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Business Bliss: 10 Reasons To Start Up In Or Expand Your Company To Ras Al Khaimah (8 June 2021)

Here are 10 reasons why Ras Al Khaimah should be your No.1 choice for setting up or developing your business… 

1. Companies can be 100% foreign owned

Foreign investors can enjoy 100% ownership of companies in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in certain booming sectors, including industrial, agricultural and service sectors, while owning and controlling all shares in non-free zone companies. This new option for investors covers the 2,954 economic activities.

2. Ras Al Khaimah is ideally located between Asia, Europe and Africa

Just a 45-minute drive from one of the world’s biggest aviation hubs - Dubai International Airport - and strategically located at the modern crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, Ras Al Khaimah occupies a prime geographic position and provides an abundance of transport options. The emirate is within a four-hour flight time of almost one-third of the world’s population and within eight hours of more than two-thirds of its people. There are five ports in the Emirate including Saqr Port, the largest bulk-handling port in the Middle East, and excellent roads infrastructure connecting Ras Al Khaimah to the rest of the UAE. Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is a growing transit point for both passengers and cargo. It is the overseas hub for Indian aviation giant SpiceJet, a hub for Air Arabia, and has partnerships with a number of Middle Eastern and European airlines. From Ras Al Khaimah, passengers can connect directly to locations that include New Delhi, Moscow, Warsaw, Cairo, Prague and Istanbul, flying on to numerous other cities around the world. With many more destinations in the pipeline, it’s blue skies ahead for Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. 

3. There’s an abundance of opportunities

From manufacturing to tourism and numerous sectors in-between, Ras Al Khaimah has established itself as a great base for setting up a business or for expanding commercial operations into new markets. Easy business set-up, low accommodation and labor costs and availability of land all combine with great infrastructure and livability to make the Emirate an ideal business environment. Ras Al Khaimah is an extremely diverse manufacturing hub, including high-tech manufacturing such as at Julphar Pharmaceuticals. Other sectors of significance in the Emirate are mining, commodities, real estate development and finance, with major players already operating here, such as Stevin Rock and RAK Rock, RAKGAS, RAK Petroleum and RAKBANK

4. Diversity is Ras Al Khaimah’s key to success

Diversifying the Emirate’s economy away from oil has been at the heart of its economic success story. Ras Al Khaimah sought to benefit from its vast natural resources and set up a host of companies and leading brands, in addition to building factories and ports, and providing constant support and top-quality shipping services.

Notable among these facilities is Saqr Port– the biggest bulk-handling port in the Middle East. RAK Ceramics is one of the major global players in its field, whileStevin Rockand RAK Rock have a production capacity of over 80 million tons of raw materials per year.

The Emirate has set solid foundations for a diverse industrial sector that can meet market demand and provide various products. Notable among these companies is Julphar, which has grown to become one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Middle East and Africa. The company has recently started manufacturing the Hayat-Vax vaccine against COVID-19 and is expecting to produce 24 million boxes on the vaccine by the end of 2021.

Today, Ras Al Khaimah’s composition of industries is so diverse that no single sector contributes more than 30% to the Emirate’s GDP.

5. You’ll find access to sector-specific free zones

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is a powerhouse business and industrial hub that is already home to more than 15,000 companies representing 100 countries across 50 sectors. Its goal is to ensure straightforward business set-up and provide customizable solutions to investors. As such, it operates state-of-the-art industrial areas and business parks across the Emirate. Each specialized zone allows for services to be tailored to individual business requirements, with a multitude of business license solutions available through RAKEZ’s dedicated customer service team. In addition to RAKEZ’s many set-up options, RAK Ports has developed the Saqr Port / Free Zone area that allows for direct waterside access for those businesses that need quick and reliable access to port facilities. This free zone is the closest in the UAE to the Strait of Hormuz, making it strategically located for businesses with an interest in maritime transportation and logistics. 

6. Doing business is easy and cost-effective

One of the major advantages of doing business in Ras Al Khaimah is the relative ease and low cost of getting things done. Through entities such as RAKEZ, Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as other investment drivers such as Marjan, setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah is a straightforward process and one that can be completed in as few as three steps. In fact, it is estimated that the cost of setting up and running a business in Ras Al Khaimah, as well as the cost of living, healthcare and education, can be up to 50% cheaper than in neighboring areas, depending upon a number of factors such as sector and neighborhood. Validating Ras Al Khaimah’s growing status as an investment hub is the World Bank’s Doing Business report, which ranked the Emirate 30th out of 190 sub-national economies in 2019 for ease of doing business. 

7. Its commitment to digital services facilitates smooth commerce

Ras Al Khaimah’s Electronic Government Authority is transforming government services through digitalization. At present, more than 700 services from various Ras Al Khaimah Government departments are available online through with many business applications having been transitioned into this easy-to-use format. In addition, the mRAK app now offers over 150 services available to businesses and the general public.

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