Ras Al Khaimah was incorporated as an emirate in the UAE on February 10th 1972. It is the northern most emirate of UAE and the tourism here is growing at a very significant rate as well. Ras Al Khaimah traces its civilization long back into history with evidence that suggests inhabitation of this land from 3rd millennium BC.
The tourist attractions of this place include the desert life, golden beaches and old ruins. In this blog we will try to create a comprehensive list of the things to do in Ras Al Khaimah to help the visitors planning to spend their holidays in this part of the Emirates.
1. A visit to the National Museum
The Al Qasimi Royal family resided in this palace turned museum until 1964. It is considered to be the most expensive museum as the value of artefacts, ornaments and the historical weapons in the museum is very high. The museum has something to offer for everyone visiting, right from historical items to rare ancient jewels! The museum garden is a serene place to spend some quality time as well; most galleries are built around the garden itself.
2. Dhayah Fort
Self-guided tours at this old military outpost are the best way to understand the historical importance of the fort. The fort was strategically built to face the gulf on the top of a hill to give a good 360 degree view of the surroundings for the army. During the battle of 1891 between the British and Emirates, much of the brick and mud fortification was destroyed. Still, it offers a good view around and its significance in the Emirates history is noteworthy.
3. Camping at Jais Mountains
If you are visiting Ras Al Khaimah, then a night stay at a camp on the route to the Peak of Jais Mountains is an experience not to be missed. The starry sky on a full moon night is a treat to watch for the tourists in this part of the Emirates. At 6,300 feet approximately, the peak is the highest point in RAK and offers an option for a brilliant drive on the breezy road leading up to it. The road leading up to the peak also offers an excellent opportunity for mountain biking.
4. Fly with Sea Wings Seaplane
Sea Wings Adventures offer a unique experience for the touring population by giving them a 45 minute seaplane ride from the coast of Ras Al Khaimah to the mountain ranges of Jabal Al Jais and back. This ride offers you amazing shots if you are a photography enthusiast. The deep blue sea, the Arabian Desert and the mountains together give an amazing opportunity to capture some amazing images and footages.
This is a historic site and tops the list of things to do in Ras Al Khaimah among the lovers of history as this place has archaeological sites dating back to 2000 – 1300 BC. Tombs excavated in this area go back to the Pre-Islamic era and the site has remains from settlements of the same time. Weapons and tools made of bronze and copper discovered from the area also go back to the same time. The site is located near the Hajar Mountains and the best view point it boasts of would be the Husn Al-Shimal Fort. A round circular tomb excavated is suggested to belong to the Umm Al Nar cultural period.
6. Chill at the Iceland Water Park
The largest and the best water park in UAE is in Ras Al Khaimah: Iceland Water Park has been deemed so. The water park is a kid’s paradise but adults too enjoy a lot in the number of slides that offer the adrenaline rush. The food court is located inside the park premise and no better thing to burst your hunger after a good swim in the Olympic sized pool. There is a rain dance pool too which is a favourite with the youngsters who come from Dubai for a chill or even tourists from abroad.
7. Khatt Springs
The area is in the middle of desert oasis and people can relax and refresh in the hot pools of water which is rich in mineral content and has a high therapeutic value. The water in the springs is said to contain minerals which soothe the skin besides relaxing the muscles. The Khatt Spring Area has numerous resorts where local as well as international tourists can stay, eat and go for a spa session too. There are almost 170 archaeological sites around Khatt on the foot of Hajar Mountains which has made this region a favourite picnic spot of the Emirates.
8. A visit to the Pearl Museum
Pearl diving was a tradition as well as the principal profession in ancient times at Ras Al Khaimah. Equipment used for pearl diving is on display for the visitors to give them a reminiscence of the tradition. The pearls collected are on display on the first floor and once you view the entire gallery, you are bound to get mesmerized by the detailed depiction. Pearl harvesting had a huge contribution in the economic structure of the Emirates until the industrial methods were introduced.
9. Jazirat Al Hamra
What is bound to seem like a place in ruins was once a bustling village of the fishing community located just outside the modern Ras Al Khaimah city. The villagers abandoned this place by the end of 1960s as scarcity of water and development of the city began which was partly triggered by the Oil boom in the gulf region. Pearl harvesting and fishing were the main occupations of the villagers that dwelled here.
10. Savour the taste of Ras Al Khaimah local eateries
There are many regional specialities and favourites among the locals who are more than pleased to guide you to try food from the restaurants and bakeries around the old city area. Balaleet is a savoury breakfast dish while locals highly suggest the pancakes and honey cake at Asayel (a local bakery). There are several options at the Corniche for dining which you can fathom with your taste buds.
Besides the activities mentioned above, one can go for a horse-riding session, water sport centres around the beach or simply relax at the Corniche on a bench or sand.