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Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah

Ruler

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.

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.

Nature and environment

Ras Al Khaimah  maintains a distinguished natural location, stretching along the Arabian Gulf shore, adjacent to the strategic Strait of Hormuz It has a varied topography consisting of sandy desert, coastal strips with salt flats areas, mangroves and mountains. There are also sulphur springs near to the mountain areas. The Emirate is also a home to a number of mammals such foxes, jerboas as well as hundreds of bird species.

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:

Population

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

Useful links:

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