Ras Al Khaimah Hitting the road
If you’re travelling by car from Dubai, take the E11 (Emirates Road) towards Sharjah; Ras Al Khaimah is well signposted. Stay on the E11, which will take you straight into the centre of the city. It takes roughly an
hour and a half to reach Ras Al Khaimah from Dubai airport – non-drivers can expect to pay around Dhs250 in a taxi. En route, keep an eye out for Al Hamra Village Golf Course (www.alhamravillage.com/golf.aspx
), as well as the massive, surreal Ice Land Waterpark (www.icelandwaterpark.com
, 07 206 7888). As the name suggests, it has an Antarctic theme, complete with (fake) penguins and plenty of icebergs.Must do
The annual Awafi festival, showcasing theatre performances and other cultural and outdoor events, takes place for three weeks, starting (usually) in late December and continuing into January (this year’s dates were yet to be announced at the time of going to press). The highlight of the event is arguably the dune-bashing races at the start of the festival. Otherwise, head to the skies at Jazirah Aviation Club, which offers a gyrocopter flying experience (Dhs220 for 20 minutes; www.jac-uae.net
, 07 244 6416). To get there, travel towards RAK on the E11, taking the first right after the left turning to Bin Majid Beach Resort. Otherwise, enjoy a day at the Mediterranean-esque Cove Rotana (www.rotana.com/thecoverotanaresort
, 07 206 6000) or the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa on Al Maareedh Street (www.hilton.com
, 07 228 8844).Must eat
Check out the pan-Asian fare at Passage to Asia, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa (07 228 8844).Staying overnight?
Though we’d happily recommend either the Cove Rotana or the Hilton, the jewel in RAK’s hotel crown is the Banyan Tree Al Wadi. Al Rimal deluxe pool rooms start at Dhs1,705 (note: many weekend dates are already booked in December; call 07 206 7777 for details).
If you can hold off on your road trip to RAK until January 2015, you might be able to visit the Dhs3.6 billion Real Madrid football club-themed man-made island (yes, really). The planned development will include a marina, five-star hotels, villas, an amusement park, a Real Madrid FC museum and a 10,000-seat stadium overlooking the sea. For updates, see www.realmadrid.com
. View Sharjah