Extreme Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is quickly becoming a popular hotspot with tourists and weekend visitors. Home to Jebel Jais, the country’s tallest mountain, the rugged terrain is great for anyone seeking extreme climbing, hiking, biking or trekking adventures. Do you dare to tackle the 470-metre-long Via Ferrata or whizz along the UAE’s longest zip-line? For the less adventurous, a soon-to-open observation deck will be the perfect spot to make the most of Jebel Jais’s towering viewpoint. The emirate boasts 64 kilometres of pristine coastline, so there’s no shortage of water sports. Head to Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club (www.alhamramarina.com) to try your hand at sailing, wakeboarding or scuba diving. When it comes to luxury resorts, there’s plenty to chose from. Opened earlier this month, after an extensive renovation, the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert (www. ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/uae/al-wadi-desert) offers an all pool-villa resort in the heart of a 500-hectare nature reserve. Spot Arabian oryx, sand gazelles and camels, saddle-up for an early morning horse ride through the dunes or try an introductory stargazing session guided by astronomy experts. The rainforest experience at the spa is a must-do. Towards the coastline, the towering Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah (right; www.waldorfastoria3. hilton.com) is your best bet for a staycation with a hint of indulgence. Set on a 350-metre private beach, the lavish interior and high ceilings in this ornate palace exude elegance. Luxurious touches like a master-fragrance maker, sleep-master and your own butler ensure you’ll want for nothing. Suites boast some of the biggest balconies in the country, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, and there are some great children’s facilities plus an adult-only infinity pool for those really looking to unwind.
National Day weekend rates at the RitzCarlton start from Dh3,319 per villa per night, half-board for a family of four