The UAE has long turned into a world-class resort and tourist center. Tourists and vacationers flock here from all over the world. Here you can find recreation and entertainment for every taste and budget – from round-the-clock discos, club entertainment and noisy beach parties to a quiet secluded vacation at sea far from civilization. It is important to choose the right place. If you are looking for peace, solitude, proximity to nature and clean sea, then it is best to go to Fujairah or Ras al Khaimah. But what is better to choose if this is your first trip to the Emirates? This article will help you decide which resort is more suitable.
Holidays in Ras Al Khaimah
This is the northernmost emirate and the greenest, which is at least 2.5 hours away from Dubai Airport. However, such a long transfer is worth it: Ras al Khaimah offers guests a real Arabic fairy tale.
The local landscapes are very different from those that tourists see in other emirates. Here, the ideal plains are replaced by mountainous terrain. The low terracotta mountains look amazing against the background of a clear, eternally blue sky and come close to the coast with white sand and azure sea waters. There are no glass and concrete skyscrapers here. The hotels are low-rise and comfortably fit into the natural landscape. Many of them are made in the Arabic style, which only enhances the effect of immersion in an Arabic fairy tale. By the way, the name of the emirate translates from Arabic as «cape of small huts».
Climate and weather
Despite the fact that the principality is located in the very north of the country, it is still the tropics with the appropriate climate. In summer, as everywhere else, the air temperature rises above the forty-degree mark: it becomes unbearable and dangerous to be outside. From May to September, Ras al Khaimah is out of season, there are few tenants in hotels, and vacation prices are greatly reduced. The season begins in autumn, around October, when daytime temperatures drop to +33…+35 ° C, and at night by another 5-10 degrees. It is cooler in January and February, especially at night. During this period, there are rains and windy weather. However, the sea temperature remains high all year round and acceptable for swimming: from +22 °C in winter to +32 °C in summer. In general, the climate of the resort is much milder than in other places, which is a great advantage.
Hotels and beaches
Holidays in Ras-al-Khaimah belong to the budget category. Here you can find hotels in 3, 4 and 5 stars, the cost of accommodation in which will be significantly lower than in similar ones in Dubai. At the same time, the service is no worse. There are pools, spas, and restaurants everywhere. Most of the hotels are located on the first line and operate on an All-inclusive system. You can diversify the buffet menu in cafes or restaurants outside the hotel. There are many of them along the entire beach area.
Each hotel has its own beach. All of them are clean, well-groomed, well-maintained. They have enough sun beds, umbrellas, showers and changing rooms. The sand is white, fine and very pleasant. The descent into the sea is gentle. Outdoor enthusiasts are offered a variety of interesting water activities.
City beaches are free, but they are also clean and well-maintained. There are many wild beaches, they are not landscaped in any way, but there are absolutely no people there and you can retire to nature with family or friends.
Attractions and entertainment
The lack of attractions is one of the disadvantages of the resort. There is nowhere to walk in the evenings, you can only spend time at the hotel. In the afternoon, you can go on an excursion to the pearl farm and visit the museum. There is also an archaeology museum, an ancient mosque and fort, and several observation towers.
For those who want not only to sunbathe, but also to see something, you will have to go to Dubai. By the way, from here you can go on an excursion to neighboring Oman, and a fishing tour to the Indian Ocean is also organized for night fishing enthusiasts. You can also take a boat trip through mangroves, visit uninhabited islands or sail out to sea. Children really like the local zoo and water park. You can have fun on land. For example, you can hike in the mountains to hot springs or travel to the desert with dinner around a campfire in a Bedouin village.
Holidays in Fujairah
Wondering where is better in Fujairah or Ras Al Khaimah, you need to understand that this first is the only emirate located on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Mountains protect it from all sides, so hot winds from the desert do not penetrate here. Just like Ras al-Khaimah, Fujairah is geographically isolated, so the resort attracts tourists looking for a relaxing holiday, including a family one.
In addition to the flat deserts, there are steep sand hills, mountains and cliffs from which waterfalls flow down, and sulfur springs come to the surface of the earth at their foot.
Climate and weather
The ocean shore with cooler waters, from which moist air masses come, and mountain ranges acting as a barrier to the passage of winds from the desert, have formed a more humid microclimate. It rains more often here, so Fujairah is also a very green emirate. However, droughts occur in summer and even dust storms occasionally rise. But summer is the most extreme weather period in the UAE, when the influx of tourists is minimal.
The average temperature of the summer months is +33…+35 ° C, but often the thermometer columns rise above +40 ° C. But starting in October, a comfortable +25 ° C is set, and at night the air is cooled to +18 ° C. In winter, there is a short period of rain, lasting no more than two weeks. The sea warms up to +25 °C in summer, and in winter it becomes quite cool: the temperature drops to +17 °C.
Hotels and beaches
Most of the hotels are located on the first line, 50-100 m from the shore. The beaches stretch along the coastline for tens of kilometers. The coast is filled with fine soft white sand and is framed by palm trees and mangroves. These beaches are rightfully considered the best in the UAE and have become a favorite vacation spot for Arabs.
But there are also several unpleasant circumstances. Fujairah has a large oil terminal, so oil spills are not uncommon here. Despite the fact that the beaches are monitored, sea urchins and coral fragments are often found in the sand. There are so many of them on unequipped beaches that you can’t walk there without special shoes. In addition, flocks of poisonous jellyfish and plankton sometimes wash ashore, which leave severe burns on the body.
Attractions and entertainment
There are no special attractions in Fujairah. It is a place of beach recreation and entertainment. Among the historical monuments there are several forts, an ancient mosque. You can also take a ride by sea to the Musandam Peninsula, whose rocky shores are cut by narrow deep bays. Just 100 years ago, pirates and smugglers hid here.
The main entertainment that people mostly come here for is diving. The seabed is a paradise for scuba diving enthusiasts. Here you can find everything that the marine world is associated with: coral reefs, sunken ships, thickets of marine flora, inhabited by clouds of colorful fish. This place attracts experienced and novice divers. The latter can learn the basics of diving from experienced instructors.
What should you choose for a holiday in Ras al Khaimah or Fujairah?
Both emirates are far from megacities and are located in areas with a measured leisurely life. Both are well suited for family vacations with children. A common advantage is the relatively low prices combined with a decent level of service.
Which is better to choose Ras al Khaimah or Fujairah? The first resort will give you more Arabic flavor, as well as many opportunities for active beach holidays. The second one is worth choosing if you want to go diving, while preferring to spend time in a secluded, calm environment, sunbathing on half-empty beaches.