The investment hub now houses over 8,600 companies

The investment hub now houses over 8,600 companies

Reinforcing UAE’s economic resiliency

The RAK FTZ has gone through major developments in recent years in order to meet the service and infrastructural requirements of investors

01 November 2016

The UAE’s economy has remained unshaken in the midst of headwinds brought by the softening of oil prices over the past months. The country has even come out as the most competitive in the Arab world, ranking first regionally in World Economic Forum’s recently released Global Competitiveness Report 2016 – which measures the annual performance and competitiveness of the economies of 138 countries. The UAE came in 16th globally.

In terms of goods market efficiency, the UAE was positioned in third place globally – a key achievement brought by the country’s successful economic diversification. One of the pillars for this milestone is the free trade zones established all throughout the emirates that are working toward the same mission of bringing in more investments to the country. In Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) has been playing a pivotal role in pulling in foreign investors since 2000. The investment hub now houses over 8,600 companies from at least 100 countries, out of which 500 international leading manufacturers operate their businesses in four industrial parks, in various activities, including logistics, services, commercial, and many more. 

Commenting on how the free zone has managed to continue surging its client base, Ramy Jallad, the RAK FTZ’s CEO, said: “It’s no easy feat.”

Emphasising that the authority has gone through major developments over the past 16 years in order to meet the service and infrastructural requirements of investors, he said: “In the recent years, we built over 100 fully-equipped warehouses with permanent power supply; launched one-stop shop facilities; improved the infrastructure of our free zone parks; built a Dh25 million ($6.80 million) district cooling plant; introduced more value-added services; enhanced our website for better user experience, and so much more. 

Jallad: RAK FTZ has seen many transformations in 2015

Jallad: RAK FTZ has seen many transformations in 2015

“The free zone has dramatically advanced on every aspect since its inception. A lot of transformations have happened in 2015, and this year has been more about reaping the fruits of our labour, particularly in supporting the foreign business community of RAK.”

RAK FTZ has won three awards from distinguished award-giving bodies this year. In April, the free zone was named as the ‘Best Government Entity in RAK’ during the 10th Sheikh Saqr Programme for Government Excellence (SSPGE) Awards. The following month, the First Emirates and Europe Economic Forum honoured RAK FTZ as the most innovative free zone, winning the category of ‘Innovative Development of Free Zones’. Then in July, the inaugural Burj CEO Awards recognised the investment hub as the ‘Best Global Free Zone’.

With milestones after milestones, the hub’s next moves have already been decided. “We will establish new warehouses with showrooms in the Technology Park that comes with dedicated space for manufacturers to store and display their products,” he said.

He continued explaining that the infrastructure of the industrial park will be developed further and there will be constructions of new one-stop shop facilities for client’s convenience. Expanding the Academic Zone is one of RAK FTZ’s focus. The free zone aims to attract well-reputed schools, universities, colleges, training centres and other institutions and bring them into one clustered environment. “This will position Ras Al Khaimah as a beacon for high-quality education,” said Jallad.

In addition, RAK FTZ will also be developing more solutions to strengthen its communication with its clients using technology. In fact, it has already started the process of creating an online platform where investors can complete the  company formation application process and get their licence from wherever they are in the world. Moreover, the upcoming platform will complement the free zone’s E-services portal, which has been revamped and re-launched early this year. 


More Stories