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Jallad: anticipating tenants’ needs

Jallad: anticipating tenants’ needs



Free trade zone beckons

RAKEZ strives to be the ideal choice for setting up business in the region by continuing to attract entrepreneurs and SMEs and gathering strength as an industrial powerhouse

March 2019

The UAE’s free trade zones have played a significant role in establishing the country as an attractive destination for entrepreneurs, investors and start-ups. There’s no doubt that the tax incentives and convenient regulatory framework offered by these zones have helped power the UAE’s economy.

While Abu Dhabi and Dubai continue to share the spotlight as leading industrial hubs, the picturesque emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the northern part of the country is making its own waves in free zone business.

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) is a powerhouse business and industrial hub strategically located in the heart of Ras Al Khaimah that offers wide-ranging customisable solutions to investors from all over the globe. Presently, the economic zone houses over 14,500 multinational companies from more than 100 countries covering over 50 industries, making it one of the largest economic zones in the region.

Over 47 per cent of its clients are in the commercial field while nearly 34 per cent are flourishing in the service sector, more than 9 per cent are in general trading, and 5 per cent are in the industrial field. The remaining 5 per cent are spread across media, e-commerce, educational and other sectors, Ramy Jallad, CEO of RAKEZ said in an interview to the Gulf Industry magazine.

The statistics are encouraging, especially at a time when the region is going through the pain of low oil incomes and broad repercussions from that.

 

NEW INITIATIVES

RAKEZ continues to strive to be the undisputed choice for setting up business in the region by taking additional steps and initiatives.

A business centre in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)

A business centre in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)

The investment hub continues to roll out new initiatives to attract diversified investment opportunities that will contribute to the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah.

At the beginning of 2018, it opened a new office in India’s Bandra Kurla Complex, a high-end commercial complex in Mumbai, `to cater to the growing demand it is receiving from Indian investors.’

To support this initiative, RAKEZ, last year, conducted a couple of roadshows across six cities in India and concluded it with the RAKEZ Business Investment Forum in New Delhi, where it met over 50 high-profile business leaders. Additionally, as part of its networking and campaigning exercise, it attended Make UK, previously known as EEF Annual Manufacturers’ Lecture, in the UK as well as other international and local exhibitions. “All of these have opened up doors for us to meet potential investors and businessmen who wish to expand or set up a company in the UAE. We are now home to exceeding 14,500 companies. That’s a lot of realised opportunities and none of them would have been possible without our very dedicated teams at RAKEZ,” Jallad said.

In the recent months, the authority has opened a new service centre at Al Hamra, which effectively supports the growth of businesses of all sizes and types in the emirate.

“Al Hamra, a one-stop shop for all of our services, just recently received a four-star rating from the Star Rating Programme for Service Centres under the UAE Prime Minister’s Office. We are very proud of this achievement because we do exert a lot of effort in giving our clients a seamless experience every time they visit our service centres. This award says a lot about how we always strive to be customer-centric. The plaque of stars is now installed at the entrance of RAKEZ Service Centre – Al Hamra,” Jallad said.

Following the opening of the one-stop shop in Al Hamra as the first service centre, which was introduced in 2018, the authority also followed it up by opening RAKEZ Service Centre at Al Nakheel and then Abu Dhabi.

Towards the end of last year, the zone launched Portal 360, which has now been finally completed, Jallad revealed.

“Portal 360 is an online platform where our clients can access our range of services, from new registration, licensing, leasing and visa services as well as other support services. We have made our services more accessible for our clients by making them available online. Wherever they are in the world, they can process their applications with just a few clicks. We will be launching the same portal for our Referral Agents, allowing them to easily submit company registration requests on behalf of their referrals,” he added.

Following its consistent efforts of supporting individuals who want to carve their own path, it launched RAKEZ Mubader Package, last month, an exclusive business set-up package for final year students and fresh graduates.

“Our aim is to support young talent in pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams and encourage the rise of the next generation of game changers,” he said.

Starting from Dh650 per month, Mubader Package comes with a business license, a shared workstation, ongoing business support, eligibility for a UAE Residence Visa, and more. Young entrepreneurs can choose from five license types, which include: commercial, for buying and selling goods and services; educational, for setting up an education institution or consultancy; e-commerce, for trading goods and services online; media, for starting a media-related company; and service license, for offering services in any industry.

Apart from these new infrastructure initiatives, RAKEZ also introduced the Freelancer Permit to support education and media professionals in building their own path. It also introduced the Social Media Influencer Permit and a couple of promotions to help companies save on set-up cost.

“We have a lot more in-store for our clients in 2019, which we will not reveal them yet as we like to keep our clients excited for our announcements,” he added.

 

FUTURE PLANS

In the coming months, RAKEZ plans to remain aggressive by continuing to attract entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs to Ras Al Khaimah and gather strength as an industrial powerhouse.

“These businesses are the backbone of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE’s economy. They are the drivers of growth and job creation and enable the country to shift from capital and labour intensive economy to innovative and technology-driven economy. Being important players in all value chains, we aim to offer a nurturing business environment that serves as a perfect business incubator for SMEs to become thriving enterprises.

“And of course, we would like to continue growing our industrial client portfolio as well. We will do this by continuously enhancing the infrastructure in our industrial zones, such as constructing new warehouses and more labour accommodations; extending and upgrading the road networks; creating new entry and exit gates for easier and faster movements of goods of our clients.

“Moreover, our clients can expect us to maintain our focus on providing them with a seamless business journey. We have implemented a lot of enhancements since we launched RAKEZ and we are going to continue that momentum. We will be reviewing our processes and reducing red tape wherever possible,” said Jallad.

 

RECOGNITIONS

Meanwhile, the authority continues to get accolades for rolling out wide-ranging incentives in terms of tax exemptions, access to major logistic hubs, tailor-made facilities and business support services.

However, Jallad is particularly proud of the fDi Global Free Zones of the Year 2018 with Bespoke Award – Reduction in Red Tape’; which was awarded to the authority last year because of its commitment to reduce business barriers for its clients. A representative from the Financial Times came to present the award to RAKEZ chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qasimi and Jallad.

“At a global level, bureaucracy is one of the major challenges faced by businesses, specifically by entrepreneurs. When we go abroad to meet businesses, whether startups or industrial giants, one of the most common question asked is: “how easy is it to launch and run a business in Ras Al Khaimah?” … As you can see, it impacts the interests of investors on a certain business destination. This is why, I am personally proud of this award as it is a proof that with us, accomplishing bureaucratic requirements is the least of investors’ worries,” said Jallad.

“We offer comprehensive support and we have three one-stop shops in the UAE as well as an office in Dubai to look after them,” he added.

The award came a year after RAKEZ was recognised by the same awards programme for its cost-effectiveness.

“Cost-effectiveness, ease of doing business and customisation are three things we stand for at RAKEZ,” said a proud Jallad.

Moving on, Arabian Business Magazine also named RAKEZ as one of the 50 most admired companies in the GCC. Also, its Legal Team was recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the region’s most influential in-house counsels in its GC Powerlist: Middle East Teams 2018. Transform Awards also honoured the hub with two accolades for Best Internal Communication during a Brand Development Project and Best Corporate Rebrand Following a Merger or Acquisition.




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