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Ras Al Khaimah – UAE’s adventure capital!

Ras Al Khaimah is easily the “adventure” capital of the UAE. There are so many options for everyone and it is not uncommon to see residents and expats from the neighbouring emirates make a beeline for this emirates on weekends!

Below are few of the options you should absolutely check out!

FOR THE ADVENTURE JUNKIE

For the adrenaline junkie RAK is a haven of thrills and surprises, if not danger. Among the popular adventure activities you can take on in this emirate are ziplining, quad biking, rock climbing, mountain biking, abseiling, mountaineering and wadi descent. Jebel Jais in RAK (the highest point in the UAE) is the adrenaline hot spot – with temperatures much lower than other parts of the country- which makes it an year round place to indulge in your wild side. While quad biking is relatively safer when compared to rock climbing and does not require special training or skills, rock climbing is high-risk activity that must be undertaken with care.

VIA FERRATA (ZIPLINE)

Nothing like ziplining over deep canyons in Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais mountains to set your blood rushing! Adrenaline junkies are definitely going to love Via Ferrata. This is also Middle East’s first via ferrata and gives you the fantastic chance of experiencing experience Jebel Jais’ views at around 400ft. Ras Al Khaimah has the largest concentration of climbing in the region making a great choice for recreational climbing, apart from professional climbing like the Stairway to Heaven.

Stairway to Heaven
This is a dangerous mountain trail which was an old shepherd’s route that links Oman mountain village with Ras al Khaimah. The 1900m climb is treacherous and should be attempted only with someone who knows the area. A high level of physical fitness is a must. Be fully prepared to take on the task which, experienced climbers have claimed to be ‘a very daunting experience’. The last thing you want on a holiday is a broken bone. The rock edges are sharp and in places no more than thirty centimeters wide with tiny hand-holds and brittle, making it a very delicate task and requiring the highest degree of caution. In the past less experienced climbers have ended rather badly off. The rough terrain makes emergency medical care difficult. If you are attempting this task on your own, make sure you have the right information and equipment. It is advisable to do a little research before setting off. The book titled UAE Rock Climbing is highly recommended.

Where: Located in Ras Al Khaimah’s Wadi Ghalilah

Fun for families

CAMPING
Easily one of the most popular activities undertaken in Ras Al Khaimah is camping – be it along the sea coast, up in the mountains, or in wadi-beds, families love to pitch their tents and light up the charcoal for impromptu barbeque parties. There are few allotted picnic and camping spots in the emirate, although it is not uncommon for the more adventurous to drive up into the mountains to pitch their tents or spent time staring at the desert skies on a winter evening. Day picnics are very popular among the local people with large families.

CAMEL RACING
Ras Al Khaimah has one of the best camel racetracks in the country at Digdaga, situated on a plain between the dunes and the mountains.  Races are held during the weekends especially during the winter months. Friday mornings sees scors of people lining the race tracks egging on their favourite camel. Camel racing is a traditional sport in the region and has been going on for generations. You can learn more about the races or pick up camel – souvenir at the stalls that sell sticks, muzzles, rugs, harnesses and other paraphernalia.

GOLFING
RAK has two golf clubs – Tower Links Golf Club (18 hole) with a fully floodlit driving range putting and chipping greens as well as specific teaching tee and Al Hamra Golf Club (www.alhamragolf.com) is built along the shores and the rolling waves of the Arabian Gulf. The course meanders around four interconnected open water lagoons before finally merging with the Arabian Gulf.

MICRO-LIGHT FLYING
Al Jazira Flying Club (Ph 07 -2446416) gives you the chance of an adventure sport for those who love the freedom and challenge of the skies. Soar above the fascinating emirate to get a bird’s eye view of the islands, desert plains and mountains. Al Jazeera Aviation Club is the only micro light club for hobby flying in the entire Gulf Cooperation Countries region.

SAILING/WINDSURFING
A very popular activity in Ras Al Khaimah, made easier with a number of sailing clubs offering fantastic sea rides. It is not uncommon to find youngsters from all over the emirate flocking to RAK to enjoy sailing and windsurfing on the blue Arabian Seas. Sailing Clubs, like the RAK Sailing Association in Al Maarid offer myriad opportunities to the water-lover. Most resorts will be glad to organize this activity for you.

RAK Shooting Club
Enjoy a round of shooting at the Ras Al Khaimah Shooting Club (07-2363622) which has gun, pistol, rifle and archery ranges as well as a fast-fighting shooting range. If you are a novice and would like to try a hand at shooting, you can even learn the basics here. Archery facilities are also available.

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