Coming for Dubai's crown
Ras al Khaimah offers wild desert landscapes, high mountain passes and rich coastlines. As the northernmost emirate of the UAE, it feels fabulously remote – although cosmopolitan Dubai is just a short drive away.
For lovers of the great outdoors, Ras al Khaimah is the perfect choice. Hikers can take on the challenging Ru’us Al Jibal range – which also boasts the world’s longest (and fastest) zip line. In the awe inspiring desert you can explore traditional Bedouin villages and camp out under the stars, while on the coast mangrove forests open into a network of lagoons – paradise for swimmers and kayakers.
Pearl diving has been a way of life here for centuries. While the trade dropped off in the 1900s, these days Ras al Khaimah produces some of the finest cultivated pearls in the world. Here you can explore pretty harbours, where traditional wooden diving boats bob in the warm breeze.
Holidays in Ras al Khaimah are about taking on as much or as little as you please. With experiences ranging from cruises to camel racing, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Fill your days with breathless excitement or relax beside the pool with a cup of Arabic coffee and a slice of basbousa.
Sovereign has 45 years’ experience in providing bespoke luxury holidays. We pair you with your own Trusted Adviser, who’s on hand to ensure your trip runs perfectly. Our top pick is the exceptional Waldorf Astoria resort at Ras al Khaimah Beach, which occupies an enviable position on the Persian Gulf. Only 45 minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport, it’s easily accessible from anywhere in the world. The hotel is set in sprawling grounds and boasts two golf courses, a marina and a private beach among its wealth of amenities. It’s the perfect base to explore the region, but you may well discover you’re enjoying its palatial rooms and excellent restaurants too much to leave.
As you might guess by the name, Ras al Khaimah Beach is all about the sand - a huge sweep of golden grains edges the coast, backed by luxe hotels.
Ras al Khaimah is around 45 minutes’ drive from Dubai Airport. Flights from the UK take around 6 hours 30 minutes.
Ras al Khaimah has a hot, dry desert climate, with temperatures climbing towards 30°C in April and peaking around 40°C in July. Humidity is high, with zero chance of rain. The winter months from October to March see more comfortable averages in the 20s, although night time temperatures will be cooler.
British citizens will be granted a free 30-day visa upon arrival in Ras al Khaimah.
A tip for good service will be appreciated in Ras al Khaimah, although it’s not essential. Although 10% service charges may be added to your restaurant bill, this often doesn’t go to wait staff, so leave an extra 10% in cash for good service. Taxi fares can be rounded up to the nearest note, and between five and 20 UAE dirhams are customary for having your petrol pumped or bags brought to your room.