Ras al Khaimah, UAE
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Approximately 4 Hours
Back in the 12th and 13th centuries, long before the booming oil industry, the heartbeat of the now-UAE economy revolved around pearl diving -- an industry that firmly put this tiny region on the international map. Ras Al Khaimah in particular was renowned for its prosperous port and exquisite pearls -- the whitest and roundest in the world.
A 30-minute drive from pier takes you to an old fishing village where a traditional pearling boat awaits you. Step aboard for a cruise past beautiful mangroves and a camel farm.
Your destination is Suwaidi Pearls cultured-pearl farm at the foot of the Hajar Mountains. An expert team introduces you to the history of Arabian pearls, the lifestyle of the pearl divers, and the equipment they used. Discover the science of making a cultured pearl and watch an oyster-opening. Upstairs, learn about the different sizes, colors and grades of pearl. Can you spot the differences between pearls worth a couple of hundred dirhams and those considered almost priceless? Questions? Ask away -- your hosts know everything there is to know about pearls.
Enjoy a traditional lunch and return to the Ras Al Khaimah Marina by boat.
Please note: Wear light clothing. Modest and conservative attire is recommended. Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring a hat and sunglasses; wear biodegradable sunscreen. Bring bottled water. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. The boat features low cushion seats. There is a wooden pontoon at farm and inclines, with ten steps to access upper floor sitting area. Indoor seating is again on low cushions.