United Arab Emirates (UAE) was founded in 1971 by the six emirates Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, Umm al-Qaiwai and one year later they were joined by Ras al-Khaimah (RAK).
When we hear UAE, the first thing that springs to mind is of course Dubai, with Abu Dhabi as a runner up. RAK, which is the northernmost emirate is a hidden gem for most but is definitely worth a visit if you crave (as I often do) peace and quiet in luxurious surroundings for a budget price. It can be easily reach by a 45-minute taxi drive from Dubai (if you try to pre-book the trip, you will get an insane price quote, so regular taxi is very much preferred).
Last Easter my son and I spent 5 days at the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island before ending our holiday with 3 days in Dubai and we paid less than what the charter tours charge for a week in Gran Canary at a mediocre hotel.
Hotel food and drinks are quite expensive, but we found a small grocery shop a few hundred meters away where we stocked up on rolls and sodas. This way we only needed to buy one meal at the hotel in addition to the breakfast that was already included.
Marjan Island is a very quiet peninsula, so if you are looking for lots of activities or wild nightlife, go somewhere else. We, however, had a great time, playing volleyball, swimming in one of the many giant swimming pools, taking a dip in the clear blue ocean, playing in the small waterpark and had the time of our lives. A couple of evenings we took a taxi to a small shopping mall nearby to eat, but otherwise we just relaxed at the hotel.
We managed to spend 5 days in RAK without getting bored, but since we had plans for visiting the new, amazing zoo in Dubai, we headed there for a few days before leaving for Norway. I will tell you more about that visit in a later post.