The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in the UAE was already a favourite among travellers. But why is RAK becoming cool for canines? That’s because the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has introduced a pet-friendly programme called Ras Al-K9. The programme is running across 25 hotels, restaurants, pet friendly-festivals, outdoor parks and beaches in RAK.
Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect getaway for exploring the great outdoors with dogs. Spectacular wadi walks and mountain hikes on Jebel Jais. Chilled out beachside café lunches. Desert adventures and overnight stays. There is plenty of experiences on offer across its stunning landscapes including sea, desert and mountains.
“Ras Al Khaimah’s natural typography alongside its spirit of genuine hospitality appeals to both travellers and their four-legged friends. We understand how hard it can be to leave a beloved pet at home while on holiday, so we made it as easy as possible for guests to bring their pawsome family members with them. Ras Al-K9 is a community initiative, tapping into the Emirate’s affinity for dogs and providing hassle free options to explore, engage and stay in Ras Al Khaimah. Teaming up with Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center, hotel partners and others committed to animal welfare, we aim to create an inclusive and supportive community for both visitors and their canine companions,” said Raki Phillips, CEO, RAKTDA.
Beachside & inland frolics
RAK is famed for its pristine white sandy beaches, most of which are open to dogs and their humans. Firm favourites include Al Jazeera and Flamingobeaches where pooches can explore, frolic and play.
Inland explore the largest open-air dog park in the UAE, located at the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center. With over 7,000 square meters of landscaped areas for your pet to run free off-leash. The park also features a fully equipped Agility Park and dedicated doggy swimming pool. There is a café area too where humans can socialise while their dogs are playing. There are several other pet-friendly venues too for those looking to grab a bite.
Mountain and wadi walkies
For the more active visitors Bear Grylls Explorers Camp offers 16 recycled and redesigned cabins nestled within the mountain. It’s a perfect basecamp for adventurers and their canine companions to explore.
Wadi Shah and Wadi Shawka are ideal spots to hike with dogs offering up thrilling sights, sounds and smells for them to discover. Those looking for a more challenging experience can head to the trails on the UAE’s highest peak Jebel Jais.
For an overnight adventure RAK Glamping covers 10 acres of desert dunes with stunning views of the Hajjar Mountains welcoming dogs of all sizes to join their humans and enjoy Arabic Bedouin Tents. The team tailors the glampsite specially for dogs. The site has a fenced perimeter, water bowls, tennis balls, special swimming pool, doggy ice cream as well as an on-site pet store. It also offers a pet-sitting services for guests who want to go off exploring without their four-legged friend in tow.
Fun overnight stays
If staying overnight, there are an array of choices including the luxe offerings of Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort with their recently launched dog-friendly rooms. BM Beach Resort has reserved a block of 48 chalets for dogs and their humans as well as an outdoor and beach area. Dogs also get a large selection of in-room toys with communal outdoor toys also available to play with in the courtyard. The newly opened Banan Beach Resorthas dedicated a selection of its tents and lofts to welcome furry friends. For a self-catering accommodation AMWAJ by Al Hamra has a dedicated kitchenette to allow guests to whip up their pooch’s favourite meal to fuel up for a day of exploring.
Pet weekend at Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival
In celebration of its 10th year anniversary the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is introducing an exciting new weekend programme for pet-lovers with a pet-friendly weekend from February 18-20. The pet-friendly weekend will feature a range of fun-packed activities including workshops, pet adoption and pet yoga. This will be combined with the opportunity to enjoy the art and entertainment provided by the festival.
Paws by the Beach, RAK’s first pet festival
RAK will be kicking off its first pet-friendly festival Paws by the Beach on Marjan Island on February 26& 27. The festival is designed to be an educational platform to raise awareness about animal welfare and educate pet owners about their animal’s well-being. It will feature fun competitions and entertainment for dogs, cats and pet owners throughout the two-day festival. In addition, local pet groups, vendors, training schools, pet relocation companies, rehabilitative organisations and veterinarians will give insightful presentations on caring for your beloved pet.
Some dos and don’ts
Here are some dos and don’ts for those planning a trip to RAK with their canine partners:
- Hot sand, rocky terrain and pavement can be painful on your pet’s sensitive paws. Stay away from these hot spots or alternate between hot surfaces and cold surfaces.
- Ensure your pet stays well hydrated. Bring extra water and a bowl for them to drink out of, making sure it is always available to them.
- Be careful not to over-exercise your pet. If you notice excessive panting, foaming at the mouth or bright pink gums, ensure they lay down to rest and drink water immediately.
- Make sure shade is available. Whether it be a beach umbrella or underneath a shady tree, providing your pet with a place to cool off outside of the sunshine is very important.
- Carry a fixed lead, dog harness, snacks, extra water and food.
- Remember to clean up after your pet leaving nothing behind when hitting the trails.
- Remember to bring your dog’s vaccination book.