Pristine sandy beaches, inviting sapphire waters, spellbinding deserts, luxurious hotels and vibrant nightlife are among the delights which await in this glorious getaway where the hospitality is second to none.
Whether you crave a laid-back time, relaxing by the beach and pool, or a lively adventure, getting out and exploring the surroundings, this incredible destination is more than capable of meeting your needs.
We've chosen to turn the spotlight on sensational Ras Al Khaimah – one of the seven Emirates within the United Arab Emirates - to reveal to you why it’s the perfect place for an unforgettable holiday.
Ras Al Khaimah – often referred to simply as RAK - has a desert climate, with very hot and arid summers and mild winters. Temperatures can rise to a stifling 45°C in the summer, however average temperatures are 29 to 43°C in July and 12 to 25°C in January. Occasional rain and thunderstorms occur in the winter months. January to April and October to December are ideal times to visit Ras Al Khaimah, when you can avoid the punishing heat of the summer months.
It takes approximately seven hours to fly from the UK to Ras Al Khaimah. It is three hours ahead of UK time.
Arabic is the official language in Ras Al Khaimah and English is commonly used to communicate. Services information and menus in the hotels and restaurants are normally available in both languages. The official currency for Ras Al Khaimah is UAE Dirham.
You’ll have no trouble finding something to entertain you when it comes to sports, leisure and cultural sight-seeing activities.
No visit to Ras Al Khaimah would be complete without a visit to the enchanting desert landscapes which will take your breath away with their vastness and beauty.
You can enjoy a camel ride to a traditional Bedouin Oasis where you can dine Arabian-style and spend a wonderful night sleeping under canvas. Thrilling buggy drives in the dunes are another fun pursuit. Dhayah Fort, a 18th century mud brick structure which was built to defend the region, is well worth a visit, while the charming village of Shimal is home to amazing archaeological sites where hundreds of pre-Islamic tombs and ancient weapons and stone vessels have been discovered.
A visit to the Suwaidi Pearls Farm in the fishing village of Al Rams is highly recommended. You'll get a fascinating insight into how pearls are farmed and you can even choose to dive for your own pearl.
You'll head out into the sea in a traditional pearling boat to the region's first cultured pearl farm where you'll be able to open a few oysters onboard in the hope of revealing a beautiful pearl inside.
The historic town of Al Jazirah Al Hamra offers revealing insight into life in the region before the discovery of oil with its abandoned buildings and ruins, and Mohammed Bin Salim Mosque, the UAE's largest surviving traditional mosque, is a historical gem worth seeing.
A fabulous day out awaits at Jebel Jais, the United Arab Emirates' highest mountain, where an incredible adventure park is guaranteed to deliver hours of excitement.
Jebel Jais Flight boasts a 2.8km zipline – the world’s longest – and you’ll get the chance to put on a special harness before soaring through the peaks of the Jebel Jais Mountains at exhilarating speeds of up to 150 kilometres per hour.
Jais Sky Maze is the height of thrilling fun with daredevil obstacles to really get your adrenaline flowing. You'll navigate your way around wobbly bridges, rope swings and bike challenges high above the ground.
If you feel like pitting yourself against the challenges of the wild outdoors you can head for Bear Grylls Explorers Camp and take part in a gruelling survival course, designed by the world-famous adventurer himself.
You'll stay in a log cabin at the camp in Jebel Jais where Bear's highly-trained team of instructors will put you through your paces to enable you to rediscover your wild spirit.
A series of mentally and physically demanding activities include rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking.
An ideal way to explore Ras Al Khaimah’s jaw-dropping natural landscapes and villages is to put your hiking boots on for an enthralling trail in the beautiful Hajar Mountains which were formed more than 70 million years ago and stand almost 2,000 metres above sea level.
There’s no shortage of attractions and activities in Ras Al Khaimah to ensure a feast of fun for the little ones.
Other exciting activities to entertain children include dolphin and whale watching trips on a traditional dhow boat and go karting at the RAK Track. They can also enjoy camel rides on the beach or desert - you can even watch these humped creatures racing at Al Sawan Camel Race Track.
Family-friendly hotels also have plenty of attractions to keep children entertained including lagoon swimming pools, mini water parks, kids clubs and games rooms. And don’t forget the private beaches for traditional sandcastle-buildings sessions and paddling in the sea.
Ras Al Khaimah has a sensational shoreline with awe-inspiring beaches for catching some rays and enjoying a refreshing swim.
There are a few public beaches but much of the shoreline consists of a plethora of private stretches of golden sands which are maintained by the emirate’s opulent hotels.
The beaches are very clean and well-managed, with sun loungers and shades, plus plenty of cafes and restaurants for a tasty meal or refreshing drink. You’ll also discover an abundance of water sports action including jet skiing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, water-skiing and kayaking. Diving, snorkelling and fishing trips are also very popular activities.
Flamingo Beach is a beautiful sandy expanse within easy reach of Ras Al Khaimah’s main centre which is perfect for families. Its shallow and calm waters make it ideal for families and there are plenty of trendy cafés and restaurants along the promenade.
The public beach near Jazirat Al Hambra is an inviting golden expanse which is speckled with pretty seashells. This is a great spot for couples to take a romantic stroll along the sands and enjoy a picnic in glorious surroundings.
There are several safe and reliable transportation options for getting around Ras Al Khaimah during your holiday.
The RAK Transport Authority regulates most services including buses and taxis. There are hundreds of air-conditioned metered taxis and limousines in operation, as well as an excellent city bus service. If you want to travel further afield in the UAE, there's the option to take an Al Hamra Bus to various places including Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.
Many holidaymakers book coach and bus tours which enable them to travel in total comfort to the major attractions in Ras Al Khaimah, including the main cultural and historical landmarks.
This alluring destination bursts into life after dark with the chance to party in a fabulous range of beachfront lounge bars, nightclubs and live music venues.
There are several cinemas in RAK if you feel like watching a movie and couples can enjoy a romantic beachfront meal by moonlight, sipping cocktails and relaxing to soothing background music.
You’ll also find plenty going on at night in the luxurious hotels in Ras Al Khaimah – many of them have packed programmes of evening entertainment with discos, karaoke, traditional dance acts and live bands among the attractions.
Ras Al Khaimah is a shopper’s paradise where you’ll have no trouble satisfying your urge for some retail therapy.
This place has all options covered, from traditional souks where you can barter for a bargain to giant shopping malls selling everything from high-ticket fashion and electrical goods to furniture and toys for the little ones.
Al Hamra Mall boasts more than 120 retail stores, a huge range of top-quality restaurants, a massive food court, a multi-screen cinema and thrilling rides for children. Manar Mall, RAK Mall and Al Naeem Mall are other popular venues for shopaholics.
If you want to get a true flavour of local life, then a visit to a bustling souk is a must. These places are colourful hives of activity where traditional souvenirs, textiles, pottery and clothing is among the merchandise which can be snapped up at bargain prices.
Ras Al Khaimah is home to superb fine dining restaurants, charming cafés and other relaxing eating venues where you’ll discover mouth-watering local dishes to tantalise your taste buds.
A kaleidoscope of cuisines from around the globe combine to create the perfect mix for food lovers – these include Indian, Iranian, Egyptian and Turkish flavours.
A popular choice for breakfast is Balaleet, a scrumptious sweet and savoury dish where vermicelli is first fried, then boiled and added to a combination of ghee, saffron, sugar, cardamom powder and rose water. The offering is completed by adding an omelette on top. Samak Mhammar is a delicious fish dish which is spiced with cumin, garlic, sumac and lemon, before serving with caramelized onions and sweet yellow rice.
Layered honey cake is a savoured local dessert featuring plenty of cream and biscuit crumbs, often accompanied by Gahwah, a wonderful Arabic coffee which is blended with saffron and cardamom.
The Al Qawasim Corniche is a great place to discover gastronomic delights, with an array of superb cafes and restaurants serving authentic Arabian delicacies.
There’s also the option to enjoy a flavoursome barbecue feast under the stars in a desert setting at a Bedouin Oasis camp.