The government of Ras Al Khaimah has launched the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), a new authority established to consolidate and operate the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) and RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA), the emirate said in a statement on Tuesday night.

RAKEZ now covers about 33 million square metres of land and housing and hosts over 13,000 companies, currently served by RAK FTZ and RAKIA. The newly formed economic zone will oversee, regulate and consolidate the services, facilities and zones of the former authorities.

The launch was attended by His Highness Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, United Arab Emirates Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

The two leading free zones started their collaboration last year by combining their boards and management teams, led by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qasimi as Chairman and Ramy Jallad as Group CEO. This was followed by the unification of the back-office functions of both entities in order to streamline their activities and boost service delivery to clients.

Commenting on the announcement, His Highness Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of RAKEZ, RAK FTZ and RAKIA, said: “The formation of RAKEZ marks an important milestone for the free zone landscape in Ras Al Khaimah. We have worked very hard to establish a new Authority that will drive the emirate’s development by diversifying its offerings to attract a broad client base and grow the number of investors. It is our firm belief that after nearly two decades of operating independently, the time is right to leverage the combined resources of RAK FTZ and RAKIA under one strong, unified brand. We are confident that with RAKEZ, we will start an exciting journey that will help achieve our vision for Ras Al Khaimah to become a leading global investment destination that is better able to serve our clients.”