With the UAE back on the UK’s amber list (and therefore requiring no quarantine for double-vaxxed travellers), once again we’re able to travel to one of the most luxe destinations in the world. We couldn’t be more excited.
Even more so, we’re ready to discover regions of the UAE which we haven’t frequented as often as the glamorous holiday destinations of Dubai and Abu Dhabi (especially since currently, even fully vaccinated arrivals into Abu Dhabi must quarantine there for seven days).
One region that has hit the top of our UAE must-visit list? The northernmost Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Not least because if the past 18 months have you craving new landscapes, fewer crowds and sustainable, outdoors-based experiences – Ras Al Khaimah has everything you’ve been dreaming about for a well-deserved Autumn or Winter sun break.
Set in a stunning desert landscape 45 minutes north of Dubai, the Emirate’s sandy beaches are overlooked by the 6,345ft summit of Jebel Jais – the highest peak in the region and the epicentre of the UAE’s adventure and nature tourism.
With daily highs rarely dipping below 24 degrees, even in January, and reaching more than 30 degrees in October, Ras Al Khaimah boasts the same sublime climate as its larger neighbours of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with the addition of space to breathe and find adventure in equal measures.
The Emirate is also home to a 40-mile coastline along the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf, primed for beach stays, while Ras Al Khaimah’s £96 million investment in sustainable tourism makes its action-packed desert and mountain adventures a must-see addition to the itinerary, too.
Thrillseekers can enjoy the world-famous Jebel Jais zipline – the longest in the world – as well as the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, which will be joined by a network of prepared hiking trails soon; the Jais Sledder: a toboggan running for more than a mile through incredible mountain scenery; paragliding; and tethered hot air balloons offering spectacular views.
For a real change of scenery, mountain accommodation is even on offer, with highlights including the pop-up eco-lodge Earth Hotels Altitude and the Cloud7 sustainable glamping concept.
If a waterfront resort sounds more your thing, the purpose-built luxury Al Marjan island development offers a marina, inflatable aqua park, swimming pool, and al fresco dining. The stunning lifestyle destination is also set to add three new hotels to its portfolio this year alone, the 4-star Hampton By Hilton Marjan Island resort, which will have its own private beach area; the 4-star Radisson Resort Marjan Island; and the Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, which is set to offer elegantly landscaped gardens, its own secluded white sandy beach – with every one of the hotel’s rooms enjoying direct sea views.
With a plethora of outdoor activities on offer, it all adds up to an ideal family destination: A prospect made even more tantalising by the fact that right now, the Emirate is offering UK families the chance to visit this summer with its special ‘WANASA’ summer campaign, which runs until mid- September. This includes discounts at 5* hotels for a stay of 3 or more nights, with children under 12 going free, too.
We’ll see you on the beach (or on the mountain, or on the zipline, or on the toboggan track…)
More information on Ras Al Khaimah’s summer campaign and special offers can be found at visitrasalkhaimah.com/wanasa.
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