Emirate of the Future – Aired April 2007
From the waters of the Arabian Gulf coast to the golden sands of the desert… from the traditional and warm, to the modern and dynamic. The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has always been overlooked on the global stage in favor of more prominent emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But one thing is certain: Ras Al Khaimah is the most beautiful and breathtaking of them all.
A master plan is under way in making Ras Al Khaimah the Emirate of the Future.
Will it succeed?
What is the government’s strategy in growing the emirate?
What opportunities exist in property development and tourism?
The future begins right here, right now. Join Asia Business Channel as we explore the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.
Formerly known as Julfar, Ras Al Khaimah was a major port on the Gulf Coast for the entire Oman peninsula, visited by travelers since the earliest days of Islam.
By area, Ras Al Khaimah is the fourth largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
Every city needs a visionary. Ras al Khaimah’s success is the product of the vision of His Highness, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, the emirate’s Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler.
Dr. Khater Massaad is the advisor to the Crown Prince.
Under Sheikh Saud’s guidance, Ras Al Khaimah has begun an ambitious phase of development. Iman Lattouf has a very interesting job of branding Ras al khaimah in the most attractive way for investors.
The city is only 45 minutes away from Dubai International Airport. But it couldn’t be more different. So different, in fact, that many people have unfairly compared the emirate to Dubai, calling Ras Al Khaimah too laid back, too quiet.
Jack Romero is the former CEO of RAK Airways, the UAE’s 4th national airline.
The development of the property sector in Ras Al Khaimah is extraordinarily compressed: wind tower houses replaced palm shelters only in the early 20th century. Watchtowers have given way to condominiums, and coastal villages are being transformed into luxury resorts. It is a breathtaking transformation, a prime example of looking into the future while retaining a unique Arabian identity
Property developers such as Frank Khoie, who is developing La Hoya Bay on Marjan Island, and Alastair Burns of RAK Properties are the key drivers of Ras Al Khaimah’s economic development.
But there is, and always will be, a shadow looming over the city, and that is Dubai. There is no doubt that the emirate can not compete right now with Dubai when it comes to architectural audacity and high density construction. But how is that a positive?
So where do a lot of these people who move to Ras Al Khaimah work? Asia Business Channel has taken a look at some of the most important industrial sectors in the emirate today
Ceramics. RAK Ceramics Company is the largest ceramics factory in the world.
Cement production is big business in Ras Al Khaimah. There are at least 4 cement companies in the emirate, all nestled at the foot of the Hajar mountains.
Julphar Pharmaceuticals is the first Pharmaceutical manufacturing Company in the Arab Gulf States and the only Pharmaceutical manufacturer of its size in UAE. Pharmaceuticals makes it to number 3 on our list.
Optical media is at number 4. Did you know that the majority of high grade dvd’s and cd’s are manufactured in Ras Al Khaimah?
Ras Al Khaimah produces and exports some of the finest quality steel products in the world.
As one of the fastest growing cities in the world, Ras Al Khaimah has its share of urban planning challenges. If this is what Dubai was like 20 years ago, does that mean that infrastructure will also be a problem?
Ras al Khaimah international airport is slowly becoming the airport of choice for many travelers to the UAE. And with the initial scheduled operations of RAK airways planned for 2007, things are really looking up.
What are the quintessential tourist experiences in Ras Al Khaimah?
Let Asia Business Channel guide you through some memorable options.
What else but the world famous Arabian beaches. Ras al Khaimah is well served by a number of comfortable resorts, including the award-winning Al Hamra Fort and Hotel. Welcome to paradise!
At number 2 are camel races. These provide visitors with a unique opportunity to observe traditionally clad local people in harmony with their surroundings.
Falconry is a vital part of desert life in the UAE and goes as far back as the 8th century. This sport of kings is on number 3.
The people of Ras al Khaimah were always great seafarers, and the emirate’s fortunes of days gone by are symbolized by the dhow ship. Dhow shipyards make it to number 4 on our list.
At number 5 is Manar Mall. It is the biggest and most popular of the city’s malls. Shopping malls are an integral part of Arabian society, and it’s a good palce to get a glimpse of modern Emirati life in all its air-conditioned luxury.
Driving into the northernmost emirate of the UAE is like stepping into another world. You are confronted by harsh, yet hauntingly beautiful scenery. It has a diverse history that extends back into antiquity. It is the best choice for Asians looking for something virgin. Something genuine. Something special.
And at the end, this is the charm of the Emirate. The future has arrived softly and smoothly. Ras Al Khaimah is ready for business.