About Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the northernmost of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is known for its diverse landscape, from 64km of pristine beaches, to terracotta deserts and an imposing mountain backdrop, as well as its rich history, dating back 7,000 years. It has many archaeological sites, four of which have been shortlisted on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
Alongside its breathtaking natural vistas that have been carved out over millennia, the Emirate’s Jebel Jais mountain, which is the highest peak in the UAE, boasts attractions including Jebel Jais Flight, the world’s longest zip line at almost 3km, and 1484 by Puro, the UAE’s highest restaurant, as well as a host of other adventure pursuits.
In recognition of its array of premium tourist offerings, Ras Al Khaimah was named Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council – a title it won for the second consecutive year. In light of its safe environment for visitors, the Emirate became the first city in the world to be certified as ‘safe’ by Bureau Veritas and the first Emirate to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) ‘safe travels’ stamp.
Ras Al Khaimah is centrally located at the modern crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, with one third of the world’s population within four hours’ flying time, making it an ideal location for businesses to expand into the UAE, the Middle East and Africa region and beyond.
Diversifying income away from fossil fuels has been a key component of the Emirate’s success. Ras Al Khaimah now boasts an economy that is based on a variety of sectors, such as tourism, business, manufacturing, shipping and transportation services, as well as natural resources. Each sector accounts for no more than 26% of the Emirate’s GDP – a critical advantage that enhances Ras Al Khaimah’s economic flexibility and strength.
At the Emirate's economic heart lie multiple major companies and institutions, operating in diverse sectors, including manufacturing and tourism. Major companies include RAK Ceramics, RAKBANK, Julphar Pharmaceuticals, RAK Ports, RAK Rock, Stevin Rock, RAK Economic Zone (RAKEZ) and RAK Gas. Supporting these industries is a modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art industrial areas, business parks and world-class hotels.
For more than a decade, Ras Al Khaimah has been consistently rated in the ‘A’ range by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s international ratings agencies. The Emirate is home to more than 38,000 businesses from 100 countries, representing over 50 diverse economic fields, all of which are benefiting from the excellent quality of life on offer, the competitive cost of housing and labor, modern infrastructure – including an international airport and the largest bulk seaport in the region – and its state-of-the-art industrial areas and business parks. Ras Al Khaimah is one of the most diverse economies in the UAE.
An essential element of the business ecosystem in Ras Al Khaimah is its free zones, which are attracting foreign investment and boosting the economy in line with the Emirate’s vision for 2030. Its numerous business advantages are complemented by the Emirate’s world-class hotels, facilities and attractions, all set in an extremely safe and secure environment.
Ras Al Khaimah is home to world-class ultra-luxury residential compounds, complete with an integrated system of healthcare services that includes hospitals and health centers equipped with the latest amenities and supervised by expert medical and administrative professionals. The Emirate’s state-of-the-art and facilities include Ras Al Khaimah Hospital and Saqr Hospital, among others.
Ras Al Khaimah is home to 111 schools – 76 public schools and 35 private establishments – including Ras Al Khaimah Academy. Eight schools in Ras Al Khaimah offer the UK curriculum, two offer the US curriculum and several institutes offer the international baccalaureate program, in addition to a number of Indian and Pakistani schools. Several high quality higher education institutions are also based in the Emirate, including the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, RAK Medical & Health Sciences University and the Higher Colleges of Technology. This is in addition to several international universities that have set up branches in the Emirate, notably the University of Bolton and the University of Stirling, both from the UK.
Ras Al Khaimah Government adopts an institutional approach to governance and business procedures and is committed to reducing red tape and improving the ease of doing business. The Government is driving digitalization and has transitioned more than 700 services from various Government departments into e-services available online, while the mRAK app offers over 150 services, ensuring convenience, safety and high standards for businesses and the general public.
Ras Al Khaimah is a cultural melting pot, with an estimated population of 0.4 million people in 2021, up from 0.345 million in 2015, when 37% of the population were local Emirati.
With year-round sunshine, straightforward business set-up and a competitive and affordable cost of living, Ras Al Khaimah is the informed choice for business, lifestyle and travel.