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Ras Al Khaimah

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Zone s Mina Al Arab - Ras al Khaimah


The city was historically known as Julfar. Sources say that Julfar was inhabited by the Azd (They were a branch of the Kahlan tribe, which was one of the two branches of Qahtan (the aboriginal Arabs), the other being Himyar.) during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, and that the houses of the Azd were built of wood.

In the early 18th century the Qawasim clan (Huwayla tribe) established itself in Ras al-Khaimah.

After British occupation (18 December 1819 - July 1821), Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr al-Qasimi signed in 1822 the General Maritime Treaty with Britain, accepting a protectorate to keep the Ottoman Turks out. Like Ajman, Dubai, Umm al-Qaiwain and Sharjah, its position on the route to India made it important enough to be recognized as a salute state (though of the lowest class: only 3 guns).

In 1869 Ras al-Khaimah became fully independent from Sharjah. However from September 1900 to 7 July 1921 it was re-incorporated into Sharjah, its neighbour; the last governor became its next independent ruler.

On 11 February 1972, Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad al-Qasimi joined the United Arab Emirates.

Its rulers were:

  • 1777 - 1803 Sheikh Saqr bin Rashid al-Qasimi
  • 1803 - 1808 Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr al-Qasimi (d. 1866) (1st time)
  • 1808 - 1814 Sheikh al-Husayn bin `Ali al-Qasimi (acting)
  • 1814 - 1820 Sheikh al-Hasan bin Rahman al-Qasimi (acting)
  • 1820 - 1866 Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr al-Qasimi (2nd time)
  • 1866 - May 1867 Sheikh Ibrahim bin Sultan al-Qasimi
  • May 1867 - 14 April 1868 Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan al-Qasimi (d. 1868)
  • 14 April 1868 - 1869 Sheikh Salim bin Sultan al-Qasimi (b. 18.. - d. 1919)
  • 1869 - August 1900 Sheikh Humayd bin Abdullah al-Qasimi (d. 1900)
  • Sharjah then appointed governors:
    • September 1900 - 1909 Currently Unknown
    • 1909 - August 1919 Sheikh Salim bin Sultan al-Qasimi (s.a.)
    • August 1919 - 10 July 1921 Sheikh Sultan bin Salim al-Qasimi (b. 1891 - d. 19..), who stayed on the first of its own rulers:
  • 10 July 1921 - Feb 1948 Sheikh Sultan bin Salim al-Qasimi (s.a.)
  • 17 July 1948 - present Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad al-Qasimi (b. 1918)
  • 2003 Sheikh Soud bin Saqr Al-Qasimi


Schools: A large number of Government-run schools--primary, elementary and higher secondary--are scattered all over Ras Al Khaimah with Arabic as their main medium of instruction. Among other Arabic-medium schools are those that are run by private managements, viz.:

  • The Egyptian School
  • Badr Primary School

Apart from the above schools, there are English-medium ones which offer varied curricula to suit the expatriate community, offering syllabi such as GCSE, IGCSE, A Levels, O Levels, CBSE, Kerala State-Board (Indian Syllabi), Pakistani, Dhaka Board(Bangladeshi Syllabi) etc. viz.

  • Ras Al Khaimah English Speaking School
  • The International School of Choueifat
  • Indian School Ras Al Khaimah
  • Bangladesh Islamia School
  • The New Indian Higher Secondary School
  • Pakistani Higher Secondary School
  • Indian Public High School

University Education: Many locally-established universities and foreign universities have set up base in Ras Al Khaimah, some of which include:

  • Ittihad University
  • Royal College of Applied Sciences and Technology
  • Ras al-Khaimah Medical and Health Sciences University
  • George Mason University Ras Al Khaimah campus [2]
  • Higher Colleges of Technology
  • Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy


Within Ras Al Khaimah: Metered taxis are the main mode of transport within Ras Al Khaimah. Public buses also operate only on long-haul routes and they cater mainly to people residing in far-flung towns, viz. Sha`am, Rams, Jazeerah-al-Hamra etc.

Emirate-to-Emirate: Ras Al Khaimah is connected to emirates like Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah by taxis which often embark from the taxi-stand located south of Al Dhaid town near the new RAK Police Headquarters. The fare per head is AED 20. Engaged taxis are available on request for Dhs 100 to 150 to Dubai and Dhs 200 to 250 to Abu Dhabi.

Cars are available for rent from various Rent-A-Cars at negotiable prices starting at Dhs 80.

Highways: Three free-flowing 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, new route runs out towards the airport in the direction of Khatt, Masafi, Fujairah and Dhaid and further onto Oman.

The newly constructed 'Emirates Road (E311 Highway)' traverses the emirates of Umm Al Quwain, Ajman (60km) and Sharjah (71km) to finally end up in Dubai (87km). The new highway allows journeys from Ras Al Khaimah to Dubai in under 45 minutes.

Seaport: Saqr Port, located in the industrial area of Khor Khuwair, is the Emirate's main port, providing bulk and container services. It has eight deep water berths, each 200 m long, is dredged to 12.2 m 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 of covered storage together with a vast open storage area. It is also the closest port in the UAE to Bandar Abbas in Iran.

Airport: The Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is currently undergoing an upgrade. It operates cargo and passenger services to a variety of destinations covering the Middle East, North & East Africa, Central Asia, India and the Far East. In total 27 airlines including Gulf Air, Egypt Air, Indian Airlines, Aeroflot, Pakistan International Airlines and many other airlines operate scheduled and non-scheduled flights. Open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, the airport has an open skies policy with no restrictions on frequencies and time of arrival / departure; offers competitive tariffs and storage facilities; is not congested, and has a full offering of duty-free goods, among other services.

Spaceport: On February 17th 2006, Space Adventures announced its plans to develop a $265 m commercial spaceport in Ras Al-Khaimah (Ras Al Khaimah spaceport) for purposes of space tourism.


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