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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Al Hamra

Al Hamra Holidays

Located south of Ras al-Khaimah, the coastal town of Al Hamra offers a unique mix of beautiful beaches, rugged mountains and historic sights. Whether you're sunbathing on a sandy shore, exploring the eerie ghost town or visiting Dubai for the day, there's plenty to see and do.

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A relaxing retreat in the desert

Thanks to its palm-fringed beaches, luxurious hotels and year-round sunshine, Al Hamra is a popular holiday spot for both locals and tourists. Flanked by the Hajar Mountains and miles of sandy shores, the town's location is ideal for exploring the area's natural beauty. Al Hamra holidays can therefore be spent traversing the desert dunes, taking leisurely strolls along the beach and wandering the abandoned streets in the historic ghost town.

Offering the best of both worlds, Al Hamra has the laid-back atmosphere you would expect from a beachside resort, while still being within easy reach of the buzzing city of Dubai.

Quick Tips

  • Emirati dirham
  • Arabic
  • GMT +4

Pristine shores

With miles of coastline stretching in every which way, the Ras al-Khaimah region is the ideal choice for a sun-soaked beach break. As most hotels in Al Hamra have their own private beaches lined with sunloungers, you won't have to go far to enjoy the silky sands and undisturbed sea views. Compared to the neighbouring cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Al Hamra's beaches have remained uncrowded and unspoilt by tourism, so you can sit back, relax and make the most of the peaceful location and spacious shores.

When you're not topping up your tan, there's a variety of exhilarating watersports on offer, including jet skiing, kitesurfing, parasailing and fly fishing. The sea is warm, calm and clear too, meaning it's ideal for swimming.

Step back in time

One of the most-visited attractions in the area is the old ghost town. Left deserted for over 50 years, the area was once inhabited by local fishing merchants and is believed to be haunted. Visitors flock here to wander the spooky streets and explore the ruined but well-preserved houses, shops and mosques to get a glimpse at how the locals used to live.

History-lovers will also enjoy visiting the 16th-century Dhayah Fort - just a 40-minute journey east. Perched on a hill, the crumbling building is the last one of its kind in the United Arab Emirates and is well worth the climb for the spectacular views across the glittering Arabian Gulf.

Where to eat and drink

Many Al Hamra hotels are All Inclusive, with an eclectic choice of international restaurants and swanky bars. If you want to venture out to sample the local dining scene, you'll find everything from English pub food to traditional middle eastern menus. Most of the restaurants, bars and caf├ęs are located around the marina and seafront and have outside terraces where you can enjoy dinner with a view.

For a taste of authentic Arabic delicacies, you can also take a taxi to the nearby city of Ras Al Khaimah. During the day there's a local fish market by the creek, while at nighttime the streets come alive with bustling curry houses and street stalls. Look out for freshly prepared local dishes such as spice-infused meat, rice and flatbreads.

Day trips and activities

Offering much more than lavish hotels and picture-perfect beaches, holidays to Al Hamra village can be packed full of fun activities and excursions. The 18-hole course at Al Hamra Golf Club is just a 10-minute walk away and offers some of the area's best scenic views of the ocean. If you're looking for a family day out, the Iceland Waterpark is just a 10-minute drive and provides a refreshing retreat from the scorching heat with a range of slides and pools for both kids and adults to enjoy.

Adrenalin-seekers can take a desert safari and explore the area's rugged terrain and sandy dunes, while those looking to relax can reach Khatt Springs in just 40-minutes and spend the day soaking in the therapeutic waters.

If you want to experience the local markets and haggle for a bargain, the city of Ras Al Khaimah has a buzzing bazaar scene, selling everything from traditional Arabic clothing to gold bars and jewellery. Alternatively, you can go an a day-trip to Dubai and check out the city's famous gold and spice souks. Or, if it's department stores you're after, the Al Hamra Mall may be the perfect shopping opportunity for you.