Ras al Khaimah (RAK) is the northernmost emirate in the UAE and is blessed with some of the region’s most beautiful beaches. However, there’s more to this emirate than sand and sea and a stay here is a chance to explore cultural heritage as well as engage in leisure pursuits such as golf. You can also browse the souks, which supply a host of goods but still preserve tradition.
Things to do in Ras Al Khaimah
You’ll always find something to do in Ras Al Khaihmah, whether that’s lazing on a beach in the sun, learning about the region’s history at a local museum or picking up a bargain at one of the traditional souks. Check out some of the best things to see and do while you’re in this emirate.
Browse the malls, markets and souks
The fresh food markets and some of the souk areas of Ras Al Khaimah date back to the distant past when Julfar — the port that preceded Ras Al Khaimah — was the centre of trade in the whole region. This lively trade continues today. Besides the old souks and bazaars, you’ll find places that sell fresh fruit and vegetables, freshly caught fish and freshly baked bread.
Traditional souks are found in the old town just off Al Qawasim Cornish Road close to the sea and along the creek beside the morning fish market, whilst the modern shops and mall are in Al Nakheel area just over the bridge that spans the Creek. In the old souk area nearby shops sell traditional handicrafts, herbs and spices, an array of textiles and other merchandise, all at reasonable prices.
Hot Springs - The Khatt Hot Springs Spa is just 20 minutes’ drive from RAK City towards the Airport, through the lush green agricultural land in Digdaga is the oasis town of Khatt that lies at the foot of the mountains. The spa consists of three natural springs of hot mineralized water, which reaches temperatures of 40 C. Visitors can relax in the therapeutic pools and enjoy the other facilities. The recent renovation and development of the natural hot water springs in the famous tourist and agricultural area of Khatt was to include private pools with attached treatment rooms, plus a café for visitors.
Ras Al Khaimah provides various golfing opportunities. The Peter Harradine-designed Al Hamra Golf Club is a championship 18-hole course shaped around a large open salt-water lagoon. The 7,267 yard par-72 championship course is designed to ensure guests have the finest golfing experience in the Arabian Peninsula. The club features a nine-hole Par 3 Academy course with holes ranging from 60 yards to 110 yards, a 350-yard driving range and purpose built Swing Rooms.
Another good club to practise your swing is the Tower Links Golf Club. The club offers a challenging 18 hole, par-72 golf course and has an outstanding range of facilities that can help golfers to improve their game. The back nine holes and practice facilities are fully floodlit for night play. All of the holes on the course feature four different types of tee box —Championship, men, seniors and ladies — catering to players of all levels.
Visit the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah was previous a fort and has also been a police headquarters and a prison before it became a museum. The ‘Late Fort’, as some refer to it, displays artefacts that have been donated both by residents and by rulers. The galleries of the museum include a variety of archaeological finds and exhibits reflecting the cultural heritage of the emirate.
Business in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is just 25 minutes by car away from the city centre at a distance of slightly under 14.5 miles.
The emirate is a good place to do business, thanks to a number of free zones. These special economic zones enable business to set up in them and enjoy a number of favourable conditions such as exemption from taxation and 100% foreign ownership. One of the most notable free zones is the RAK Economic Zone (RAKEX), which comprises the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) and the RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA). The strategic location of the zone rewards investors with access to growing markets in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South and Central Asia.