Ras Al Khaimah: Country and Foreign Investment
Ras Al Khaimah is the northern-most of the emirates in the UAE. Its coastline runs for 65 kilometres along the eastern end of the Arabian Gulf with an area of 1,680 square kilometres. It is the fourth-largest emirate with a population of between 250,000 and 300,000, about 50% of which are UAE citizens. Arabic and English are the dominant languages.
Petroleum has traditionally dominated the economy of the UAE, but with few oil and gas deposits Ras Al Khaimah’s wealth has largely been built on manufacturing. The emirate is one of the region’s largest producers of cement and it exports ceramic products to more than 135 countries.
The emirate is strategically located between Africa and the Middle East and between the Far East and Europe making it a gateway to over 1.5 billion consumers located in countries surrounding the Red Sea and the Gulf.
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport operates passenger traffic to destinations across the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, India and the Far East. It is equipped to handle all types of cargo planes and facilities include a 3,760m runway and a 3,000 square meter cargo terminal with state-of-the-art facilities with room for expansion.
Saqr Port, located in the industrial area of Khor Khuwair provides bulk and container services from 12 deep water berths, eight of which are owned by the government.
Apart from the oil industry and domestic banking, there are no income or capital taxes in Ras Al Khaimah, and no withholding tax. Through the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah has a number of double tax treaties with high-tax countries and can be used by major corporations for tax planning purposes.
Ras Al Khaimah belongs to the unified customs area of the Gulf Co-operation Council which came into effect on January 1, 2003 and covers Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (including Dubai).
The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Association launched an offshore company registry in 2007 offering international investors a high degree of confidentiality rivalling any traditional offshore financial centre. In the first half of 2012, 1,145 new companies registered in the Free Trade Zone, representing a 4% year-on-year increase.
A modern complex known as the RAK Financial City is under development, which is intended to become the home of the RAK Investment Authority’s offshore facility, specializing in trusts, foundations, insurance business, funds and other financial and legal services which are in demand from global investors. Developed on an area of 320,000 square meters, it will include 12 towers ranging from 25 to 65 floors designed for both office and residential use.