Ras al-Khaimah (räs äl-khĪˈmä) [key], sheikhdom (1995 pop. 144,430), c.650 sq mi (1,680 sq km), part of the federation of seven United Arab Emirates, SE Arabia, on the Persian Gulf. Previously affiliated with Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah became a separate sheikhdom under British protection in 1921. Oil production began in 1969. After some hesitation, the sheikhdom joined the United Arab Emirates in 1972.
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