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Wittering Travel Counsellor suggests Ras al Khaimah as an alternative holiday destination





Are you searching for somewhere a little different to holiday this winter? asks our travel columnist Emma Savage.

Have you already done Dubai? Are you tired of Tenerife? Well, I recently attended an event hosted by the tourist board of Ras al Khaimah; I was keen to understand more about the destination and what it offers to visitors, and I was really impressed by what I learned.

Ras al Khaimah is one of the United Arab Emirates and lies 45 minutes by car north of its more glitzy neighbour, Dubai. It has a pristine sandy coastline, undulating desert dunes and lush green mangroves as well as the highest mountains in the UAE.

Jais Sledder. Photo: Travel Counsellors
Jais Sledder. Photo: Travel Counsellors

It’s an outdoorsy place and markets itself as a nature based, activity filled, family friendly destination. Not to be outdone by Dubai on the hotel front, it has its share of well-known luxury hotel chains, including Waldorf Astoria, Moevenpick and Hilton, which cater very well to the discerning traveller. It also has some more affordable chains such as Radisson.

To reach Ras al Khaimah, you’ll fly into Dubai, and it is just 45 minutes on good roads, to reach this lesser known gem. Our winter time is the perfect time to visit, because the temperatures are 26-29 degrees Celsius, whereas in summer it rises to over 40 degrees.

While you’re visiting, there is plenty to see and do; one of the most popular activities is the Suwaidi Pearl Farm (Ras al Khaimah was once one of the top pearl producers in the world) where you can purchase cultured pearls. The mountains are a real draw here; if you are feeling adventurous, why not have a go on the world’s longest zipline Jais Flight – at 2.83km of adrenaline pumping speed, over 1600 feet above sea level! There is also the Jais Sledder (family friendly) which is low sled track with great views of the coastline and takes around 8 minutes to sled 1840 metres (don’t worry, there are brakes if you prefer to slow the journey down a bit).

Suwaidi Pearl Farm. Photo: Travel Counsellors
Suwaidi Pearl Farm. Photo: Travel Counsellors

In the desert, enjoy a meal under the stars at the Sonara Camp Al Wadi, with herds of camel and gazelles as dinner companions. Or learn how to survive in the mountains and desert at the Bear Grylls Survival Camp – novices are welcome and it is a great way to gain new skills in the beautiful surroundings of the mountains.

Emma Savage
Emma Savage

Ras al Khaimah offers better value for money than Dubai and arguably a more authentic destination experience. I have been invited out to see the destination myself later in the year, so I shall look forward to reporting back after my visit.

Happy travels!



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