Here’s a destination some nature lovers and adventure travelers may still not have on their radars: the northernmost Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Visitors can explore endless dunes via horseback or camel, then settle into an Al Wadi Desert camp such as Sonara, where experiences include entertainment and dining beneath star-filled skies.
There’s more than desert here, and the coastline of this Emirate provides opportunities to unwind on white-sand beaches, or to plunge into the sea to paddle board or swim. More outdoor adventures can be enjoyed at Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, where participants head into the mountains to hone skills needed for both practical and extreme survival situations.
Elevated experiences can include activities at Jebel Jais, the tallest peak in the U.A.E. Often referred to as the Middle East’s nexus of adventure, activities here range from Jais Flight (the world’s longest zip line ride) to Jais Sky Tour, which involves six separate breathtaking zip lines covering a 3.1-mile distance.
If you’d rather stay a little closer to the ground, try Jais Sledder, which ranks as the longest toboggan ride on the planet. Cultural activities include a visit to Suwaidi Pearls cultured pearl farm, and historic sites such as Julfar, Shimal, Al Jazeera, Al Hamra and Dhayah. These locations are all on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage sites. The Emirate is also home to a number of award-winning golfing options, including Al Hamra Golf Club, where play is backdropped by expansive views of the Arabian Gulf and Hajar mountain range.
Among the choices for luxury lodging are InterContinental Mina Al Arab, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah Al Wadi Desert, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort and Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah on Marjan Island. There’s also Mövenpick at Al Marjan Island, which features an enormous floating water park, ranked the largest in Ras Al Khaimah.
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