Ras al-Khaimah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The current statehood is the result of the 1909 appanage from Sharjah. Its name could be taken to mean headland of the small huts, which can be attributed to the indigenous buildings that existed along the coast. 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.
The current total population is estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000 people, nationals and foreigners.
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday’s holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday. It should be noted however that a great majority of the population are non-national citizens, coming from India, Pakistan, and a wide range of nations.
Infrastructure and Economy
- Real Estate – numerous residential areas, offices, commercial buildings are constructed in Ras al-Khaimah.
- Tourism – Ras al-Khaimah is becoming a new destination on tourist maps. Ras al-Khaimah is home to five star hotels and beach resorts including Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Rotana or Banyan Tree. It has a number of 4 and 3 star accommodations. In September 2010, first water park Ice Land was opened to offer leisure opportunity for both residents and visitors and more new tourism projects are under construction.
- Building materials – Ras al-Khaimah opened the UAE’s first cement company in the early 1970s and is now the UAE’s largest producer of cement. In the 1980s, the emirate formed Ras al-Khaimah Ceramics, which has become one of the world’s largest ceramics producers.
- Manufacturing and High-Tech Industry – In the 1980s, the emirate formed Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar), the Persian Gulfregion’s first pharmaceuticals company. Falcon Technologies International (FTI) represents high-tech industry and produces optical storage media (CDR,DVDR, BDR). In 2012, Innovative Composite Engineering was established in the Industrial Free-zone to manufacture high end composite products (aerospace, construction parts).
- Service sector – recently growing sector with its prominent RAK Bank and RAK Insurance companies.
- Agriculture and Fisheries – in the past, these were the main economy sectors of Ras al-Khaimah. Nowadays they are still significant providing foodstuff not only for the Emirate but for the whole country.
English and Arabic
RAK does not have exchange controls