Tourism in Ras Al Khaimah
Since HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi became a member of the Supreme Council and the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, may God protect him, the tourism industry flourished through studied frameworks and plans and has taken giant leaps forward, and here we spotlight some attractions and landmarks in Ras Al Khaimah. In addition to Saqr Park, Ain Khatt and Al Qawasim Corniche, there are many hotels and resorts in Ras Al Khaimah.
Researcher Prof. Najib Al Shamsi says: "Ras Al Khaimah has many historical and archaeological sites located on the slopes of mountains and in the interior plains and coastal areas. These areas are still considered tourist attractions and confirm the strong presence of Ras Al Khaimah throughout history, as all the discoveries has shown that Ras Al Khaimah has a great history since a very long time and it had passed many periods the oldest of which was 5000 BC - the oldest known historical period in Ras Al Khaimah as huge ruins of structures and flint tools and pottery remains found in Al Hamra Island, and confirmed by another site discovered in Khatt area which contained flint tools from the same period. The archeological discoveries show that the ancient history of Ras Al Khaimah passed through many other important periods such as the Hafeet Period (3000 - 2600 BC), then the Umm al-Nar Civilization (2600 - 2000 BC), followed by the Wadi Suq Culture Period (2000 - 1600 BC), the Iron Age (1250 - 300 BC), the Hellenic and Parthian Era (300 BC -300 AD), The Sasanian Occupation Era (300 AD - 632 AD), the Abbasids Era (750 - 1250 AD) which highlights the important role of the Islamic Empire in this area. However, there are two sites that made Ras Al Khaimah more important with regard to the trade and goods routs in the early Islamic era: The Kush Fort and another site on Hleelah Island which contains houses made of palm fronds (Arish), and both sites were famous within Julfar, an ancient city known by the pilgrims and Muslim geographers such as al-Maqdisi from the 10th century and Al Idrisi from the 12th century. Among the discoveries in these two sites was the oldest coffee bean in the world during the 18th century, preceding the historical resources that gave us information on the use and trade of coffee - then the subsequent Islamic period (14th – 19th century).
Pottery in Ras Al Khaimah
Julfar was famous for its quality pottery made in Shimal and the Valley of Haqeel which were among the main centers for making and distributing pottery pots throughout the Gulf countries. The pottery industry prevailed for more than 500 years, and the last abandoned pottery oven was in the Valley of Haqeel, 30 years ago.
Forts and Towers of Ras Al Khaimah
As for the forts and towers with beautiful surrounding areas there is Dhayah Fort in the northern city of Rams, the history of which goes back to the year 1819. A battle between the people of Ras Al Khaimah and the British forces resulted in the destruction of the fort, while in the highest point of the modern village of Shimal we find the only ancient palace in UAE known as Qasir Al Zaba'a or Palace of Al Zaba'a, queen of Palmyra in the Levant. This beautiful palace oversees the fertile plain of Shimal and contains many water tanks and rooms that still keep their original ceilings. This palace is also linked to the trade city of Julfar, in addition to a number of tall watch towers most of which were restored, and a fort which was later turned into the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah.
There is no doubt that the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is as old as history, thus it is naturally rich in historical treasures, and the wanderer around the emirate will be amazed by the historical sites in all its areas. These sites are rooted in history, and it serves as a witness of the emirate's history's richness and nobility. Researcher Najib Abdullah Al Shamsi states in his book (Ras Al Khaimah: Capital of the Future): "An ancient emirate such as Ras Al Khaimah is worthy of having fortresses and relics" - The history shadows the places, and the relics add beauty to all its areas to the degree that many books have been published about these forts and relics, and here we will only mention what was stated by researcher Najib Abdullah Al Shamsi in this regard in his book (Ras Al Khaimah: Capital of the Future), which documents the cultural and economic development in the emirate:
"The city of Julfar which is located on the Gulf coast north of today's Ras Al Khaimah is considered one of the biggest Islamic cities - this city was well-known since the 4th century AH (10th century AD). It was famous for its trade relations with China and other regions of East Asia and continued to be so until its role vanished in the 17th century. The continuous excavations in this city have revealed residential houses and at least four mosques built and destroyed at different periods. From the late Islamic eras dating back to the last few centuries there are a large number of archaeological sites that were populated in the past. The historical relics scattered on the surfaces of these archaeological sites indicate that their inhabitants used to roam between the coast and inner oases and deserts. If the excavators consider the era of the second millennium BC a dark one in the ancient history of this region, what was discovered in Shimal area has confirmed the development of the civilization of this region during that era such as the household utensils that were found buried with the dead, as well as pots and stone weapons.
The Department of Antiquities and Museums has given great attention to the archaeological discoveries and sites through the issuance of the first law to protect historical sites by the emirate's government through the Department of Information and Tourism, in the 20th of December of the year 1983 under the title (Antiquities Protection Law), and this law contributed to the protection of national relics from the hands of abusers and from loss. In 1987 the Ecologists Association gave HH Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi (may Allah have mercy on him), a collection of remnants of organisms which lived in the emirate at various times since the beginning of the Triassic Period 255 million years ago to the Oligocene Epoch 28 million years ago- the majority of which have formed in the Cretaceous era. In general, the sites that have been excavated at Ras Al Khaimah include areas such as Shimal, Ghalila, Dhaya, Rams, Julfar, Al kor Valley, Fashga, Al Naslah, Rafaq, Al Munaee, Alwa'ab and Aasmah. The discoveries in Ras Al Khaimah indicate a rich history that has gone through many periods, the oldest of which is (5000 BC).
The Khatt hot springs are famous for their natural warm water with therapeutic properties, as they are rich in natural minerals, with a depth of 90 feet below the surface and a temperature of about 40 degrees Celsius. Khatt springs water along with thermal water help in the treatment of skin diseases and problems associated with rheumatism. The visitors of Khatt springs can enjoy one of the most famous picnic and trips spots in Ras Al Khaimah, get private swimming pools and treatment rooms, in addition a café that offers a variety of beverages.
Remarkable Medical Opinions
Based on the directions of HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, (may god protect him), the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality has paid great attention to tourist attractions, entertainment and archaeological sites which are seen across the different areas of the emirate. Among these sites is the touristic Golden Tulip Khatt Springs Resort & Spa which is located west the mountain chains of Ras Al Khaimah, and includes 3 springs with streaming hot water rich in minerals and surrounded by serenity and purity. The touristic Khatt Resort was opened on the 7th of December of the year 1982 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, God have mercy on him.
Since then this resort has become a top destination for visitors whether from inside the UAE, the Gulf States or the Arab countries for the importance of its water in healing many diseases and the beautiful sceneries surrounding the water which provide pleasure and comfort to the visitors and residents alike. Khatt resort consists of a lounge with two suits, one for men and the other is for women, and both include facilities for meals, refreshments, rest rooms and dressing rooms, in addition to a garden with electrical and electronic games.
Benefits of Khatt Hot Springs Water
The water of Khatt springs as well as other natural springs all over the world is considered a contributing factor in the treatment of many diseases.
The water's temperature which reaches up to 40 degrees Celsius work on heating the skin which leads in turn to the expansion of blood vessels in the skin and increases the amount of blood and oxygen that is carried to the skin and improves the performance of cells and tissues in general.
Also in the case of inflammation anywhere in the body, the body tries to eliminate it through pumping more blood to the inflamed area and the scavenger cells remove dead cells and replace them with healthy cells. From this we realize that the property of Khatt springs' hot water improves the performance of the cells in general, and the performance of skin cells in particular.
The resort is considered the first touristic achievement in an area that has many historical landmarks, and a diverse topography from valleys, mountains and plains strewn by greenery palm trees throughout the year. The area of Khatt springs is a picturesqueness place laying between the mountains and surrounded by palm trees that fill its nature with charm and splendor. It also added a charming construction that meets the eyes everywhere which was inspired by the charm and glamour of the Arab-Islamic architectural style. A garden was later attached to the resort with an air-conditioned lounge containing many electronic games and various other entertainment means.