When it comes to tourism in the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi steal the show. So much so, that many don’t realise there are other beautiful holiday locations in the UAE. Today we take a look at Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, but where is better? That’s why we’ve done another classic face-off article, Ras Al Khaimah vs Fujairah.
This one was so close to call but Fujairah offers a little more than Ras Al Khaimah when it comes to the beach and things to do. Both are picturesque and great holiday destinations though!
Below we explore these lesser-known destinations as they offer fantastic vacation opportunities. However, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah are gradually grabbing the attention of international as well as domestic travellers.
A recent rise in the footfall to these two wonderful destinations backs this fact strongly. Thanks to the UAE government’s decision to promote Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah’s emirates globally, you now have two more splendid holiday destinations to visit in the UAE.
In a hope to assist your vacation planning we have shared essential information on both of the UAE holiday spots, along with a fair comparison between the two, to understand where is better to visit, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah.
Where is the Better Location?
Ras Al Khaimah is the northernmost emirates of the UAE. This emirate is particularly known for its turquoise sea, pristine beaches and fascinating sand dunes.
Ras Al Khaimah is a smooth 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport. The distance between these two is around 100 kilometres via Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. You can also take a bus from Dubai Deira Terminal to Ras Al Khaimah. Alternatively, grab a taxi, as they’re much cheaper in the UAE then many other places in the world.
Ras Al Khaimah has a glorious mountainous backdrop with unspoilt beaches. The area is mainly cultural landmarks and sightseeing opportunities with some incredible hotels. A great location for a more relaxed holiday than that of when visiting Dubai.
Fujairah, also known as Al Fujairah, is another beautiful holiday destination located in the east of UAE along the Persian Gulf. If you are one of those water babies, then Fujairah has plenty of things to offer. Fujairah is just 114 kilometres away from Dubai International Airport via Fujairah/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road.
E700 is the intercity bus route that connects Dubai’s Union Square Metro Station with Fujairah Bus Station. You will also find several taxi services in Dubai to take you to Fujairah within an hour.
Fujairah is similar to Ras Al Khaimah in the sense of having a beautiful mountainous backdrop. A dream for those serious mountain hikers out there. The beaches are unspoilt with random rock islands not far from shore.
The beaches of Fujairah are famous for the fantastic scuba diving. Whats more, there is some great facilities including cafes and restaurants which line the beach. Fujairah is not quite like Dubai when it comes to this but nevertheless it keeps the tourist section alive.
Other than this, you will find many fantastic hotels and some great historical spots to visit. Fujairah is a much quieter holiday location than Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
Verdict: Fujairah wins by a cats whisker. Both destinations are similar in the sense of unspoilt beaches and mountainous backdrops. Fujairah has the better scuba diving experiences and a better beach promenade.
Where Has Better Things to do?
If you have never been to Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah, then it might not be a wise decision to schedule a vacation to any of these magnificent destinations randomly. Take a look at the things you can do at Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah before finalizing your trip.
Top Tourist Attractions in Ras Al Khaimah
Let’s take a look at some of the most sought-after attractions from Ras Al Khaimah.
1. Jabel Jais
There is no other better way than Jabel Jais to start your day at Ras Al Khaimah. Sitting at a distance of 27 kilometres from the city centre, this is the highest peak in the UAE. This 1,934 metre high mountain peak offers spectacular sunrise and sunset views.
The 35-kilometre road to Jabel Jais features numerous sharp turns and eight hairpin loops to make it an exciting journey to the top. Here you can also find the world’s longest zipline.
2. Jazirat al-Hamra
Jazirat al-Hamra allows a peep through the old-world charm of an ancient fishing village from the past. This region had been abandoned and left under the will of nature for ages but still it is one of the best well-preserved coastal villages in the UAE.
The structure from Jazirat al-Hamra dates back to the 16th century. Strolling through this region is indeed a walk down memory lane with some overwhelming discoveries.
3. Hajar Mountains
Ras Al Khaimah is blessed with a hoard of nature’s boon but what put this place ahead of other competitors is certainly the majestic Hajar Mountains.
It serves as a captivating backdrop to Ras Al Khaimah and adds more to its scenic beauty. Being one of the major tourist attractions, Hajar Mountains receive huge footfall from locals and international tourists. This mountain is surrounded by rusty barren lands and sand dunes. Hajar Mountain Range finally slopes into the sea.
4. Ras Al Khaimah Museum
Sitting right at the heart of the city, Ras Al Khaimah Museum is a Pandora Box of historical heritage and wonders of the country. This museum served as the royal residence of the former ruler till 1960s. After that, this vast place was turned into a mighty museum loaded with an impressive collection of archaeological items and ancient exhibits.
The Natural History Room of the museum features weapons, jewellery, costumes, shells and fishing tools, whereas Qawasim Room showcases documents and manuscripts. The Ethnographic Section of the museum puts traditional life of emirate people on display.
5. Al Hamra Mall
Spreading over an area of 45,000 square metres, Al Hamra Mall is one of the major crowd pullers in Ras Al Khaimah. This mall is enough to cater your shopping needs along with a dose of immersive entertainment. The mall houses more than 120 retail outlets that literally sell everything from apparel, furniture, electronics to everyday groceries.
Al Hamra Mall comes with 12 restaurants to offer you a platter of your choice. Fun Ville from this mall is the ultimate kid destination, while Vox Cinema is for grown-ups to enjoy the latest releases.
Top Tourist Attractions in Fujairah
The Emirate of Fujairah is a small but picturesque small town tucked amidst the serene coastal region of the UAE. This place is a cultural as well as business hub dotted with high-rises, beaches and mountains.
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Built in 2015, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a majestic edifice speaking of architectural wonders and awe-inspiring craftsmanship. Grand Mosque is the main mosque in the Fujairah Emirate. It is also the second largest mosque in the UAE.
The mainframe of the mosque blends Arabic, ottoman and modern architecture designs. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque allows visits from non-Islamic people too.
2. Fujairah Fort
The most overwhelming experience that you have at Fujairah is undeniably the Fujairah Fort. Considered as the oldest fort of the country, this fort is famous for its unique and defensive structure.
Constructed back in 1670 along the Fujairah coast, the fort used to be the ruling family’s royal abode. This fort is primarily made of mud-bricks featuring three main segments, one square tower, two round towers and numerous halls.
Fujairah Heritage Village adjoining the fort is a wonderful place to understand the conventional way of local lifestyle. This historical Fort is a bridge between the past and present of Fujairah Emirate.
3. Snoopy Island
The best way to experience the glory of beach life at Fujairah is to visit Snoopy Island. The island is now a celebrated spot to try various water sports and underwater activities.
This rocky marine outcrop is just a few hundred metres away from the Sandy Beach Hotel at Al Aqah. Crystal-clear water and spectacular underwater coral reefs make Snoopy Island a popular diving and snorkelling destination in the Middle East. If you are a water baby, then you must not miss the galore of Snoopy Island.
4. Bithnah Fort
Located at the outskirts of the Fujairah City, Bithnah Fort is a historically enriched tourist destination. Built back in 1735, this fort overlooks every strategic route crossing the Hajjar Mountains through Wadi Ham.
This massive fort was initially built with mortar, plasters and stones that actually resulted in those square-shaped structures. With two high watchtowers on the western wing, Bithnah Fort offers an overwhelming view of the surrounding region.
5. Fujairah Friday Market
This traditional Arabian souk shopping is a fascinating and intriguing way of exploring the local heritage of Fujairah. The Friday Market of Fujairah gives you enough scope to do the same. This iconic open market from Fujairah is set amidst the imposing mountains and gorgeous valleys.
Sellers, buyers and tourists visit this ancient souk from all over the neighbouring areas. Fujairah Friday Market is best to shop for fruits, vegetables, pots, carpets. Most items sold here are either crafted or grown locally. Although it is called Friday Market, it opens daily from 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM.
6. Ain Al-Madhab Hot Spring
For an extraordinary gem to explore near Fujairah, you must head for the Ain Al-Madhab Hot Spring. This place is known to the world for its mineral springs that produce warm sulphuric waters. The Ain Al-Madhab Hot Spring Park comes with two separate bathing areas – one for females and another for males.
This park also features the remnants of Fujairah Fort and Heritage Village. This open space is a perfect spot to witness traditional Arabian performances held during holidays in Fujairah.
Verdict: Both Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah have their own star attractions to keep tourists glued but, in our opinion, Fujairah can be a more wholesome holiday destination because of the beach, park and Friday Market.
Where has Better Hotels?
Before we voice our verdict, we are furnishing the most popular hotels from both the destinations.
Most Popular Hotels in Ras Al Khaimah
- Hilton Garden Inn Ras Al Khaimah
- Waldrof Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
- DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island
- Marjan Island Resort & Spa by Accor
- Rixos Bab Al Bahr – Ultra All Inclusive
- The Cove Rotana Resort
- Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa
Most Popular Hotels in Fujairah
- Radisson Blu Resort
- Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort
- Le Meridian Al Aqah Beach Resort
- Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort
- Six Senses Zighy Bay
- Sandy Beach Hotel
- Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa
- Mirage Bab Al Bahr
- Royal Beach Hotel & Resort
Verdict: If you take a look at the list of hotels along with their facilities, you can understand that both Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah houses world-class accommodations and facilities to treat guests only with the best. So, here it is a tie.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
November to April is the perfect time to visit Ras Al Khaimah. Days are warmer and sunny during these months and the average temperature ranges between 20 – 28 degree Celsius.
Summer months are not so pleasant to roam across the region as the average temperature soars to 40 -45 degree Celsius. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, most places at Ras Al Khaimah remain closed. So there’s no point in visiting during Ramadan.
The best time to schedule your trip to Fujairah is from October to March. These are the cooler months when the average day temperature hovers around 25 degree Celsius. Weather in Fujairah usually remains sunny, warmer and pleasant all through the year.
Verdict: The best time to visit both places is almost the same. As Ras Al Khaimah goes under lock and key during Ramadan, we will suggest you to visit Fujairah in case your travel dates coincide with Ramadan.
Where is Cheaper?
You must invest 3-4 days to explore Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah and their respective neighbourhoods. This trip may cost you anything between AED 2,500 – AED 3,000.
This cost may vary significantly depending on the type of hotel rooms, facilities and outdoor activities you are looking for. We have mentioned here the average trip cost paired with decent accommodation and all essential facilities.
One thing is for sure, both are cheaper alternatives to visiting Dubai. You can check our article on Ras Al Khaimah vs Dubai here to see by how much.
Which Has the Best Beach?
If you are looking for a beach holiday, then Fujairah will be best for you. Beaches at Fujairah are so much better than Ras Al Khaimah.
Thanks to Snoopy Island, you can indulge in various water sports or take a deep dive to behold the vibrant coral reefs along with captivating marine creatures. So, Fujairah is the winner.
Through this article, you can develop a fair understanding of which can serve your vacation goals – Ras AL Khaimah or Fujairah? Hopefully, our comparative analysis of both these tourist destinations has helped you in your quest to choose your next holiday destination.