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Industrial investments in RAK set to surge 20%

posted on 16/12/2010: 2896 views

Industrial investments in Ras Al Khaimah, which have exceeded more than US$3 billion since 2006, is set to surge 20 per cent in 2011, the emirate's investment authority said.

"The emirate's vibrant industrial sector is on track to attract US$600 million in new investment next year,” the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, or Rakia, said.

Rakia, a major provider of investment opportunities and one-stop solutions in its free zones, industrial parks and offshore facilities, has set a record in the number of new licences issued in a year.

"This year, we have issued 1,002 licences until November, up 28 per cent compared to the same 2009 period, and we hope to see the number of new companies setting up business to reach 1, 200 by the year end,” Rakia Chief Executive Officer Dr Khater Massaad said.

"This is a phenomenal year for Rakia,” he said. The record number of new licences underscores Rakia's increasing appeal to global business enterprises as an excellent investment haven,” he said. "It reflects the growing confidence of global investors in the emirate's investment landscape,” he said.

"We believe that maintaining a high level of confidence and satisfaction among all investors has also been a critical factor in the increasing number of companies that are now setting up business operations in Ras Al Khaimah. Investors greatly appreciate the emirate's centralised location and world-class business infrastructure, which are crucial in boosting the investors' competitive edge and giving them a significant head start,” he said at a high-profile meeting attended by more than 150 global CEOs in Dubai late on Tuesday.

Rakia in August reported a first-half net profit increase of 1.5 per cent to Dh128.5 million, from Dh126.5 million in the year earlier period. The authority's total assets stood at Dh7.26 billion at the end of June.

Dr Massaad said Rakia would continue to target investors from overseas. India accounts for 27 per cent of all investors followed by Europe with 19 per cent and the rest of the Middle East with 19 per cent. UAE investors make up 15 per cent of businesses registered with Rakia.

Since inception in 2006, Rakia has issued a total of 3,573 licences, including 613 industrial firms. Investors primarily operate in the Free Zone and Industrial Park in Al Hamra and the Industrial Park in Al Ghayl, which are all-state-of-the-art investment zones developed by Rakia. In addition, there are 3,960 offshore companies registered under RAK Offshore, which operates under Rakia, bringing the total number of companies now based in Ras Al Khaimah to over 7,300, Dr Massaad said.

Ras Al Khaimah has been recognised as ‘The Most Innovative Investment Destination' by the World Finance 2010 Awards. The emirate has also been recognised as "Best Foreign Direct Investment Destination in the Middle East” by the Financial Times Group's FDI magazine in 2009, and "Most Cost-Efficient FDI Destination” by Financial Times London. – Khaleej Times


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