Ras al-Khaimah

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Ras al-Khaimah
إمارة رأس الخيمة
Ra'sal-Khaymah
Emirate
Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah
Flag of Ras al-Khaimah
Flag
Location of Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE
Location of Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE
Coordinates: 25°47′N 55°57′E / 25.783°N 55.950°E / 25.783; 55.950
Government
 • TypeAbsolute monarchy[citation needed]
 • EmirSaud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi
 • Crown PrinceMuhammad Bin Saud Al Qasimi
Area
 • Total2,486 km2 (650 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total263,217
 
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Ras al-Khaimah
إمارة رأس الخيمة
Ra'sal-Khaymah
Emirate
Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah
Flag of Ras al-Khaimah
Flag
Location of Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE
Location of Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE
Coordinates: 25°47′N 55°57′E / 25.783°N 55.950°E / 25.783; 55.950
Government
 • TypeAbsolute monarchy[citation needed]
 • EmirSaud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi
 • Crown PrinceMuhammad Bin Saud Al Qasimi
Area
 • Total2,486 km2 (650 sq mi)
Population (2008)
 • Total263,217

Ras al-Khaimah (alternatively Ra'sal-Khaymah or Ras el-Kheima; Arabic: رأس الخيمةRā's al Ḫaima) is one of the Persian Gulf Arab sheikhdoms forming 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 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 for 2010.[1] 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 of Ras al-Khaimah is situated), and a large exclave in the south (near Hatta), and a few small islands in the Persian Gulf.[2]

Important towns, settlements and areas include:

History[edit]

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).[3] Ancient graves were found in the Emirate in October 2012.[4]

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. Excavations of a sizable tell, which revealed remnants of a Sassanid era fortification, indicate that early Julfar was located in the Shamal area, 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 Kahlan tribe) during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, and that the houses of the Azd were built of wood.

In the early 18th century, the Al Qasimi clan established itself in Ras Al Khaimah on the Arab Peninsula. In 1819, a British naval force was sent from Bombay in order to suppress piracy that affected shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, along the Persian Gulf coast, and the Indian Ocean. In the Battle of Ras Al Khaimah of 1819, the pirate fleet was largely destroyed. Hasan Bin Rahma, whom the Saudis had put in control of Ras Al Khaimah by deposing Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, surrendered and was deposed, unable to count on Saudi support because Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt had destroyed the First Saudi State in the Nejd Expedition of 1817-1818. The British operation continued to Linga on the Persian coast that was like the Greater and Lesser Tunbs islands administered by the Al Qasimi on behalf of Persia. 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 of the following year, 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 Hasan Bin Rahma had been deposed.[5] The treaty stipulated the end of piracy and slavery, and laid the foundation for the British protectorate over the Trucial States that lasted until 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,[6] Ras al-Khaimah, under the leadership of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi, joined the United Arab Emirates.

Rulers[edit]

Its rulers were:

Population[edit]

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.[8] The current total population is estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000 people, nationals and foreigners.

Climate[edit]

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.

Climate data for Ras al-Khaimah Airport
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)32.0
(89.6)
33.4
(92.1)
42.2
(108)
42.8
(109)
46.6
(115.9)
48.1
(118.6)
47.8
(118)
47.2
(117)
46.1
(115)
41.6
(106.9)
37.9
(100.2)
32.3
(90.1)
48.1
(118.6)
Average high °C (°F)24.8
(76.6)
25.9
(78.6)
29.5
(85.1)
35.2
(95.4)
39.3
(102.7)
42.1
(107.8)
42.7
(108.9)
41.9
(107.4)
40.1
(104.2)
36.7
(98.1)
31.4
(88.5)
26.8
(80.2)
34.7
(94.46)
Daily mean °C (°F)18.3
(64.9)
19.4
(66.9)
22.3
(72.1)
26.8
(80.2)
31.2
(88.2)
33.6
(92.5)
35.5
(95.9)
35.0
(95)
32.2
(90)
28.4
(83.1)
23.5
(74.3)
20.3
(68.5)
27.21
(80.97)
Average low °C (°F)11.8
(53.2)
12.9
(55.2)
15.5
(59.9)
18.9
(66)
22.6
(72.7)
25.6
(78.1)
28.5
(83.3)
28.6
(83.5)
24.7
(76.5)
20.7
(69.3)
16.6
(61.9)
13.5
(56.3)
19.99
(67.99)
Record low °C (°F)4.4
(39.9)
4.6
(40.3)
7.6
(45.7)
11.0
(51.8)
15.0
(59)
18.7
(65.7)
22.5
(72.5)
22.4
(72.3)
18.3
(64.9)
11.8
(53.2)
7.3
(45.1)
5.2
(41.4)
4.4
(39.9)
Precipitation mm (inches)12.8
(0.504)
35.7
(1.406)
35.0
(1.378)
12.5
(0.492)
2.8
(0.11)
0.0
(0)
0.6
(0.024)
0.3
(0.012)
1.3
(0.051)
6.4
(0.252)
8.0
(0.315)
17.4
(0.685)
132.8
(5.229)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)1.73.34.70.90.20.00.10.20.10.10.72.314.3
 % humidity69666253465050535759626958
Mean monthly sunshine hours238.7218.4238.7285.0344.1327.0303.8310.0300.0303.8279.0235.63,384.1
[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

Industries[edit]

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 ore.[9]

Main economic sectors[edit]

Taxation and companies law[edit]

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 zones.

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.

Culture[edit]

Events[edit]

RAK Half Marathon.
Participants of RAK Half Marathon 2011.

The annual 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.[11]

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 RAK – a yearly charity run organized in Ras al-Khaimah to support cancer research in the UAE.[12] The first event was organized in 2010 (short movie from 1st RAKTFR event).

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

A trilingual signboard in RAK

Within 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 cheap local bus service in Ras al-Khaimah city was due to be launched by 15 June 2010 to ease transport for low-income-earners. The first will be between the jumbo intersection in Al Nakheel and Sha’am village. It will have eight stops and buses will take 80 minutes to cover the distance. The second route will start from Al Nakheel and run via Airport Road, Diqdaqah, and Khatt, then turn south to Al Tawain and Adhen on the Fujairah – Ras al-Khaimah border. The third route going to the industrial areas – from the city to Al Jazirah Al Hamra, Ras al-Khaimah Industrial Area, and the Al Ghail Industrial Area – was to begin in July, 2010.[dated info]

Ras al-Khaimah is connected to the other emirates by taxis which often embark from the taxi-stand located south of Al Dhaid[clarification needed] near the new Ras al-Khaimah Police Headquarters.

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 Quwain, Ajman (60 km) and Sharjah (71 km) to finally end up in Dubai (87 km). The highway allows journeys from 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 is scheduled to be completed by 2014. In spring 2013 work on the 32-kilometre 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 1600BC.[13]

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 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, Iran, but there is no shipping from Saqr port to Bandar Abbas[clarification needed].

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.

On 17 February 2006, Space Adventures announced its plans to develop a $265 million commercial spaceport in Ras al-Khaimah for space tourism.[14]

Also on the same year, RAK Airways was founded and launched operations in early 2007 with two Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

Landmarks[edit]

Notable landmarks in Ras al-Khaimah include:

Dunes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UAE National Bureau of Statistics: Population Estimates 2006-2010". Uaestatistics.gov.ae. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  2. ^ UAE map
  3. ^ "New archaeological site found in Ras Al Khaimah". GulfNews.com. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  4. ^ "Ancient graves unearthed in RAK". GulfNews.com. 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  5. ^ The Gulf States: A Modern History - David Commins - ßĘČ Google. Books.google.com.bh. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  6. ^ Kourosh Ahmadi, Islands and International Politics in the Persian Gulf: The Abu Musa and Tunbs in Strategic Context (Routledge, 2008) p96
  7. ^ "Saud is Ras Al Khaimah ruler as UAE mourns Shaikh Saqr". Gulf News. 2010-10-27. 
  8. ^ "Report Details". Uaestatistics.gov.ae. 2010-12-25. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  9. ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationary Office. p. 98. 
  10. ^ "About Us". Composites.ae. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  11. ^ 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 on 2010-02-11.
  12. ^ "Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  13. ^ "Archaeologists make last ditch attempt to rescue remains of pre-historic tombs in RAK | The National". Thenational.ae. 2013-04-13. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  14. ^ "News : Press Releases :". Space Adventures. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  15. ^ "Historic witness to RAK's defence". GulfNews.com. 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ a b c Gazeteer of the United Arab Emirates. Washington, D.C. : Defense Mapping Agency, 1987.
  18. ^ "Al Hayl Fort". website. Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority. 

External links[edit]