On Location: Thrill seeking in Ras Al Khaimah

Jemma Kelly from Travel Counsellors recalls her fam trip to Ras Al Khaimah, also known as 'The Adventure Hub of the Middle East'. From striking hotels to the longest zip line in the world, this picturesque region offers much to be discovered.

I can see why Ras Al Khaimah has been coined “The Adventure Hub of the Middle East”. This trip has opened my eyes to the endless adrenaline-fuelled activities on offer.

A picturesque city in the UAE where sandy beaches meet rocky mountains? It was safe to say that my interest was peaked for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority’s ‘Nature Emirate’ fam trip.

We stayed at the new Anantara Mina Al Arab Resort for first two nights. I was thoroughly impressed with my stylish and modern Premier King Room. A hotel tour beckoned soon after, highlighting stunning over-water villas with spacious private rooms and exclusive pools. The Beach House is synonymous with a laidback ambience, while popular Oriental restaurant Mekong oozes glamour.

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Our adventure continued with a visit to the Intercontinental Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa for another intriguing tour and a delicious buffet lunch. The luxurious fragrance in the hotel was divine — I could have bottled it! In the afternoon, we visited Suwaidi Pearls. I was fascinated by an immersive, authentic tour into the pearling history of Ras Al Khaimah. It was both a surprising and serene experience. As evening fell, the family friendly all-inclusive Rixos Bab Al Bahr offered another enticing hotel tour. This was followed by a delicious Turkish Meze and a host of entertainment.

Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah marked our second hotel stay. The staff’s personable service was apparent from the moment we checked in. There was a dedicated children’s check-in area, too. The stunning hotel grounds and rooms made me feel like royalty. My highlight had to be the incredible Japanese restaurant Umi. 

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Then came our drive along the coast of Marjan Island to explore more hotels. We began at the Doubletree by Hilton Marjan Island, where we enjoyed a tasty Asian a la carte lunch. I’d recommend the hotel facilities for families, which offer a host of water activities. Next, we stopped by Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island with its contemporary interiors. The site was designed with the region’s striking views in mind, so beds face the window. I loved its inflatable aqua park in the sea and chic, boho-style adults only beach bar.

An exhilarating desert safari adventure was next on the agenda. Dune bashing was followed by a camel ride and sandboarding down the dunes. My heart raced with excitement, I must say! Later, we indulged in a buffet BBQ under the starry desert sky and enjoyed yet more entertainment. 

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Our final day was jam-packed, starting with a tour of the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah and Al Hamra Beach. The latter was a relaxing haven, ideal for those who want total zen and privacy. We then explored The Cove Rotana Resort, which had a lovely Mediterranean feel with its village-like surroundings and real beach.

It took just over an hour to reach Jebel Jais, the highest mountain peak in the UAE. We all took the plunge and braved the longest zip line in the world – the Jais Flight. But the thrill-seeking didn’t stop there! We also went on the Jais Sledder, a toboggan ride down the mountain slopes with some nail-bitingly tight bends. It was exhilarating!

Ras Al Khaimah has become increasingly popular in recent years, with a record number of visitors in 2023. This captivating destination caters to all types of travellers, from families to honeymooners. 

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To learn more about Ras Al Khaimah, head to visitrasalkhaimah.com

By Jemma Kelly, Travel Counsellors