Home to beautiful mountaintops and magnificent historical destinations, Ras Al Khaimah is the best city for you to explore during your stay in the United Arab Emirates. This northern part of the Emirate has a remarkable past that spans more than seven centuries, making it one of the most favored travel destinations in the Middle East.
Ras Al Khaimah is easily accessible from Abu Dhabi by bus, around 2-hour trip. If you’re looking to travel to Abu Dhabi first, Etihad always has the best deals and frequent flights to the UAE capital city from major hubs around the world.
You can easily find affordable flight tickets along with Ras Al Khaimah hotels on Wego.
Feast your eyes on Jebel Jais sunset
Jebel Jais is the highlands of the Hajar Peak Range and is the highest peak in the UAE with a top peak of 1,934 meters, and it is located about 55 kilometres to the northeast of Ras Al Khaimah. The mountain’s side is reached by a 20-kilometre road that ascends in a downhill section.
Along the way, there are viewing platforms where you may get a good glimpse of the nearby desert cliffs. Viewing Deck Park, a collection of groomed terraces where tourists can stare out over the mountainous peaks all the way down to the coastal plain, is located at the top of the highway. It’s also a popular location for tourists and photographers, notably in the early evening when the sun is sinking and the orange-hued rocks shine.
Hiking up to the Dhayah Fort
The Dhayah Fort fort was constructed in the 16th century to protect the area against British invasion. It is located about 20 kilometres north of Ras Al Khaimah city. It served as a crucial defensive military tower throughout Ras Al Khaimah’s history. Towards the south of the hilltop, more abandoned walls and guard towers can be seen.
A large portion of the defences in this area was destroyed during a conflict in 1891 between the emirate and British soldiers. If you are interested in history, touring the fort itself is one of the best things to do in this little Emirate. The spectacular view from the fort’s towers are very well worth the visit.
Take a road trip to the Hajar Mountains
The Hajar Mountains dominates Ras Al Khaimah’s landscape away from the coast. The UAE’s best driving scenery may be found in the region of Hajar Mountain, where craggy and desolate mountain ranges spread forth as the roads ascend further into the heartland.
You can follow the main E18 route south from Ras Al Khaimah city, then turn onto the E87 highway, which passes through the Hajar Mountains, for a leisurely drive. The E11 route passes through a number of mountainous areas as it travels north from Ras Al Khaimah city to Dhayah Fort.
Explore the local history at Ras Al Khaimah National Museum
Until the beginning of the 1960s, the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum was housed in the fort that served as the royal family’s home. The museum has a fantastic collection of historical and cultural relics. The most interesting things that can be found here are the records, manuscripts, and agreements between the kings of Ras Al Khaimah and Great Britain that may be found in the Qawasim Room on the first level.
Along with archaeological displays regarding the first settlers in the region up to the late Islamic period, there are also displays of ancient weaponry that belonged to the royal family.
In the anthropological area of the museum, you may learn about the emirate’s traditional lifestyle, which includes architecture, pearl diving, date cultivation, agriculture, and fisheries.
Stroll around the abandoned village of Jazirat Al Hamra
The ancient coral-block dwellings of this deserted settlement, which are gradually deteriorating, are located about 20 kilometres south of Ras Al Khaimah city. A fishery and pearling community called Jazirat al-Hamra was established in the sixteenth century. In the 1960s, the village’s residents left it behind as the pearling business collapsed and the oil crisis got underway. Since then, hotels and new urban areas have sprung up all around it on the coastal plain, leaving it mostly abandoned and desolate.
Tourists may get a true sense of what old Emirati village life would have looked like since a large portion of the coral-block construction is well maintained due to the hot desert environment. In recent years, the village mosque has also undergone a complete restoration.
Enjoy the view of the great archaeological site in Shimal
The small village of Shimal, which is 12 kilometres north of Ras Al Khaimah, is home to hundreds of pre-Islamic graves and a community that has been identified as between 2000 and 1300 BC. It is among the most significant ancient sites in the United Arab Emirates, although to really understand the site, visitors are likely to need to be passionate history buffs.
Archaeological excavations have turned up ceramics, rock vessels, copper and bronze weaponry, and pearls. A substantial circular tomb from the Umm al-Nar era was one of the most significant artefacts here. Atop a rock ledge, the little Husn al-Shimal Fort from the Islamic era provides a scenic overview of the surrounding region.