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Emirates in UAE

Emirate of Ras al Khaimah

08 October 2015

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), located along the east of the Persian Gulf, is one of the seven emirates in the UAE, and is the fourth-largest emirate in the UAE. The old name of Ras Al Khaimah was Julphar. It is in the northern part of UAE, bordering Oman’s exclave. Spanning across an area of 1700 square kilometres, the Ras Al Khaimah city has two main sections - Old Ras Al Khaimah and Nakheel, on either side of creek. They are served by the Ras Al Khaimah Airport. Apart from the northern part, wherein the RAK city is situated, it also has a large enclave in the south near Hatta, and few small islands on the Persian Gulf.

ras al khaimah emirate

Economy of Ras al Khaimah

The economy of RAK, based on the Government Plans, will follow the Dubai model in its strategy of economic growth. The future plans for its economy lies in the real estate, infrastructure and tourism sectors. This was inferred from the master plan of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Crown Prince, and Deputy Ruler of RAK. The plan largely focuses on developing the tourism sector to attract investments and develop the necessary regulations to encourage and sustain the economic growth.

In RAK, the private sector plays a leading role in the local economy, characterized by its success in business activities, particularly in the industrial field. The business-friendly policies adopted by RAK ensure a brisk increase in foreign direct investments, and has helped in growth of the emirate as the top choice destination for leisure and business.

Unlike other emirates in the UAE, RAK has negligible hydrocarbon deposits, and therefore has sought diversification of its economy over the last decades, by opening up to foreign investors and industries.

Population of Ras al Khaimah

The population as of 1st January 2011 in Ras al Khaimah is 108,080. The population of nationals is high in RAK, with Emiratis constituting at least 50 percent of the population. The official language of UAE is Arabic, although, English is widely spoken in business circles.

Towns and Cities in Ras al Khaimah

Major towns and cities in RAK are Jazirat Al Hamra, Khor Khuwair, Rams, Diqdaqah, Masafi, Khatt, and Huwaylat.

Major Attractions in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) offers plenty to visitors who wish to get acquainted with local history, nature and culture of the emirate. There are plenty of picturesque desert, ancient sites, abandoned villages, and several other attractions that is getting popular recently. With the spectacular scenery that RAK has to offer, it has the potential to be one of the major attractions in the UAE.

Dhayah Fort

The Dhayah Fort is a 19th century fortress, built and served for military purposes. Situated on a hill top, the fort is accessible by way of concrete winding stairway. Visitors get to see wonderful views of date palm gardens, mountains, and the coast unfold around the hill, if opting for the challenge of climbing up. This fort is one of the forts that played a major role during the British attack on RAK during early 19th century.

Khatts Spring Oasis and Resort

Located adjacent to the Hajar Mountains the Khatts Spring Oasis looks like a castle, and is the right place for travellers seeking some relaxation. Khatt Springs comprises three springs of hot mineral water, with relaxing and therapeutic properties. It is a beautiful resort located amidst mountains, surrounded by palm trees. The Islamic design of the surrounding buildings, healthy water, and other amenities such as private pools with attached treatment rooms, and cafes, are a major draw for visitors. The mineral content and required water temperature is said to have medicinal benefits soothing several kinds of skin ailments and muscular problems.

Ras Al Khaimah Museum

The RAK National Museum was formerly a fort and residence of RAK Ruler. The building is an excellent example of traditional Arabic architecture, built mostly of common building materials of the past such as coral, mortar, wadi, and stone. The museum is an ancient building, with its rooms preserved for its immaculate architecture. The museum displays various archaeological collections excavated twenty years back, silver collections, natural history samples such as fossils, shells, rocks and ethnographic material showcasing the traditional life of people having lived here.

RAK - Saqr Park

Saqr Park is the only park in the RAK emirate. It is a popular destination for children, with plenty of excellent rides, including rollercoaster and Big Splash ride, and three halls exclusively reserved for electronic games.

RAK Shooting Club

Located in Al Dehaisah area, nearly 20 minutes away from the RAK International Airport, the RAK Shooting Club has members of various nationalities. It also has a branch at Shouka. The club has various types of weapons, and several shooting range play fields for children, apart from cafeteria and other amenities.

Emirates Maritime Sports and Diving Centre

Here visitors get to enjoy the beauty of underwater magic and secrets of the Gulf. Diving on coral reefs and drowned shipwrecks can seem quite interesting for the diving enthusiasts. The Emirates Maritime sports and Diving Centre also offers training in diving, and have the necessary equipment for rent to visitors, plus arrangements for diving tours.

RAK Water Ski Club

The RAK Water Ski Club, located in the Khuzam area, has all the necessary requirements necessary for those who enjoy water ski sport. The club offers affordable low prices to encourage water ski hobbyists in practicing their favourite sport.

Iceland Water Park

Located in Al Hamra District of RAK, the Iceland Water Park is a $100mn recreational amenity, opened for visitors in September 2010. The park has the capacity to accommodate 15,000 visitors a day, and given some of its unique amenities, is the largest in the world. The Iceland Water Park also has several ice skating rinks, offering unique water and ice ride facilities such as Acqua Soccer and Wet Football, wherein football players get the feel of heavy rains during the matches. At Coral Isles, Knuckling Pool visitors get to see and swim with the fish. There is also the world's largest rain dance pool that can accommodate 6000 people at a time.

Manar Mall

The Manar Mall is one of the first commercial and recreational centers in RAK, offering more than 120 branded stores, six -screen cinema house, water sports, electronic games centres, dining area, promenade and a beach. It is one of the topmost shopping destination for visitors.

Camel Race Track

Camel racing is a unique and unavoidable aspect of Arabic heritage. It is one of the favourite activities of local people, and is also part of business. Over time, camel racing also grew to be a major tourism attraction, rendering the Arabic flavour. RAK’s Al Sawan Camel Racing is one of the 15 racing tracks across the UAE. It is a 10km long, oval-fenced track, considered to be one of the best in the country. Apart from camel races every week, RAK also holds the annual Camel Race Festival in February.

Tower Links Golf Course

Tower Links Golf Course is located through a mangrove reserve with the Hajar Mountains serving as backdrop. The Towerlinks has an active Golf and Social Membership, catering to demands of Golfers from the nearby emirates and international tourists. The Tower Links Golf Club is a challenging 18-hole, par 72 golf course. The club offers immense range of abilities enabling golfers to improve their standard of play. The nine holes at the back and practice facilities are floodlit for nightplay. Spreading across 7200 yards in length, the golf course provides opportunities for championship, men, ladies, seniors and for all standards of play.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries