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Dhayah Fort
Dhayah Fort

Dhayah Fort

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Free admission
Dhaya Fort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

The Basics

Comprising a restored, twin-towered upper fort and a crumbled fortification beneath, Dhayah Fort will appeal to history and outdoor enthusiasts keen to enjoy its ruins and sweeping views over the surrounding palm oasis and Hajar peaks. Visitors can climb to the fort to experience the panoramas and inspect the towers before roaming the lower fort and palm groves to find the remains of the fort’s original outer watchtowers.

Without a car, the easiest way to visit Dhayah Fort is on an organized tour from Ras Al Khaimah city. Most tours cover the fort alongside several other sights, allow you to wander around independently, and provide historical insight by way of a guide’s commentary.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Dhayah Fort is great for history buffs and anyone who’d like to experience the UAE away from its modern cities.

  • Bring sunscreen—there’s no shade—and bottled water for hydration.

  • Access to the fort is via 220 steps, so be ready for quite an arduous climb.

  • Signage near the fort provides a potted history of the site.

  • There’s no charge to visit the fort or to park in the lot below the hill.

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How to Get There

Dhayah Fort stands about 10 miles (16.7 kilometers) north of Ras Al Khaimah, just northeast of Al Rams. The only way to get here is by cab or car or as part of an organized tour. By car, follow the E11/E18 highway north from Ras Al Khaimah and turn right at the sign to the Dhayah Guest House. Drive past villas for about a mile (1.5 kilometers), and the fort is near the guesthouse.

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When to Get There

The fort is open during daylight hours and draws only a few visitors—so whenever you arrive, the chances are you’ll explore in peace. The steps and lack of shade make early morning and late afternoon the best times to head here.

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Sunset at Dhayah Fort

To make your visit extra special, aim to arrive at Dhayah Fort for sundown. That way, you’ll probably have the site to yourself—at least, without tour groups—and you’ll be treated to stellar views, with the fading sun casting the mountains in a pinkish glow.

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