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Kathryn Brierley
Kathryn Brierley

A keen skier and a yoga teacher, Kathryn has travelled extensively.

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ras al khaimah

ras al khaimah united arab emirates

Few people have heard of Ras Al Khaimah, in the northern most point of the United Arab Emirates, nestled between the Hajjar Mountains on the east and the Persian Gulf to the west, but it has just about everything necessary to make it a top holiday destination.

Stay at the excellent Banyan Tree al Wadi in the desert or at the sister resort 20 minutes away: Banyan Tree Beach Resort  Or both! Alternatively, try palatial luxury at the superb Waldorf Astoria

Although steeped in history, and occupied by the British in the 1800s, Ras al Khaimah is relatively unknown to the UK holiday-maker, but that is changing as it gains popularity and the destination works towards becoming ‘Top of the Emirates’.

A Ras Al Khaimah holiday is ideal for those who love deserted white beaches, lapped by calm blue seas, or the more adventurous who seek wildlife conservation areas and sanctuaries.

With more than 25 miles of outstandingly beautiful beaches it is easy to stay under a palm tree, although there is the opportunity to try camel-racing, golf, and water-sports.

Now is the right time to go before the secret is well and truly out, although it is unlikely that once you get back you will be able to keep the delights of Ras al Khaimah to yourself.

Other destinations in the Arabian Gulf

Other destinations for extra special holidays on the beach

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Weather and seasons

We recommend visiting this tiny emirate any time from November to April.

The Ras Al Khaimah climate is hot and arid.  In the summer months, from June until September, the weather is extremely hot with temperatures often reaching up to 50C (122F) and the humidity level going as high as 80 or even 90%.

Winter, starting around November and ending in March, brings superb conditions with sunny days and low humidity. Temperatures average between 18C - 25C (64F - 86F) in the daytime, and between 8C and 20C (46F and 68F) at night.

Rainfall occurs mainly in winter months. Generally, it rains only a few days a year.  Sunny, blue skies can be expected most days.

Everything else

  • Flying time from London:  7 hours
  • Currency:  Dirhams
  • Language:  Arabic
  • Visa requirements:  6 months left on your passport
  • Time difference:  GMT +5
waldorf astoria

waldorf astoria

ras al khaimah, united arab emirates    5 nights from £1,265

Bringing the legendary Waldorf service to one of the most alluring beach front locations in the Middle East, this property is a palatial spa and golf resort that's set to become a favourite.

banyan tree beach resort

banyan tree beach resort

ras al khaimah, united arab emirates    5 nights from £1,830

The Beach Club is set on a gorgeous stretch of private beach, accessed by a short boat ride - the perfect private luxury beach hideaway. There are 32 gorgeous private villas each with their own private plunge pool and private beach cabana a short stroll across the sand from your villa. This is a delightful boutique resort perfect if you're after peace and privacy.

banyan tree al wadi

banyan tree al wadi

ras al khaimah, united arab emirates    5 nights from £1,830

The first desert resort in the United Arab Emirates to offer all-pool villas plus an Asian-inspired hydrotherapy spa, an 18-hole championship golf course and a private nature reserve.