Culture and History

The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah boasts an impressive archaeological heritage and rich cultural history. Ras Al Khaimah's enticing combination of fertile plains, scenic mountains, white beaches and mangroves, and desert landscapes has lured settlers for seven millennia, making the Emirate one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions on earth.

Ras Al Khamiah's strategic location at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf has always oriented it toward economic and cultural exchange; archaeological investigations demonstrate that trade has been an essential part of life in the area since at least 5000 BCE.

Since then, Ras Al Khaimah has been variously named Julfar, Majan and Al Seer, and was widely known throughout the Gulf for its commercial activity. By the 10th century CE, inhabitants of Ras Al Khaimah routinely traveled as far afield as Zanzibar, Bombay, and China.

Ras Al Khaimah's prosperity made it a valuable target for a long series of invading powers. The remains of eighteen historic fortresses, castles and towers testify to Ras Al Khaimah's turbulent history, which saw settlements in the region occupied or challenged by the Sassanid Persians, the Islamic clans of the Arabian Gulf, and the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial empires.

History enthusiasts will welcome the chance to bring the past to life during their visit to Ras Al Khaimah.