The city was historically known as Julfar. Archaeological evidence has demonstrated that the settlement known as Julfar shifted location over time as harbour channels silted up. Excavations of a sizable tell, which revealed remnants of a Sassanid Era fortification indicate that early Julfar was located in the Shamal area, not far from other sites of historical/archaeological interest such as Sheba's Palace and the largest Umm Al Nar tombs found on the Arabian Peninsula. Sources say that Julfar was inhabited by the Azd (They were a branch of the Kahlan tribe, which was one of the two branches of Qahtan (the aboriginal Arabs), the other being Himyar.) during the eighth and ninth centuries AD, and that the houses of the Azd were built of wood.
Sights in Ras Al Khaimah include the prehistoric tombs of Um An Nar and the Jazirat al-Hamra ghost town.
Jazirat al-Hamra, or the Red Island, located in Ras al Khaimah, is one of the seven emirates that form the U.A.E. It is also known as the ghost town. The story goes that this town was haunted, which is the reason why it was abandoned, and has remained uninhabited and neglected since 1968.
Occupied by the Za’ab tribe, this coastal village was created in the 14th century on a peninsula. They were also called Hadhr, which is the local name for coastal Bedouins, whose livelihood depended mainly on pearling.
The 1930s economic crises saw the decline of the natural pearl industry. Few years later, this town was deserted when the inhabitants moved out, attracted by the prospect of better living conditions offered by the local government.