Aviva Directory » Local & Global » Asia » United Arab Emirates » Cities & Towns » Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah is the capital city, and home to most of the residents of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, one of seven emirates that make up the federation of the United Arab Emirates.

The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is in northeastern part of the Emirates, bordering Oman. It is divided by a waterway, known as Khour Ras al Khaimah, into two sections, Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel, on the other side of the creek. There is also an enclave in the south, near Hatta, and a few small islands in the Persian Gulf.

Surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, the city is often used as a base for tourists and Emirati to enjoy the nearby mountains, desert, and beaches. Ras Al Khaimah is also the gateway to the Musandam Peninsula, an enclave of Oman. The RAK receives more rainfall than the other parts of the Emirates, and it also receives underground water streams from the Omani mountains, so its soil is the most fertile in the United Arab Emirates.

People have inhabited the area for several thousands of years. Archaeological evidence from several time periods has been unearthed, including that of the Umm an-Nar Culture, of the 3rd millennium BC.

Founded by Armenians who had escaped the Mongol invasion of Persia, the city was originally known as Julfar, and was once the capital of the Emirate of Sharjah. Over the years, the settlement known as Julfar shifted locations due to silt building up in the harbors. Early Julfar was north of the current city of Ras Al Khaimah.

In the early 1700s, the Al Qasimi dynasty was established on the Arabian Peninsula, in the areas of current Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, and became a powerful maritime force along the Persian and Arabian coasts. Alleging piracy, the British Navy acted against the Al Qasimi fleet. In the 1809 Battle of Ras Al Khaimah, the Al Qasimi fleet was destroyed and, in 1820, Britain imposed a General Maritime Treaty that demanded the end of piracy and slavery, and establishing a British protectorate over the Trucial States that continued until December of 1971.

Ras Al Khaimah split from Sharjah in 1869, but was reincorporated into Sharjah in 1921, separating once again upon entering the federation of the United Arab Emirates in 1972.

As Ras Al Khaimah is not an oil producing emirate, its economic efforts have focused on developing its industrial sector. as well as the mining of iron ore. Tourism is a growing sector of the emirate's economy.

As with the remainder of the United Arab Emirates, the culture of Ras Al Khaimah is tied to Islam and traditional Islamic tradition. Besides the obvious influences of Islamic culture on the architecture, music, clothing, and lifestyle of the city, Muslims are called to prayer five times a day through loudspeakers installed in a network of mosques throughout the city and emirate. As Friday is the Muslim holy day, weekends consist of Friday and Saturday rather than Saturday and Sunday, this despite the fact that the majority of the population are foreign workers and expatriates, not Emirati.

The Ras Al Khaimah International Airport offers passenger and cargo services to locations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and India, but does not receive flights directly from the United Kingdom, Europe, or the Americas. The most common mode of transportation to the city from the other emirates is by bus or taxi.

The chief focus of websites listed in this category is either on the city or emirate of Ras Al Khaimah or on businesses, schools, religious institutions, or organizations based within the city.



Recommended Resources

Search for Ras Al Khaimah on Google or Bing