Commercial activities including non free-zone investments have more than doubled in Ras Al Khaimah this year compared to all previous records.
“This is due to the high concern rendered by the government to positioning itself as a major industrial and commercial hub, not only in the UAE but the whole region as well,” said Dr Abdul Rahman Al Shayeb Al Naqbi, Director-General of RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RAKCCI).
Talking to Business 24|7, Dr Al Naqbi said aside from free zone investments, an extra Dh14.253 billion was invested in 2007 through RAKCCI-registered businesses, taking the total to Dh41.396bn.
This investment came through 4,171 licences for companies registered with RAKCCI this year, to bring the total number of operating licences to 17,671. The number of companies in RAK was 13,946 and 13,038 in 2005 and 2006 respectively. In line with, RAKCCI’s six classifications of companies, there are now 638 firms that belong to the top Special Grade (capital between Dh10 million to more than Dh1bn), of which 199 were set up in 2007 alone, said Dr Al Naqbi adding investments of this type of company form a 68.55 percentage ratio – the highest among all types of companies.
This is followed by 350 companies that belong to the Excellent Grade (capital between Dh2m to Dh9.99m), of which 113 companies were set up in 2007.
The total investments of this type of company forms 9.38 percentage ratio. The First Grade captures 5.01 percentage of the total investments, the Second Grade 9.55 per cent, the Third Grade 7.35 per cent and the Fourth Grade 0.16 per cent.
Dr Al Naqbi said that in March Ras Al Khaimah would assess its performance and carry out revisions wherever necessary”. The chamber is also developing a website that will include specialised market analysis and studies that will be carried out by members of the chamber in co-ordination with reprofessional search companies, he said.
The chamber is due to move to new Dh36m premises, currently under construction in the Al Nakheel area, in January 2009.
Ras Al Khaimah has launched the Saud bin Saqr Entrepreneurs Programme aimed at encouraging young people to set up
The programme will be run by the chamber of commerce and will help facilitate finance of projects in co-ordination with banks. It will also excempt young entrepreneurs from government fees for three years.