Ras Al Khaimah
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About Ras Al Khaimah
Travelling to Ras Al Khaimah is like a mini adventure involving a long, sandy route through the desert heading for a fertile mountainous horizon. Very Lawrence of Arabia. Arriving into town might be a little disappointing - Ras Al Khaimah is dusty and a bit run down, hardly up to the UAE's slightly glamorous reputation. But that lack of over-development pays off when you see the unspoiled beaches and views of the Hajar Mountains. It does make finding the best places to stay in Ras Al Khaimah a little bit trickier though, but there are a couple of very nice resorts nearby.
Many people travel to Ras Al Khaimah on the way to Oman's Musandam Peninsula, a particularly spectacular coastline of deep, rocky inlets, dotted with small villages. But it might be worth spending a couple of days here before or afterwards to relax and maybe do a spot of birdwatching, some diving, or try out a new watersport or two.
What Not To Miss
- Once you've unwound on the beach and marvelled at the dramatic desert dunes you might care for a day trip or two?
- The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah is housed in an 18th Century castle-fort, so as well as getting to look around inside the fort you also learn a bit more about the area.
- Ras Al Khaimah also has a pearl museum, charting the region's relationship with the treasures and the men who dived for them.
- If you're interested in the UAE of pre-oil days you'll probably find the abandoned fishing village of Jazirat Al Hamra fascinating. This spot was first settled in the 14th century with the inhabitants surviving on fishing and pearl diving, but the entire population upped sticks in 1968 leaving everything spookily empty but well preserved.
- On your way to or from Musandam you might also want to stop in Sha'am for its interesting old Wadi settlements and rock engravings.
Our selection of the best places to stay in Ras Al Khaimah allow guests to enjoy absolute luxury with no shortage of activities.
For a Beach resort
- The Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach looks like a luxury Bedouin camp with its huge tent-like buildings and this really adds to the feeling of remoteness. Of course you'll also find every luxury - good food, a huge complex of pools and spas and its own beautiful beach - it's luxury on a small scale for the UAE.
For a Desert resort
- The Banyan Tree Al Wadi is similar but on a larger scale, and of course it has a desert outlook rather than a beach one.
For an apartment or villa
- If you'd prefer your own space, don't hesitate to visit our online partner Booking.com for a great selection of properties from the coast to the town centre.
- Fly to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport situated about 9km (5.5 miles) from the city. The airport serves a range of international carriers with various destinations.
- If you want to rent a car, for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
- Best time to visit - November to April typically produce pleasant temperatures with sunny skies.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Ras Al Khaimah
Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach Ras Al Khaimah (Al Jazirah Al Hamra) 32 rooms from £260
A Bedouin fishing village style luxury beach retreat in a remote setting. Rooms and suites filled with contemporary elegance and seaside romance. Excellent restaurant and spa, huge pools, and water sports galore. Luxury on a smaller scale than usual for UAE.Romantic BreakBeach LifeSpa - A complimentary shuttle will take you to the spa at Banyan Tree Al WadiViews - Superb views over the Arabian GulfRecommended by - Tablet
Banyan Tree Al Wadi Ras Al Khaimah (Wadi Khadeja) from £460
A veritable Bedouin oasis of luxurious exoticism. No expense is spared in this haven of bare-foot luxury in the middle of the desert. Honeymooners will be attracted by the private villas (the only accommodation type) with their own pools, and the private bbqs or sand dune evenings available.Spa - 10 treatment rooms, Rainforest hydrothermal experience with 15 different ‘stations’Honeymoons - A perfect honeymoon destination, especially in one of the larger villasSpa breaks - Banyan Tree spas are famed for their traditional holistic approachesRomantic BreakRecommended by - Tablet