There is so much uncertainty with the current global health challenge. How could RAKEZ support SME investors in this time?
For our existing clients, we have the Portal 360. They can access a wide range of services online, accessible 24/7, from the comfort of their homes. These services include licence renewals; new visa applications, renewals, cancellations and visa status change; registration, lease and government services-related letters and NOCs; update of client information; corporate amendments and e-channel registration/renewal. We also have Mazeed Services that offer value-added services to our clients remotely.
We have recently launched the new Office Spring Packages for SMEs and entrepreneurs looking to start their business from a private office or a space in a co-working environment. We are offering up to 35 per cent discount on the package with installment options.
For new investors who are exploring the market, we offer the complete registration process online. They can set up their business remotely via our Portal 360 and licences can be issued electronically, given that they meet all requirements and upload all the necessary documents.
We have recently launched the new Office Spring Packages for SMEs and entrepreneurs looking to start their business from a private office or a space in a co-working environment. We are offering up to 35 per cent discount on the package with installment options. As part of this package, the entire business set-up can be completed online including signing of memorandum of association. Investors can choose from a shared workstation, serviced office, standard office or customised office, while they will get a free investor visa, two free activities in commercial or services licence worth Dh4,000 and the free zone and non-free zone options to operate.
How many new companies started business in RAKEZ last year?
We have attracted more than 3,300 companies to join our community of flourishing businesses.
What makes RAKEZ unique in terms of location, incentives and services?
The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah offers many benefits to business owners and residents, such as up to 50 per cent lower cost of living and doing business, easy access to markets across Europe, Asia and the Middle East and North Africa via five major seaports and airports, freedom to source cost-effective labour and no customs duties on imported and re-exported goods.
RAKEZ’s strength lies in its customer-first policy. We have simplified processes, one-stop-shop services, expert client representatives and a self-service client portal that is accessible 24/7. The cost of setting up and running a business at RAKEZ is 50 per cent less than the region. We also offer a range of customised product and services. We are able to attract new investors because we actually listen to what they want, react positively to those needs and enhance their experience.
What are your key source markets for investments now?
Given its overwhelming contribution since RAKEZ was launched, India is one of our key source markets. Indian businesses are our largest client population based on nationality, making up 22 per cent of our over 15,000 clients. Other key source markets are the UK, the UAE, the GCC, Europe and China.
How do you plan to attract more investments to the UAE in the future?
We are an internationally focused country, and like many other free zones, we achieve that focus by looking at our current customer base, our supply chain and the industries we have, and assess our target countries accordingly. We will resume our international roadshows and exhibitions once the current global situation ends.
We recently set up a dedicated RAK FDI team, in cooperation with Ras Al Khaimah government authorities. We have also accelerated our Why choose RAK? theme from a marketing, packaging and opportunities perspective, and aligning all our roadshows with all our sister entities — whether it’s tourism, industry, real estate or manufacturing.
We’re going out into the world as one unified Ras Al Khaimah team to attract investors to the emirate and use everything that we have here. We aim to provide a seamless business journey for investors, supporting them and becoming strategic partners across the main investment phases, such as business case evaluation and business set-up. We’ve also implemented a wealth of enhancements since we launched RAKEZ and we’re going to continue that momentum.