The visitor to the emirate is spoilt for choice – from romantic beach walks to thrilling mountain climbs, bird watching, water sports, desert drives and world class shopping, RAK has it all. It is also a haven of peace where age-old traditions warmly blend in with modernity creating the perfect balance for a healthy lifestyle. The rugged land interspersed with dramatic mountains and lush green vegetation, broken by creeks and lagoons create a wonderful contrast to the modern building currently on the rise in the emirate.
Ras Al Khaimah has an impressive archaeological heritage and rich cultural history, evidences of which can be seen at the museum. Originally a historical fortress which was used as a residence by the Ruling Family, the museum today exhibits a variety of a rare relics and fossils which date back to different historical periods. The RAK National Museum is situated in Al Hisn Fort and presents the history and culture of Ras Al Khaimah.
The locals believe that most areas of the Hajar Mountains are still unmapped. Abandoned villages and remains of ancient civilization can be found up in these mountains. The long stretches of the mountains is a natural wonder, sloping directly in to the sea with the highest point located in the north. The area is popularly known as the Ru’us Al-Jibal, the literal meaning of which is the “heads of the mountains.”
The Khatt Springs of RAK are really mineral hot water springs. The sulfuric water has relaxing and medicinal values and is believed to heal diseases. In the area of the springs is a health resort surrounded by palm trees making it a very popular destination for locals and visits looking to soak up natural healing minerals.
Ras Al Khaimah Old City
The oldest residential area in the city of Ras Al Khaimah, this area has fair number of old souqs (markets), mosques, fishing harbour and the Al Hisn Fort which houses the National Museum.
This is one of the oldest settlements in RAK and has a number of ancient constructions such as Umm an-Nar tombs (2600-2000BC), Wadi Suq tombs (2000-1600BC), a second millennium BC settlement, findings from the Sassanian period (300-632AD) and the Abbasid era (750-1250AD).
Queen of Sheba’s Palace
On the top of a hill reached by steps set wide apart, are the remains of the 16th century palace believed to be that of Queen of Sheba. The views from top of this hill is amazing – you can see far across the blue seas while on the other side, the views of the tall Hajar Mountains makes it a great place to visit. On one of the tombs you will see a fluttering UAE flag giving it an all ethereal feel.
Al Jazirah al Hamra
An abandoned fishing village, believed to be “run with the spirits” makes it a popular place among thrill seekers looking for a tryst with the extraordinary. But, beyond its reputation, the history connected with the gives it a very important standing in RAK. Old, crumbling houses made of corals and straw makes it highly interesting. The sand in this area is a deeper shade of red when compared to the surrounding areas. It is said that fishermen who lived in this village abandoned it when the source of the drinking water ran dry.
Today, there are many new developments coming up in the neighbourhood.
A village that has remains of old tombs and settlements and mostly known for its hill top fort that was a last point of deface against the British who attacked Ras Al Khaimah in the 19th century. Ghalilah Village and Wadi – their main attractions include famous Stairway to Heaven track, ancient tomb, a heritage village and fishermen houses.
A small town near the border with Musandam, Al Sha’am is worth a visit for its interesting old wadi settlements, rock engravings and small harbour and a glimpse of life in the past.
One of the most picturesque of all wadis in the UAE, Wadi Bih has remains of old settlements, graveyards and breath taking scenery. In one of the tributary wadis, the Jebel Al Jais Mountain Resort is constructed.
An old summer residence of the sheiks of Ras Al Khaimah. The General Treaty of Peace between the British and the local sheiks was signed there.
When the temperatures soar outside, every bowling center in RAK resounds with the sound of falling pins. Bowling is a widely participated in the emirates in general and keeping in mind the its popularity among the youth, families and tourists, a huge number of bowling centers have opened up in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Bowling centers can be found at all major hotels and resorts or run as independent centers with up to twelve lanes or smaller ones averaging eight lanes.