A rare glimpse of the elusive Arabian oryx, Champagne dinners on white sands and trekking by Arabian horse through valleys and pools; Ras Al Khaimah holidays are for those inclined to discover lesser-known places. Imagine Middle Eastern style picnics on oriental rugs as you sink into oversized pillows on the beach, dune bashing out into the desert and kayaking through mangroves. This quieter emirate in the UAE has so far managed to keep its secrets away from the crowds but those in the know come here to go off-the-grid in blue skies luxury against a backdrop of dramatic Hajar Mountains.
You can tick off the crazy on holidays to Ras Al Khaimah – zip line on the Via Ferrata’s one kilometre sky high route, quad bike over rolling dunes and climb the highest mountain in the UAE, but equally you can star gaze through telescopes, discover how Arabian explorers navigated the terrain and fall asleep under the stars to the night sounds of the desert. We love this part of the world for its mystique, romance and solitude – scorching days, cooler nights and unabashed indulgence.
The beaches are a dream – miles of white sand sloping into brilliant blue seas, nomadic life of years gone by can be found in abandoned ghost towns home to perfectly preserved 14th-Century buildings, and frenetic souks, early morning fish markets and unique mosques ascertain where you are in the world. Just an hour’s drive from Dubai this under-the-radar emirate is making shapes to become a rather a special place.