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

Image: rasalkhaimah.ae

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.

Dhayah Fort

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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.

Mountain Biking

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.

Jebel Jais

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.

Zip Lining

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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.

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The UAE, particularly Dubai, has become a popular destination among organizations for travel pertaining to Meetings, Incentive Trips, Conferences and Events. Its ever-evolving, wide array of offerings have made the emirate a favorite, predominantly among neighboring countries. Research has found that USA, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Benelux and India are the key source markets for the UAE, particularly in the IT, automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

Here’s what makes the UAE and the emirate of Dubai such an appealing travel destination!

1. Logistics

Thanks to the UAE Government’s relationships with various countries, it is relatively easy for travelers and tourists from most countries to obtain a tourist visa to visit the UAE.

2. Accessibility
The UAE is centrally located and owns one of the top ten airlines with connectivity across the world. Thus, making it accessible and affordable for businesses from across the globe to conduct their offshore events.

3. Venues
Dubai is home to some of the best hotels in the world. Whatever you are looking for, whatever your budget and travel goals, there is no doubt you will find it in Dubai.

4. Tourist Attractions

A tourist hot-spot, Dubai has year-round activities for every kind of tourist. From sky diving and off-roading for the adrenaline junkie, to theme parks and water worlds for families, museums and architectural buildings for the culture enthusiast, and food festivals and shopping festivals – there is something for everyone.

5. Diverse Culture

Dubai is home to a wide array of cultures, making it easier and comfortable for a tourist to fit in and feel right at home.

Images: emirates.com

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The land of sun, sand and perfect warm weather lends itself beautifully to the game of golf. Golf in the emirate has been one of the key sports for over 25 years. The government of Dubai, a keen supporter and promoter of the sport, opened the Emirates Golf Club, the first all grass championship golf course in the Middle East as far back as 1988. From there on, golf in the emirate has grown exponentially. The Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club has become one of the world’s premier golfing destinations. The emirate also hosts several golf tours of international and local acclaim; catering to both men and women.

Aside, from the pros, you can also take to the greens for a friendly game, a leisurely afternoon out or to even impress your boss. The emirate today, is host to quite a few golf courses.

The Emirates Golf Club

Image: emirates golf club

One of the oldest golf clubs in the region, the Emirates Golf club remains one of the most prominent clubs. The Emirates Golf Club has hosted the popular annual Omega Dubai Dessert Classic for almost 30 years and also hosts the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. The club houses two courses, the Majlis and the Faldo. Both courses combine lush greens and rolling dessert terrain. The beautiful Majlis has its original dessert flora and seven fresh and saltwater lakes whereas the Faldo has a natural wadi running through it and is the only 18-hole course in the region to offer night golf. These sprawling 7000+ yard courses draw golfers across every skill level and is an ultimate golfing destination.

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club

Image: golfindubai.com

The Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht club is perhaps one of the most scenic golf clubs with its waterfront view. The award-winning course, sports lush greens, with date palms and coconut trees and water hazards for a challenging game. The 18-hole, par-71 championship course made of thousands of undulating yards is also one of the most photographed landmarks for its design that captures Dubai’s seafaring history.

The Els Club
Located within Dubai Sports City, this muscular course is certainly a challenge with its acres of white sand and shrubbery. At 7538 yards, 18-hole, par 72 course is named after its designer and renowned golfer, Ernie Els.

Jumeirah Golf Estates

Image: jumeirah golf estates

An ambitious 7,706 golfing development, the Jumeirah Golf Estates is perhaps the one the emirate’s most prestigious residential golfing developments. The course is ideal for social players looking for a challenge and offers classic link-style play at championship level. A combination of wind, water and sand, the course is noted for its serpentine, rock-lined stream that bisects the middle of the fairway.

Al Badia Golf Club

Designed by the renowned golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones II, the Al Badia Golf is centrally located near Dubai Festival City. Spread over 7,303 years, the Al Badia course was constructed based on a “rivers of sand” design and together with multiple lakes makes it quite an interesting quest.

Arabian Ranches Golf Club

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Located in Arabian Ranches, the par-72 course has retained its natural design with undulating sands and is dotted with shurbs making it quite challenge.

The Address Montgomeria Dubai

The 7,461-yard, Montgomerie course was designed by Colin Mongomerie and Desmond Muirhead follows a links-style design and has 14 lakes, a number of mounds and sand bunkers, a 360 degree tee box and even a flat island green shaped like the UAE.

Trump International Golf Club

Image: trumpgolfdubai.com

The 18 course, championship style golf course was designed by renowned architect Gil Hanse. Perfect for all skill level, the course also has a 9-hole par 3 Academy course for golfers to perfect their game. Created for an exceptional golfing experience, the course utilized a winding, deep barranca as its base for design and strategy. The course also provides exceptional views, a number of exciting shots on its undulating course and is well lit with LED lights so golfers can play into the night.

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