Five Historical Attractions in Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is famous for its historical places, heritage spots and traditional attractions that are worth visiting, exploring, or even calling home. Below, we have listed just a few of the places we recommend for Ras Al Khaimah visitors or residents to see.
The fort was built in the 16th century at a strategic location in the northern part of Ras Al Khaimah. It has direct access to the various roads – including the coastal road – as well as other dunes and mountains, and is considered of major importance to the emirate. Dhaya Fort was built in this strategic location to battle invaders and serve other military purposes. The fort has two towers from which to monitor the movement of the enemy, but it lacks a water tanker, and that historically means that fighters did not stay in the fort for very long periods of time.
The vast majority of historians believe that the fort was built under the Al Qawasim family which ruled the area at the time.
The fort is one of the key historic attractions in the UAE. Thousands of people, including tourists from around the world, visit every year.
The village, which is privately owned by a UAE National, comprises three main galleries. The first gallery is the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hall. Named After the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, it has a seating arrangement that accommodates 150 people, with a large screen in the middle. On the walls hang a large range of rifles and pistols, the existence of which dates back many ages.
The second structure is the Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Hall, named after the late Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. It is a large library that contains more than 5,000 books of all kinds of classifications, starting from the Holy Qur’an and its interpretations to the history of the Emirates and the Arabian Peninsula, including science, geography, politics, literature, law, and economics, in Arabic and English.
The third galleria is the Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Hall, named after the UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. This hall has a variety of old jewels and handcrafted items. It also includes many gifts from various parts of the world, covering all the continents. Among the antique items are necklaces, hair accessories, badges, containers, and wall hangers, among others.
Additionally, the village highlights various kinds of houses that the ancestors of UAE Nationals once inhabited.
It’s Sheba's Palace in English, or Qasr Al Zabba (Palace of Zenobia), in Arabic. This is one of the archaeological treasures and historical monuments in Shamal, from the Middle Ages. It is the only known palace in the UAE. It is located on a high rocky hill overlooking the natural beauty of the emirate. On that hill, visitors can see much of Ras Al Khaimah in its various sections, including ancient fortresses and rooms surrounded by a fence fort. There are also many castles that people in previous eras once used to defend themselves.
Visitors can access the palace using the stone ladder, which was built for easy access to one of the archaeological and historical sites in Ras Al Khaimah, located on top of the mountain. There are several rooms and water tanks that are still retained on the roof as remnants of the glorious past.
Al Jazeera Al Hamra – the red island – is one of the oldest, most authentic and unique coastal villages in the UAE. Located in southern Ras Al Khaimah, it is an essential piece of the UAE’s history of forts, towers, mosques, houses, and traditional schools and souqs that are part of this territory. It reflects the social and traditional lifestyle of the UAE’s ancestors. Al Jazeera Al Hamra has a strong bond with the Al Zaab tribe that lived here decades ago, when the village was known as Jazeerat Al Zaab – Al Zaab Island. Most of those who lived here during this area depended on the sea for a living, with a long history of pearl diving, fishing and trading. Others, who breeded sheep and camels, depended on the largesse of the desert for a living.
If you visit the village today, you will want to take pictures of every corner.
- National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
One of the greatest archaeological wonders and a testament to the long-standing history of RAK can be found at the National Museum, which was formerly a fort and the residence of the RAK Ruler until the early 1960s.
Located in the old town part of the RAK City, behind the police headquarters, the museum houses an outstanding collection of archaeological and ethnological artefacts. Visitors get to explore the natural history room of traditional weapons that once belonged to the ruling family. There are also archaeological displays about the earliest settlers in the area, up to the late Islamic period. The museum's ethnographic section explores traditional life in the emirate, including architecture, pearl diving, date growing, farming, and fishing.