Most trips to the UAE are planned to cover the basics – Dubai, the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Jebel Jais or Jebel Hafeet if the time permits, and of course, a fair bit of shopping. And while these are definitely experiences that should not be missed, there is much more to the Untied Arab Emirates that often goes unnoticed. One of these is the untapped beauty that is Ras Al Khaimah.
The northern-most emirate of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah has not been swept up in the modernization tidal wave and is an ideal place for an authentic and cultural UAE experience.
Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah:
Bassata Desert Village
Immerse yourself in the culture of the land and live like the Bedouins did at the Bassata Desert Village. An authentic replication of a bygone era, at the Bassata Desert Village, you live like a true Bedouin: in tents, with camels, and nights around a camp fire, under the stars.
The 19th century castle offers visitors scenic views of the of the mountains around, the sea and the fertile palm gardens. The only standing hilltop fort in UAE, the Dhayah Fort is a definite must-see, simply for the stunning, uninterrupted, 360o vistas of Ras Al Khaimah.
The rocky terrain makes it perfect for an adventure sports lover. If you can’t bike, the trail is also great for hiking or trail running.
No trip to the UAE is complete without a visit to the tallest mountain in the Emirates. You can hike, bike or drive up this natural beauty that offers breathtaking views and sweet relief from the dry heat at sea level. It also makes a perfect camping spot during winter.
The world’s longest zip line was recently launched in the rocky Ras-Al Khaimah region and is a must-do for adrenaline junkies. Experience speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour as you fly, superhero style, face-down. To make the ride more fun, there are two lines so you can share the adventure with a friend.
Bonus: Alma Retreat
Image: alma retreat instagram
The perfect escape from the city, Alma Retreat is located inside the Bedouin Oasis Camp, in the heart of the beautiful desert. The retreat offers several programmes designed to relax and rejuvenate, so your return refreshed, mentally, physically and creatively.