Ras Al Khaimah Travel Informations
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Ras Al Khaimah Overview || History | Getting Around Ras Al Khaimah || Tourist Sites

Ras Al-Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates. It covers an area of 656 square miles (1700 km²). Ras Al Khaimah is in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The emirate is ruled by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi. It is in the northern part of the UAE bordering Oman.

The emirate has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants. The city has a population of 191,753 as of 2007. It is served by the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. The city has two main sections, Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel, on either side of the creek which flows through Ras Al Khaimah.

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History

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.

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Getting Around Ras Al Khaimah

Highways:

Three free-flowing dual-carriageways link Ras Al Khaimah with the other emirates and beyond. One follows the coast with beaches on the 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 Thaid and further onto Oman.

Nowadays, the newly constructed 'Emirates Highway' is being used by most motorists. The highway traverses the emirates of Umm Al Quwain, Ajman (60km) and Sharjah (71km) to finally end up in Dubai(87km). Most travellers would agree that it connects 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 the purposes of space tourism.

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Tourist Sites

Hajar MountainsThe Hajar Mountains parallel the east coast of the UAE. At their highest point in the north, in the Musandam Peninsula, they reach a height of 2000 metres. There the mountain slopes drop directly into the sea. This area is known locally as the Ru'us Al-Jibal , literally the 'heads of the mountains.' The Ru'us Al-Jibal exposes the thick sequence of Mesozoic carbonates of the Arabian Platform which correlates with the principal oil bearing strata that lie deeply buried to the west. Nestled in the varied crags of the Hajar Mountains, the Hatta Rock Pools unfold its rocky corridors with bursting waterfalls and turquoise pools. Venture through the narrow passageways to find spring-fed pools that are yet to be discovered. Only half an hour from the ancient village of Hatta, this oasis is a hidden gem.

 
Dhayah FortThe Dhayah Fort in Ras al-Khaimah was built of mud-brick in the 16th C on a hill facing the Gulf. It was a strategic military tower that was very important in the history of Ras al-Khaimah. Other ruined fortifications can be seen to the south of the hill and watchtowers are still visible in the nearby town of Rams.

A battle in 1819 between the local people and British forces resulted in the destruction of the historic tower.
 
Khatt Springs Health ResortKhatt Springs consists of three springs of hot mineral water. The sulfuric water has relaxing and therapeutic properties.

The Khatt Springs Health Resort is a beautiful resort that lies among the mountains and is surrounded by palm trees. The Islamic design of the surrounding buildings, healthy waters and attractive surroundings attract visitors from inside the United Arab Emirates and from aboard. Khatts Springs is also home to as many as 170 archeological sites and many tombs. The items uncovered range from stone tools to 19th C mud brick fortification towers. A large number of prehistoric tombs were also discovered in the Khatt Springs area.
 

National Museum of Ras al-KhaimahThe National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah is located behind the Police Headquarters in a fort that was the residence of the ruling family until the early 1960s. The National Museum houses a collection of archeological and ethnological artifacts. The Qawasim Room on the first floor contains documents, manuscript and treaties between the rulers of Ras al-Khaimah and the UK Government, as well as some traditional weapons belonging to the ruling family. The Archeological exhibit in the National Museum features discoveries from the earliest settlers to the late Islamic period.

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