The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has an impressive archaeological heritage and rich cultural history. This area has enticed settlers with its unique combination of the four different landscapes found in the United Arab Emirates: striking mountains, coastal beaches and mangroves, and the desert. This rich history dating back to the Bronze Age makes Ras Al Khaimah one of the few places in the world. History enthusiasts travelling to Ras Al Khaimah will find a treasure trove of archaeological sites within easy reach, waiting to bring the past to life.
History & Culture- 5N 6D
Camels are highly revered in the UAE, and camel racing is deeply rooted in nomadic bedouin and Emirati tradition.. Camels have long since been considered a source of nutrition and luxury. Camels have provided milk and meat for sustenance, wool for clothing, rugs and tents, leather for shoes, transportation for supplies, and recreational entertainment. Their dung was a great fuel, and their urine was thought to have medicinal properties. Camel racing is the epitome of their significant heritage in Ras Al Khaimah. Bedouin tribes organised camel beauty pageants and races as a form of entertainment. The races seen across the Emirates today are under the patronage of the ruling sheikhs. Camels native to the UAE, Oman and Sudan are used for the races. The United Arab Emirates’ Mahaliyat, Oman’s Omniyat, Sudan’s Sudaniyat, and the interbred Mahajanat camels are hand-selected by trainers. They can run great distances at 40 km per hour or up to vast speeds of 65 km for short sprints.
The Suwaidi Pearls pearl farm is located in the small fishing village of Al Rams, which nestles at the bottom of the majestic Al Hajar mountain range in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Established in 2005 by Mr. Abdulla Al Suwaidi, the world’s first Arabian pearl farmer.
Dhayah Fort, a castle-like structure, is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List and stands proud amidst the arid mountains and fertile date wadis of northern Emirate Ras Al Khaimah. The fort forms the centre of this lush oasis and boasts spectacular views from the mountains across palm trees and verdant lands to neighbouring Oman and down to the sea. Dhayah Fort is the UAE’s only remaining hilltop fort, dating back to the Bronze Age. The fort is located on a 70-metre hill and provides stunning vistas overlooking the near-by date farms and the coast.
Since prehistoric times, pearls have played an essential role in people’s lives; many have been discovered in Neolithic sites across the UAE. Al Jazirah Al Hamra is the only remaining historical pearling village in the entire Gulf region; the rest were demolished with the discovery of oil. Al Jazirah Al Hamra translates from Arabic to mean Red Island. Al Jazirah Al Hamra includes all of the traditional elements expected in such a neighbourhood, including a fort and watchtowers, mosque, souq and extensive courtyard houses of various designs. There is a mix of dwelling styles from small, simple houses, courtyard homes, two-story buildings to a large courtyard residence that belonged to the wealthy pearl merchant. The buildings were built in a traditional manner using local materials such as coral blocks and fossilised beach rock, mangrove tree beams, date palm trunks, roofing, matting and ropes and layers of seashells for drainage.
In the heart of Ras Al Khaimah lies a beautiful and protected stretch of mangroves that line the coastline and culminates in the city. Ras Al Khaimah boasts the rugged cloud-piercing mountains of Jebel Jais, the temperate Arabian Gulf, blissfully beautiful white sandy beaches and flamingo-inhabited mangroves. The mangroves form the juxtaposition between nature and urban living. Corniche Al Qawasim is the most beautiful road in the northernmost Emirate. The three-kilometre waterfront promenade is lined with luxury apartments, international restaurants, local cafes, access to water activities and a children’s play area. The wide walkway allows for exploring families, walkers, cyclists and joggers. The corniche is named after the Al Qawasim clan, who controlled trade throughout the region in the 18th century.
Excavations revealed the presence of an earlier mosque, dating back to the second half of the 18th century. Historical records indicate a mosque was at this place since the 16th century. The Mohammed Bin Salem Mosque has undergone several renovations and expansion phases up to the present day. During the renovation work, modern additions were removed from the inside and outside and the original architecture, built from coral stone and beach rock, restored and provided with an outer layer of traditional plaster in layer technique.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the most recognizable buildings in Ras al-Khaimah, located on the old Al Qawasim Corniche road in the Dafan Al Khor neighborhood. Sheikh Zayed Mosque is possibly one of the oldest place of worship in the United Arab Emirates, where prayers are still held to this day. The external façade has been restored with plaster, coral stones and beach rocks, but its architecture remains vestiges of the era of Sheikh Saqr bin Rashid Al Qasimi.
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