Oussama El Omari, CEO of RAK FTZ
Defying the challenging economic environment, the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority (RAK FTZ) – one of the fastest-growing and most cost-effective free trade zones in the UAE – continued to achieve steady growth in its portfolio and revenue during 2010.
RAK FTZ registered 1,740 new free zone companies during the last calendar year, while its International Companies (IC) division registered a record number of 1,499, signifying a 14.65% increase in the total number of registrations compared to 2009. Licence renewals also achieved a significant growth of 16.49% in 2010, with 3,271 companies renewing their business licences, reinforcing the free zone’s reputation as one of the most attractive investment zones in the Middle East. As of the end of 2010, the total number of actively operational registered companies in RAK FTZ stood at over 5,000.
In its Annual Performance Report for 2010, RAK FTZ also announced that its total revenue during the year grew by 10% compared to 2009.
The massive marketing campaign organised locally and internationally by RAK FTZ during its hosting of the 10th World Free Zone Convention in Ras Al Khaimah last year contributed to the positive results achieved by Ras Al Khaimah’s free zones in 2010. In all, a total of more than 4,500 new companies registered in all the zones in Ras Al Khaimah, boosting the emirate’s economic growth and GDP for 2010. Meanwhile, development projects throughout RAK also remained on course, including the nearly completed Mina Al Arab, the Al Hamra area, and new investments in the tourism and industrial sectors, such as the vehicle assembly plant of Ashok Leyland, representing a total investment of USD 50 million.
Expressing his delight at RAK FTZ’s achievements in 2010, Oussama El Omari, CEO of RAK FTZ, said, “We are extremely proud of how successful our strategies have been in these extremely challenging economic environments. Our open door economic development policy has gone a long
way towards gaining the confidence of investors from across the globe, which has led to increased capital investment in our free zone and in RAK. Emerging business confidence is manifested in the growth in the number of companies that chose to set up operations in RAK FTZ.”
He added, “The ease with which these new companies were able to set up business and start operations has left a positive impression. More importantly, the environment we provide that enables them to grow and flourish has become a hallmark of RAK FTZ that is admired the most by our investors. Throughout the year, concerted efforts by our marketing team ensured that specifically targeted awareness campaigns reached potential investors throughout the globe.”
Aside from its hosting of the the World Free Zone Convention in RAK as part of its own 10th anniversary celebration, RAK FTZ’s other achievements in 2010, included the launching of a new mobile phone website (English and Arabic), the unveiling of the new ‘Mazeed’ Service Desk at Business Centre 1 in the RAK FTZ Business Park and the opening of a new Promotion and Innovation Center at Dubai Festival City, which offers a range of services to meet the growing business needs of its existing and prospective clients. Additionally, RAK FTZ also opened a new RAK Business Center location in its Business Park, as part of its efforts to reach out to the investor community and corporate businesses across all markets and sectors.
In 2011, RAK FTZ will continue to focus on expanding its reach, with sustained emphasis on growth markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China, and concentrate on maintaining the levels of expansion achieved in 2010 through its leadership and cutting-edge approach to SMEs and entrepreneurship. The free zone will also carry on with its corporate social responsibility initiatives and follow through on its Emiratisation programme by integrating more UAE Nationals into its workforce. One of the key projects scheduled for 2011 is the opening of a new women-only spa at the Business Centre 4 building.
“The unlimited support that we receive from the government of Ras Al Khaimah especially from HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and HH Sheikh Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, RAK FTZ Chairman, has been a key factor in our successful positioning of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as an important international investment hub,” summed up El Omari.