Ras al-Khaimah (alternatively Ra'sal-Khaymah or Ras el-Kheima; Arabic:
رأس الخيمة; IPA: [raʔs alˈxajma]) is one of the
seven emirates that make up the
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates (UAE). The
current statehood is the result of the 1909 appanage from Sharjah. Its
name could be taken to mean "headland of the small huts", which can be
attributed to the indigenous buildings that existed along the coast.
The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE, bordering Oman's
exclave of Musandam. It covers an area of 1,684 km2
(650 sq mi). The capital city and home of most residents is
also called Ras Al Khaimah. The emirate had a population of 210,063 at
the 2005 Census, of which 41.82 percent or 87,848 were Emirati
citizens. Latest estimates put the total population at between 250,000
and 300,000. Locals accounted for 97,529 in the population estimate
The city has two main sections, Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel, on
either side of a creek. It is served by the Ras Al Khaimah
International Airport. It consists of a northern part (where the city
Ras al-Khaimah is situated), and a large inland exclave in the
south (near Hatta), and a few small islands in the Persian Gulf.
Ras al-Khaimah has the most fertile soil in the country, due to a
larger share in rainfall and underground water streams from Omani
2 List of rulers
4 Towns and settlements
6.2 Main economic sectors
6.3 Taxation and companies law
9.1 Dunes and landforms
10 See also
Ras al-Khaimah has been the site of human habitation for several
millennia and there are many historical and archaeological sites
throughout the emirate - local sources cite 1,000 - dating from
different time periods, including remnants of the Umm an-Nar Culture
(3rd millennium BC). Ancient graves were found in the
The city was historically known as Julfar.
According to Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, current ruler of
Sharjah Emirate, the city of
Ras al-Khaimah (which before was the
capital of the state that is now Sharjah) was historically known as
Julfar and was founded by Armenians who escaped Persia during the
Mongol invasion.
Further, archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the settlement
known as Julfar shifted location over time as harbour channels silted
up. Excavations of a sizable tell, which revealed remnants of a
Sassanid era fortification, indicate that early Julfar was located in
the north of Ras Al-Khaimah, not far from other sites of
historical/archaeological interest such as 'Sheba's Palace' and the
largest Umm an-Nar tombs found on the Arabian Peninsula. Sources say
that Julfar was inhabited by the
Azd (a branch of the
during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, and that the houses of the
Azd were built of wood.
There is considerable debate locally regarding the 18th-century charge
of maritime piracy, attracting the British label 'The Pirate Coast' to
the Eastern Gulf before a series of treaties in 1820, 1853 and, in
1892, the Perpetual Maritime Truce led to it being known as the
In the early 18th century, the
Al Qasimi dynasty established itself in
Ras Al Khaimah and
Sharjah on the Arabian Peninsula, growing to become
a significant maritime force with holdings on both the Persian and
Arabian coasts. In 1819, a British naval force was sent from
order to suppress alleged piracy - actions of the
Al Qasimi fleet
against British flagged shipping that affected trade routes in the
Strait of Hormuz, along the
Persian Gulf coast, and the Indian
In the Battle of Ras Al Khaimah of 1809, the
Al Qasimi fleet was
largely destroyed. The British operation continued to Linga on the
Persian coast which was, like the
Greater and Lesser Tunbs
Greater and Lesser Tunbs islands,
administered by the Al Qasimi. The attack on Ras Al Khaimah resulted
in the destruction of the tower of the 16th century Dhayah Fort whose
remains can be seen at Rams in northern Ras Al Khaimah. In January
1820, the British imposed the
General Maritime Treaty of 1820 signed
by Sheikh Sultan Bin Saqr
Al Qasimi who was reinstated by the British
in Ras Al Khaimah after the deposition of Hasan Bin Rahma. The
treaty stipulated the end of piracy and slavery, and laid the
foundation for the British protectorate over the
Trucial States that
lasted until December 1971. In 1869, Ras Al Khaimah became fully
independent from neighbouring Sharjah. However, from September 1900 to
7 July 1921, it was re-incorporated into Sharjah; the last governor
became its next independent ruler.
On 10 February 1972, Ras al-Khaimah, under the leadership of Sheikh
Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qasimi, joined the United Arab Emirates.
List of rulers
Its rulers were:
1708–1731: Sheikh Rahma Al Qasimi
1731–1749: Sheikh Matar bin Butti Al Qasimi
1749–1777: Sheikh Rashid bin Matar Al Qasimi
1777–1803: Sheikh Saqr bin Rashid Al Qasimi
1803–1808: Sheikh Sultan Bin Saqr
Al Qasimi (died 1866) (1st time)
1808–1814: Sheikh Hasan bin `Ali Al Anezi
1814–1820: Sheikh Hasan bin Rahma. In 1919 shifted capital to Khatt
due to British burning. Signed General Maritime Treaty of 1820.
1820–1866: Sheikh Sultan Bin Saqr
Al Qasimi (2nd time). In 1820
shifted capital to Sharjah.
1866 – May 1867: Sheikh Ibrahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi. Ruler of
May 1867 – 14 April 1868: Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi
(died 1868). Ruler of RAK.
14 April 1868 – 1869: Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi
(18??–1919). Ruler of
Sharjah and RAK.
1869 – August 1900: Sheikh Humayd bin Abdullah
Al Qasimi (died
1900). Ruler of RAK.
September 1900 – 1909: Currently Unknown
1909 – August 1919: Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi. Governor
of RAK, declared independence (against Sharjah) 1912.
August 1919 – 10 July 1921: Sheikh Sultan bin Salim Al Qasimi
(1891–19??), ruler of de facto independent RAK, who stayed on as the
ruler of the British-recognised independent RAK:
10 July 1921 – Feb 1948: Sheikh Sultan bin Salim Al Qasimi
17 July 1948 – 27 October 2010: Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad
27 October 2010 – current: Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi
The appointed heir presumptive is currently Muhammad bin Saud al
Qasimi, son of the current Ruler of the Emirate.
See also: Category:Populated places in Ras al-Khaimah.
In 1975, the total population of Ras Al Khaimah was 43,845 of which
29,613 were nationals and 14,232 were foreigners. This figure
increased to 73,918 (39,148 locals; 34,770 foreigners) in 1980, 96,578
in 1985, 143,334 in 1995, and 210,063 in 2005. The current total
population is estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000 people,
nationals and foreigners.
Towns and settlements
Important towns, settlements and areas include:
Al Jazirah Al Hamra – an old coastal town with numerous real
estate projects and industrial zone
Ar-Rams – a coastal town; in the past, a typical fishing and
Khawr Khuwayr – an industrial zone, with the largest port in
Ras al-Khaimah and numerous companies such as a cement factory
Diqdaqah – a village known for agriculture activities
Khatt – a village surrounded by mountains, famous for its
thermal springs and palm gardens
Masafi – a town in the south, on the border with Fujairah; well
known for drinking water
Huwaylat – a central village in the south
Ras al-Khaimah's desert climate (
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification BWh)
is hot and arid with very hot summers and mild winters. The average
temperature is 18 to 25 °C (64 to 77 °F) in January and 29
to 43 °C (84 to 109 °F) in July. However, temperatures
often reach 45 °C in the summer; the highest recorded
temperature is 48.8 °C (119.8 °F). The humidity is usually
high in the summer months. Rains and thunderstorms occur rarely, and
only in winter. Snow has been reported in December 2004, January 2009
and February 2017 in the high mountains of Ras al-Khaimah.
Temperatures as low as −5 °C (23 °F) have been measured
at the peak of Jebel Jais.
Climate data for
Ras al-Khaimah Airport
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source: NOAA 
Not being a producer of oil,
Ras al-Khaimah has focused on developing
its industrial sector. As of 1920,
Ras al-Khaimah was mining iron
Main economic sectors
Real Estate – numerous residential areas, offices, commercial
buildings are constructed in Ras al-Khaimah.
Ras al-Khaimah is becoming a new destination on tourist
Ras al-Khaimah is home to five star hotels and beach resorts
including Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Rotana or Banyan Tree. It has a
number of 4 and 3 star accommodations. In September 2010, first water
park Ice Land was opened to offer leisure opportunity for both
residents and visitors and more new tourism projects are under
Building materials –
Ras al-Khaimah opened the UAE's first cement
company in the early 1970s and is now the UAE's largest producer of
cement. In the 1980s, the emirate formed
Ras al-Khaimah Ceramics,
which has become one of the world's largest ceramics producers.
Manufacturing and High-Tech Industry – In the 1980s, the emirate
formed Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar), the Persian Gulf
region's first pharmaceuticals company. Falcon Technologies
International (FTI) represents high-tech industry and produces optical
storage media (CDR,DVDR, BDR). In 2012, Innovative Composite
Engineering was established in the Industrial Free-zone to manufacture
high end composite products (aerospace, construction parts).
Service sector – recently growing sector with its prominent RAK Bank
and RAK Insurance companies.
Agriculture and Fisheries – in the past, these were the main economy
sectors of Ras al-Khaimah. Nowadays they are still significant
providing foodstuff not only for the
Emirate but for the whole
Taxation and companies law
New legislation and regulations favour international investments. The
combination of security and confidentiality is ensured to
entrepreneurs. An international company may only have foreign
customers and is not liable for paying local taxes. It can open a
local bank account, make investments tax-free, and obtain mortgages
for investing in UAE assets. Employment visas are available. When
approved, this type of company can own property in UAE free-trade
No income, sales, or wealth taxes are payable by individuals. No
corporate taxes are charged. In addition, there are no exchange
controls, no withholding nor import or export taxes.
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and
traditional Arab culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on
its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very
prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer
from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country.
Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise
between Friday's holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of
Saturday-Sunday. It should be noted however that a great majority
of the population are non national citizens, coming from India,
Pakistan, and a wide range of nations.
The majority of mosques are Hanbali,
Muwahhid Muslim or Salafi
Participants of RAK Half Marathon 2011.
Ras al-Khaimah Half Marathon, first held in 2007, has
called the attention of the world's sporting media to the region. The
organisers invest much in the IAAF-labeled race in order to attract
the world's top athletes, resulting in a world record from Samuel
Wanjiru in 2007 and the second fastest run of all-time from Patrick
Makau Musyoki in 2009.
UAE Awafi Festival – a yearly festival in the Ras al-Khaimah
desert, focusing mainly on the Arabic public[clarification needed]. It
is a three-week event, held in December or January, the main
attraction being a dramatic sand dune race by the strongest 4-wheel
drivers of the UAE. There is a heritage village with traditional food
and dance, as well as shops for food and souvenirs. There is also a
petting zoo and lots of games for children. The entry is free of
charge, and many families bring picnics to enjoy whilst watching the
cars battling it out over the sand dunes.
Terry Fox Run
Terry Fox Run RAK – a yearly charity run organized in Ras
al-Khaimah to support cancer research in the UAE. The first event
was organized in 2010 (short movie from 1st RAKTFR event).
Participation of this event has grown from hundreds to thousands since
A trilingual signboard in RAK
Ras al-Khaimah city, the main mode of transport are metered
taxis, with public buses operating on long-haul routes and catering
mainly to smaller towns (e.g. Sha`am, Ar-Rams, and Al Jazirah Al
Hamra). A local bus service operated by RAK Transport Authority
provides infrequent connections between Nakheel, Al Hamra and the
Ras al-Khaimah is connected to the other emirates by taxis and buses
which embark from the Bus Station located at RAK Transport Authority
Headquarters near the new
Ras al-Khaimah Police Headquarters and
opposite the Cove Rotana hotel.
Three dual-carriageways link
Ras al-Khaimah with the other emirates
and beyond. One follows the coast with beaches on one side and
stretches of desert on the other; the other, a new route, runs out
towards the airport in the direction of Khatt, Masafi, Fujairah,
Dhaid, and eventually Oman.
The Emirates Road (E311 Highway) traverses the emirates of Umm Al
Ajman (for 60 km (37 mi) of its length) and Sharjah
(for 71 km (44 mi) of its length) to finally end up in Dubai
(for 87 km (54 mi) of its length). The highway allows
Ras al-Khaimah to
Dubai in under 45 minutes. The highway
is being extended further till Saqr Port to allow direct flow of
traffic from the southern emirates, the extension was scheduled to be
completed by 2014. In spring 2013 work on the 32-kilometre
(20 mi) RAK Ring Road which will bypass the city and connect the
quarries and factories of the north coast with the 311 motorway was
held up by a three-month rescue excavation after the discovery of
megalithic tombs dating to the Wadi Suq period, from 2000 to 1600
Saqr Port, located in the industrial area of Khawr Khuwayr, is the
emirate's main port, providing bulk and container services. It has
eight deep-water berths, each 200 m (660 ft) long, is
dredged to 12.2 m (40 ft) and has two "ro-ro" ramps plus
specialised berths for handling bulk cement and aggregate. Other
services include ship-handling, crew changes, and 40,000 m2
(430,000 sq ft) of covered storage, together with a vast
open storage area. It is also the closest port in the UAE to Bandar
Abbas, Iran, but there is no shipping from Saqr port to Bandar
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport offers cargo and passenger
services to a variety of destinations covering the Middle East, North
& East Africa, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. It serves
as a hub for low cost carrier Air Arabia.
On 17 February 2006,
Space Adventures announced its plans to develop a
$265 million commercial spaceport in
Ras al-Khaimah for space
tourism. This plan has yet to be realized.
Notable landmarks in
Ras al-Khaimah include:
The National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah: housed in the former palace of
Al Qasimi family, with exhibits on natural history, arts
and crafts of previous centuries, and archaeology
Dhayah Fort: the only surviving hilltop fort in the UAE
Sheba's Palace: ruins of a medieval palace
Al Falayah: the former summer residence of the ruling Al Qawasim
Al Jazirah Al Hamra: an abandoned "ghost town" showing the preserved
architecture of an early 20th-century pearling port
The Old City and Souq: both traditional and modern shops as well as
Bab Al Bahr: Pyramid inspired buildings along Ras Al Khaimah's coastal
Waldorf Astoria - Ras Al Khaimah: The Middle Eastern venture of the
legendary Waldorf Astoria of New York.
Bu Shaqq tower 25°01′N 55°47′E / 25.017°N 55.783°E /
25.017; 55.783 
Al Hayl Fort: One of the robust forts that occupies an important
strategic location and oversees a vast area, all leading to the road
Dunes and landforms
Al-Khushaym 25°26′N 55°58′E / 25.433°N 55.967°E /
Bani Fasan 23°53′N 52°09′E / 23.883°N 52.150°E /
Jabal Jais, on the city's outskirts
Middle East portal
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates portal
Ras al-Khaimah Free Trade Zone
Ras al-Khaimah Media Free Zone
Al Marjan Island LLC
UAE Awafi Festival
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(PDF). Uaestatistics.gov.ae. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
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^ "New archaeological site found in Ras Al Khaimah". GulfNews.com.
2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
^ "Ancient graves unearthed in RAK". GulfNews.com. 2013-04-05.
^ The Gulf States: A Modern History - David Commins - ßĘČ Google.
Books.google.com.bh. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
^ Kourosh Ahmadi, Islands and International Politics in the Persian
Gulf: The Abu Musa and Tunbs in Strategic Context (Routledge, 2008)
^ "Saud is Ras Al Khaimah ruler as UAE mourns Shaikh Saqr". Gulf News.
^ st1031120193 (2015-03-11). "RAS AL KHAIMAH". UAE : United Arab
Emirates. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
^ "Watch: Snowfall in UAE, temperature hits -2.2 degree". Khaleej
Times. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
^ "Heavy snowfall on Ras Al Khaimah's Jebel Jais mountain cluster".
gulfnews.com. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
^ "Ras al Khaimah Climate Normals". National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office.
^ "About Us". Composites.ae. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
^ Jonathan Sheikh-Miller. "UAE Weekend Switchover". AMEinfo. Archived
from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
^ Fairlie, Greg (2010-02-10). Fast times in store as a field of 10
sub-60 men announced for
Ras al-Khaimah Half Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved
^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
^ "Transport : Taxi/Bus". Government of Ras Al Khaimah.
^ "Archaeologists make last ditch attempt to rescue remains of
pre-historic tombs in RAK The National". Thenational.ae. 2013-04-13.
^ "News : Press Releases :". Space Adventures. Retrieved
^ "Historic witness to RAK's defence". GulfNews.com. 2008-11-20.
^ Hawker, Ronald W. 'Tribe, house style, and the town layout of
Jazirat al-Hamra, Ras al-Khaimah, UAE' in Proceedings of the Seminar
for Arabian Studies, 2006
^ a b c Gazetteer of the United Arab Emirates. Washington, D.C. :
Defense Mapping Agency, 1987.
Al Hayl Fort". website.
Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities
Ras al-Khaimah travel guide from Wikivoyage
Ras al-Khaimah English Information Site
Ras al-Khaimah e-Government portal
Places adjacent to Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah (North)
Places adjacent to Ras al-Khaimah
Ras al-Khaimah (South)
Al Batinah Region
Al Jazirah Al Hamra
Dhad al Arab
Qarat ad Dulm
Quar Ah Qahlish
Sayh as Saqlah
Major cities of the United Arab Emirates
Adhan, Ras al-Khaimah
Al Jazirah Al Hamra
Emirates of the United Arab Emirates
Portuguese overseas empire
Alcácer Ceguer (El Qsar es Seghir)
Mazagan (El Jadida)
Santa Cruz do Cabo de Gué (Agadir)
Aguz (Souira Guedima)
Mazagan (El Jadida)
São João da Mamora (Mehdya)
Fernando Poo (Bioko)
Elmina (São Jorge da Mina)
Portuguese Gold Coast
São João Baptista de Ajudá
Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe
1 Part of São Tomé and
Príncipe from 1753.
2 Or 1600.
3 A factory (Anosy Region) and small temporary coastal bases.
4 Part of
Portuguese Guinea from 1879.
5 Part of
Portuguese Angola from the 1920s.
Middle East [Persian Gulf]
Gamru (Bandar Abbas)
Julfar (Ras al-Khaimah)
Bahrain (Muharraq • Manama)
(Coulão / Kollam)
Pallipuram (Cochin de Cima)
Portuguese Paliacate outpost (Pulicat)
(Porto Grande De Bengala)
Daman and Diu
Portuguese Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Dadra and Nagar Haveli
East Asia and Oceania
Portuguese Malacca [Malaysia]
Portuguese Timor (East Timor)1
Lapa and Montanha (Hengqin)
1 1975 is the year of East Timor's Declaration of Independence and
subsequent invasion by Indonesia. In 2002, East Timor's independence
was fully recognized.
North America & North Atlantic
15th century [Atlantic islands]
16th century [Canada]
Terra Nova (Newfoundland)
South America & Antilles
Captaincy Colonies of Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
Nova Colónia do Sacramento
Grão-Pará and Maranhão
Grão-Pará and Rio Negro
Maranhão and Piauí
Portuguese Guiana (Amapá)
Upper Peru (Bolivia)
Coats of arms of Portuguese colonies
Evolution of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese colonial architecture
Portuguese colonialism in Indonesia
Portuguese colonization of the Americas
Theory of the Portuguese discovery of Australia