Being one of the most affluent countries of the Middle East, UAE is an oil-rich, stable country that is well on the path to development. While Dubai captures all the headlines, Ras Al Khaimah is a retreat centre that vacationers seeking a more authentic and traditionally enriching Arabic experience visit. Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is at the heart of UAE’s history with archeological evidences that date back 5000 years.
Julfar, the historical name of RAK, was a pottery production centre, a trading town and a strategic port after the 14th Century AD. In the early medieval period, Ras Al Khaimah witnessed many migrations because it was a popular and flourishing trade route. RAK was occupied by the Neo-Persian Empire, the Islamic clans, the Dutch, Portuguese as well as the British. But the consolidation of the Al Qasimi dynasty in Sharjah, the Arabian Peninsula and RAK unified the Emirates. The unification of the six emirates, with the addition of Ras al Khaimah in 1972, led to the formation of the UAE.
Divided by the creek, the Old Town and Nakheel are the two major regions in RAK, which is surrounded by Al Hajar Mountains. Due to underground water streams of Al Hajar and heavy rainfall, RAK is blessed with the most fertile soil in the entire country and has been a site of continuous human habitation for 7000 years. There are at least 1000 historical and archeological sites throughout RAK. Although RAK is dotted with ancient fortifications, Dhayah Fort is the most distinct since it was strategically located to ward off the raiders. Consequently, the fort was the last bastion to surrender to the British canon attacks. The fort has since been structurally restored and offers tourists a 360-degree view comprising the sprawling date palm plantation at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, the city centre and the Gulf region. Book a Seawings Seaplane tour as part of your Ras Al Khaimah holiday package and discover the area’s rich historical legacy.
For centuries, the residents of the ghost village of Jazirat Al Hamra, the oldest coastal settlement, depended on trading, pearling and fishing. But after the discovery of oil, they bartered their primitive mud and coral houses for modern ones. Today, scores of crumbling homes bear silent testimony to the simpler life of yore.
Due to the strategic location of RAK near the Strait of Hormuz, it has witnessed a kaleidoscopic historical past, which includes pirate attacks, trade with Persians, Portuguese, British, Indians, and Chinese.
The RAK national museum is a treasure trove of artefacts, weapons, pottery, pearls and coins unearthed during archeological excavations. Ensure that the national museum visit forms a part of your Ras Al Khaimah tour package, so you may get a taste of the region’s distinct cultural heritage.
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