Already a firm favourite amongst travellers and their four-legged friends, the team at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) introduces Ras Al-K9, a pet-friendly program running across 25 hotels, restaurants, pet friendly-festivals, outdoor parks and beaches in the Emirate.
Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect getaway for exploring the great outdoors with dogs. From spectacular wadi walks and mountain hikes on Jebel Jais to chilled out beachside café lunches, desert adventures, and overnight stays, plenty of experiences are offered across its stunning landscapes – the sea, desert and spectacular mountains – especially this season with milder temperatures.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented: “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.”
Set tails wagging with beachside & inland frolics
The Emirate is famed for its pristine white sandy beaches, most of which are open to dogs and their hoomans and offer up the ideal spot to spend the day snoozing under a beach umbrella, catching a frisbee or splashing around in the water. Firm favourites include Al Jazeera and Flamingo beaches, 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 7000 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, as well as a café area where dog owners can socialise while their dogs are playing. Other pet-friendly venues for those looking to grab a bite to eat, include delicious Japanese Cuisine at Ruzo, which offers a pet-friendly outdoor seating area at Flamingo Beach. The Club House located within Al Hamra, also welcomes guests to bring along their dogs, as do its neighbouring dining venues Marina Muse, Tucano Coffee and Bread & Barrel.
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, featuring direct access to a 500m-long private back beach area and a special ‘Bone Appetit’ room service menu, featuring grilled boneless chicken with white rice, beef and veggie stew, beef burger with potato brioche bun, and chicken sausages with mashed potato. BM Beach Resort has reserved a block of 48 chalets for dogs and their owners 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 within the courtyard. The newly opened Banan Beach Resort has also dedicated a selection of its tents and lofts to welcome furry friends to enjoy its carefree vibe and beachfront setting. For 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.
Mountain and wadi walkies
For the more active visitors, Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, the world’s first branded Bear Grylls accommodation, offers 16 recycled and redesigned cabins nestled within the mountain, providing the perfect basecamp for adventurers and their canine companions to explore. Camp 1770, the highest camp in the UAE, also provides a stunning pet-friendly base from which to explore the majestic Hajar mountains with your canine companion.
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, where owners and dogs can hike the rocky terrain while taking in the stunning scenery. The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority Team have a series of expert-led videos on its social media channels advising hikers and avid walkers on how best to prepare for an excursion as well as offering interesting insights into the various routes and tips on safety from leading experts, such as Hussain Darwish, Founder of HK9 (www.hk9.ae), an outdoor activity provider that focuses on hiking experiences with a man’s four-legged best friend.
For an overnight adventure, RAK Glamping covers ten acres of desert dunes with stunning views of the Hajjar Mountains, welcoming dogs of all sizes to join their humans and enjoy its traditional Arabic Bedouin Tents. The team will tailor the glampsite for dogs with a fenced perimeter, water bowls, tennis balls, a special swimming pool, doggy ice cream as well as an on-site pet store in case you need to stock up on supplies. It also offers pet-sitting services for guests who want to go off exploring without their four-legged friend in tow.
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival dedicates one weekend for pets
In celebration of its 10th year anniversary, the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is introducing an exciting new weekend program for pet-lovers with a ‘pet-friendly weekend’ bringing an exciting line-up of events to the festival which this year celebrates its 10th edition. The ‘pet-friendly weekend’ on February 18th-20th will feature a range of fun-packed activities including workshops, pet adoption and pet yoga, combined with the opportunity to enjoy the art and entertainment provided by the festival.
Paws by the Beach, Ras Al Khaimah’s First Pet Festival
The Emirate will be kicking off its first pet-friendly festival, Paws by the Beach on Marjan Island on February 26th & 27th. Designed to be an educational platform to raise awareness about animal welfare and educate pet owners about their animal’s well-being, the festival 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.
Adopt your own four-legged friend
Established in 2010 by a group of volunteers, Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center has a number of cats and dogs available for adoption and find forever homes for over 500 animals per year. Anyone interested in adopting their own pet best friend is encouraged to visit the shelter where the team can introduce you to some of its guests and match you with the perfect companion.
Pet owners can also pay a visit to The Pet Shop when in the Emirate, where they regularly host events and adoption days in support of the Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center. Furthermore, from February 1st – to August 31st, The Pet Shop will pick one lucky shopper each month to win AED 500 to spend in-store, with the same amount will also being given to Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center to support their adoption efforts and help animals in need. Complimentary grooming and prizes will also be on offer for shoppers.
Here are some helpful tips to make your pet-friendly trip a success:
- 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 available to them at all times.
- 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.
- make sure you carry a fixed lead, dog harness, snacks, extra water and food, and clean up behind your pet, leaving nothing behind when hitting the trails.
- Remember to bring your dog’s vaccination book.