When most people think of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai immediately comes to mind, but according to overseas property specialists, another Emirate is on course to emulate Dubai’s success. Just forty five minutes drive north of Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is rising in popularity due to its low land costs, tax benefits, picturesque landscape and commutable distance to Dubai.
RAK is the furthest north of the UAE’s seven emirates and occupies a prime position on some of the world’s most important trade routes. Business in Ras Al-Khaimah has a history stretching back at least six centuries, and today trade continues to be an important contributor to the economy, with tourism and services beginning to gain increasing influence. The main exports include ceramic tiles, medicines, cement and fish and RAK Financial City has been designated to become the new hub for the offshore financial operations of the regional business community.
Economic strengthening and diversification of the Emirate is moving at an incredibly swift pace with the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) alone having invested over $408m in local projects and has attracted over $950m in outside investment since 2004. Since 2000, some $25 billion of domestic and foreign investment has poured into RAK; but unlike the neighbouring emirates, RAK is not oil reliant so its industries are here to stay.
Ras Al Khaimah’s idyllic location with fertile plains, mountains, hot springs, mangrove forests and miles of unspoilt Gulf coastline is why RAK is growing as a tourist destination and is now the fourth largest emirate. In contrast to Dubai’s city atmosphere, Ras Al Khaimah offers a more relaxed way of life. Pure white sands, lush green landscapes and mountain scenery offer wide appeal to Dubai residents who want to work in the city but live by a beach, and it’s also attracting a growing number of holidaymakers.
With its close proximity to Dubai and its strong appeal to both commuters and holidaymakers, the Emirate is also attracting many who are looking for Ras Al Khaimah investment property [http://www.selectproperty.com/invest/ras-al-khaimah]. Not only does Ras Al Khaimah offer luxury housing at affordable prices, but it has great potential for capital gains and rental returns due to the ruling sheikh’s commitment to developing the region and attracting inward investment. Some developments have already seen their prices increase by 20% annually for the past two years.
RAK is currently at a very exciting level of development and has been touted as the UAE’s next big market, and if it’s anything like its cousin Dubai, great things lie ahead for this dynamic Emirate.