Known amongst locals as “RAK”, Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Its name in Arabic translates to the “top of the tent”. Located in the north of the country, the Emirate is home to cultural gems, hiking trails and picturesque mountains.
A group of UAE based photographers spent a day in the Emirate, and captured the beauty of Ras Al Khaimah’s rich culture and heritage, using only their iPhones for our readers.
A local breakfast in Ras Al Khaimah. Photography by Shaheer.
The cultural exploration trip started with an Emirati breakfast on a dhow leading to the Al Suwaidi Pearls farm, which is located in the small fishing village of Al Rams. The history of pearling in the Gulf region can be traced back thousands of years, and many people in the Gulf depended on pearl diving and trade for a living. The Al Suwaidi family have been pearl merchants for generations, and today descendant Abdullah Al Suwaidi is determined to protect and carry forward the legacy of pearls for generations to come.
After reaching the pearls farm, the guide began explaining the history of pearl diving and how the industry evolved over the years to the group. He walked the group through the process of how they collect oysters, the different stages of maturation, and when they are commercialised. They then witnessed the live experience of pearl diving followed by an explanation of the different types of pearls.
The afternoon was spent with members of the Al Shehhi tribe who welcomed the group with treats consisting of cheese, local honey and bread, followed by cultural chants. The Al Shehhi tribe, known plurally as Al Shihuh, have their own distinctive dialect and lifestyle, and have historically inhabited mountains, living in stone-built homes.
Different scenes captured in the northern Emirate. Photography (from left to right) by Debbie Fortes, Herald Herrera, Peter Jay and Herald Herrera.