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Ras Al Khaimah or Dubai Which is Right for You

Rash al Khaimah and Dubai are two of the most popular holiday destinations in the UAE for tourists.

Both Emirates are truly unique in their own way, combining plush hotels and modern facilities with historic landmarks and cultural attractions.

A lot of first time visitors to the UAE are curious about which Emirate they should visit. Many default to Dubai as it is the most well known, meaning Ras Al Khaimah is often overlooked.

Here at Destination2, we’re dedicated to providing you with tailor-made Middle East holidays, that’s why we’ve made this handy guide to help you decide which destination is right for you:

Hotels and Resorts

You’re going to be spending a lot of time in and around the hotel during your stay, so it makes sense to compare this part of your holiday first.

Dubai is home to some of the world’s most famous hotels and resorts, and as such, they tend to be that bit grander.

Hotels in Dubai are all about indulgence and seem to be constantly competing with each other in terms of extravagance.

The famous Burj Al Arab , the only 7 star hotel in the world, is located right here in Dubai! The city is also home to the iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, which features the amazing Aquaventure Waterpark!

Ras Al Khaimah hotels, on the other hand, tend to be more relaxed and laid-back. That’s not to say they lack in luxury, there are more than enough 5 star hotels to suit even the most discerning of travellers.

Make no mistake, Ras Al Khaimah hotels are all of exceptional quality, it’s just that Dubai tends to take grandeur to new levels. Which Emirate is better for hotels is completely down to your personal preference. If you prefer extravagant hotels with an endless list of amenities, then Dubai is for you. Alternatively, if you prefer a more laid back hotel that still provides exceptional comfort, then we recommend Ras Al Khaimah.

The Burj Al Arab


Dubai is without a doubt the busier of the two Emirates, with hundreds of activities for holidaymakers of all ages.

The city’s endless list of things to do includes water parks, museums, indoor skiing and Desert safaris, as well as cultural pursuits and luxury-laden activities.

If you do one thing during your stay in Dubai, it has to be a visit to the Burj Khalifah observation deck for afternoon tea and an unrivalled panoramic view of Dubai.

If you cultural attractions are your thing, Ras Al Khaimah is probably more suited to you.

The resort is the perfect place to explore the UAE’s rich heritage and boasts a wealth of historical sights, including museums and forts - we strongly recommend making time for the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum and Fort Dhaya.

But that’s not to say Ras Al Khaimah is without its share of fun family attractions. Take the Iceland Water Park for instance, where thrill seekers of all ages can escape the heat and cool off.

On top of this, you’ll find various activity centres and fun pursuits all over the island, as well as fun excursions and desert tours.

If you can’t decide between the two, you’ll be pleased to hear that Dubai is just an hour and 20 minutes away by car.


Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah both occupy prime stretches on the glistening Persian Gulf coast, and as such both benefit from a selection of great beaches.

It’s important to note that a high percentage of Dubai’s best beaches are privately owned. Many require a small fee to access or are exclusive to guests at a particular hotel.

This is not necessarily a bad thing as the money spent on entrance is used to provide top of the range facilities, such as sun loungers, parasols and water sports equipment.

If you’re planning on spending a large amount of time on your holiday on the beach, it may be worth considering staying in a hotel that has a private beach.

Our favourite Dubai hotels with private beaches are Rixos The Palm and JA Palm Tree Court . Both come with beautiful beaches that end right on the hotel doors.

You can leave your room and be on in the sand as soon as you step out of the door. The facilities also match the 5 star standard of the rest of the hotels.

Ras Al Khaimah still has its share of beaches that belong to hotels but a higher proportion are open to the public than in Dubai.

The edge that Ras Al Khaimah has over Dubai when it comes to beaches is the fact that the Emirate is much quieter, which really lends itself to a relaxed time on the beach.

Which Emirate has the right beaches for you is quite easy to decide. If water sports and beach activities appeal to you, Dubai is probably best suited to you. If you’re more likely to relax with a good book on a sun lounger, then Ras Al Khaimah is the place to be.


As you can see, there is no universal answer to the question of which of the Emirate is right for you; it really depends on the individual. A general rule to use is if you prefer a modern, bustling city then Dubai is right for you and if you prefer a more relaxing holiday in a place with lots of cultural history, then you will most likely prefer Ras Al Khaimah.