Ras Al Khaimah Award for Financial Times’ Top 10 Future Cities!

by Aris Kotsomitis
October 3, 2015
Category:   UAE Real Estate News

FBS 4348Ras Al Khaimah awarded in five categories at the Financial Times Future Cities Awards

An enormous credit for the government of RAK

Lifestyle, Human Capital, Economic Potential, Connectivity, Cost Effectiveness, Business Friendliness are defining features

 

RAK has been ranked among the Top 10 Small and Mid-Sized Global Cities of the Future List, by the world-leading business news group, Financial Times.

Ras Al Khaimah was awarded along with internationally recognized cities such as Geneva, Zurich, Belfast and Edinburgh in five categories:

  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Economic Potential
  • Human Capital and Lifestyle
  • Connectivity
  • Business Friendliness

The top ten Global Cities of the Future 2014/15 were shortlisted from a total of 130 locations. The ranking, which was published in London’s Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, lists RAK in eighth place overall.

Mr Benoy Kurien, General Manager of Al Hamra Real Estate Development, a major contributor to the growth of the emirate with its retail, residential and hospitality property developments said “It is an enormous credit to the government of Ras Al Khaimah to have been recognised by such a prestigious awards body and to be included alongside cities like Geneva and Zurich. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the government and His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassimi and HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Saud crown prince of Ras Al Khaimah on this momentous occasion.”

Ras Al Khaimah was ranked an impressive 5 in the Connectivity category.  Mr Barry Ebrahimy, Head of Commercial, Al Hamra Real Estate Development, said: “In terms of connectivity, being just a 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest, will no doubt have played an important role in ensuring Ras Al Khaimah ranked favourably on criteria related to the number of airports within 80 kilometres of the city and the number of international destinations served.”

The World Bank has already ranked The United Arab Emirates amongst the best 25 countries for the category of ease of doing business.  Barry Ebrahimy stated that the development of RAK Freezone has also contributed to RAK’s level of cost effectiveness.  Criteria in this category include the costs for setting up a business, property registration, obtaining construction permits, average annual salaries for all levels of skilled workers and the annual rentals for industrial space and prime offices.

Ras Al Khaimah has also recorded the highest ever tourism figures – with over 2.1 million tourists visiting the emirate in 2014.  Tourism numbers are a strong indication of high performance in economic potential categories.

RAK is growing at an impressive rate and is the fastest growing emirate in the UAE. Another indication of economic potential is the huge interest in real estate, for example in the luxury expat community Al Hamra Village, which continues to offer great value for people who are interested in investment opportunities in the UAE.

This investment extends beyond financial benefit.  Among the lifestyle category, for example, are various quality of life indications such as the number of doctors per 1000 people, life expectancy and the level of tertiary education.

As explained by Mr Benoy Kurien, “Al Hamra Village has been at the heart of the development of Ras Al Khaimah and has attracted residents representing 64 nationalities. Occupancy is well over 87% and, with demand rising, Bayti and Falcon Island properties are being snapped up by buyers who recognise this unique opportunity to combine investment and lifestyle.”

Property Rental Yields in RAK are surging strongly upwards especially at Ras Al Khaimah’s Elite Coastline Area of Al Hamra Village at this moment in time when the Dubai market is flat – Ras Al Khaimah becomes a property market in its own right.

Affordable housing and investment properties with 8% annual rental yield are common with fundamentals making this level of yields sustainable for at least 3-5 years. Also, restricted supply and projected supply, abundance of new infrastructure projects, a very successful and established free zone area with one of the two offshore regimes in the UAE, a large industrial area as well as an ever increasing demand for people of the region to move to this amazing locality are factors boosting demand and potential.

Also rentals stand at 3 times less than Dubai whilst only 45 minutes away in an idyllic beachfront setting with world-class amenitis, hotels and infrastructure property transfer fees are half (!) those of Dubai.

Investing in Al Hamra Village properties in the light of the above is a smart move with small downside risk (almost an all cash market with very little low finance making it less volatile).

In our opinion NOW is the time to buy to capture the maximum of the gains and full potential.

The UAE’s Most Successful Free Zone and Offshore Regime with International Recognition

The UAE is no newcomer to the international investment and tax planning landscape and does not need extensive introductions. RAK is by far the most cost-effective and fast way to enter the UAE market. And by far  the friendliest Emirate.

Investing in / forming a RAK Free Zone, Offshore or LLC (local) company can yield the investor significant tax and business advantages as well as asset protection capabilities.

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