Ras Al Khaimah is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the east of the Persian Gulf. The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah covers an area of 1,700 square km. The capital city and home of most residents is also called Ras al-Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah has always held a position of significance. In the past, due to its strategic geographical location, it was a centre of traditional shipbuilding and trade; and more recently, it has become a centre of quarrying, manufacturing and tourism. Since 2003, the government of RAK has invested heavily in education and public utilities, and has pursued an economic diversification policy, promoting industrialisation and tourism in the emirate. Ras al Khaimah opened the UAE’s first cement company in the early 1970s and is now the UAE’s largest producer of cement. In the 1980s, the emirate formed Ras al-Khaimah Ceramics, which has become the world’s largest ceramics producer.