The northernmost of the seven emirates, Ras Al Khaimah offers a diversity of landscapes from the sandy coastline to the rugged Hajar Mountains. Most popular are the desert adventures offered by many tour groups in the area. Read on to discover what might light your fire!
Desert Village Experience
The ultimate trip into the desert can be found at the Bassata Desert Village. A day trip to this authentic desert outpost includes activities such as dune bashing and camel rides. Enjoy an authentic barbecue with entertainment including a belly dancer and traditional Tanoura dancing featuring swirling colourful skirts. You may even get the chance to smoke a shisha pipe or get a henna tattoo.
Similar to the desert experience, visitors can visit a Bedouin oasis camp and learn more about the traditional nomadic lifestyle of these traders. Enjoy sampling delicious local cuisine before settling down and sleeping beneath the stars. An unforgettable experience!
Falconry is one of the oldest desert sports when falcons were trained to hunt for prey. One of the best falconry experiences is hosted regularly at the luxury Bayan Tree Al Wadi Resort. The aerial display of these beautiful birds includes hawks, kestrels, owls and eagles. Sit back on the deck and watch the resident falconers demonstrating their traditional Arabic skills before viewing the birds in the Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre onsite.
Arabians Sheikhs love to attend the camel races which are part of the Ras al Khaimah culture. The excitement of the fast races and the sights of this local gathering are sure to provide lasting memoires of any visit. Camel racing usually takes place in the cooler winter months on Thursdays and Fridays early in the morning from 6.30am. Surrounded by dunes and gaf trees, the Al Sawan Racetrack is busy with camel trainers building up their rides in the days before the actual races.
Situated in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains, Ras al Khaimar is a great base for mountain adventures. Tours include 4×4 trips into the rugged mountains with dramatic scenery. Activities include rock climbing and abseiling, trekking and orienteering, archery and camping.
Even dry desert areas have some springs and the oasis at Khatt Springs produces natural thermal springs of water that have medicinal and curative properties, particularly for those with skin ailments, arthritis or rheumatism. Located in the oasis town of Khatt at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, this desert experience includes soaking in the 40°C thermal waters, hot stone treatments and Ayurvedic practices. The attractions include private soaking pools, treatment rooms and a café.
Home of the annual Awafi Motor Festival, Motor Rally and Drag Festival, the Awafi Desert experience includes a range of fun activities for all ages. In between the motor festivals, the site offers bull fights, camel rides, horse racing, 4×4 dune bashing, off-road dune competitions, motorcycling demonstrations and a children’s play area. The Heritage Village includes a cultural village, a mountain village and a coastal village. There are areas selling traditional Arabian handicrafts and there is a small zoo featuring cheetahs and other exotic animals.
Other activities in Ras Al Khaimar include kayaking in the mangroves, raft building, watersports, fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving making this a top destination for travelers in search of adrenalin-pumping adventure.