RAK Investment and Development Office & RAK Properties
The role played by the Dubai Development and Investment Authority (DDIA) surpasses anything else in the creation of New Dubai. The Authority operates through a holding company named Dubai Holdings, which owns most of Dubai’s prestigious projects, including Dubailand, Dubai Internet and Media City, Dubai Health City, etc. In order to grow and prosper in a similar manner, Ras Al Khaimah has its own version of DDIA. This is the role assigned to the Ras Al Khaimah Investment and Development Office (IDO).
Investment and Development Office (IDO):
The new development paradigm of Ras Al Khaimah involves the improvement of the emirate’s investment climate by bringing about necessary changes in administrative, legal and other levels to remove hurdles to investment and business, the provision of world class infrastructure and other support services to the private sector at competitive rates, creation of a level-playing field to investors through transparency in legal and regulatory framework as well as the promotion of RAK as an exciting tourist destination. The IDO plays a pivotal role in achieving these objectives.
"We are introducing a private sector mentality into government, and view ourselves, in the figurative sense, as RAK inc," Dr. Izzat Dajani, CEO of RAK IDO, pointed out. The CEO’s assertion strikes a familiar note with the description that is generally assigned to Dubai: that the emirate is run like a company. That these words are more than just homilies is borne out by what the Office has achieved so far. The IDO is the agency behind the successful launch of the Dh. 1.1 billion RAK Properties IPO, which was oversubscribed 57 times, surpassing all market expectations. In fact, the Office was the subscription manager to the issue.
The role of RAK Properties can in a way be likened to that of Dubai’s Emaar Properties, which was launched with the vision of changing the financial landscape of Dubai. It is not just coincidence that the Emaar public issue was a turning point in the UAE’s primary issue market and marked the first landmark in the development of a broad based equity culture in the country’s capital market. The issue had also evoked similar response from small investors.
Following the footsteps of Emaar, RAK Properties has also drawn up a road map, which will see the company enter into related areas such as home finance. For instance, new projects on the drawing board will be accompanied by the launch of a mortgage finance company. The first major development plans to launch is the Mangrove island development at an estimated cost of Dh 2.7 billion. The project will develop over 72 hectares of land, located in the heart of Ras Al Khaimah, for which the government has provided free land.
The company’s vision is to oversee the development of joint projects with other investors. It is in a unique position to launch operations immediately and there is no gestation period involved for the drawing up of plans etc. as the IDO has already been working on the master plan for the development, which made it ready for implementation straightaway.
"We aim to attract investors and create in RAK a place that provides and efficient work life and a quality home life. We are developing the emirate as a new major tourism and business hub in UAE. The government has opened up the property market and is offering foreign ownership on freehold basis among many other new development projects in hospitality and leisure. We are blessed by nature’s attributes of mountains, beaches and valleys - all interlinked by an exciting desert plain," Dr. Dajani noted aptly. "These are all great differentiators," he pointed out.
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