The United Arab Emirates, and the wider Gulf as a whole, is well known for its contrasting differences, both geographically and socially. On a recent visit to Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly
Emirate in the UAE, I was struck by the sheer juxtaposition of the Emirate. Before I travelled there, via Dubai, I was expecting to see lots of migrant workers and extreme wealth standing
side-by-side, but what I discovered was so much more than I had previously thought.
Locals are hard to come by in Ras Al Khaimah. Their perfectly clean villas and mansions are neatly laid out in rows amongst the date trees around the Jebel Jais mountains. There are mirrored
windows on most of the mansions, luxurious sports cars and SUVs parked in the driveways, and countless security cameras glaring down onto the thick metal gates. It’s understandable why the local
Emiratis have chosen to live around the mountains or along the coast in Ras Al Khaimah, the views are stunning, but arguably very disconnected from reality in the UAE.