An increasingly popular tourist and resort destination in the UAE is the northern Emirate of Ras al Khaimah – known locally as RAK. RAK does have its own small international airport but it is reserved for charter flights, meaning the next closest international airport where most passengers are likely to start their UAE adventure is Dubai International Airport – DXB.
On this page, we talk you through all your different options for getting between Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah and what you can expect it to cost.
For more on what to actually do when you hit Ras Al Khaimah, check out our detailed guide here. [coming soon]
How far is Ras al Khaimah from Dubai?
You may be surprised to know that downtown RAK is only 45 minutes from DXB making it even closer to Dubai than the capital Abu Dhabi! (We discussed how to get between Dubai and Abu Dhabi here).
If you are coming from elsewhere in the city, such as the Jumeirah area it should take you no more than an hour and a half but allow much longer to get to say the top of Jebel Jais as it’s up a long, winding road.
Driving to RAK by private transport
Your own set of wheels will always be the easiest way and give you the freedom to explore when driving around the Emirates. If you don’t own a vehicle there are many places you can hire from in Dubai and RAK. We always use RentalCars.Com to compare prices before booking.
There are no restrictions or gateways between any of the UAE Emirates, but do look out for Salik toll gates in Dubai, and note cars drive faster than the signed limit (there’s a 20km buffer before you’re fined).
If you don’t fancy the drive yourself or don’t have your own set of wheels then you can look for:
- A standard Dubai taxi. This will cost you 200-250AED depending on your pickup /drop off points.
- Uber and Careem car services could also be used which may cost up to 300AED depending on location and route chosen.
- Book a private transfer service from DXB inside the terminal to your RAK hotel door
- Book a private transfer from any Dubai city location to your RAK hotel
- Private airport service Ras al Khaimah to DXB transfer
Private tours to RAK
If you are only visiting RAK for the day, your activity may well include pick up and drop off points from popular Dubai Hotels. Some that we are aware of offering this sort of service:
Public Bus to Ras al Khaimah
DXB to RAK
There is a luxury coach service that runs called the RAK Shuttle from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to popular RAK destinations. At the time of writing this service was 20AED one way per person and required pre-booking online.
There are currently 6 alloted times morning and late at night that take you from DXB Terminals 1 & 3 to a large list of popular RAK Resorts and Hotels.
Returning from RAK to DXB
Vice versa you can return from RAK to DXB Terminal 1 & 3 with the following pick up points
- Hilton RAK Resort & Spa,
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Bin Majid Beach Hotel
- The Cove Rotana Resort
- Jannah Resort & Villas
- Al Hamra Convention Centre
- Bin Majid Beach Resort
- Rixos Bab Al Bahr
- Doubletree by Hilton Marjan Island
- The Cove Rotana Resort
The timings, however, still appear extremely restricted with only early morning and late evening services (that said, most flights leave from DXB at around these times).
Al Hamra Bus
An alternative public transport option is the Al Hamra Bus.
RAK to Dubai by Al Hamra Bus
Leaving every 1 hour from 7.30am, the Al Hamra bus will stop along the northern Emirates and take about 2 hours to Dubai, Union Bus Station in Al Rigga (Deira side of Dubai). The last service is 9pm.
- Umm al Quwain 10AED
- Arjman 15AED
- Dubai / Sharjah 25AED
Dubai to RAK by Al Hamra Bus
The reverse route runs from Union Bus Station every 1.5 hours between 8am and 9.30pm. It’s approximately a 2-hour journey as it makes many stops along the way. One way tickets cost as above.
We struggled to get hold of exact timetable details but you can try ringing the Al Hamra call centre 800 1700. They are also responsible for the operation of local taxi services in and around RAK.
Ras al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi
If you do not have private transportation, the easiest public transport route to the UAE capital is by taking the Al Hamra bus to Union Station in Dubai. From here you can catch the green line metro to Al Ghubaiba and connect to the intracity bus service which we describe in much more detail here.
This is a long journey, however, expect it to take upwards of 4 to 5 hours depending on connections.
Alternative transport option:
Driving by private car the journey from Al Hamra in Ras al Khaimah to the Abu Dhabi will take just under 3 hours.
What is there to do in Ras Al Khaimah?
So now that you’ve got yourself to Ras al Khaimah, what exactly is there to do and where should you stay?
- Our complete guide on what to see and do in Ras Al Khaimah [coming soon]
- Best family resorts in Ras Al Khaimah [coming soon]
- Best time to visit the United Arab Emirates
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