is a Persian Gulf Arab emirate and a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its name means “Top of the Tent”. The emirate is in the northern part of the UAE, bordering Oman’s exclave of Musandam. It covers an area of 1,684 square km.
The Ruler of RAS AL KHAIMAH is Sheikh Saud Al Qasimi and his Crown Prince is Sheikh Sheikh Mohammad Al Qasimi.
Ras al-Khaimah has been the site of human habitation for several millennia and there are many historical and archaeological sites throughout the emirate dating from different time periods, including remnants of the Umm an-Nar Culture (3rd millennium BC). Ancient graves were found in the Emirate in October 2012.
The city was historically known as Julfar. Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the settlement known as Julfar shifted location over time as harbour channels silted up.
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 ‘Trucial Coast’.
In the early 18th century, the Al Qasimi tribe 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.
1909 – August 1919: Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi
August 1919 – 10 July 1921: Sheikh Sultan bin Salim Al Qasimi (1891–19??), who stayed on as the first of its own rulers:
10 July 1921 – Feb 1948: Sheikh Sultan bin Salim Al Qasimi
17 July 1948 – 27 October 2010: Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi (1918–2010)
27 October 2010 – current: Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi
The heir apparent is currently Muhammad bin Saud al Qasimi, son of the current Sheikh.
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 pearl-diving village
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 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 twice, once in each of December 2004 and January 2009, in the high mountains of Ras al-Khaimah.