A 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and bordering the kingdom of Oman, this emirate was once seen as a charming day trip from other parts of the UAE, but increasingly it has become a destination in its own right and one that still offers copious amounts of peace and tranquillity to its visitors. The Emirate is sprinkled with ancient tombs, ghost villages, the Queen of Sheba’s Palace and beautiful mountain ranges.
Al Jazirat Al Hamra: The Ghost Town of Ras Al Khaimah
Frozen in time and and coated with a layer of ochre desert sand, Al Jazirat Al Hamra is a hamlet of perfectly-preserved Ras Al Khaimah history. And dust isn’t the only thing covering the town; it’s shrouded in mystery, surrounded by rumours and possibly even haunted by ancient ghosts. The Ghost Town of Ras Al Khaimah, as it’s often called, is not really on the tourist map, nor has it been earmarked for demolition to make way for new developments. It’s no surprise, really, given that this emirate – sometimes referred to as the “rebel emirate” isn’t joining its famous neighbour’s race to build the biggest, tallest or longest of anything.
Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah rests at 1,934 metres above sea level and is the highest point in the United Arab Emirates. The mountain offers stunning sunrise and sunset views. The 35 km long road to the top of the mountain features 8 hairpins and countless sharp corners, making it one of the best roads in the world. Driving enthusiasts from around the world visit the mountain just to experience the road. The road was opened in 2015 to improve accessibility to the summit.
The mountain is a part of the Hajar summit and the road leading up to it or through it is called the Jabal Jais mountain road. The road continuously offers breathtaking views and sheer drops at every turn of the road and the experience is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. One can also enjoy the brilliance of mountainous terrain, witnessing the rugged cliffs, deep canyons and twisted escarpments as they journey up this glorious mountain. The road is 3 lanes, with 2 going up and 1 going down. The climb to the top of the asphalted road is absolute fun. Moreover, the temperature at the top is 10 – 13? lower than that at sea level. Jebel Jais also features the world’s longest zipline, started in early 2018 which has yet again enhanced the position of this magnificent mountain as a destination for adventure enthusiasts.
Khatt Springs & Ruins
Khatt Springs is an area of mineral-rich hot pools, where the water is noted for its relaxing and therapeutic properties. The resort lies amid a palm-tree strewn oasis, backed by mountains. The healthy waters are a top get-away-from-it-all holiday draw for locals as well as tourists.
As well as soaking your cares away in one of the steaming pools, the surrounding area is home to approximately 170 archaeological sites. Items uncovered in the area by archaeologists include prehistoric tombs and 19th-century mud-brick fortification towers, pointing to the long and continuous settlement of this area.
Location: 26 kilometers southeast of Ras Al-Khaimah