Stock-WOW-Resorts (RAK)-1
Ras Al Khaimah has got the beaches and the investors flying in to pick up multi-million dirham homes. That's what projects such as WOW Resorts' Marriott branded developments will tap into. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: After Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it’s the turn of Ras Al Kahimah to feel the full force of branded residences on its property market dynamics.

By the looks of it, property investors angling for options in the UAE are more than ready to meet this wave.

For one, Ras Al Kahimah property and land values in locations such as Al Marjan Island have already seen a nice pick up in value – anywhere from 15 per cent higher - over the last 2 years, and the last 12 months in particular.

Launching branded residential projects as more buyers discover opportunities in RAK makes perfect sense, for the developer and investor alike. And for the investor, there is still the chance to come in relatively early into a UAE sub property marketplace that is seen as offering more high-wired value growth in the mid-term.

“RAK will be completing some of the most sought after resorts and hotels in the next 4-5 years, the big one, of course, being Wynn on Al Marjan Island,” said a developer source. “But the market also needs a sizeable upmarket residential capacity – and what better way to achieve that than through branded residences.”

A lot of developers are hearing that sentiment, and launching projects off the bat. Recently, there was WOW Resorts confirming the first Marriott-branded residences as part of a mixed-use development, to be built for an eye-catching Dh4.8 billion and with completion promised by 2026. Quite the ‘wow’ factor so to speak.

“We believe the UAE has a discerning clientele with a taste for uncompromising luxury - and Ras Al Khaimah provides the perfect canvas for this,” said Anwar Aman, co-founder and co-CEO of WOW Resorts. “We are going to launch the pricing and payment plans in the months to come.

“This trend of global high networth investors along with UAE-based super-rich investing in resort-like, luxury homes will continue.”

RAK hits all the right numbers

Hospitality has been the big driver of Ras Al Kahimah’s real estate fortunes. New resort or mixed-use projects, whether from Emaar, Dubai Investments or others have helped add to the visibility in recent times. The big moment obviously has been Abu Dhabi mega-developer Aldar buying up choice real estate assets and land as part of a major investment into RAK.

“The build up in Ras Al Khaimah’s hotel and residential capacity has been on for more than 2 decades,” said a real estate consultant. “But when the biggest names in the UAE development space come calling, it grabs the attention of all.”

In 2023, the UAE had one of the highest number of millionaire migrants - which also led to the record-breaking sales in luxury real estate. This is a phenomenon that will continue

- Bhupender Patel, co-founder and co-CEO of WOW Resorts

There’s Wynn – and Nikki

The other profile builder is US-headquartered Wynn Resorts’ ongoing project in the emirate, which will more than just create a further 1,500 hotel rooms or so. On its opening in 2027, it will seek to establish a new set of credentials as a ‘gaming’ destination.

The Wynn impact can be felt in multiple ways, with other project launches sending out marketing material and pitches highlighting their proximity to the new resort site.

Amidst its buying spree, Aldar has also been launching in Ras Al Kahimah, and a most prominent one has been the Nikki Beach Residences, with prices from Dh2.37 million. The location is on Al Marjan Island.

“Property values in RAK still have room to climb as the residential market is still far away from an over-supply situation,” said a hospitality consultant. “Along with the hotel rooms, there is another major growth opportunity for investors when short-stays in RAK become more popular.

“All these new branded residence projects have some of the best beach-side locations possible. They can ride all the market waves from there.”

As Sameh Muhtadi, CEO of RAK Properties, says it: "The emirate is looking forward to an exciting tomorrow.”

Today looks to be just as exciting...

A lot's happening in RAK
A builder of hotels in Dominica, St. Kitts and Grenada, Range Developments landed its first project in the UAE at Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah. Its three buildings will add more than 500 luxury apartments to the RAK stock.

“With its economic stability, rising property prices, booming tourism sector, tax benefits, and high rental yields, Ras Al Khaimah offers the perfect investment destination," said Riaz Shariff, Joint Managing Director, Range Developments.