Growing Business Opportunities in the UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah
One of our upcoming conference’s main sponsors is Ras Al Khaimah’s International Corporate Centre, an organization responsible for the registration and incorporation of International Business Companies, as well as providing a full suite of Registry services related to International Business Company activity. Find out more about them HERE and stop by to meet them!
Located just an hour from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), one of seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been making the news as of late thanks to its rapidly growing economy and the emerging opportunities for international businesses interested in setting up in the UAE.
Having never discovered oil, from the outset RAK has had to diversify its economy and rely on a wide array of industries. Today, RAK stands as one of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) most diverse countries “with no one element exceeding more than 20% of total GDP” and an ‘A’ rating by both Fitch and Standard & Poors.
RAK’s major industries include real estate, tourism, construction materials, manufacturing and high technology, financial and insurance services, fishing, and agriculture.
Some of RAK’s most important companies include:
- Stevin Rock and RAK Rock, two of the world’s largest quarrying companies “with a current production capacity from three sites of over 80 million tons per year of limestone, dolomite and gabbro for the construction industry, as well as for the cement, steel and mining industries.”
- Julphar, a leading pharmaceutical firm in Africa and the Middle East, which, since 2012, has become “one of the world’s largest producers of insulin thanks to [its] state-of-the-art UAE-based biotechnology facility.”
- RAK Ceramics, one of the world’s largest ceramics companies, which produces “110 million square metres of tiles and 5 million pieces of sanitaryware per year at [its] 16 state-of-the-art plants across the United Arab Emirates, India, Bangladesh and Iran.”
Ras Al Khaimah’s Economic Zone (RAKEZ) & Its Opportunities
Furthermore, international businesses have benefited greatly from the RAK Economic Zone (RAKEZ), a special economic zone that currently hosts close to 15,000 companies from 100 countries (primarily in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe) operating in 50 different industries.
According to its website, companies set up in RAKEZ enjoy the following benefits:
- Fast and efficient business set-up processes;
- Provision to build on-site staff and labour accommodations;
- Free zone and non-free zone entity formations;
- 100 percent foreign ownership;
- Wide-ranging business and industrial facilities;
- One-stop shop for all government services;
- Self-service client portal;
- Connectivity to major logistical hubs;
- Accessibility via an international spread of regional offices, and;
- Easy access to markets across MENA, Europe and Asia.
More specifically, start-ups have been benefiting greatly during the last several years from setting up in RAK.
Speaking to Gulf News, Keegan Sequiera, a human resources consultant with Agile Consultants, says, “It’s cost-effective to run a start-up [in RAK] — especially for a new entrepreneur who may want a cheap sandbox environment to try out a new idea or concept.”
“Having dealt with various authorities in the UAE, I can confidently say that RAKEZ not only is one of the easiest places to start up your business but the team and organisation takes utmost care to help and assist with things beyond their responsibilities,” Sequiera adds.
Case in point, the ease of doing business in RAK has improved dramatically in the past several years.
According to the World Bank’s report “Doing Business 2019 in Ras Al Khaimah,” the emirate has improved significantly in “starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property and enforcing contracts.”
More specifically, “since 2016, Ras Al Khaimah's EODB score jumped from 84.51 to 86.12 on starting a business; from 62.18 to 71.28 on dealing with construction permits; and from 67.87 to 69.25 on enforcing contracts.”
The reports concludes that “Ras Al Khaimah's estimated Ease of Doing Business, EODB, score in 2019 is 77.52,” which would rank it in the world’s top 30 in terms of how easy it is to do business there and “higher than that of all Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, countries.”
Setting Up IBCs in RAK
For those interested in registering an International Business Company in RAK, the Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC) “is responsible for the registration and incorporation of International Business Companies, as well as providing a full suite of Registry services related to International Business Company activity.”
Furthermore, as explained on RAKICC’s website, “the IBCs incorporated with the Jurisdiction are mostly used for wealth management and assets protection, holding shares in local companies and companies established internationally, holding assets, real properties, open bank accounts at local and international banks.”
Some of the main benefits of setting up an IBC in RAK include:
- Conducting business as an international entity;
- Foreign ownership;
- Dispute resolution for settlement of commercial disputes;
- Open bank accounts locally and internationally;
- Conducting business without corporate/personal taxes;
- Protecting investments in other foreign countries;
- Simpler transfer of assets and properties held in several countries, and;
- Transfer of domiciliation or continuation.
Dr. Sameer Al Ansari, who’s RAKICC’s CEO and is a chartered accountant with more than 30 years of experience, will be in attendance at our upcoming conference in Barcelona and would be thrilled to meet you and tell you a little bit more about RAKICC’s operations and services.
He’s also particularly interested in discussing “general views on public registers of beneficial ownership,” “the future for offshore jurisdictions,” and the many “products and services [that] are required to cater for the new normal.”
So join us in Barcelona and come learn all about Ras Al Khaimah and its endless business opportunities.