As the jurisdiction with the friendliest corporate environment in the United Arab Emirates, Ras al Khaimah routinely welcomes new foreign companies that find the local business climate to be highly adequate for achieving their goals. The Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone has turned this Emirate into one of the most attractive business hubs in the Arabian Peninsula, and it has managed to attract thousands of companies from around the world. As of 2019, the RAKEZ had helped thousands of companies from more than 100 countries form corporate structures that benefit from zero taxation, access to local markets, the ability to bring staff members from abroad without visa restrictions, and strategic advice on accessing the lucrative market of the UAE, the rest of the Middle East, and Northern Africa.
The founding of the RAKEZ and its oversight agency, the Ras al Khaimah Investment Authority, is attributed to His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, a leader who has always believed in societal empowerment through economic development. Each year, Sheikh Saud reviews the work of the RAKEZ and sends greetings to the new business entities that choose to operate in his Emirate. Let’s take a brief look at some of the companies that have been processed and authorized by the RAKEZ this year:
The Amity Education Group
Amity international schools are found in many countries; they offer private education opportunities at the primary, secondary, and university levels. The headquarters office of the Amity Education Group is located in New Dehli. The growing expat community of RAK calls for a greater diversity of private schools; to this effect, the GEMS Westminster School of the United Kingdom has already graduated RAK students. Another development in the RAK Academic Zone that took place earlier this year was a partnership agreement signed with the Scottish Qualifications Authority for the purpose of improving educational standards in this Emirate.
Motherson Sumi Systems
This Indian company is a major player in the automotive parts sector, specifically in the segment of wiring harness design and manufacturing. Motherson was welcomed to RAK in September 2019, and it should start full operations after setting up its plant in the Al Hamra Industrial Zone, a process that will only take a few months. In addition to wiring harnesses, the company also intends to manufacture products such as rear-view mirrors and interior panels. This company is a good example of what Sheikh Saud would like to see taking place in RAK; instead of simply serving as a registrar of business entities like the systems set up in Caribbean offshore centers, the RAK Economic Zone provides services that encourage companies to fully operate in the Emirate.
The Al Bangladeshi English Private School
Another academic services provider resolved to expand across RAK in 2019. Even though the Al Bangladeshi English Private School has been admitting RAK students since 1991, the time has come to increase capacity with a new campus in the Al Mamourah district. The new Al Bangladeshi School will be able to accommodate 1,000 students, which is an increase of about 85%. Sheikh Saud is certainly proud to see the RAK Academic Zone growing because access to improved education was part of the blueprint for development that his late father envisioned before passing away in 2010.
In a major business hub such as RAK, special banking and financial services are crucial for sustainable expansion. In August 2019, the RAKEZ announced a partnership with Mashreq, a leading provider of financial services in the UAE. By setting up an office in RAK, Mashreq is now able to reach thousands of small and medium-sized companies that can benefit from the broad range of products offered by this banking leader. When business owners, entrepreneurs, and directors visit the RAKEZ Service Center in the heart of the city, they will find Mashreq counters and friendly representatives ready to discuss solutions to business finance needs. Mashreq will also offer services at the RAKEZ office in Dubai, which has attracted considerable attention among companies already doing business in the UAE but seeking more favorable conditions in a more relaxed jurisdiction.
All things considered, 2019 has been a great year for Sheikh Saud, and he expects to see even more business activity taking place in 2020.