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Introducing Ras Al-Khaimah

Surrounded by the hazy Hajar Mountains, Ras Al Khaimah (or simply ‘RAK’) is the UAE’s northernmost emirate. Outdoor enthusiasts love it here, thanks to diverse scenery, ranging from sandy beaches to sprawling oases, hot springs to sun-baked desert, all backed by the fierce mountains.

Growth has been exponential in RAK in recent years, resulting in a free-trade zone, luxury beachfront resorts, high-end residential area, and new leisure facilities such as the Iceland Waterpark. Most of the development is based in an area called Jazirat Al Hamra, some 15km south of RAK City. Still further south, new resorts are due to open up soon on the artificial offshore Al Marjan island cluster, right on the emirate's border with Umm Al Quwain.

In RAK City itself, a newish landmark is the pearly white and multidomed Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which overlooks Al Qawasim Corniche, a paved promenade with kiosks, benches and restaurants fronting the creek.

RAK is also the gateway to the spectacular Musandam Peninsula, an enclave of Oman.