Ras Al Khaimah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is undoubtedly the nation’s fastest-growing aviation hub. The airport functions as a key component in the development and plans of the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) region, an emirate ruled by Sheikh Saud. One of the main drives of the aviation hub is related to the increase in both number and diversity of its serviced destinations, through the building and development of both existing partnerships and newer, more recent network extensions.
In line with that drive, the RAK airport has now begun operations of a dedicated Russian flight gateway as part of its ongoing expansion plan, servicing two-way travel to nine destinations in the world’s largest nation, including the Russian capital and St. Petersburg.
The operation will run on a weekly basis and comes by way of a RAK/Rossiya Airlines partnership. Russia has actually long been one of the key countries for UAE tourism, mirrored by the fact that both nations have operated mutual, visa-free travel policies since 2019, with this latest development adding yet further ease of travel between the countries.
The new RAK move aims to be instrumental in bringing in a greater number of Russian visitors to the region and the range of unique attractions that it has to offer. These attractions that the Russians obviously find so appealing come by way of stunning mountain scenery, beach resorts, and historic regions and artifacts, to name but a few.
Ras Al-Khaimah, as The United Arab Emirates’ most northern region, contains the impressive Hajar Mountain range, a popular area for exploring and sightseeing. Located within this mountain range is Jebel Jais Mountain, the UAE’s tallest, which has a summit reaching almost 2,000 meters. A 20-kilometer-long road up the mountain contains various platforms for viewing from which to take in the stunning vistas.
The popular emirate also has plenty of beach resorts for sun-seekers, and the long stretches of well-kept beaches with a variety of amenities are another one of the prime reasons for most of the tourism in the region. They are lined with plenty of sun loungers, cafes and restaurants, showers, and water sports like kayaking and jet-skiing. RAK’s long shoreline is not exactly short of luxury resorts with private beaches, with the majority allowing the use of facilities by non-guests by way of a day pass.
In historic terms, this region of the emirates is rich in that it has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, a fact well-documented by the Ras Al-Khaimah National Museum. The museum is actually set in a fort that once served as the residence of the ruling family, in fact until as recently as the early 1960s. The residences in the museum represent an amazing record of archaeological and ethnological artifacts, particularly the first-floor Qawasim Room, which contains a collection of important historic manuscripts and documents such as treaties made between RAK’s former rulers and Great Britain. There are also displays of traditional weapons, along with archaeological exhibits related to some of the region’s earliest settlers. The museum’s ethnographic section contains information and exhibits relating to traditional life in terms of architecture and other activities of historic import such as pearl diving, agriculture, and fishing.
Continuing with the themes of pearl-diving and fishing for a moment, another major RAK tourist attraction is the somewhat decayed yet atmospheric Jazirat al-Hamra, which provides an amazing contrast to the otherwise modern appearance and feel of the city. This comes by way of an insight into the peaceful lifestyle of the pearl divers and fishermen who resided in the area of this abandoned fishing village, which harks back to a time before the oil boom of the mid-20th-century. It has been in a deserted state since the 1960s, although the decay has been retarded to some extent by the arid climate. Located around 20 kilometers south of RAK’s central city area, the historic site is an opportunity for some amazing and unique photography.
For tourists whose thirst for adventure is not slaked by the mountains, beaches, and historic elements, RAK offers plenty of other more energetic and adrenaline-inducing tourist attractions. One of the major draws comes by way of the world’s longest zipline. Perhaps not for the faint-hearted, the line stretches for almost 3 kilometers from the aforementioned Jebel Jais Mountain, and has become one of the Emirates’ major adventure showcases. From the take-off point near the mountain’s summit, the zipline sails down the mountain, reaching breath-taking speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour.