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gulfnews.com

On Agenda: Ras Al Khaimah on course to become another Dubai

By K. Raveendran, Special to Gulf News

The pace is not blistering as in Dubai, nor does the scale match Dubai's proportions. But Ras Al Khaimah is surely headed the Dubai way, changing its profile and transforming itself into an investment hotspot.

The emirate has of late unveiled a series of initiatives similar to the ones that set Dubai on course to achieving the position that it is in today.

Going by the record so far, Ras Al Khaimah looks all set to become the next stop in the itinerary of investors: a la Dubai in the making.

Underpinning these initiatives is a new vision, which has the emphatic stamp of Deputy Ruler and Crown Prince Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, to create a sustainable economic model for Ras Al Khaimah that would optimally utilise the emirate's natural resources and secure the economic future of its people.

High on the agenda is an investors meet the emirate is organising next month in association with the World Bank to highlight the investment opportunities thrown open by a wholesome change in the approach of the government, setting into motion several outward-looking and business-friendly processes.

On Shaikh Saud's initiative, a World Bank team had earlier studied Ras Al Khaimah's economic fundamentals to identify possible development strategies and recommend changes where required.

The report has generally been very positive, but has identified areas that need improvements to make the emirate more attractive to investors. Recent announcements indicate that the recommendations have been taken up in right earnest.

Only some days ago, the emirate announced the formation of the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, a quasi-government body that will work towards fostering a pro-business and pro-investment environment.

The authority is headed by Dr Khater Massaad, special advisor to the Crown Prince, and the chief executive officer of RAK Ceramics, the company that has put the emirate on the world map of ceramic industry.

Track record

The move is yet another illustration of the approach of the emirate's new dispensation. Dr Massaad has a splendid track record as the CEO of RAK Ceramics, which also has a high-profile Chairman in the Crown Prince.

RAK Ceramics is so far the best that the emirate has produced and the company is a forceful assertion of the emirate's capabilities.

In a little over a decade, the company has grown into a $300 million (Dh1.10 billion) global conglomerate with manufacturing facilities in different continents, and exporting to more than 135 countries.

RAK Ceramics has ensured that if the ceramics industry has a world capital, the place would be Ras Al Khaimah and the country the UAE.

The authorities are now envisioning the creation of more success stories like RAK Ceramics.

The emirate is embarking on a major effort to create the infrastructure that can support the master plan for development, including airports and seaports, highways and other communication systems, tourism assets as well as the basic industrial infrastructure.

A major problem about the high cost of energy for units based in the emirate would be resolved when gas from an offshore field in Oman's Musandam Peninsula starts flowing through a pipeline to Ras Al Khaimah.

A deal for the purchase of gas for 15 years has already been entered into. Similar projects to reduce the cost of power and water for the industrial units have also been initiated.

The emirate has finalised plans to set up a windmill facility using a first of its kind technology in collaboration with a foreign partner.

The Swiss Centre for Microelectronics has signed a joint venture for setting up a state-of-the art innovation centre for providing research, development and incubation facilities in micro and nanotechnology ventures and to provide leading edge technology support to businesses in the Gulf and Middle East.

Tourism has been identified as another big growth area.

The Dh900 million Al Hamra Fort Hotel and Beach Resort, a mini-township of villas, apartments, golf course, hotel and water sports facilities, the Khor Qurm project for beach front hotels and resorts, the master plan for Jebel Jais mountain resort in the Al Jais mountain range, the location of the first ever snowfall in living memory in the UAE, all put together create an impressive tourism picture.

It is perhaps more than coincidence that Ras Al Khaimah Properties, the new freehold property development company launched on the lines of Dubai's Emaar Properties, has collected more than Dh50 billion as subscription money for its Dh1.1 billion IPO.

The Emaar launch was the starting point of a process that culminated in Dubai's building frenzy. For all one knows, the RAK Property story may have many things in common.

The writer is a UAE-based journalist.
 

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Patriotic Emirati
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Instead of building golf clubs for the tourists how about making a better road system? or a single road with no holes? How about satisfaying citizens? how about building houses for them instead of building thousands of houses for sell while other thousands suffer for having houses that might fall down on their heads.
 

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Under the Burj
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:lol:
the guy who wrote this must have been smoking somthing......:eek:hno:

the place is in the stone age socialy, and they want to be a megacity!!!
 

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Patriotic Emirati
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The new crown prince Shiekh Saud Al Qasimi has an ambition and I hope that he can successed however there are things he has to consider. As a start stop STEALING from the citizens.

I heard that General Mohammed Al Qassimi the chairman of RAK police has a car showroom one of the service he give to the buyers is having a free plate number with the car.

The ruler family has a very bad reputation and the crown prince takes every thing and steal everything possible. One of the things he should start thinking of is to stop the corruption. or maybe consider less stealing?
 

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smussuw said:
The new crown prince Shiekh Saud Al Qasimi has an ambition and I hope that he can successed however there are things he has to consider. As a start stop STEALING from the citizens.

I heard that General Mohammed Al Qassimi the chairman of RAK police has a car showroom one of the service he give to the buyers is having a free plate number with the car.

The ruler family has a very bad reputation and the crown prince takes every thing and steal everything possible. One of the things he should start thinking of is to stop the corruption. or maybe consider less stealing?
the better investment decisions he makes with the emirates money, the more money he can steal/keep for himself
 

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no i hope fujiarh never becomes like dubai. Fajarah is beatiful the way it is, it should be preserved and kept like it is. If you commericalized too much it will lose its natural beauty.
 

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Qatar4Ever said:
no i hope fujiarh never becomes like dubai. Fajarah is beatiful the way it is, it should be preserved and kept like it is. If you commericalized too much it will lose its natural beauty.
its up 2 the ppl of fuj, do u live there
 

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It's nice to hear that this emirate has an ambition that it wishes to achieve, a forward vision is always welcome as long as it doesn't overshadow the priorities that first need to be satisfied i.e. tourism preferred over citizens.

Well I'd recommend that they develop the mountains as that is somethin that Dubai doesn't touch upon as much (only the Hatta resort), well atleast for now that is.

We'll see what it has in store for us.
 

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crazyeight said:
Fujairah should become the next Dubai! so much potential
:lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol::lol: :lol: :lol:

i wanna use that as my sig!
 

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21st century destination
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lol i grew up there!! i love the place and it's not as bad as other people think
 

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Fujairah does have a lot of potential, the port is now ranked number 2 in the world after Singapore when it comes to bunkering (surpassed Rotterdam) and it should capitalize on that.
 

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no i dont live there, im sure the ppl of fujariah dont want to be commericalized just as im sure that a whole lot of ppl in dubai arent that happy about the extent that dubai has been commericalized and globalized.
 
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