There are plenty of reasons why Ras Al Khaimah is called a "rising emirate."
One of the emirate’s more promising hotspots is the Promenade—its answer to Dubai’s The Walk. The stretch—which is still under development—offers walkways for a leisurely stroll and a bike trail. Some top international restaurants have already opened shop, including the chic Italian restaurant Pesto where you can dine in or al fresco. Try their set lunch menu for Dh180, which includes your choice of an appetizer, main course, desert and drink. The food is worth it. The relaxed ambiance and ocean view are a bonus.
New five-star hotels and properties are themselves a travel destination, starting with the expansive Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa, a luxury spa resort with its own private bay spanning 1.5km. The vast property also has six swimming pools.
You won’t run out of activity here. There are signature restaurants, water sports for guests, a 24-hour fitness centre, and a spa to soothe your muscle pains from all that non-stop activity during your visit to the emirate. For those who want to relax, guest rooms feature a private balcony where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the sweeping beachfront and sapphire waters of the Arabian Gulf. They also have beach villas that open out to a garden with a pool, or right on the beachfront.
In the late afternoon, catch an entertaining falcon show at the Banyan Tree Al Wadi resort, a huge chunk of which is a wildlife reserve that is also home to some owls and eagles. The golf cart ride around the property is already an adventure in itself—you’ll find yourself snaking into the tent villas set in the desert. You might also spot an oryx along the way.
Head to the Al Hamra Marina for a sunset cruise aboard the Prince of Sea—Ras Al Khaimah’s latest leisure trip. Enjoy lounge music and a drink during the two-hour cruise out on the Arabian Sea for Dh150. There is also a dinner cruise from 8pm to 11:30pm for Dh225, which includes a welcome drink, dinner buffet, DJ music and a show.
Get a bird’s eye view of the emirate on a micro-light aircraft at the Jazirah Aviation Club. Here, it’s just you, your pilot and the scenic views of Ras Al Khaimah’s desert, beach, mountains and the sea below. If you’re feeling brave, you can even request your pilot to throw in an acrobatic move or two. Rides start from Dh220 for 20 minutes.
Consider this one a five-star version of desert safari camps. The Bassata Desert Village is definitely a great spot for a night out with friends. The camp can host up to 500 guests. A fee of Dh225 includes well-stocked dinner buffet with live cooking stations, non-alcoholic drinks, horse and camel rides, entertainment, henna and party music.