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Paradise Found!

Summer is here, so Yalla is exploring the emirates. In our new travel section, we plan to take you around the UAE in seven emirates. Meet Ras Al Khaimah, fondly referred to as RAK by expat locals.

With over 7,000 years of fascinating history and culture and year long sunshine, Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect getaway from everyday city life and a mere 3 hours from Abu Dhabi. Offering magnificent landscapes, breathtaking coastlines and rich, burnt orange desert dunes, the emirate has firmly established itself as the UAE’s most authentic destination in the Middle East.

Families this summer should flock to the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort and Spa on Al Marjan Island. This spot has everything! Not only is it a foodie’s paradise, but also it has so much to do families will be spoilt for choices and ways to work up the unusually large appetite that you will need in order to dine around the 13 restaurants on site.


The Check-In

Every visit to any Doubletree by Hilton hotel in the world is met with a warm welcome—a literally fresh from the oven warm chocolatechip cookie welcome — a time-honoured and yummy hotel tradition.


The Rooms

Our family stayed in two adjoining BayClub King rooms, and they couldn’t have been more family-friendly. Not lacking in any creature comforts, the aesthetically pleasing rooms had lush carpets, a generous work area for those on a working holiday, and a beautiful balcony that looks out onto the inviting Arabian Sea.


What To Do

If your family loves the water, this resort is the place for you. There are a variety of water activities to choose from, including the resort’s unique floating playground, which has a high-dive launch and a rope swing. Younger kids have their own share of activities with water slides, a sea swing, and a host of other fun games.

Where To Eat

For families, one factor in where to stay is always food, because kids are finicky and not all restaurants cater to them. We began and ended our stay with an Asian fusion feast at Sanchaya, which was our family’s favourite restaurant at the resort. We are partial to Asian, but if you’re not, don’t worry! The resort’s culinary offerings also feature Vespa (Italian), Meze (Turkish) and Brasserie (French-European) as well as it’s all-day dining restaurant Al Marjan.

From a family perspective, Al Marjan at breakfast was a real hit. Though we have no special requirements for this meal, we saw the chef going from table-to-table to ask diners if there was any particular food that they would like that they didn’t see at the buffet. It was such a thoughtful gesture, and we did notice many parents of young children taking the chef up on his offer, noticing that he even disappeared off into the kitchen to whip up some baby food for a worried new mother.

We also tried Vespa and Brasserie. We were impressed with how fresh all the ingredients were, how it all tasted home-made yet gourmet, as well as how much they enjoyed finding menu items that our children would devour, which they did. The resort also has a few nighttime establishments with outdoor seating areas and a beautiful view for parents looking for evening entertainment after the kids have gone to sleep.

The Conclusion

As we packed our bags, we left collectively thinking that this resort’s attributes were certainly the food and the beautiful location. In our sampling of just a few of the 14 restaurants, a staycation here is a food lover’s dream and far from the usual resort fare. Great service, amazing chefs, and fresh ingredients are each restaurant’s strengths.

In addition, Al Marjan Island itself is swiftly becoming a top destination for families in Ras Al Khaimah. The property seems to strike that welcoming balance of feeling at home to every kind of traveller, be it large families, couples, or guests who want premium attention in an excellent location.

Summer rates starts from AED 455 net including breakfast for 2. Kids under 12 stay for free. Call +971 7 203 0000 for more information.

Here are some fun reasons why RAK should be at the top of your UAE staycation list!

  • The Arabic name ‘Ras Al Khaimah’ means “top of the tent,” referring to its location in the northern most tip of the UAE.
  • Ras Al Khaimah is home to Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE. At 1,910 metres, this peak is ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and now the intrepid can summit the peak and then zip line down for impressive views during their hurtling descent.
  • Be properly spooked when you visit the abandoned fishing village of Al Jazirat Al Hamra. It’s a reminder of the simplicity of local life before the oil. . Ras Al Khaimah has an impressive 62km of white sandy beaches with clear turquoise water and watersports aplenty.
  • Ras Al Khaimah National Museum offers history enthusiasts a traditional weapons display as well as archaeological displays showing the earliest settlers and objects from the Bronze era.
  • Ahmad Bin Majid was an Arab cartographer born in Ras Al Khaimah in 1421 and is considered the first Arab seaman and famous for helping Vasco da Gama navigate his way from Africa to India.

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+971 7 203 000
DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Ras Al Khaimah

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