Planning a day trip from Dubai to RAK: Cost, Places & More

Planning a day trip from Dubai to RAK: Cost, Places & More

Ras al Khaimah, a gem in the United Arab Emirates, offers a unique blend of scenic beauty and cultural heritage. This emirate stands out with its serene beaches, rugged mountains, and terracotta desert planes, offering a contrast to the UAE's more cosmopolitan centres.

It's a place where history whispers from ancient ruins and natural beauty is abundant, from the awe-inspiring Jebel Jais, the UAE's tallest peak, to the tranquil waters of the Arabian Gulf. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy activities like hiking, zip-lining, or desert safaris, while those seeking relaxation can unwind at luxurious beachfront resorts. The emirate's commitment to preserving its heritage is evident in its well-preserved historical sites and the warm hospitality of its people.

Ras al Khaimah, with its enchanting blend of natural beauty and rich culture, is an ideal choice for a memorable day trip from Dubai. Let's explore how you can craft the perfect itinerary to experience the essence of this Arabian jewel, immersing yourself in its unique landscapes and heritage, just a short drive from Dubai.

How To Get There?

Reaching Ras Al Khaimah is straightforward, economical, and comfortable, with a variety of transportation methods available. Here are the available transport options for journeying from Ras Al Khaimah to Dubai:


Booking Options: Dubai Taxi and Arabia Taxi.

  • From Dubai: Use Hala e-service by the Careem App or find taxis at major locations. Prebooking is recommended.
  • From Ras Al Khaimah: Easy to find taxis to Dubai. Book by dialing 800 1700 for Arabia taxi.
  • Uber and Careem also operate between RAK and Dubai.

Travel Time: Approximately 1 – 1.5 hours.

Price: Around AED 200 – 300, varying by pickup and dropoff location.


The Ras Al Khaimah Airport Authority, in collaboration with a public transportation company, has set up the Al Hamra Bus service, offering a reliable and cost-effective option for intercity travel.

Managed by the Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority, these bus services are recognized for their punctuality and quality, providing a seamless and efficient travel experience.

Departure Point:

  • From Dubai: Union Bus Station, Karama.
  • From RAK: Al Hamra Bus Station


  • From Dubai: the first bus is at 7:30 am, and the last bus is at 11:00 pm.
  • From RAK, the first bus is at 5:30 am, and the last at 9:00 pm.

Travel Time: 1 Hour 30 Min to 2 Hours depending on the route.

Price: AED 20 - 30 per trip


Travelling from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) by personal car is a better choice for its convenience and the freedom it offers. Here are the details on routes, costs, and time taken:


  • Via E311 (Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road): This is the most common route taken by travellers. It's a straight drive north from Dubai, passing through Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain before reaching RAK.
  • Via E611 (Emirates Road): An alternative route that also heads north, parallel to E311, and merges with E311 as you approach RAK.
  • Coastal Route via E11: A scenic route that takes you along the coast through Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. It merges with E311 closer to RAK.

Travel Time: 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the route, traffic conditions, and your starting point in Dubai.

Cost Considerations:

  • Fuel: The distance is approximately 100 kilometres one way, so the cost would depend on your vehicle's fuel efficiency and the current price of fuel.
  • Salik (Toll) Charges: E311 Route may include tolls if you pass through Dubai and Sharjah toll gates.
  • Other Possible Costs: Parking fees at certain attractions and any other kind of standard costs associated with long drives.

What to Carry?

Before setting out on your day trip from Dubai to Ras Al Khaimah, having the right items with you will ensure a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable journey. Here's what you should consider packing for an effortless adventure:

  • Valid ID and Driving License for identification and if driving.
  • Vehicle documents such as registration and insurance if travelling by car.
  • Cash and cards for purchases, as some locations might not accept cards.
  • Map or GPS device for reliable navigation, especially in remote areas.
  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather and an extra layer for cooler evenings.
  • Sturdy footwear for any walking or hiking activities.
  • Sunglasses and a hat to protect against the sun.
  • Swimwear and a towel if planning to visit beaches or springs.
  • Water bottles to stay hydrated throughout the trip.
  • Snacks or food for early starts or areas with limited dining options.
  • Sunscreen to protect against sunburn.
  • First Aid Kit with personal medication and basic supplies.
  • Hand sanitiser and masks, following current health guidelines.
  • Camera or smartphone to capture memories, including chargers or power banks.
  • Entertainment like books, music, or games for leisure time.
  • Hiking or camping gear if engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Beach gear such as beach mats, umbrellas, or folding chairs.
  • Trash bags to keep the environment clean.
  • Notebook and pen for jotting down experiences or important information.
  • Check the weather before leaving and pack accordingly.
  • Keep a copy of your travel plans and emergency contact numbers.

Where to go?


Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, standing at 1,934 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates. The 35-kilometer Jebel Jais mountain road, known for its eight hairpin turns and numerous sharp corners, is not just a journey; it's an experience in itself. As part of the Hajar mountain range, the area is characterized by rugged cliffs, deep canyons, and twisted escarpments, leading to a summit where temperatures are pleasantly cooler than the sea level.

Activities at Jebel Jais:

Jebel Jais Flight - Ziplining:

The world’s longest zipline according to the Guinness World Records, Jebel Jais Flight allows you to soar like a falcon at speeds up to 160 kmph.

  • Cost: Approximately AED 350 per person. Booking is available online through the Toroverde website.

Viewing Deck:

Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Hajar mountains and the beautiful landscape of Ras Al Khaimah from various points along Jebel Jais mountain road

  • Cost: Usually free to access; certain amenities or services may be charged.

Jais Sky Tour:

The Jais Sky Tour attracts thrill-seekers and adventurers to the summit of the Hajar Mountain range in Ras Al Khaimah, offering the exhilarating sensation of 'flying' at an average speed of 60 kmph. This heart-racing adventure features a series of ziplines spanning 5 km that weave an exciting path through the majestic mountains.

  • Cost: Prices vary from aED 280 to AED 350; check the official Jebel Jais website here.

Bear Grylls Adventure Camp:

Learn survival skills from experts in a camp designed by the renowned survivalist Bear Grylls.

  • Cost: Starting from AED 450 for adults and AED 350 for children.

Picnicking & Barbecuing:

Enjoy a day out with family and friends, with designated areas for picnic spots and facilities for barbecuing against a scenic backdrop.


Set up camp and enjoy a night under the stars in the cooler mountain climate along various spots on the mountain.


Explore the various trails on Jebel Jais ranging from easy to challenging and experience the natural beauty of the area.

  • Cost: Free, unless guided tours are opted for.

Unique Attractions:

1484 by Puro - The Highest Restaurant:

Perched at 1484 meters above sea level, Puro, the UAE's loftiest restaurant, serves a global array of favourites, including Thai beef salad, butter chicken, and the ultimate veggie burger.

The establishment boasts modern interiors and a spacious outdoor terrace, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Experience dining combined with culinary delights with breathtaking natural beauty.

  • Cost: Minimum spend of Dhs100 for adults and Dhs50 for kids.
  • High Tea Option: AED 350 per stand, serving up to three people.

Jais Sledder - Mountain Toboggan:

The Jais Sledder glides along a low-lying track, reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour as it winds down the Hajar mountains, offering riders sweeping views of the dramatic landscape and coastline. This thrilling ride spans about 1,840 meters, filled with hairpin turns and rolling waves, and takes approximately eight minutes to complete.

  • Cost: From Dhs50. Sold only over the counter


Suwaidi Pearls, nestled in the quaint fishing village of Al Rams in Ras Al Khaimah, offers a deep dive into the UAE's rich pearling heritage, a tradition cherished long before the oil era. Established in 2004 by Mr Abdulla Rashed Al Suwaidi, a descendant of one of the last pearl divers in the UAE, the farm is a testament to the region's historical connection to pearls, transitioning from natural pearl diving to sustainable farming of Arabian Pearls.

Activities and Experiences at Suwaidi Pearls:

Pearl Farm Tour:

Embark on a traditional pearling boat for a 10-minute journey to a two-storey boat beside the 4000-square-meter pearl farm. Learn about the vast history, the dangerous art of pearl diving, and modern pearl farming techniques.

You'll have the chance to open your own oyster, hoping to find a precious pearl. Post-tour, enjoy a boat ride through the mangroves, observing local wildlife, camels, and potentially turtles.

  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cost: From AED 250 per person. Family Packages are available too.

Sunset SUP Tour:

Enjoy a serene paddleboarding experience at sunset, embracing the tranquillity of the surrounding natural lagoon.

  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours
  • Cost: AED 150 onwards

Contact: Tel: (07) 221 1124

Opening Hours: Typically open daily from 10 am to 5 pm


Dhayah Fort is a historical gem located in the northern Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, known for its strategic importance and stunning architecture. This ancient fort, primarily built from mud and bricks, served as a crucial military tower and defence point, witnessing the last battle between British soldiers and local tribes in 1819. Today, it stands as a testament to the region's rich past and is recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, representing its cultural significance.

Perched atop a hill, the fort offers a captivating 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding Hajar Mountains, lush date palm oasis, and the expansive lands stretching to neighbouring Oman and down to the sea. To reach the top, visitors undertake a rewarding climb up 234 steep and zigzagging steps. Despite the effort, the breathtaking views and serene environment at the summit make it a worthwhile excursion.

Located about 18 kilometres north of Ras Al Khaimah city, the fort is easily accessible and provides a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the nation's fascinating relationship with its historical military architecture while enjoying some of the most beautiful natural landscapes the UAE has to offer.

Location: Al Rams

Contact: +971 7 233 8998


Wadi Shawka is a picturesque valley within the Hajar Mountains in Ras Al Khaimah. It's about an hour's drive from Dubai, offering a refreshing escape from the city's bustle. The area is known for its easy access, beautiful natural scenery, and a variety of outdoor activities suited for all ages and fitness levels.

Wadi Shawka has become an increasingly popular destination for those seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both. With its lunar-like landscapes and rugged terrain, it provides a striking backdrop for a range of activities. The journey to Wadi Shawka is straightforward and well-signposted along the Sharjah-Kalba road, requiring no off-roading, making it accessible for all types of vehicles.

Activities at Wadi Shawka:

Hiking and Trekking:

Multiple hiking trails are available, varying in difficulty and length, suitable for both beginners and seasoned hikers. Popular routes start from the Shawka Dam and lead to natural pools, offering breathtaking views and photo opportunities.

  • Duration: Ranges from a few hours to a full day.
  • Cost: Generally free, unless you opt for a guided tour.


Ideal for overnight stays, camping allows visitors to enjoy the starry skies and serene desert nights at various spots around the Wadi Shawka area. It's advisable to bring your own camping gear.


Ideal for gatherings with family or leisurely hangouts with friends, Wadi Shawka offers designated spots equipped with essential amenities like restrooms and a snack van providing refreshments.

Mountain Biking:

The challenging landscape provides superb paths for mountain biking fans, accommodating a wide range of abilities from beginners to experienced cyclists.

Wildlife Watching:

The area is home to local wildlife, including birds, goats, and possibly camels, adding an element of nature exploration to your visit.


While Dubai has its share of stunning beaches, RAK's natural abundance and wildlife provide a unique coastal experience. You might spot the colorful flamingos wading through the shallow waters or even camels enjoying a dip. Flamingo Beach, known for its golden sands and shallow, warm waters, is particularly family-friendly, making it ideal for swimming, beach games, or simply relaxing.

As the sun sets, the beach transforms into a vibrant spectacle of colors, making it a perfect spot for sunset admirers and photographers. Besides the natural beauty, the beach is equipped with interlocked walkways suitable for prams and wheelchairs, ensuring accessibility for all. With ample parking, nearby coffee shops, and eateries, it offers a complete and relaxed day out. Flamingo Beach in Ras Al Khaimah is a worthwhile visit for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking to unwind by the sea.

Ras Al Khaimah serves as a diverse and enriching destination just a short drive from Dubai, perfect for those looking to escape the city's hustle and bustle. This emirate offers a serene retreat into nature and history, every corner promising a new discovery.

As you leave behind the well-trodden paths, you'll find that Ras Al Khaimah is a place where every visit can be as laid-back or as exhilarating as you wish, making it the perfect spot to unwind, explore, and create lasting memories. With its blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern comfort, Ras Al Khaimah is a journey worth taking time and again.

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