Ras al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah (or RAK as it is frequently referred to) is one of the 7 Emirates making up the United Arab Emirates. It was formed as a result of the separation from Sharjah in 1909. It is said that the name means “the headland of the small huts”.

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Ras Al Khaimah is a fast growing Emirate which is building on its favourable business environment, sunny weather, ands pristine white sands. Also the growing number of hotels offering an ideal all year round holiday destination.

We have gathered information to help you understand RAK, its history and what makes it tick.



Ras Al Khaimah is a fast growing tourist area and so is home to many 4 and 5 star hotels and they are growing in number. The largest Water Park in the UAE was also opened in 2010. Many large tourism projects are under development. Some well know Hotels such as Hilton and the iconic Waldorf Astoria of New York are in RAK.

Hilton Hotel image Ras Al Khaimah

Hilton Hotel Ras Al Khaimah

There are malls a plenty in RAK but why not look at our Dubai Mall blog which is less than an hour away.


RAK bank and RAK Insurance are the leaders of this fast growing sector.


Ras Al Khaimah has the UAE’s largest cement factory was opened in 1970 and also RAK Ceramics formed in the 1980s is now one of the largest producers of ceramics in the world.

Real Estate

Ras Al Khaimah also has many building projects on-going for commercial and residential use.


One of the first Pharmaceutical Companies, Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries was formed in the 1980s. Ras Al Khaimah image

Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries

Hi-Tech manufacturing

Innovative Composite Engineering FZE produces high quality composite products for the Aerospace, Automotive, Industrial, Architectural and Industrial sectors

Food and Fisheries

Historically this sector has been producing food products for centuries and is now servicing not only RAK but the whole of the UAE..


RAK is the northern most Emirate of the UAE and also separates the Omani Exclave of Musandam. It  covers an area in excess of 1,650 Sq Km. RAK is the most fertile of the Emirates benefitting from a larger rainfall and runoff from the Omani Mountains. The capital city of the Emirate is also called Ras Al Khaimah and is centred around a natural creek. The old city of RAK to the North and to the South an area called Nakheel. The estimated population of the Emirate is now thought to be around 300,000 with about 30% Emirati and the rest made up of expatriate workers and business people and their families. It also consists of some natural Islands in the Arabian Gulf and als an Exclave situated in the Hatta mountain region. As well, it should stated, that they are also building offshore islands to further grow the tourist industry.


The human race has populated the region for many thousands of years and archaeological sites can be found throughout the area. Some say there are as many as a thousand such sites. One of these is the remnants of the Umm an Nar era said to be from around 3,000 years BC. Ras Al Khaimah was originally named Julfar, said to be founded by Armenians who, during the Mongol invasion of Persia fled for their lives. The coastal area was once know as the Pirate Coast by the British. However following several treaties throughout the 1800’s it became better know as the Trucial Coast. Due to threats to the security of the Trade Routes by the piracy activities in 1809 a British Naval fleet was sent from India. Their mission was to stop the Piracy seemingly actioned by the Al Qasimi fleet. This was disrupting trade movement through the Hormuz Strait, along the Coasts of the Persian Gulf and also into the Indian Ocean. Eventually in what became known as the Battle of Ras Al Khaimah the Al Qasimi fleet was all but defeated and destroyed. In 1820 the British put in place the General Maritime Treaty and reinstated Sheikh Sultan Bin Saqr Al Qasimi. This treaty put an end to piracy and slavery. It also lead to the commencement of the protection of the Trucial States which continued until 1971 when the United Arab Emirates was formed. On the 10th of February 1972 under the leadership of Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Ras AL Khaimah joined the United Arab Emirates.


The climate of the Ras Al Khaimah region is classified under the Koppen Climate Classification as “BWh”. It is very hot in the summer and mild in the winter, summer maximums approach 50 degrees C, winter minimums average at about 18 degrees C. Summer months are humid and it rains only in the winter. In the mountain ranges snow has been reported and minimum temperatures as low a -3 degrees have been recorded. Ras Al Khaimah image Camel

Ras Al Khaimah has a desert climate


The culture of the United Arab Emirates and by default RAK is centred around the Islamic Religion and of course the culture of the Arabic world. This influence dictates many aspects of lifestyle, attire, architecture, music, food and daily life. Good Muslims are required to pray 5 times a day called to pray from the minarets of the many mosques. When visiting the country it is advisable to respect their lifestyle and culture at all times. Even though nearly two thirds of the population are not Emiratis and come from all corners of the world. Mosque Image Ras Al Khaimah

The Muslim culture is a big influence in the UAE

Why not visit our Dubai city page for more information on the area