“The people of Ras Al Khaimah through history have prospered only by being traders, navigators and this is what we are trying to do now – mimic this path with modern tools.” – Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) was once the historical capital of the region. Translated literally from Arabic to English, ‘Ras Al Khaimah’ means ‘Head of the Tent’. The beauty of RAK is reflected in its traditions, historic sites and diverse landscapes. Located at the mouth of the Gulf, only an hour drive from Dubai, RAK offers the ideal location for students who want to be immersed in traditional Arabic culture yet have easy access to modern Dubai, white sandy beaches, majestic Hajjar Mountains, expansive desert and rolling sand dunes.
Ras Al Khaimah is a prosperous emirate that has enjoyed good governance from its ruling family. Sheikh Saud, ruler of RAK and founder of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, is a graduate of the University of Michigan and an astute economic and political leader. The emirate has developed rapidly under his tenure. Companies such as RAK Ceramics and Julphar Pharmaceuticals are highly successful and well-known. Tourism has increased dramatically with several high profile luxury resorts, including the Waldorf Astoria.
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a land full of positive contradictions. It is a place of tradition and community yet it is one of the most modern countries in the world. Some hold fabulous wealth and enjoy incredible prosperity, while many people from all over the world come to earn a livelihood to send home to family living in challenging socio-economic environments. It is a devout Islamic country yet it does not deny others the right to practice their beliefs. In a region beset by conflict, the UAE stands firm for peace and is one of the safest places in the world to live.
One of the reasons for the UAE’s success is the strong Bedouin heritage of the Emiratis. Proud and noble and living off the land in a profoundly hardy way, the Arabs of this area thrived for thousands of years. Strict customs that welcomed and protected guests and insisted on homage to tribal and religious beliefs are all part of the unique Emirati history and communal code of ethics.
Another reason for success is the leadership of the former ruler, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who passed away in 2004. Sheikh Zayed is credited with forging the modern state of the UAE and is revered as the ideal of a wise and charitable leader. He used the oil wealth for the betterment of his people and he created the modern state of the United Arab Emirates. His son, Sheikh Khaifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the current ruler of the United Arab Emirates.
Women have a valued place in UAE society. They are encouraged to obtain an education and are offered employment and positions of leadership in business, government, sciences and the arts. The vast majority of Emirati women wear a sheila, or a head covering, and an abaya, or long black outer dress worn over other clothing. Some women choose to cover their faces as well as their hair.
The people of Ras Al Khaimah through history have prospered only by being traders, navigators and this is what we are trying to do now – mimic this path with modern tools.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al NahyanRuler of the Emirate Ras Al-Khaimah
Our experiment in federation, in the first instance, arose from a desire to increase the ties that bind us, as well as from the conviction of everyone that they were part of one family, and that they must gather under one leadership.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al NahyanPresident of the United Arab Emirates