Neighbourhoods

RAK Mangroves and Mountains

For an escape outside of the city and to find peace in the natural world, Ras Al Khaimah is the place to rest your laurels

Where Abu Dhabi has infrastructure, Dubai has urbanism and Sharjah has culture, Ras Al Khaimah has wildlife and is considered to be the nature destination of the Emirates. With the highest peak in the UAE – Jebel Jais – and plenty of unspoilt mangroves, the emirate has mountains, seas and deserts all within a triangular shaped land mass. ‘I’m not just saying this but Ras Al Khaimah has everything and we are developing fast,’ says Mohamed Al Suwaidi, a local resident and pearl farmer. ‘We are of course, the best emirate.’

Whether Al Suwaidi is exaggerating or not, it doesn’t matter. A trip to Ras Al Khaimah will afford even the most seasoned of travellers a pleasant surprise because within one hour’s drive of the vertiginous Burj Khalifa are the beautiful mangroves of Khor Al Rams and plenty more to boot.

 

 

‘The thing is you can’t make a mountain,’ says Al Suwaidi. ‘And we have many wonderful mountains, thank God.’ Even in the town centre the high rise towers are nothing in comparison to the peaks behind and, whether it is a spot of fishing by the sea or something more active like kite-surfing or fishing, Ras Al Khaimah has many options for experiencing the natural world.

Ebtisam Agrama, who was shopping in Al Hamra Mall, says that she lives in Ras Al Khaimah with her family because it is quiet. ‘My husband works in Dubai but he says he doesn’t mind the drive, he would rather do that and spend the weekends here on the beach or in the mountains than in the malls. For me and the children it is great, it is really quiet, there are no queues in the shops and I feel safe letting them run around the neighbourhood.’

 

Ras Al Khaimah has everything and we are developing fast

Mohamed Al Suwaidi

 

As you approach the city of Ras Al Khaimah, you traverse through the dusty industrial outskirts – home to RAK Ceramics, the world’s largest ceramics manufactuer – and clusters of new developments. But upon entering the town, the tree-lined Al Qawassim Corniche offers a peek at Ras Al Khaimah’s natural delights, even if you don’t want to do more exercise than a gentle walk. With views over the RAK Creek, which is often used by practicing rowers or other boaters, the walkway is open for cycling too and is a lovely way to while away an afternoon in the northern emirate.

 

 

For those wanting to go further afield, the mountains are a popular spot with climbers and up the coast, dhows and speed boats leave regularly for diving trips up to the Musandam.

Leaving from the Al Hamra Port, day trips up to the Fjords of the East are a spectacular way to discover the natural beauty and it is not unusual to spot dolphins and even whale sharks on these maritime adventures.

Leaving from the Al Hamra Port, day trips up to the Fjords of the East are a spectacular way to discover the natural beauty and it is not unusual to spot dolphins and even whale sharks on these maritime adventures.