Following the announcement of the inaugural Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge, which will be the penultimate event of the 2016 European Challenge Tour season, we bring you ten facts about the spectacular up-and-coming destination which is putting itself on the golfing map.
1. The top of the tent
Ras Al Khaimah is the northernmost of the seven United Arab Emirates and forms part of a triangular-shaped headland which adjoins Oman’s northern exclave of Musandam. As such, the name of the emirate aptly translates as "Top of the tent".
2. Feeling hot, hot, hot
The Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge will take place at a crucial point of the season when all the battles, plots and sub-plots are heating up towards a dramatic conclusion and the weather in the stunning coastal emirate will be fittingly balmy. Temperatures there average between 20 and 36 degrees Celsius, while the record high for October is 46.1!
3. Lap of luxury
Ras Al Khaimah is home to several breath-taking five star hotels while there is a diverse range of accommodation to suit all visitors. The spectacular Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah towers over Al Hamra Golf Club while the Hilton Al Hamra Beach & Golf Resort is among the many luxurious accommodation hotspots nearby.
4. Peak powers
The emirate may only stretch over 2,486 square km – about one-tenth the size of Sicily – but it boasts the highest mountain in the United Arab Emirates. Jebel Jais, about an hour and a half’s drive from Al Hamra Golf Club, peaks at 1,930m.
5. City life
The capital city of the emirate, also called Ras Al Khaimah, provides a perfect balance of old and new. It is divided into two parts by a natural creek, the old part mainly consisting of government departments, residential neighbourhoods and markets, while the other half of the city, Al Nakheel, has more of a mix of commercial, administrative and residencies.
6. Wet and wild
Ras Al Khaimah boasts 62km of white sandy beaches with clear blue water and watersports aplenty, from banana boat rides and body boarding to wakeboarding and windsurfing. Just ten minutes from the golf course, meanwhile, is a new Iceland Waterpark – perfect for the golfers to relax after a long day on the links!
7. Journey into the past
While Ras Al Khaimah is an emirate looking toward the future, it also boasts a rich history of which it is immensely proud - there are 18 historic fortifications, castles and towers still standing in Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah has a rich history dating back to the Bronze Age which makes it one of the few places in the world that has been continuously settled for over 7,000 years.
8. Desert island
Marjan Island, which is right beside Al Hamra Golf Club, is a series of four connected man-made islands – Breeze Island, Dream Island, Treasure Island and View Island - which expands 4.5 kilometres into the sea and features luxurious hospitality and residences throughout. With this kind of living, our Challenge Tour stars may never want to leave!
9. Poetry in motion
One of Ras Al Khaimah’s oldest art forms is called Al Wahabiyyah, which is a song that is divided into three parts. This folkdance is usually performed on special occasions, feast days and at wedding parties.
The National Day of the United Arab Emirates takes place today, December 2, and grand celebrations are held throughout the nation to celebrate. Congrats Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE, see you next October!