Ras al-Khaimah (which literally translates into ‘top of the tent’) is the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the emirate does not get the same level of attention as Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it should. The government is pro-western and pro-investment and foreign businesses are beginning to take notice. As such, here are six excellent reasons to invest in Ras al-Khaimah
Since ascending to the throne in 2010, the American-educated Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi has worked tirelessly to continue the policies of his father. Many of these policies have transformed into a pro-western, pro-business environment to do business.
Some of these policies include the inauguration of Free Trade Zones (FTZ), improved healthcare and educational facilities, and infrastructure investment. The decision to establish these zones have played an important role in Ras al-Khaimah’s development. You see, the emirate is not oil rich. As such, it has had to leverage the creativity of its people and its location to gain a competitive advantage.
An added benefit of this decision is stability. This is a big deal in a region which is facing numerous threats. The Sheikh understands the importance of giving his people an opportunity to build a better life. This has helped to counter the dark tide of violence and radicalization. Which helps to reduce the uncertainty which adds risk, and cost, to any investment.
Given its location on the coast of the Persian Gulf near the Straits of Hormuz, Ras al-Khaimah is at the strategic crossroads of east and west. The emirate is just over an hour’s drive from Dubai international airport – the third busiest airport in the world. While Saqr port is the emirate’s own deep water port
This opens the door to use Ras al-Khaimah as your hub for the Middle East and Africa. Not only if the emirate within a six-hour flight of nearly half of the world’s population. It is also situated next to one of the busiest waterways in the world. As such, it is an excellent base for being near your customers.
- Cost Savings
Granted Dubai and Abu Dhabi get most of the attention. But both emirates are expensive locations to operate. This makes Ras al-Khaimah an excellent alternative. Not only are operating costs lower, but its proximity to Dubai means that it is practically a suburb of the bigger emirate. In addition, company establishment in the UAE is a fairly efficient process and this has helped the country score high marks from the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report.
- Attractive Investment Promotion
The emirate is growing quickly. Furthermore, Ras Al Khaimah has been ranked as one of the Top 10 Small- and Mid-Sized Global Cities of the Future by FDI Intelligence. In 2015 it ranked as the ninth for human capital and lifestyle, and friendliness, seventh for economic potential, and fifth for connectivity.
This is a direct result of the Sheikh’s pro-business, pro-western policies which has supported Foreign Direct Investment. Privileges extended to investors include taxation, 100% foreign ownership, and fully repatriation of profits. Both of which are a big plus for any investor seeking to establish an overseas base of operations.
- Quality of Life
Dubbed the quiet emirate, Ras Al Khaimahhosts several world-class hotels, such as the Waldorf Astoria and Banyan Tree. Many expatriates prefer the tranquility of the emirate the hustle, bustle, and pollution of Dubai.
The World Education News and Review noted that the emirate is home to several foreign education institutions. One of these is the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL-ME).
In addition, Google operates an Innovation Hubin the emirate. The goal is to help prepare teachers and students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). This will help to increase competitiveness which will ultimately attract more investors.
As one can see, Ras al-Khaimah offer several advantages for investors. These include leadership, stability, connectivity, cost savings, attractive investment promotion, and quality of life. Together these make the emirate a compelling alternative to Abu Dhabi or Dubai and serious investors or considering the it as their ideal home for the Middle East and Africa market.