History

Ras Al Khaimah has a history that dates back over seven centuries, and it is one of the few places in the world that has been continuously populated for that many years. The country is a gold mine for archaeologists that are interested in the ancient history of the eras before Christ. But the periods after Christ were a vibrant time in this region. It is a time when Islam became a part of the culture and a part of the people of this land. His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Qasimi wants to promote this rich historical past through various tourism initiatives to Ras Al Khaimah. He feels that people from around the world would enjoy learning about the culture and history of this region.

The period around 300 AD was classified as the Sasanian occupation. This Persian culture was in power for about 400 years. This society developed much of the art, music and architecture of Persia in the region of Ras Al Khaimah. There are archaeological sites dating back to this period found on the island of Hulaylah and in Kush. One of the more interesting sites is of a Sasanian citadel that was used to control the farming areas of the region. This citadel demonstrates how the people had to either leave or transition as Islam took over the area. The Persian people of the region were allowed to transition to Islam gradually over time once the Islamic leaders seized control from the Sassanid Empire.

The next Era brought about the unification of the people under Islam. This was called the Abbasids Era in which trade with Asia was firmly established. Some of the historically interesting sites from this time are Al Khoush and Julfar. Digs in the ruins here show how important this area was to trade routes throughout this part of the world. Artifacts from all over have been found at these sites. This was considered the Islamic Golden Age due to the multitude of cultural achievements, the expansion of trade routes and the scope of their rule at the time. It lasted until the Mongols took over Baghdad in 1258. The Mongols did not directly overthrow the rulers of the time. They just forced their submission.

Time passed, and the period of the Later Islamic Era grew between the 14 and 19th centuries. The people began to settle along the coastline in an area called Julfar. The town had a large population and had structures built of mud bricks, and it was protected by a large wall. The trade routes began to return, and the area became well known for its fine pottery. Pottery was still being made in this part of the world up until just recently. The region was also the origin of “The Lion of Seas,” a famous Arab navigator named Ahmad Ibn Majid.

The importance of Ras Al Khaimah’s history to the rest of the world is well known, and that is why it must be preserved. His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Qasimi is on a mission to save this history for his people and the people of the world.