Lifestyle

Ras Al Khaimah: A destination beyond expectations

Ras Al Khaimah: A destination beyond expectations

Ras Al Khaimah is more than a destination with its myriad of landscapes promising rewarding experiences and adventures for all. From 64-kilometres of unspoiled, sandy beaches for relaxation, family and luxury resorts, culture and heritage and outdoor pursuits high in the mountains, the UAE’s northern most emirate offers the diversity to keep everyone entertained.

Over the past few years Ras Al Khaimah has increased its focus on nature-based outdoor adventures centered around Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak.

Home to Jebel Jais Adventure Park, visitors can experience three bucket list and insta-worthy attractions that have been built to respect the natural environment in this stunning location.

Those looking for adventures are not just limited to the Jebel Jais adventure park, there is a lot more they can experience including hiking, climbing, abseiling and canyoning, all with the help of adventure tour companies that provide certified and knowledgeable outdoor guides.

- Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

These include the Arabian Gulf’s first commercial Jebel Jais Via Ferrata, the iron path; the guided trekking and hiking experience that also includes three zip-lines measuring 50 meters, 60 meters and 300 meters; Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park that features seven viewing decks offering 360-degree vistas of the Hajar mountains; and Jebel Jais Flight, the world’s longest zipline.

What’s new

The latest attraction to join the Jebel Jais Adventure Park is the Jebel Jais Zipline Tour, which features seven ziplines flying over the grand cliffs and canyons of Jebel Jais which are connected by nine platforms. This will start welcoming thrill seekers of all ages this coming season.

Those looking for adventures are not just limited to the Jebel Jais adventure park, there is a lot more they can experience including hiking, climbing, abseiling and canyoning, all with the help of adventure tour companies that provide certified and knowledgeable outdoor guides.

A world apart for cyclists, Ras Al Khaimah also attracts bikers of all levels looking for spectacular views combined with varying ascents at Jebel Jais and Wadi Showka. Located at the edge of the Hajar mountains, Wadi Showka is a diverse area with many route options for hiking, running, cycling, and welcomes even those who simply want to camp out in nature – no better way to steal a break from the city buzz.

Archaeological sites

History lovers can satisfy their cultural curiosities at Dhayah Fort, the most visited archaeological site in Ras Al Khaimah and a prime example of heritage site conservation in the emirate. Built during the 19th century on the foundations of much older structures, it is the only hilltop fort still existing in the UAE and offers a fantastic view of the lush palm gardens, the sea and the dramatic mountains. And to take a magical trip back in time and learn about the emirate’s coveted pearling industry, visitors are in for a treat at Al Suwaidi Pearls Farm, founded by Abdulla Al Suwaidi, the grandson of one of the country’s last remaining pearl divers.

Sports enthusiasts from around the world can also plan their next visit to Ras Al Khaimah and be part of some of the most renowned sports events taking place within the stunning natural landscapes of the emirate such as Tough Mudder, RAK Half Marathon and the Desert Warrior.

It’s this diversity – of landscape and offering – that makes Ras Al Khaimah so popular amongst visitors from domestic and overseas markets. Ras Al Khaimah’s popularity also comes from its improved connectivity. By road, this is a mere 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport. Additionally, the climate is 4 degrees cooler in summer time, and 10 degrees cooler on the mountains making it ideal for both relaxation and adventure.

— The writer is CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority