2.1 General Information About Ras Al Khaimah

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					2.1 General Information About Ras Al Khaimah



Ras Al Khaimah – commonly referred to as RAK – is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE federation. The northernmost emirate, it is located approximately
100 kilometres north-east of Dubai, to which it is connected by Emirates Road, a multi-lane highway, as well as by a number of smaller roads. Its neighbours are the
emirates of Fujairah and Umm Al-Quwain (and it also shares a very short border with Sharjah in the desert interior) and the Sultanate of Oman’s Musandam peninsula.
Ras Al Khaimah is also the part of the UAE that is geographically closest to Iran, with its Mina Saqr (port) only 100 kilometres (60 miles) away from the Iranian port
of Bandar Abbas.

Though one of the smaller emirates, Ras Al Khaimah has always held a position of significance. In the past, due to its strategic geographical location, it was a
centre of traditional shipbuilding and trade; and more recently, it has become a centre of quarrying, manufacturing and tourism. Since 2003, the government of
RAK has invested heavily in education and public utilities, and has pursued an economic diversification policy, promoting industrialisation and tourism in the emirate.

During the past few years, Ras Al Khaimah has progressed towards its goal of becoming a serious investment destination, as well as one of the top tourist draws
in the Gulf Region. With its varied landscape, including pristine coastline, expansive desert, and pleasant wadis and oases in the Hajar Mountains, picturesque
Ras Al Khaimah was ranked sixth on fDi magazine’s list of Top 20 Middle Eastern Cities and first on its list of ‘Cities Most Attractive for Foreign Investment’,
followed by Abu Dhabi and then Dubai.


   Basic data on Ras Al Khaimah - 2008
   Area                                2,478 km2 (650 sq miles)                     Yearly Imports                             AED 4.2 billion
   Population                          231,000 (estimate)                           Yearly Exports                             AED 9.69 billion
   GDP                                 AED 13.65 billion                            Yearly Re-exports                          AED 3.53 billion
   Per-capita GDP                      AED 5,909
Source: Ministry of Economy




Government and Politics
On 24 February, 1972, Ras Al Khaimah became the last of the seven emirates to join the UAE federation. The ruler of the emirate, H.H. Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al
Qasimi, who has been in power since 1948, has the second longest reign among living monarchs. Since 2002, the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin
Saqr Al Qasimi, has directed most of the day-to-day political and economic affairs of the emirate.

Local Government Departments in Ras Al Khaimah include:

        •	 Emiri	Court                                       •	 Ras	Al	Khaimah	Oil	and	Gas	Commission                •	 Economic	Development	Department
        •	 Law	Court                                         •	 Ports	and	Customs	Department                         •	 Finance	Department
        •	 Land	Department                                   •	 RAK	International	Airport/Department	                •	 Ras	Al	Khaimah	Broadcasting	Corporation
        •	 Municipality	Department                                of Aviation                                        •	 Department	of	Antiquities	and	Museums
        •	 Public	Works	and	Services	Department              •	 Information	and	Tourism	Department                   •	 Environment	Protection	and	
        •	 Investment	and	Development	Office                 •	 General	Accounts	Department                              Development Authority
        •	 RAK	Chamber	of	Commerce


Population
According to 2009 population and vital statistic estimates from the UAE Ministry of the Economy, RAK is estimated to have a total population of 241,000.
While UAE citizens officially make up less than 20 per cent of the overall population of the UAE, this figure is higher in RAK, with Emiratis making up a much
more significant portion of its population, at around 40 per cent. The official language of the UAE is Arabic, although English is widely used in business circles.
A significant portion of the expatriate population, in Ras Al Khaimah and the rest of the UAE, also speak Farsi or one of more of the following: Hindi, Urdu,
Malayalam, Tamil and other languages of the Indian subcontinent. French is also spoken by many expatriates from the North African and Levant regions.

It is expected that the construction of new residential projects and emerging business opportunities in the emirate will lead to rapid growth in the population in
the coming years, with the possibility of it doubling by 2015.




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                                                   General Information About Ras Al Khaimah



   Year                                       2003             2004                2005               2006            2007                 2008                  2009
   Population                            195,000            205,000              197,000         214,000          250,000              250,000               241,000
Source: UAE Ministry of Economy




Economy
Ras Al Khaimah´s economy is not based on oil as it has only small oil reserves. Gas reserves are also of a lesser importance than in other emirates, and the emirate
has had to look beyond its borders to fulfil its demand for gas. As the emirate will never be a major oil producer, RAK has instead had to concentrate on developing
its industrial sector.

The emirate is rich with raw materials such as limestone, clay, quartz and other minerals. Ras Al Khaimah is unique in the Gulf region in that it has a high concentration
of leading industrial units which process these natural resources and manufacture various types of cement, clinker, ceramics and other building materials. It opened
the UAE’s first cement company in the early 1970s and is now the UAE’s largest producer of cement. RAK also boasts the largest rock quarry in the Gulf region.

In the 1980s, the emirate formed RAK Ceramics, which has become the world’s largest ceramics producer, and Gulf Pharmaceuticals (also known as Julphar), the
Gulf region’s first pharmaceuticals company. As the first pharmaceutical and medical supplies manufacturer in the Gulf region, Julphar has developed into a global
brand and now sells its products, which meet the rigorous US Food and Drug Administration and European Commission guidelines, to almost 50 countries.

Since the 1980s, other advanced manufacturing companies have set up operations in Ras Al Khaimah, including companies producing glass, CD and DVD discs,
air-conditioning equipment, machinery parts, metal products and much more.

More traditional industries, such as fishing and agriculture, continue to play an important role in RAK’s economy. In 1955, the first agricultural research centre in
the UAE was established there, and since then, innovative methods of arid zone cultivation have made the emirate one of the leading agricultural producers in the
UAE. Ras Al Khaimah is well known for its dairy and poultry products, eggs, fodder and animal meat. In addition to this, the fertile plains in the south-east produce
fruits and vegetables for the local UAE market.

Tourism is becoming one of the major industries in the emirate, with several large tourism projects at various stages of completion. Natural topographical features
of Ras Al Khaimah include about 65 kilometres of sandy beaches, mountains which reach near to 2,000 metres, as well as large stretches of desert.


Ras Al Khaimah’s GDP by Economic Activity, 2004-2008
                                                                        2004                 2005                 2006                    2007                   2008
   Economic sector                                                    AED mil.             AED mil.            AED mil.               AED mil.               AED mil.
   Wholesale, retail and repair service                                 1,139                1,491               1,529                   1,738                  1,938
   Government service                                                   1,201                1,295               1,420                   1,613                  1,925
   Real estate and business services                                      797                  997               1,002                   1,154                  1,229
   Construction and building                                              695                  864                 920                   1,130                  1,228
   Manufacturing                                                          740                  814                 900                   1,052                  1,215
   Agriculture, livestock and fishing                                     870                  938                 980                   1,040                  1,201
   Transport, storage and communication                                   628                  769                 802                     942                  1,106
   Crude oil and natural gas                                              714                  758                 814                     885                  1,023
   Financial institutions and insurance                                   545                  655                 765                     860                    955
   Quarrying                                                              369                  410                 427                     477                    546
   Electricity and water                                                  354                  388                 400                     441                    518
   Restaurants and hotels                                                 161                  198                 210                     252                    328
   GDP at current prices                                                7,834                9,253              10,169                 11,584                  13,212
Source: Department of Economic Development, 2009




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