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Open map of United Arab EmiratesFlag of United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates / Emirates
Ras al-Khaimah
Arabic: ra'su l-khayma
Other spellings: Ra's; el-Khaima; al-Khaimah, al-Khayma; al-Khaymah; Rasu l-Khayma; Ra'su l-Khayma; Ra'su l-Khaima; Ra'su l-Khayma; Ras Al Khaimah




Status
Emirate of United Arab Emirates.
Capital: Ras al-Khaimah
Inhabitants: 230,000 (2005 estimate)
Area: 1,700 km²
Ruler: Shaykh Saqr bin Muhammad al-Qasimi






Ras al-Khaimah and Sharjah have identical flags.


Emirate belonging to the federation of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The surface area of Ras al-Khaimah represents 2.2% of all of the UAE, and is made up of two mountainous regions, that are divided only by a few kilometres of land belonging to Fujairah. The northernmost of these regions has a coast line on the Persian Gulf stretching for about 64 km, until the border to Omani Musandam.
Shaykh Saqr bin Muhammad al-Qasimi is the longest ruling head of state in the Middle East, and has been in office since 1948.
Ras al-Khaimah has its own international airport.

Economy
Agriculture is the backbone of Ras al-Khaimah's economy, its territory to the west of the Hajar Mts being among the greenest in the United Arab Emirates. In recent years a petrochemical plant as well as tourism has become increasingly important. Also, the emirate is a long time exporter of aggregate which is the stone used for production of concrete. Also, there are industries producing explosives, pharmaceutical products, cement and asphalt.

History
3rd millennium BCE: Earliest traces of settlement.
Around 600 CE: The local town, known as Julfar, is an important port belonging to the Sassanid empire of Persia.
Around 630: Julfar is taken by Muslim Arabs.
1819: Ras al-Khaimah, as it now is known, is occupied by the British.
1820: The local shaykh signs an agreement with the British, agreeing to form a protectorate, thereby achieving safety from the Ottomans.
1869: Ras al-Khaimah's links to Sharjah are cut.
1900: Ras al-Khaimah becomes part of Sharjah.
1921: Ras al-Khaimah regains its independence.
1972 February 11: As the last emirate outside the United Arab Emirates, which had been formed more than 2 months earlier, Ras al-Khaimah joins the federation.
1976: Oil discovered on Ras al-Khaimah's territory, but not commercially exploitable.
1981: New oil finds, at Saleh, and small oil production begins.




By Tore Kjeilen