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2020 guest country: Ras Al Khaimah

More than 64 kilometres of dream beaches, terracotta sand dunes in the desert and an imposing mountain massif: Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost of the seven United Arab Emirates, offers visitors an impressive variety of landscapes.

The Jebel Jais rises to 1,934 metres – the highest elevation in Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates as a whole attracts visitors with the longest zipline in the world, which extends along the massif. The Arabian principality, with a population of 345,000, can be reached from Switzerland in six hours by plane and has a rich culture that is also attested to by numerous archaeological sites.

Cheerful views

 - Cheerful views

Ras Al Khaimah, which can be translated from the Arabic as “peak of the tent”, ensures a good mood with its year-round sunshine. In summer, the thermometer may climb to 43°C. A plunge into the water at the beach or an excursion to visit the springs and mangroves offer a welcome change on hot days.

In winter, too, the northernmost emirate is worth a visit. At that time of year, the temperatures are comparatively mild at 19 to 25°C – making it an ideal base for taking advantage of the many activities in Ras Al Khaimah. Worth bearing in mind: on the summit of Jebel Jais it is generally around 10°C cooler than down at the beach.

Discover the history

 - Discover the history

The cultural heritage of the Arabian principality goes back more than 7,000 years, to the Bronze Age. One of the most important witnesses to this is undoubtedly the Dhayah Fort, built in the 18th century. Here, the visitors not only learn more about the past, they can also let their gaze wander in all four directions and admire the valley.

Not far from Ras Al Khaimah city, another sight awaits you. The National Museum allows travellers to learn more about the traditions and life of the Emirati. In former times, the building served as the residence of the royal family. Also worth a visit is Al Jazirah Al Hamra, the “Red Island”. The oldest coastal village of the Emirates was abandoned in the middle of the last century and now presents an impressive example of how times have changed here too.

Holidays for young and old

 - Holidays for young and old

Long sandy beaches, plenty of sunshine and enjoyable water activities such as diving, sailing and water skiing – all this and more makes Ras Al Khaimah the ideal holiday destination for families. In the resorts, those who are interested will find excellent children’s clubs, which have been specially designed with them in mind.

The flora and fauna of the emirate are enchanting with their great variety. Watching the falcons, riding horses and camels, and the different types of landscape are sure to evoke a sense of wonder in visitors of all ages. The whole spectrum extends from the protected lagoons along the coast to dry savannahs, salt marshes and lush mangrove forests.

Active holidays

 - Active holidays

Explore Ras Al Khaimah from a bird’s-eye view – the zip line at Jebel Jais, nearly three kilometres in length, offers courageous adventurers the ideal opportunity for this, and a unique experience with its speeds reaching 150 kilometres per hour.

Alternatively, the via ferrata climbing route invites you to explore the mountains of the emirate. Sporty mountain-bike routes and extensive hiking trails invite you to go on tours at lower altitudes. In the wadis or valleys you will find the scenery dominated now by flowing waters, now by acacias, while the Wadi Scha’m is ideal for observing numerous bird species.

The living desert

 - The living desert

In the desert village of Bassata, visitors are given a closer view of the traditional activities of the Emirati. During “dune bashing”, you conquer the sand dunes, or there is camel riding for a more leisurely exploration of the surroundings. Also not to be missed: a performance of traditional belly dancing or the Tanoura dance.

At the end of the day, an authentic Arabic barbecue awaits you, revealing both the culinary side of Ras Al Khaimah and the legendary hospitality of the locals. Naturally, you then have the opportunity to stay overnight in the desert camps.

A golfers' paradise

 - A golfers' paradise

The Arabian principality is also an attractive destination for golfers. Ras Al Khaimah has two top-class 18-hole courses, each offering its own special set of benefits. The Tower Links Golf Club offers a spectacular setting with the Al-Hajar Mountains serving as a majestic backdrop. A game on the green can be played even after sunset, thanks to the floodlights at the Al Hamra Golf Club.


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