Showcasing Over 7,000 Years of Authentic Arabian History, Heritage and Culture
Amidst the terracotta dunes and amber sands of Ras Al Khaimah, archaeological sites and ancient villages tell tales of civilisations from a distant past, while traditional marketplaces, national museums and genuine desert camps connect the region’s unique heritage to the present. With over 7,000 years of authentic Arabian history to showcase, it’s no surprise that Ras Al Khaimah is truly the ideal destination for the world’s culture enthusiasts. Whether you happen to be one yourself or are simply interested in seeing the stunning scenery, the enchanting cultural attractions that await in the UAE’s northernmost emirate will not disappoint! Read on to find out more about some of the region’s top spots.
Originally built as a 16th century fortification to defend against invading forces and now the only hilltop military tower left standing in the UAE, Dhaya Fort offers a glimpse into Ras Al Khaimah’s riveting past while providing a modern symbol of the emirate’s enduring heritage. Military aficionados will love learning about the site’s rich backstory at their own pace through self-guided tours of the fort. Meanwhile, sightseers are sure to enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye views of Ras Al Khaimah, framed by the Arabian Gulf and Al Hajar Mountains, thanks to the fort’s elevated position atop a rocky outcrop.
Al Jazirat Al Hamra
Known as the ‘red island’ for its coral buildings and adobe structures, including a mosque, wind towers, courtyards and houses with star windows and wooden doors, the abandoned village of Al Jazirat Al Hamra has remained untouched for decades and is one of the last authentic towns left in the UAE today. It was also the original home of the Al Zaab, one Ras Al Khaimah’s largest ancestral tribes. Accordingly, history buffs will love following in the footsteps of the emirate’s earliest inhabitants while admiring the region’s traditional architecture.
Old Town Souq and Fish Market
In Ras Al Khaimah’s Old Town, which runs parallel to the shoreline, vibrant sights, sounds, tastes and aromas of pure Arabia tease the senses as vendors sell their goods and wares at the Souq, an open-air marketplace. Visitors who wish to experience life like a local can purchase everything from artisan crafts, homemade souvenirs and genuine fabrics such as silk and cashmere pashminas to gold, herbs, spices and much more. Nearby at Ras Al Khaimah’s fish market, hungry shoppers can find the freshest seafood in the UAE, supplied daily by the emirate’s local fishermen.
National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
Formerly a palace and residence of the Al Qasimi Royal family until 1964, the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah is now considered the UAE’s wealthiest monumental museum and features a diverse collection of historical artefacts, ancient ornaments, priceless manuscripts and traditional weapons, many of which have been donated by the ruling family and residents of the emirate. Visitors of all ages will be impressed by the museum’s rich variety of educational galleries, which provide a wealth of historical information and depict aspects of traditional life in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. For more information, visit www.rakheritage.rak.ae/en/pages/rakmuseum.aspx
Bedouin Oasis Camp
No cultural experience in Ras Al Khaimah is complete without spending time at the Bedouin Oasis Camp, which provides an authentic recreation of Bedouin life with real goat’s hair tents, soft cushions on the sand and an underground oven from which to cook and enjoy a delicious, Arabic barbecue. Cultural enthusiasts will be left in awe by the camp’s lineup of traditional and thrilling entertainment, including belly dancing, fire breathing and the dizzying spectacle of lights and motion that is the Tanoura dance. Guests at the camp also have the opportunity to experience the emirate’s most popular pastimes for themselves, from camel riding and henna hand drawings to sand surfing and shisha smoking. For more information, visit www.arabianincentive.com/bedouin-oasis.aspx
Ras Al Khaimah is ideally located less than 45 minutes north from Dubai International Airport. From UK airports, tourists can choose from a range of airlines for flights directly to Dubai International Airport, including British Airways, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and Royal Brunei. Connecting flights are also widely available from other airlines, including Cathay Pacific, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, EgyptAir and many more.
Fly to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport with Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways offers flights to Ras Al Khaimah with services available from London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh via Doha, as well as connections from Birmingham. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com/uk/en/offers/fly-to-ras-al-khaimah.page
With authenticity and hospitality in mind, Ras Al Khaimah offers a diverse collection of accommodations to suit any taste. From boutique hotels to luxurious five-star properties and resorts, see where you can stay in Ras Al Khaimah at www.rasalkhaimahtourism.com/hotels.aspx
Discover even more about Ras Al Khaimah at www.rasalkhaimahtourism.com
Ras Al Khaimah
One of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a rich culture and long-standing history, dating back 7,000 years, showcased by an array of archaeological sites and breathtaking natural vistas, from golden sand beaches, awe-inspiring terracotta dunes and a green belt of date palms to Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE.