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Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the northernmost of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE. It’s location at the confluence of Europe, Asia and Africa make it ideal for businesses to expand into the UAE and beyond. This October marks the 10th anniversary of the accession of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. To mark the occasion, here’s a look at ten areas that Ras Al Khaimah has developed in the past 10 years.
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Tourism : RAK has earned a hospitable reputation and cultivated a diverse terrain that includes rolling deserts, beautiful beaches and imposing mountains, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking or rock climbing. It is also home to UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais, and since 2018, the world’s longest zip line besides an adventure park, hiking trails and rock climbing experiences. The most recent acquisition is a Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, and the highest restaurant in the UAE, 1484 by Puro.
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Ease of doing business. The government has an approach that is committed to improving the ease of doing business. The consolidated Government budget has been in surplus every year since 2010 and it follows conservative debt policies that ensure the debt-to-GDP ratio maintains a consistent downward trend. This pragmatic approach has made it perfect for establishing headquarters for businesses off all sizes. Today, more than 38,000 companies from 100 countries representing over 50 industries have business licenses here.
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Education: The emirate was one of the first to establish an education system. One such institution is the American University of Ras Al Khaimah that has multiple tie-ins with universities in the United States and has achieved a QS 5-star rating this year. In total, 9 international universities have already set up campuses in the emirate, drawing students from far and wide.
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Lifestyle upgrade: Al Hamra Village, which opened in 2004, was Ras Al Khaimah’s first foray into real estate development and the area has subsequently grown into a thriving 77 million-square-feet community of about 10,000 residents living in more than 1,000 villas and almost 2,500 apartments at costs much more affordable than similar communities elsewhere. RAK’s also a hit with tourists thanks to its marina, varied dining and stay options, beachside community of Mina Al Arab, and of course Al Marjan Island with 23 kilometers of waterfront..
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Mining for material: For more than 40 years, RAK has supplied quality limestone, dolomite and gabbro materials that are then taken by road or by sea from nearby Saqr Port across the UAE, the GCC countries and beyond to customers involved in the construction, cement, steel, mining, chemical and glass industries. Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Mall … have all been built using materials from its mountains.
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Easy transit point: The a RAK airport has become a key focal point in the repatriation of Indian expatriates during the current pandemic, allowing more than 53,000 people to return home on more than 300 flights in collaboration with the airline and the Indian Government.
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A piece of history: RAK’s history dates back some 7,000 years and it’s been inhabited for most of that time. The Department of Antiquities & Museums has in the past decade undertaken a number of projects to preserve its rich legacy. Some archaeological findings have been of such significance that four sites in Ras Al Khaimah have been added to the UNESCO Tentative List for World Heritage.
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On the green team: RAK’s landmark Energy Efficiency & Renewables Strategy was put in place by Ras Al Khaimah Municipality in 2018 to ensure buildings are built in a sustainable way and that the emirate does all it can to reduce its impact on the environment. Ras Al Khaimah also plays host to the biennial International Conference on Global Warming and participates in a number of green projects. The initiatives include multiple educational activities with school students, various projects aimed at preserving the marine environment and the Sustainable Agriculture program, which delivers desalinated water to 120 farms across Ras Al Khaimah.
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Healthcare revolution: Over the past 10 years Ras Al Khaimah’s healthcare institutions have progressed from providing primary healthcare services to the local population to now welcoming to its shores medical tourists who wish to take advantage of the advanced healthcare options available.
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