The Khatt Hot Springs Resort in Ras Al Khaimah heals as it soothes and has become a popular tourist attraction

Nestled in the mountains and surrounded by rolling, tranquil palm orchards, the Khatt Hot Springs Resort is a visitor's delight. It heals as it soothes.

Mubarak Ali Al Shamsi, Director General of the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, said under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the civic body has devoted efforts to develop tourist haunts, including archaeological sites and leisure pockets.

The Khatt Hot Springs Resort, located to the west of a series of mountains, is surrounded by orchards of palm trees. The terrain is breath-taking.

Al Shamsi added that the resort has three hot water springs, rich with minerals.

The resort was opened on December 7, 1982, under the patronage of Sheikh Saqr. The healing powers of the hot springs have spread far and wide. Tourists flock there for treatment and leisure.

The resort has a rest house with two wings, one for men and the other for women. Al Shamsi said: "There are a number of halls to have meals and refreshments, rest rooms, dressing rooms and a garden.

"The water of the springs reaches a depth of 90 feet and the temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius. There is no doubt that it has healing powers."

The Khatt Hot Springs Resort has a rest house with two wings, one for men and the other for women ©Gulf News
Dr Kul Karim Khan, Specialist Dermatologist at the Obaid Allah Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, said the water heats the skin, making blood vessels expand to allow oxygen to enter the skin.

"This generally improves the performance of the cells and tissues as well. In case of inflammation, the human body tries to fight it by bringing more blood to the inflamed area, removing the dead cells and replacing them with new ones."

Sources at the Ras Al Khaimah Medical Zone said the mineral water has a double effect.

First - temperature: the hot water has the following benefits:

- Relaxes the muscles.

- Blood vessels expand allowing oxygen to enter the skin.

Second - minerals:

- Treats many dermatosis and some rheumatic diseases.

- Medical sources said people with paralysis undergo this treatment. The water relaxes the muscles. The paralysed parts having little weight under water can then be moved without pain.

- The epidermis of the skin renews itself several times a year. The surface cells peel, fall and are replaced by new ones. However, there is a need for salts and minerals to help assimilate into the skin and other parts of the body. The Khatt spring water, rich in sulphur, minerals and salts, aids in this process.

Ahmed Ismael, head of the Parks Section at the municipality, said natural treatment is far better compared to using chemicals.

"But visitors to the Khatt Hot Springs should never stay in the water for more than five minutes continuously because the arteries and veins will become lax and cause blood pressure to drop.

"If a person stays in the water for more than five minutes, he may feel dizzy because of the drop in blood pressure, and this is quite dangerous if the person remains in the water. After five minutes, a person is advised to get out of the water and cover the body with a towel so that he is not exposed to the breeze.

"The person can then go back to the water and repeat the process till the entire duration spent in the springs is not less than 20 minutes. This can be done thrice a week for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, dermatosis or rigours resulting from paralysis."

The psychological factor is also very important. The person doesn't think of it as a treatment method, spends time with the family having a picnic. The patient doesn't have to stay at home, thinking constantly of the disease.

Ismael stressed that it has been found that waters can cure psoriasis because of the tar content. People these days are more inclined to natural treatment rather than chemicals which have side-effects. "Virtually every day we hear that new clinics offering herbal treatment have opened, and this is going down well with the public."

He urged all patients to treat themselves at the Khatt springs. "People feel that they are in an interesting place - this makes them relax and they benefit from the therapeutic effects of the water."

Ismael said the therapeutic powers of the Khatt springs were brushed aside for years, until experts declared that they can heal.

A geological and hydrological survey of the area was carried out. These studies have shown that the waters reach a depth of 90 feet and temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius which is a little higher than the normal temperature of a healthy human being. The temperature of the surface ground water does not exceed 23 degrees Celsius.

"The resort was renovated. Earlier, water flow was only 21 litres a second, but after improving it has become 54 litres a second.

"A great number of tourists and visitors have visited the resort for medical treatment. The resort is considered the first tourist facility in the area that offers multiple attractions. The skyline is etched with mountains and plains carpeted by greenery and palm trees all year long.

"The buildings surrounding the springs reflect Arabic and Islamic architecture. The mountain paradise is one of the wonders of Ras Al Khaimah."