Lead_RAK holidays
The UAE's highest peak, Jebel Jais is part of the Hajar mountain range. A mountain safari in the Hajar mountains will let you explore the true charm of an Arabian landscape Image Credit: Photo courtesy of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Located just two and a half hours from Abu Dhabi and an hour from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah is renowned for its pristine beaches, dramatic desert, and mountains filled with wildlife and flora. It provides the perfect antidote to the UAE capital’s industrious nature and Dubai’s frenetic energy.

Here are the top six things for you to do in Ras Al Khaimah on a weekend.

Find an intimate retreat

Had a stressful week? Don’t worry, a happy weekend is just a staycation away. Your perfect getaway is not too far to enjoy. With an array of packages, the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, has all it takes for a thrilling time with family or friends. You can let your little ones discover their passion for nature; experience the tranquil excitement of desert adventure, and peek at the wildlife in the Al Wadi Nature Reserve.

Go beach hopping

Dreamily stroll along the peaceful beaches with stunning stretches of white sand and warm waters – spanning some 64km of the pristine coastline. The luxurious hotels also offer private beaches, some with natural lagoons for a special retreat. It’s also the perfect setting for water sport and adventure, such as snorkeling and diving. Besides you can show off your water skiing skills or take an exciting jet ski ride across the coastline.

Explore the mountains

A mountain safari in the Hajar mountains will let you explore the true charm of an Arabian landscape. A scenic drive along the foothills of the mountains also offers an exhilarating experience. You can also try a wide variety of mountain activities, such as mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling, hill walking and mountaineering.

Enjoy a slice of history

History lovers just can’t miss a visit to the National Museum, located in a fort that was the residence of the ruling family until the early 1960s. It houses a collection of fascinating archaeological and ethnological artifacts. The exhibits display the archaeology, city’s natural history, and mainly the ethnography since prehistoric times. Visitors can also learn about architecture, pearl diving, date agriculture, farming and fishing.

Play a round of golf

Avid golfers or amateurs, head to Tower Links Golf Club for a spot of golf! Long touted as the most natural golf course in the Emirates, it has as many as 11 out of the 18 holes winding around a mangrove reserve. The breathtaking setting provides a natural and safe habitat to many aquatic and bird species. So just take up a new golfing challenge and test your skills.

Shop with an Arabian twist

Walk around the streets and discover traditional souks that have beautiful textiles and local retail products that you just can’t resist. There’s fresh produce markets to indulge your tastes for high quality stuff. For the fashionistas, the emirate also has shopping malls packed with top international brands and retail outlets. So go ahead shop for gifts, souvenirs, or anything that you fancy.