Ras Al Khaimah

Information

Type of the vacation

Family, Beach

Population

241,000 as of 2014

Area size

2,478 sq. km

Travelers looking for a destination with year-round sunshine, sweeping white sandy beaches, soft adventure and world class resorts are invited to visit Ras Al Khaimah, the northern most emirate of the UAE and located just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport.

Ras Al Khaimah is a unique destination for visitors of all ages. With its 416,600 population the emirate boasts of beautiful mountains, red sandy desert and lush green plains along with a series of creeks and lagoons. It has a rich heritage dating back 5,000 years, which manifests in numerous historical sites, forts and abandoned villages. The Emirati culture is omnipresent in Ras Al Khaimah and you will be welcomed with the warm Arabic hospitality wherever you go.

 

Ras Al Khaimah offers a variety of entertainment and relaxation facilities including exclusive Hotels & Resorts, international cuisines’ restaurants and selective spas, all at great value for money.

With a wide range of activities covering Watersports, Sailing Cruises, Desert camps, Golf courses and Mountain Adventures, the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah presents an ultimate outdoor experience for residents and visitors alike.  64 kilometers of coast line with crystal clear water and white sandy beaches are a heaven for all sun-seekers.

Located just 45 minutes from the Dubai International Airport and being well connected by Airport and the National Highway, Ras Al Khaimah enables easy stopovers as well as extended holidays. With its splendid natural treasures and recreational choices, Ras Al Khaimah is a picture-perfect leisure destination that is a must for travelers, looking for the real essence of Arabia.

Local Currency

The local currency is the dirham, which is pegged at AED 3.67 to 1 US dollar

Rulers

H. H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi is the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
He graduated from the University of Michigan, majoring in Economics and Political Science.

After graduation in 1979, he  assumed the position of  Chief of Ras Al Khaimah Royal Court (Al Diwan Al Amiri).

In 1986, he was appointed  as the Chairman of Ras Al Khaimah Municipal Council. He also chaired many boards of companies.

His father, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad Al Qasimi appointed him as Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

He became the Ruler of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah on 27 October 2010 after the demise of his father.

H.H is the founder of  Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority which aimed to  develop the economic infrastructure in the emirate.

History

Archaeological evidences indicate old civilisations in Ras Al Khaimah.  Its strategic location at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf has contributed to its economic and cultural exchange.  Trade has been an essential part of life in the region since 5000 B.C. By the 10th  century, inhabitants of Ras Al Khaimah traveled  as far as Zanzibar, Bombay, and China. The emirate is famous for its historical antiquities such as the Fort of Dhayah, the palace of Al Zabaa and the antiquities of Julfar city. Ras Al Khaimah’s strategic position made it a target for many invading powers. The remains of the historic forts evidence Ras Al Khaimah’s history and early settlements of  the Sassanid Persians, the Islamic of the Arabian Gulf, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British empires. In the early 18th  century, Al Qawasim tribe (the current ruling tribe of the emirate) set up a base in Ras Al Khaimah  and Sharjah and grew to be a significant maritime power on the Arabian Coast.  The British fought with Al Qawasim. The fight ended in a maritime treaty on 1820 and laid to  the foundation for the British Protectorate over the Trucial States that lasted until 1971. In 1869, Ras Al Khaimah became fully independent from Sharjah and reincorporated once again from 1900 until 1921.  RAK was the last emirate to join the Federation on 10 February 1972.

How it was named

The name of the emirate literally means the peak of the tent, referring to the Queen of Al Zaba’a who built a tent on top of Shamal mountain.

Historically, it was named Julfar.

Economy

Ras Al Khaimah has been witnessing a wide expansion in its economy marked by the recent establishment of free zone areas, which attracted many foreign investments in different sectors:

RAK Free Trade Zone Authority

Established in the year 2000, it embodies more than 8,600 companies from over 100 countries, representing more than 50 industry sectors.

RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA)

It is a fully equipped business and industrial region offering competitive free zone and non-free zone facilities in a dynamic environment.  Apart from its agricultural attributes, RAK also runs two vital industries:

The cement industry

In 1970s, Union Cement Company started its production and in 1990s, Gulf Cement Company and RAK Cement were established.

Ras Al Khaimah is currently the largest cement producer in the UAE.

The pharmaceutical industry

Ras Al Khaimah owns Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries LLC, known as Julfar, which is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in MENA.

Julfar operates thirteen facilities in the UAE and others located in Ethiopia, Bangladesh and KSA.

It distributes its products to over 40 countries worldwide.

Landmarks

These vary between old and new. Some of the popular ones are

The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah:

Located in the residential fort of the ruling family of the city until the 1960’s, the National Museum of Ras- Al- Khaimah is a must visit place to witness the amazing archeological discoveries made during the excavations along with various ethnological artifacts, manuscripts, traditional weapons that once belonged to the ruling family of the city and much more. The museum also beautifully displays the settlement area from the initial inhabitance up to the late Islamic era.

Khatt Hot Springs

Offering therapeutic hot water springs at a place near the Hajar Mountains that looks almost like a castle, the Khatt hot springs takes you to a completely different world of relaxation with its Ayurvedic treatments, hot stone and precious stone treatments. It is a perfect place for the tourists to relax and rejuvenate in a natural atmosphere. With 3 natural mineral water hot springs, the Khatt hot springs resort offers various amenities including a picnic location that adds to its advantage of being a weekend getaway.

Iceland Waterpark:

A definite place to enjoy a day filled with wet fun, the Iceland Water Park offers a cheaper option than the expensive Wild Wadi and Aquventure water parks of Dubai. The rides are great and suitable for both the not- so- daring ones and the ones driven by adrenaline rush. A perfect way to spend a hot day with splash rides, water pools and loads of fun and entertainment for the entire family, Iceland water Park is a must visit while in Ras- Al- Khaimah.

Shimal

If you have an interest in the archeological sites, Shimal, the small village located at the north of Ras- Al- Khaimah offers a perfect peek into hundreds of pre-Islamic tombs with inhabitancy from approximately 2000BC. Giving you a feel of the long lost world, Shimal village also boasts of the Husn al-Shimal Fort built in the early start of the Islamic era.

Falcon Show

One of the most traditional and still loved traditions of the UAE- Falconry is displayed with much fanfare in the city of Ras- Al- Khaimah at the Banyan Tree Al Wadi resort. The show features some of the most amazing species of hawks, falcons, owls, eagles, and kestrels. Enjoy the show along with a tour of the Falconry Mews, breeding and rehabilitation center, which in itself is a one of a kind experience.

Dhayah Fort

Facing the gulf in a strategic position, the Dhayah fort was built in the early 16th century as a defensive military tower. The Dhayah fort is a mud brick fort on the hilltop facing the mighty gulf and has played a significant role in the defensive history of Ras- Al- Khaimah. The fort was essentially destroyed during the war with the Britishers in the year 1891. The structure ruins of this significant monument still stand today depicting the history in its remaining form.

Pearl Museum

Till the late 19th century until the oil boom of the UAE, the risky pearl diving was the major source of income for the village of Ras- Al- Khaimah. Though a riskier occupation, Ras- Al- Khaimah was once known for its Pearl diving industry all across the globe and the museum does justice to its history by beautifully displaying the equipments used for diving and harvesting of pearls along with magnificent collection pearls.

Hajar Mountains along with all the modern amenities required to make it a perfect vacationing spot for tourists across the globe and locals from neighboring areas of UAE. With vast unspoilt plains of the desert, Ras- Al- Khaimah is your place to be if you want to witness the best of history, tradition, culture and modernity.

Fishing

Come and join us for an unforgettable offshore adventure. Experience the beautiful coast and crystal clear waters Ras Al Khaimah has to offer.

Camel Race

The Camel Race is the perfect attraction for visitors to experience Ras Al Khaimah’s culture and be reminded of its history. It is an entertaining way to spend the morning and an experience tourists are not likely to forget.

Awafi Desert

The Awafi region of the desert is well known for its famous annual festival. There are children’s play areas, bull fighting, camel riding, football tournaments, horse racing, 4×4 dune bashing, off-road competitions, motor cycling shows and a heritage village.

Geography

Ras Al Khaimah is the fourth largest emirate and covers an area of 1684 sq km, which is equal to 3.16% of the total area of the UAE.  It shares borders with Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Sharjah in the UAE and  also with the Sultanate of Oman to the Southeast. The City of Ras Al Khaimah is the capital of the emirate. A creek divides the city into two parts: the western part known as the old town, Ras Al Khaimah, and the eastern part known as Muairid.

The key towns in Ras Al Khaimah are:

Al Jazeerah Al Hamra: it is an old coastal town, which currently boosts many commercial and industrial projects.

Digdagah: It is known for agricultural activities and poultry farming.
Khatt: It is the location of hot springs
Masafi: It shares borders with the emirate of Fujairah and known for its mineral water.

Iceland Water Park

This is a great refuge from the heat of Arabia, it is an ideal family holiday destination for visitors of all age groups. A huge number of games, rides, entertainment, presented in the park, as well as a large food court, ensure maximum fun and enjoyment from visiting Iceland.

National Museum of the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah

Built in the mid 18th century during the Persian invasion of the emirate, it was originally the home of the royal family, which he remained until 1964. In 1987, the former ruler of the Principality of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qassimi opened it a museum, which exhibited a number of ancient monuments, as well as an interesting collection of archaeological and ethnological artifacts.

Country pearls

Visiting a farm on cultivation of pearls and pearl museum.
On the farm on cultivation of pearls – the first of its kind in the UAE – annually produces more than 100,000 pearls. Members of the Pearl farm tours begin his visit with a reference to the pearl cultivation technology and are able to open the oyster shell. If the oyster contains a pearl, sightseer receives it as a gift! Visit the pearl museum gives the visitor the opportunity to get acquainted with the history of pearling in the Arabian Peninsula. The windows on the two floors of the museum houses a collection of old equipment and diving suits pearl divers. The museum also has on display a collection of particularly valuable natural pearls of different sizes and colors.

Fort Dhayya

Erected as a military fortress of strategic importance in the 16th century on a hill dominating the Gulf, Dhayya fort witnessed the battle between locals and British troops. In that battle its towers were burnt, and later, in 1819, destroyed. The fort was rebuilt in the 1990s. Its location is in a strategic location allows you to admire the walls with his unforgettable views of the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah.

Population

According to the official portal of Ras Al Khaimah Government, the emirate is estimated to have a total population of 300,000.

Those interested can visit the local museum and learn about the history of the industry, to get acquainted with the technology and many years of experience in the collection and cultivation of pearls. Pearls are grown on a farm in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, has high competitive advantages and highly valued in the world market. Today the farm is thriving and provides a significant contribution to the economy of the emirate.

Characteristics of the Emirates of Sharjah

Mountains, sloping down and right up moving to the city and the beach, and the sea has an unusual blue color – this is the special characteristics of Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate. Almost untouched nature, the old town, which carries a lot of mysteries and beautiful pristine beaches, it seems, they are much more beautiful than in other neighboring emirates.

Capital – Ras al-Khaimah.
The area of the emirate – 2478 km²

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