Atypical Emirates: what will surprise Ras al Khaimah

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

In the small emirate of Ras al Khaimah in the UAE, you can find beautiful beaches, deserts and mountains. Compactness plays into the hands of the traveler, allowing you to do more in a short time — there are almost no traffic jams here. In addition, hotels, food and excursions will be cheaper than in the more popular regions of the UAE. Our author Lena Titok visited the northernmost emirate of the country and shares with the readers of the blog what to do there and how to relax.


  • How to get there
  • Seasonality
  • What to do
  • Where to stay

How to get there

If you look at the map, it may seem that Ras al Khaimah, located on the border with Oman, is too far from the most popular airports in the UAE. In reality, the travel time from Dubai Air harbor will be 45 minutes, and from Sharjah airport it can be reached in half an hour. Therefore, the choice of airlines whose services you can use is impressive: Emirates, Aeroflot, Air Arabia, Pobeda and others. 

Ras al Khaimah also has an airport — Rasal Kauman, but there are no direct flights from Russia here yet. As for movement within the emirate, the easiest way is to use a taxi or book organized excursions at the hotel: public transport is poorly developed.

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

Ras al Khaimah also has an airport — Rasal Kauman, but there are no direct flights from Russia here yet. Photo: kingma photos/


Don’t be afraid of the phrase “northern emirate”: on the coast of Ras al Khaimah in winter it can be even a couple of degrees warmer than in Dubai (+21-23 ℃). But the summer heat, when the thermometer regularly crosses the 40 ° C mark, is easier to bear here. If it gets too hot by the sea, you can always escape to the mountains, where it is 10 degrees cooler. The sun shines here almost all year round, but the best time to visit Ras al Khaimah, like all Emirates, is March-April and September–November. However, if you prefer a contemplative vacation instead of a beach holiday, you can plan a trip for December, January or February: there will be quite a comfortable temperature for walks and excursions.

What to do

A beach holiday is great, but after a couple of days in the sun you will definitely want variety, and Ras al Khaimah is ready to offer it all.

Visit the historical village

A few years ago, Al Jazeera al Hamra was an abandoned village, through the streets of which only the wind walked, aimlessly pouring sand from one threshold to another. Its inhabitants, representatives of the Zaab tribe, left these places in search of a better fate and moved to Abu Dhabi. Today, the “Ghost Village” has been improved and turned into an art space where exhibitions and festivals are held. 

In February 2024, the works of artists from 36 countries could be seen outside and inside the restored abandoned houses: they were exhibited as part of the Ras Al Khaimah Art 2024 Art festival, which is scheduled to return here next year. But even an ordinary walk through the empty streets, which were once filled with villagers, makes a strong impression. You will be able to look into adobe houses and public spaces to imagine what an ordinary day was like in this place before the cattlemen and pearl fishermen decided to leave here forever. Entrance to the territory is free.

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

A few years ago, Al Jazeera al Hamra was an abandoned village, with only the wind walking through the streets, aimlessly pouring sand from one threshold to another. Photo: Jithesh Sundar/

How to prepare for a trip to the UAE

Of course, first of all, get inspired to travel to the Emirates: learn interesting facts about Abu Dhabi, read about the beaches and attractions of Sharjah and find the best diving spots in Fujairah.

See flamingos in mangroves

Mangrove forests are the pride of Ras al Khaimah: no other emirate can boast of such green spaces. It is home to flamingos, herons and other birds that can be seen at close range. 

The most popular way to explore them is to rent a kayak and go on a boat trip. However, the distance between the rental point in the Al Naeem Mall to the mangroves themselves is quite decent, so you will need physical endurance and at least minimal kayak management skills. If you doubt your abilities, it is better to choose a motor boat with a captain: he will take you to the emerald thickets in just 10 minutes. The disadvantage is that it will not be possible to get close to the inhabitants of the mangroves, but you will not have to row intensively for a good half hour (in one direction). And flocks of flamingos even from a motorboat look very impressive, soyou won’t stay without beautiful shots, but you will save energy. You can rent a kayak for 60 dirhams (about 1,500 rubles), and a boat for 150 dirhams (3,780 rubles).

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

Mangrove forests are the pride of Ras al Khaimah: no other emirate can boast of such green spaces. Photo: Creative Family/

Go to the mountains

The highest point of the UAE, Mount Jebel Jais, is located on the territory of Ras al Khaimah. You can admire it from the panoramic restaurant 1484 by Puro. Unlike many viewpoints, the food is really delicious here, so you can have lunch while looking at the surroundings from the outdoor terrace (weather permitting) for at least a couple of hours. Sitting on the terrace, you do not want to hurry anywhere, and it is simply impossible to get bored, because the mountains are constantly changing color, and the clouds, which seem to be easy to reach with your hand, helpfully throw up new plots to the imagination. 

To awaken an extreme in yourself

If passive contemplation is not for you, you can try one of the mountain routes, just do not forget about comfortable clothes and shoes. An option for the brave is to fly on the world’s longest zipline, the Jebel Jais Flight. Its length is almost 3 km, and you will move at a speed of about 150 km/h at an altitude of 1680 m: only the wind is whistling in your ears! The cost of the flight is 550 AED (13,700 rubles). Before going to the attraction, check the day of the week: the zipline does not work on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

However, there is another point of attraction nearby for those who like to tickle their nerves: Jais Sledder — a toboggan run with a length of 1840 meters. Sledges sliding on rails can reach speeds of up to 40 km/h, which feels about ten times faster. But there is also good news: transport can be controlled, which means you can slow down slightly if you suddenly realize that you are driving too fast. However, experts recommend not to slow down on turns: this is the whole point of such entertainment. One trip is 50 dirhams (1,243 rubles). 

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

An option for the brave is to fly on the world’s longest zipline, the Jebel Jais Flight. Photo: Aleksander Chernysh/

Conquer an ancient fort

Arrange a photo shoot in the desert

To do this, you can go on safari in the Al-Wadi desert. The guide will not only take a ride through the dunes in an open jeep, but also introduce you to the local inhabitants — Oryx. These antelopes are quite shy, but males can be aggressive, so it’s better not to rush into their arms, it’s better to take colorful pictures against the background. You can continue the photo shoot on golden-orange sand dunes, watching unhurried camels grazing in the distance. The price of a walk along the dunes is 265 dirhams (6577 rubles).

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

For a photo shoot, you can go on safari in the Al-Wadi desert. Photo: Mehdi Photos/

Where to stay

Ras al Khaimah has both luxury hotels on the first line and more affordable options. At the same time, there will be a beautiful beach and a gentle sea without strong waves everywhere.

Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island

  • View the hotel in

The hotel is located on the Al-Marjan bulk island, popular with tourists (although geographically it is rather a peninsula). It’s a great place if you’re going on vacation with the whole family: there are spacious, bright rooms for children, and to get chic, you can rent a villa right on the beach.

There is enough space for all vacationers on the white sand beach: no battles for deck chairs. The entry into the water is very smooth and seems to be created for kids. For older children, there is a special area with inflatable slides right in the water, at a short distance from the shore. In the evening, you can relax in the panoramic Neo Sky bar on the roof or have dinner at the French restaurant Bones: there are excellent mussels and very tasty desserts. Another restaurant of the hotel, Ula— offers generous sets for two: they include snacks, hot dishes, dessert and two alcoholic cocktails. The atmosphere is as democratic as possible and conducive to sincere conversations. 

Нетипичные Эмираты: чем удивит Рас-эль-Хайма

Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island.

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach

  • View the hotel in

It offers accommodation in private villas with their own garden and swimming pool. There is also a beach and it is ideal for sunset wires. The area is very green, it’s nice to walk around it and take some spectacular photos. You can have dinner at the Beach Deck or Shore House restaurants: the choice of seafood will not disappoint.

We invite you to discover picturesque resorts that have not yet been explored by tourists — Ras al Khaimah can just take its rightful place in this list. 

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Cover photo: Creative Family/

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