay in RAK include Waldorf Astoria, Al Hamra by Hilton and the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa.
What are some of the best restaurants in Ras Al Khaimah?
Ras Al Khaimah has an amazing culinary scene in the city. You can find the best international restaurants to the finest local hidden gems restaurants in the city to fulfil your cravings. Some of the best restaurants in Ras Al Khaimah include Lexington Grill, Claypot and Emirates Sea.
What are some of the best nightclubs to visit in Ras Al Khaimah?
The nightlife in Ras Al Khaimah vibrant due to its ideal location by the beach. The must-visit nightclubs in Ras Al Khaimah are Club Acacia, XclusiV Night Club and Club Inferno.
That’s a wrap of the Ras Al Khaimah attractions so far. Are you planning to visit Dubai too? Our ultimate guide for things to do in Dubai will help you make the most of your trip. For the daredevil in you, there are some extreme adventures in Dubai.
Visiting Abu Dhabi instead? From visiting international monuments to rafting in Al Ain, our list of things to do in Abu Dhabi will be helpful on your travels.