Ras Al Khaimah will be hosting the prestigious America’s Cup sailing competition in February of 2010, marking the first time that the race will be held in the Middle East. Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the government body responsible for the socioeconomic growth of the emirate, said that the Cup is the first of a series of upcoming prominent events that will reinforce RAK’s emerging status as a leading residential and tourist destination in the region. It added that the trend exposes the emirate to a global audience of prospective investors and potential industry partners who stand to benefit significantly from the growing local portfolio of prime investment offerings as well as a pro-business environment.
H.H. Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, said: “We’ve made critical improvements to our commercial and economic infrastructure that are paying off in terms of high tourist footfall and rising numbers of investors and business organizations. We are directing our success towards the events sector as well, with the America’s Cup serving as a centerpiece addition. RAK’s association with prestigious global events will help further enhance its image as a rapidly-evolving economy and a highly-attractive investment and leisure destination in the Middle East.”
RAKIA has been expediting various development initiatives and implementing new strategies to bolster RAK’s economic diversification program. The government body affirmed that the energetic pace of socioeconomic advancement and various investor-friendly benefits such as 100 percent exemption on income and corporate tax; zero import, export, sales and wealth taxes; 100 percent repatriation of capital and profits; zero restrictions on hiring expatriates; and land at concessional rates have helped draw various industries both regionally and abroad to the emirate.
“Ras Al Khaimah continues to enjoy a rapid influx of regional and international investors, thus positioning it to easily achieve its growth targets. Investors are impressed with the existing infrastructure, world-class facilities, and numerous development projects currently underway. The growing investor confidence in the RAK economy is opening up even more opportunities to extend the emirate’s economic diversification program into niche areas such as elite sporting events,” added Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO, RAKIA.
Established in 2005, RAKIA is a pillar of the emirate’s economic progress, generating billions of dollars in annual revenues through groundbreaking investment initiatives within the emirate and across the international markets. Under RAKIA’s guidance, Ras Al Khaimah has been able to attract over 2,000 local and foreign investors representing over US$2.3 billion in investments to the Industrial and Free Zones in Al Hamra and the Industrial Park in Al Ghail.
Ras Al Khaimah is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Gulf. Aside from being an investment haven, the coastal emirate is also one of the region’s favorite tourist destinations, featuring pristine beaches, majestic mountains, and a unique community where age-old traditions and modern life co-exist harmoniously.