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IMAGES: GETTY; HILTON AL HAMRA BEACH AND GOLF RESORT; JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES


UAE


Ras Al Khaimah


Ras Al Khaimah, or ‘Rak’ as it is known to locals, off ers mind-blowing adventure, glorious mountain views, and aff ordable hotel rates with great service. It is the UAE’s most northern emirate,


bordering part of Oman. Away from the high rises and traffi c in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Rak is oſt en seen as a more traditional destination. It off ers plenty of outdoor activities and the area is a great base for desert-dune bashing, mountain-biking, camel-riding and rock-climbing. Visitors can pick up a paddle for a leisurely


kayak among the mangroves, go quad-biking in the desert or borrow a bike for a hair-raising tour of the majestic Hajar Mountains that line the coast. There’s a number of four- and fi ve-star hotels bordering the coast, with high standards of service and generally, much more favourable rates than the ‘big name’ hotels further south. The emirate is developing swiſt ly as an


international golfi ng destination. Simon Mees, general manager of Al Hamra Golf Clubs says, “Ras Al Khaimah is growing in popularity within the travel sector, with tourism numbers growing year on year as more discover the Emirates’ slower and more peaceful speed of life.” Al Hamra Golf Club is host the penultimate


event on The European Challenge Tour in October 2016, before the tour concludes just up the coast in Oman.


ESSENTIALS Clockwise from left: Second hole at Jumeirah’s Fire


course; camel in the Maliha Desert; Hilton Al Hamra beach and golf resort


Thinking of playing in Rak? You’ve got two


choices, the fi rst being Tower Links, an 18-hole course set amid a mangrove reserve, with views of the Hajar mountains. There’s a fl oodlit driving range, as well as put ing and chipping greens, a specifi c teaching tee and a swing studio. Play: Check out the Hilton Al Hamra beach and golf resort. The 18-hole course, with mountain and sea views, is designed by Peter Harradine. The academy is staff ed by PGA-professionals and off ers instruction to all levels and ages. There’s a nine-hole par-3 course, a fl oodlit driving range and a short game facility. Green fee: £60-£119. alhamragolf.com


WHEN TO GO: October to April, when early morning and evening slots are the best times to tee off before the desert heat gets too hot to handle. GREEN FEES: £62-£227. FLIGHT TIME: 7h. GETTING AROUND: Taxis are generally easily found. Dubai Taxi Corporation also off ers ‘pink’ taxi services for women and families. These have female drivers. Careem and Uber also operate in the UAE. CONTACT: rasalkhaimahtourism. com; visitdubai.ae; visitabudhabi.ae


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