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Golden Years

HH Sheikh Saqr bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, celebrated
his 60th accession anniversary. In a remarkable display of love and affection for the region’s longest serving Ruler,
thousands of citizens and residents poured into the streets of Ras Al Khaimah to take part in the festivities. Sheikh
Saqr took the reins of the Emirate in 1948 and is the world’s second longest- serving ruler. surpassed only by King
Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

Horsemen take part in the cavalry parade at the Accession Day celebration
Editor’s Note

Sustainable development
Sustainability has been a core theme of the development paradigm that Ras
Al Khaimah adopted under the vision of HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi,
Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler. The unique approach aims to ensure that
development is in accordance with the culture and traditions of the place
and at the same time there is no turning away from modernity when it
comes to advances in science and technology. It is dynamic and yet avoids
the reckless adventurism that is often associated with boom conditions;
it is forward looking and yet puts long-cherished values ahead of crass
With the financial crisis taking its toll from coast to coast and border to
border, it is clear that this approach is standing the emirate in good stead.
Ras Al Khaimah is proving to be an oasis of stability in the stormy sea all
around in the aftermath of an unprecedented economic tsunami.
The RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA) has been a key vehicle in the pursuit
of this development strategy and its contribution in this effort has been
applauded time and again. Sterling Publications is pleased to partner with
RAKIA in producing RAK Today, the first issue of which is in your hands. The
magazine will seek to communicate the message about RAKIA’s powerful
role in creating a more prosperous Emirate to larger and farther audiences.

K Raveendran
Managing Editor
Sterling Publications
K Raveendran ravi@sterlingp.ae
Sankaranarayanan sankar@sterlingp.ae

Manju Ramanan manju@sterlingp.ae

Vanit Sethi vanit@sterlingp.ae
Linda Benbow linda@sterlingp.ae
Ambily Vijaykumar ambily@sterlingp.ae

Harikumar PB harikumarpb@gmail.com

Ujwala Ranade ujjwalaranade@yahoo.com

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Page 36- 39

Cover Story
The Glitterati invests in RAK

Page 8-9 Page 50- 51

Future Perfect Ecology in Practice
HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi calls for Yasmin Village profile
investment in RAK
Page 60-61
Page 12-13 Lifestyle Landmark
Interview Al Hamra Mall
Dynamism in Action
An interview with Dr Khater Masaad, CEO RAKIA Page 64-65
Back to the Future
Page 16-20 Manar Mall
Investment Magnet Page 66-67
A profile of RAKIA
Page 24-25
Page 68-69
RAK on a Roll
Progress in RAK Desert Enclave
Banyan Tree Resort
Page 27-40
Page 70
Industrious RAK
Dabur Naturelle The Hearth of Business
Mabani Steel Acacia Hotel
Ashok Leyland
JBF RAK Page 72-73
6 RAK Steel
Guardian RAK
The Doors Beyond
RAK’s own film-maker
ARC International
RAK Offshore
Page 74-80
Page 46- 47 Tourism
Real Estate
Survival of the Fittest
Interview with Mohammed al Qadi

Page 48-49
Keen on development
RAKEEN projects
January 2009 1

With its pulse clearly on the industrial sector, Ras al Khaimah
has created its own story, at its own pace
Adding to the wealth
of UAE’s spirit
of enterprise and entrepreneurship is
the emirate of Ras al Khaimah, which
has created its own story, with some
of its super successful brands like RAK
Ceramics entering the academic syllabi
in universities and being included in the
league of Superbrands 2009. RAK has also
been recently voted the Middle East’s most
attractive investment destination by the
Financial Times Group’s FDI magazine.
Spearheading its progress is the
emirate’s visionary leader, HH Sheikh
Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince
and Deputy Ruler, who believes that
the government must act and perform
like a business unit. A shining example
of this approach is the Ras al Khaimah
Investment Authority (Rakia), which is
one of Sheikh Saud’s important initiatives
8 in this regard. Under the leadership of Dr
Khater Massaad, its dynamic CEO,Rakia
has attracted several local as well as
international companies to establish base
in the emirate, across a wide range of
HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah
sectors be it construction, real estate or
manufacturing. industries to make the emirate their base in of various countries, supporting various
Encouraging investors and supporting the region. Similarly, Sheikh Saud described projects within the emirate and outside,
them throughRakia, Sheikh Saud has the inauguration of RAK Steel plant at Sheikh Saud believes that successful
always motivated the spirit of enterprise. the Al Ghail Industrial area as yet another entrepreneurship is closely linked with a
Speaking on the inauguration of the $150 successful enterprise in the growing line successful government. “We are an emirate
million-Guardian RAK Float Glass Plant, of industries setting up operations in the that doesn’t have oil, so the question for
Sheikh Saud stated that the presence of emirate. us has been how to create sustainable
global leaders like Guardian reflects the Constantly on the move, be it economic development without oil
advantages Ras Al Khaimah holds out for holding discussions with heads of state revenues, how to create wealth and how
with the development of the new Al Jeer
Port, meant to cater to mid- size ships. Also
being built is a 5- km long quay wall in Khor
Khuwair, adjacent to the industrial park for
providing direct water access to companies.
Along with industrial growth, Sheikh
Saud is extremely conscientious about
respecting the environment. Conscious
efforts are being made to ensure that
the rapid economic growth is sustainable
and without adverse environmental
impact.“ RAK Government has factored in
sustainability to its growth agenda and is
working on how to create growth without
HH Sheikh Saud alongwith Russ Ebeid, President of Guardian’s Glass Group, at the reducing the quality of life. The new
inauguration of Guardian RAK plant Gateway City that would come up in RAK
is being master planned to reduce carbon
to create new landscapes when funds are will place the emirate in a totally different footprint and would have kilometres of
limited. In our minds, the number one issue league, making it a destination of choice for walkways along with a mass transit system.
that needs to be addressed by any small or investors and tourists from across the world. It will be a modern and efficient city with
big, rich or poor country is the question of “Projects like Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard will buildings designed to reduce energy
governance,” he said in a speech at the RAK definitely add more value and variety to the consumption,” he says.
Conference 2008. lifestyle offerings available here”, he said. Sheikh Saud is constantly in touch with
“The single common denominator that Resolved to make RAK an emirate heads of state and other foreign dignitaries
all countries and states share is that no where people don’t compromise between on facilitating inward or bilateral flow of
country can be really successful without working and living as they can do both, investment. Several high profile foreign
first having an active and successful Sheikh Saud is upbeat about real estate delegations have called on Sheikh Saud,
government. It is like the roof under which projects. Lifestyle projects like Bab Al Bahr including those led by HE Raila Odinga,
the business community and people significantly boost the emirate’s reputation Prime Minister of Kenya, HE Amani Abeid
are living, providing the much needed as a key business and leisure destination in Karume, President of Zanzibar, HE Armen
shelter and stability from the storms of the Middle East. Gevorgyan, Deputy Prime Minister of
life and the world at large. It is important The Government of Ras Al Khaimah Armenia, HE Lado Gurgenidze, former
therefore to create a financial structure in has finalised plans to invest heavily in the Prime Minister of Georgia, and many others.
the government whereby the government emirate’s logistics sector to enhance growth Georgian President HE Mikheil Saakashvili
becomes a model for the private sector,” and business competitiveness.“ With a view visited RAK in February, 2007 which was
to make the emirate more competitive,
Sheikh Saud explained. followed by a visit by Sheikh Saud to
The rising profile of the emirate has we will be making big investments in our Georgia in June 2007.
attracted not only industrial and corporate logistics facilities through creation of new Education is another top priority area for
leaders from various parts of the world, it highways and ports. We have upgraded Sheikh Saud and as a result several foreign
has also brought in celebrities. Indian actor Mina Saqr Port to make it the main gateway universities have set up base in the emirate.
Shah Rukh Khan recently launched a Dh 8 for the emirate and the biggest port for bulk “In today’s culture, we have a choice
billion beachfront residential development handling in the region,” Sheikh Saud said. of absorbing cultures through schools.
project named Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard The Mina Saqr Port has been able to Children today have a choice of going to
at the Dana Island, along with the make a ten-fold increase in its scale of a French school, a Chinese school or an
TSA Group. Welcoming the actor and operations during the last five years, from American school. The wealth of this variety
appreciating his interest in Ras Al Khaimah’s three million tonnes in 2003 to 30 million helps us learn from each other,” he said at
fast- growing property and lifestyle tonnes this year. The expansion of Ras Al the launch of the American School in RAK
development sector, Sheikh Saud pointed Khaimah Port, which will have a 2- km quay recently. “A school brings people together.
out that landmark projects like Dana Island, wall with storage facilities and business Slowly, parents might consider moving to
Al Marjan Island along with other initiatives park near RAK town, is progressing along RAK, for the lifestyle it offers,” he said.

Saqr park - a child’s haven

Greens beckon leisure and fun!


With two sprawling golf courses, RAK invites golfers from across the UAE and outside

Dynamism in Action
Ras al Khaimah represented by RAKIA, has been awarded the Middle East’s most attractive
investment destination award and has pulled more than $2.2 billion investments from
international companies to locate in the emirate’s free zone and industrial zones. Ras Al
Khaimah Today speaks to the dynamic Dr Khater Massaad, CEO, RAKIA.

ow do you chart out Ras Al the financial challenges were overcome. international companies to locate in our Free
Khaimah’s growth in the last one Again, considering the size of the emirate, zone and Industrial zones. Companies such
year? What has been its main its existing projects and its industrial as Guardian Glass, Ashok Leyland, Ducholux,
sphere of achievement? development, which I believe, lies at the Arc International, Franke, Mitsui, Kludi,
In 2007, Ras Al Khaimah achieved 15 per core of the real growth, our opportunities Kirby, Ghani Glass, Dabur India and Falcon
cent growth in GDP, while the UAE enjoyed will increase because we have reduced our International give you an idea of the calibre
9.3 per cent growth. This growth was due in risks and we will come out stronger and I am talking about. In recent times, we have
part to our major property developments reinforced from the present crisis. Industrial added to our client base names like Becker
of course but also because of the and manufacturing investors will generate Paints (France), Grasim Industries (a flagship
continuous development of our industrial demand for housing, schools, medical and all company of Birla Group, India), Posco
and manufacturing base, where, a steady kinds of ancillary services. When you consider (Korea), Novus Sealing (UK) and SIKA
stream if industrial projects has continued what we have achieved in three years, with (Switzerland). Many more international
to increase. Ras Al Khaimah (represented by a number of major enterprises already companies are in the pipeline and are
Rakia) was named by FDI Financial Times as operating and stimulating demand, you can expected to commence business with Rakia
the Middle East’s most attractive investment begin to understand our development model soon.
destination. It is a significant achievement, and why we are confident in these times of
as it rewards Rakia’s mission: to be the most economic uncertainty. RAK has been an entrepreneur-friendly
efficient and investor friendly investment emirate that doesn’t take long to process
12 Authority, to create the most favourable Which are the new companies that have business proposals. Do you see it as its
environment for business to flourish and opened in RAK and what have been their greatest USP?
consequently, to be the engine of Ras Al investments? As I mentioned, Ras Al Khaimah was named
Khaimah’s development. Rakia has attracted more than $2.2 billion the most attractive investment destination
investments across a large portfolio of by a well respected international business
How do you see RAK sail through the
current credit crunch? How has the
emirate transformed its challenges into
Ras Al
Al Khaimah was named
Khaimah was namedby byFDIFDI
opportunities? Financial
Financial Times asas the
the Middle
Being a hydrocarbon poor emirate, we
obviously need to finance some of our attractive
attractive investment destination.ItItisis
investment destination.
projects using external financing. We are aasignificant achievement,as
significant achievement, asititrewards
successful in securing this finance, thanks
to our excellent credit ratings. Hence all Rakia’s
Rakia’s mission
our projects are on track and in this sense
analysis publication. Obviously how we more and more free trade, self sufficiency relations exercise to promote Ras Al Khaimah
treat our visitors is the crucial element that is only important in a limited number as a tourism destination. In 2008, tourism
determined why more and more companies of strategic areas that most of the time contributed 2.26 per cent of the GDP which
and entrepreneurs are doing business with involve national security. In today’s world, is an increase of approximately 0.5 per cent.
Rakia. We strive continuously to provide an what is important is competitiveness and This year we will increase our product
efficient and customer-centric service. Our the successful countries are those that offering by opening the Banyan Tree Desert
sales executives frequently follow up with developed competitive advantages. We resort, the Acacia Hotel and the Al Hamra
their clients after contracts have been signed strive at identifying the sectors for which Conference Centre. These properties make
and develop a relationship that guarantees we can develop our own competitive it possible for Ras Al Khaimah to attract
that we are perfectly aware of the needs advantages and thus attract industries meetings and incentive business, to do
and problems faced by our investors, so that from these specific sectors from all over the more in the corporate sector and to offer an
we can continue to best assist them. Again, world. This means of course, integrating exclusive high-end spa experience.
our only objective as far as investors are all parameters of competitiveness: To stimulate further tourism growth,
concerned is that their business flourishes, cost, location, labour, resources, social the government has invested $2 million
because that is a prerequisite for our own infrastructure etc. One important element
success and development. Other USPs in building up our own competitiveness is
include the strategic location of Ras Al obviously the quality of our infrastructure
Khaimah, providing easy access to ports and availability of utilities. In this respect, we
both on the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, an are devoting a lot of energy and resources
international airport with modern cargo in developing self sufficiency in water and
handling facilities, the climate of the Emirate power supply, with a long term and holistic
and a geographical diversity that offers view of the development of the whole
residents a wonderful quality of life. Emirate.

Which are the promising companies With a host of development projects in

according to you that will follow the the emirate, how do you plan to address
success story of RAK Ceramics? urban planning in terms of parking spaces,
An industrial success story is the result of pedestrian spaces, community centres as
a number of elements. When developing well as green environment?
the business of RAK Ceramics, I certainly His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr al Qasimi Dr Khater Masaad, CEO Rakia
enjoyed an environment which was free has a clear view; I should say vision, of
of red rape that allowed us to concentrate how the emirate will look in a decade and
on the essence of business: understanding thoroughly evaluates all the requirement to
the market and creating the right products, make life pleasant here for all the residents upgrading facilities at Ras Al Khaimah
selling them while developing the most of Ras Al Khaimah. The government places International Airport. This work will be
performing and cost effective production quality of life on the top of its priorities. completed by the end of 2009 and will
processes. We make it our top priority Hence, planning is essential, not to mention increase the airport passenger capacity to
to maintain, I should say improve, this that it is also a condition for the best approximately one million per annum.
environment so that each company that allocation of resources. We have, therefore RAK Tourism has for a number of
comes to Rakia to start business enjoys appointed the most competent consultants years worked on an ‘action plan’ for the
the best conditions to potentially turn its in all the areas you mention in your development of heritage tourism in
business into a success story. In business, question and work with them to best shape association with RAK Department of
time is a crucial factor. We want the time the emirate, with the individual residents at Antiquities and Museums to preserve the
between the investors decision to invest, and the core of our concern. emirate’s historical sites. In conclusion, the
when they start production, to be as short as Government of Ras Al Khaimah recognises
possible. What are your plans to boost tourism, that a strong and robust tourism industry
and in particular to promote the cultural will contribute to an overall robust economy
Self-sufficiency is an important aspect to heritage and tourism of Ras Al Khaimah? for the emirate. Over the long term, it will
the emirates. In which industries do you RAK Tourism (which is a business unit bring direct foreign exchange and foreign
see Ras Al Khaimah achieve complete self of Rakia) is very active locally and investment to the economy. So, it is fair to
sufficiency? internationally attending tradeshows, say tourism is a vital and expanding part of
I would argue that in a global world enjoying running promotional campaigns and public our economy.

S&P affirms RAK ‘A/A-1’ Ratings

Outlook Stable and the ratings ‘underpinned by the relatively strong wealth
enjoyed by RAK citizens’, with GDP per capita expected at $16,200 in 2009,
says leading sovereign rating agency

Standard & Poor’s

Services has affirmed its ‘A’ long-term and
government net asset position that we
estimate at around 8 per cent of GDP. That
said, the predominance of equity stakes in
federation and the strong likelihood of
extraordinary support from the federation
(backed by Abu Dhabi),” Mr Soussa
‘A-1’ short-term sovereign credit ratings on local companies raises uncertainties over noted. ”Downward pressure on the rating
the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The outlook the valuation and liquidity of the portfolio could result from a deterioration in RAK’s
is stable. in the event of domestic stress.” economic prospects beyond the decline we
S&P said its ratings on RAK rest “RAK’s exposure to economic have projected for 2009, or a deterioration
primarily on ongoing support from the developments in the larger emirates and in Abu Dhabi’s creditworthiness, which
federal government and the likelihood the region as a whole is a constraint on could affect our assessment of likely support
of extraordinary support in the event of the rating. “Strong economic growth in the to RAK from the federation. A positive
financial stress. The federal government region, and in particular the UAE, has been rating action could follow an easing of
funded mostly by Abu Dhabi and the principal driver of fast-rising demand regional geopolitical tensions, the successful
underpinned by that emirate’s oil wealth, for RAK’s main industrial and mining implementation of RAK’s development
meets almost all the current expenditure products--cement, aggregate, ceramics, strategy, particularly with regard to real
costs of the seven emirates, while major and glass--while the success of RAK’s estate and tourism, or an improvement in
capital costs are also borne at the federal rapidly developing tourism and real estate Abu Dhabi’s creditworthiness.”
level. Individual emirates, including sectors depends on continued strong Standard & Poor’s is the leading provider
RAK, have limited fiscal obligations and demand for these services in the region, of financial market intelligence to customers
consequently substantial fiscal flexibility, and in particular in Dubai. The recent in the Gulf’s credit risk management, wealth
the agency said. decline in global and regional demand, management, and data and information
“The ratings are underpinned by the including the cancellation of a number of markets. Since entering the region in the
14 relatively strong wealth enjoyed by RAK construction projects in Dubai, will have early 1990s, Standard & Poor’s has become
citizens, with GDP per capita expected an impact on RAK’s near-term growth, the largest provider of credit ratings in the
at $16,200 in 2009, in line with the ‘A’ although we expect an increase in demand GCC, rating 114 issuers. In equity markets,
median,” said Standard & Poor’s credit from Abu Dhabi and other regional growth Shariah-compliant versions of Standard &
analyst Farouk Soussa. “RAK’s growth markets in the coming year to help offset Poor’s global and regional equity market
prospects appear relatively stable, with some of the impact. We expect growth to indices - S&P 500, S&P Europe 350, S&P
the overhaul of economic strategy since slow to less than 5 per cent in 2009, from Japan 500 and S&P/IFCI GCC - have created
the appointment of HH Sheikh Saud bin an average of 10 per cent over the previous new opportunities for Islamic investors to
Saqr al-Qasimi as Crown Prince in 2003 three years. benchmark their international investments
resulting in a substantial rise in investment  “The stable outlook reflects the balance and for asset managers to create new
and diversification of the economic base. between the risks posed by geopolitical investment products serving the Islamic
RAK’s modest debt represents around 24 issues and RAK’s exposure to the economic community. Standard & Poor’s Fund
per cent of GDP at year-end 2008 and, fortunes of the larger emirates and the Services also launched a qualitative fund
taking into account the government’s broader region, with the near certainty management rating service for regional
holdings of liquid assets, boasts a general of continued ongoing support from the asset managers in -2007.

Investment Magnet
Rakia has attracted over 1600 investors to Ras Al Khaimah in a
short period of time

Rakia Performance Highlights…..

• About 1691 companies have so far companies.
16 been registered with Rakia. • Free Zone at Al Hamra with total
• Overall composition of license area of 1.95 million sq mtr has been
issued so far-- Commercial- 484, completely leased out to about 117

Ras Al Khaimah Investment

Authority (Rakia) was established
Industrial-477, Consultancy -357,
Trading-195 and Media-168 •
The new “Al Ghail” industrial park,
following the Emiri Decree No. (2)/ 2005 • Investors have come from all over spanning 21 million sq mtr of which
issued by His Highness Sheikh Saqr Bin the world e.g. from the Middle- 3.70 , million sq mtr is Free Zone,
Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council East including UAE -37%,, Indian already 6.20 million sqm has been
Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, with sub-continent including Pakistan, leased to 259 companies.
a mandate to promote and oversee the South-East Asia-35% & Europe-17%. • So far 11.14 million sqm of land has
economic development of the emirate. In Balance from Russia, CIS countries, been leased out to 467 companies
USA and others. in free zone and industrial zones
the process, it transformed Ras Al Khaimah
into an investment destination with over
• Industrial zone at Al Hamra with and 89 per cent of companies are in
total area of 3 million sqm has manufacturing activities.
sixteen hundred foreign investors setting
been completely leased out to 91
up operations within the emirate in just a
short period of time.
Rakia chiefly
chiefly operates
Total No of Licenses the free zones
zones for
up to 2006 287
foreign investors
up to 2007 1005 who wish
wish to
to avail
up to 2008 1691 full ownership
ownership ofof
their businesses
2000 enjoy tax
tax and
and duty
Within just three years of its inception
1005 Rakia has more than 1600 companies
1000 under its portfolio. It has amassed over $2
billion in industrial investments, powering
an unprecedented economic surge
500 that has made Ras Al Khaimah one of
the fastest growing emirates in the UAE
and the region. Its aggressive expansion
0 initiatives have consolidated the emirate’s
up to 2006 up to 2007 up to 2008
reputation as an investment heaven for
virtually all sectors; in fact, the licenses
Rakia has issued show a remarkable
balance among key sectors – 494 licenses
No of license year-wise
to commercial companies, 477 to industrial
Up to 2006 287 firms, 357 to consultancy and service
companies. 195 to Trading and 168 to
Up to 2007 718 Media companies. Rakia has also made
significant investments in infrastructure
Up to 2008 686 and knowledge to attract world-class IT
and technology companies.
800 Rakia’s area of responsibility includes
700 686 the Industrial Zone and the Free Zone
in Al Hamra, and the Industrial Park in Al
Ghail. Rakia chiefly operates the free trade
500 zones for foreign investors who wish to
400 avail full ownership of their businesses
300 287 and enjoy tax and duty exemptions. Other
key benefits being offered to foreign
investors are 100 per cent capital and profit
100 repatriation; easy availability of labour;
0 easy licensing procedures; excellent port
Up to 2006 Up to 2007 Up to 2008
facilities; and absence of foreign exchange
controls, trade barriers and quotas.
Rakia also partners with investors
who prefer to invest in businesses based
Geographic trend of all types of licenses
complementary services to ensure investors
3% 2% RUS-CIS are able to maximize their investment
potential. Rakia offers investment advisory
USA services and equity participation on
7% 28%
selected projects, a key move that reinforces
Misc. the investors’ trust and confidence. Recently,
Rakia signed a memorandum of co-
Asia Se Asia
22% operation with Bank of Baroda in a move
that is greatly beneficial to investors in the
Rest of M/E
emirate. Under the agreement, the bank will
UAE provide financing to firms for their projects
within Rakia’s free zone areas.
15% 17% Rakia has also formed RAKOFFSHORE,
another innovative initiative that establishes
India a true offshore facility and regularity body
providing complete offshore non-resident
outside the free zones. It has partnered steel reinforcement bars annually, business registration and financial services.
with various international companies in helping address the strong demand RAK’s investor friendly policies and
strategic projects like Nano-Technology, for steel, across the region. Rakia has flexibility has attracted an array of
Blue-ray DVD manufacturing, Chemicals, substantial investment in the Infrastructure international brands including Guardian
Diapers and Cements. One of Rakia’s developments in Industrial and Free zone Glass, Arc International, Franke, Duscholux,
strategic investments is in the recently developments and also in Power plants in Mitsui, Kludi, Becker Industries, Kempe,
opened $50 million RAK Steel factory RAK Ashok Leyland, Grasim cements (Aditya
in Al Ghail, which was inaugurated by More than managing free zones, Birla Group) to name a few. It has made a
H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Rakia also delivers a wide range of global presence by embarking on several
Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al
Khaimah. RAK Steel is an energy-efficient,
environment-friendly mill that will
manufacture 500,000 tonnes of deformed
License Type
up to 2006 2007 2008
78 Industrial 115 184 178
300 129 Commercial 78 287 129
Consulting / 61 129 167
18 250 Trading 10 72 113
Media 23 46 99
184 61 287 718 686
200 178 129

150 10
72 23
113 46
100 Up to 2006

50 Up to 2007

0 Up to 2008
Industrial Commercial Counsulting/Services Trading Media
Khaimah’s plethora of natural attractions
such as a captivating mountain range,
Manufacturing sector break up sparkling beaches, unspoilt desert plain
and even the pleasantly surprising stretch
2% 3% Auto/ vehicles assembly
5% of greenery in the south.
6% RAK offers total economic and personal
Food Processing
freedom and is one of the safest places
32% Wood products to do business. It is strategically located
with state of the art infrastructure
Electrical and logistics support. The conversion
costs of manufacturing are one of the
18% lowest globally, which makes it highly
competitive for manufacturing. Driven
by the vision of HH Sheikh Saud of
Rubber & plastics transforming RAK as an ideal place to live
and work, the master plan offers a plethora
Building materials of lifestyle to tourists and business
population alike. Apart from this, RAK
Metal Products
ensures that all key inputs are offered to
investors at competitive rates.
mega projects internationally, including a free zone and 10 within the industrial zone, Rakia’s ongoing success largely
$2 billion aluminium smelter project and Rakia Free Zone Custom House, sewage reflects the Ras Al Khaimah Government’s
a mega township project in India, several treatment plants, and regular upgrade and own success in establishing reforms,
property development projects in Iran and expansion projects for road networks as instituting new laws and regulations and
the development of the Industrial Free well as utilities and telecommunications enforcing policies that are hospitable to
Zone and port management of Poti in infrastructure. local, regional or international investors.
Georgia. Furthermore, to make Ras Al Khaimah Ultimately, the government’s proactive
Rakia also has a rapidly growing a true lifestyle destination in the Gulf, support and involvement in the ongoing
portfolio of property projects that a number of leisure and recreational economic revolution is aimed at raising
have been commissioned to provide facilities are now mushrooming across the standard of living of both citizens and
complementary facilities and provide the emirate, including water-theme parks, residents of the emirate, while ensuring
more lifestyle options to investors. Rakia amusement centres, flying clubs, golf long-term socioeconomic sustainability.
plans to have projects to the aimed at courses and shopping centres – all of
addressing practically all requirements which wonderfully complement Ras Al
of potential and existing investors in the
emirate. The state-of-the-art Amenity
Centre has been constructed in the Overall Licence Trend
Al Hamra region to be a multi-storey
complex that will house corporate offices 12% 10% Trading
for a wide array of clients, including IT
firms, financial houses, consultancies and Counsulting & Service
several other new business ventures. Other
28% Commercial
Rakia projects that have been designed to
enhance the business environment within 21% Industrial
Ras Al Khaimah include an 84 megawatt
power plant at the Al Ghail Industrial Park Media
which will be in operation by March-April
2009 and also another 250 Megawatt
power in the next 2 years worth USD300
million, the Rakia Warehousing Complex
wherein nine units will be put up in the

Company Country of Sector/ Sub-sector Duscholux Germany Sanitary Fittings

Zamil Steel Saudi Arab Steel Fabrication
POSCO Korea Steel products
Kirby Steel Kuwait Steel Fabrication
Novus Sealing UK Industrial products
RAK Ghani Glass Pakistan Pharmaceutical
Track Infinity Engineer- Pakistan Auto Components
ing LLC
Dabur India India Ayurvedic Products
KEC Global FZ LLC (RPG India Steel products
MITSUI JAPAN Japan Heavy Fabrication
Cable & Wire Industries Llc Kuwait Electrical Cables
(NCCI Group) Bosco Aluminium India Aluminium products
HDPE Pipe System Indus- Kuwait Plastic pipes
try Llc (NCCI Group) Mabani Steel USA Steel Fabrication
Guardian Industries USA Float Glass
RAK Steel India Steel Fabrication
Arc International France Tableware
Maas Profile (ME) FZE Germany Steel Fabrication
Franke Austria SS Kitchen Products
Cemento Engineering Ireland Building Materials
Ashok Layland India Bus & Truck Assembly
Zeo Plant Germany Chemicals
Pioneer Cement India Cement
Polymix International LLC Kuwait polyurethane foam
JBF RAK India Polyester Chips and
Film Emirates Industrial Gases UAE Industrial Gas
Save Power with Eco Friendly Guardian Glass
Guardian’s new SunGuard Glass,
made specially for the UAE weather conditions,
is energy efficient and architecturally flexible.

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of float glass and fabricated glass
products Guardian manufactures and supplies glass for the automotive
industry with a variety of exterior products and is a significant player in the
building materials distribution business. It is also the world’s largest producer
of mirrors

Guardian Zoujaj International Float Glass Co. L.L.C.

“Guardian RAK”
P.O. Box : 6297, Al Jazirah Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Tel.: +971-7-205-8000, Fax : +971-7-205-8001

Guardian AD.indd 1 2/19/09 9:50:18‭ ‬AM


Accolades to RAKIA
FDi ranks RAK as third Most Business-Friendly city and the third city
with the Best Economic Potential
forecast, were scored on a pro rata basis,
with the top city scoring 10 points and the
lowest city zero.
Under the economic potential,
cities were asked to describe their
economic potential – recent GDP growth,
government initiatives and economic
priorities while inward investment covered
details of recent inward investment,
including the volume and number of
investments made during the past two
years, the most significant investments
made in 2007 (including the level of
investment and number of jobs created)
Dr Khater Massaad receives the fDi award and the most significant investments of

Ras Al Khaimah was ranked the third

city with the best economic
potential in the Middle East in the Financial
471 points while Abu Dhabi was third with
418 points.
The rankings were decided after an
FDI strategy looked at the promotional
strategy for attracting inward investment,
including recent initiatives, incentives and
22 Times FDi magazine’s rankings of the 2008- elaborate procedure covering various regulatory changes introduced during the
09 Middle East Cities of the Future awards. aspects. Cities were asked to complete a past two years.
Only Dubai and Abu Dhabi were ahead tie-breaker question in which they outlined
of RAK at number one and two positions their unique selling point for investors.
respectively. Ras Al Khaimah shared the Answers to the questions were put before
third position with Cairo. the magazine’s panel of judges. Cities were
RAK also ranked third in the category scored out of 10 for certain criteria, with
of Most Business-Friendly City and finished 10 points awarded to the best city in each
ahead of Abu Dhabi in this respect. The first category. (In the categories of business
two positions were taken by Dubai and friendliness and unique selling point, a
Jeddah, with Manama sharing the honour maximum of 20 points was available.)
with Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah also Scores were awarded on the basis of cities’
figured prominently in the Top 20 Middle answers and the judges’ own experience.
Eastern Cities, taking the sixth position with Categories based on third-party data,
380 points. Dubai headed the table with for example 2009 national GDP growth

RAKIA participated in a number of international
investor meets and exhibitions last year apart
from receiving several investor delegations
from Portugal, India, China, Singapore and
EU countries. Some of them included, the HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah
with NR Narayana Murthy, founder Infosys
Investor’s Meet with The Economist (UK) In
London, an investor meet in Oslo, organised
by the Oslo Chamber of Commerce to promote
opportunities in RAK, headed by Dr. Khater
Massaad, the Composites Europe ,Germany
Exhibition, Industrial Conference organized by
the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry
& Navigation of Gipuzkoa, Spain, the RAKIA-
Economic Times Seminar, Investors meet in
India - a conference on Investment opportunity
attended by CEOs, CFOs , and other high level
dignitaries and the EU- GCC Summit in London


Float Glass

HH Sheikh Saud at the inauguration of Guardian RAK plant

Building with light

Guardian RAK float glass
plant, the
new $150million plant that started full
of nearly 2000 tonnes per day assuring
a seamless supply of glass for this
growing region. “The plant will soon
An addition of nanotechnology, with
advanced coatings produced on float
glass and vacuum coater at the RAK plant,
production in September 2007 and turns start manufacturing high- performance enables the manufacture of the SunGuard
out 700 tons of glass per day is used in coated glass products including SunGuard, series of advanced architectural products
automotive, commercial, residential and Guardian’s line of advanced architectural installed on the Burj Dubai. These products
furniture applications. The company’s glass, following the installation of a help architects and developers to ‘build
plants in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, apart high-tech coating machine,” added Russ with light’ will be available in Ras Al
from RAK, produce a combined capacity Ebeid, President of Guardian’s Glass group. Khaimah shortly.

The Council of Superbrands (that consists of eminent

personalities from the world of branding) has judged RAK
Ceramics as a super brand for 2009. Superbrands, also the world’s
24 largest independent brand arbiter pays tribute to established
brands all over the world with some excellent publications on them.
Consequently RAK Ceramics features in the UAE Superbrands book
To be voted as a Superbrand by an independent Council is a
powerful endorsement and evidence of the brand’s standing for
existing customers, potential customers, the media, suppliers,

Superbrand 2009 investors and employees of the brand’s exceptional status. In the
UAE, the other brands that have enjoyed the Superbrand status are
Cannon, DHL, Etisalat, IBM, MasterCard, Starbucks, Xerox, Emaar,
Emirates Bank, Dubai Properties, Acer, Amlak, Colgate, Nakheel,
Tamweel, Panasonic and a few others. RAK Ceramics will join this elite
list for 2009 brands with Superbrands like Google, Microsoft, BBC LG,
Samsung, FedEx, British Petroleum, British Airways and Sony.
New power Safeer Mall Opens
The mall has secured contracts

plants in the from major brands such as Damas,

Springfield, Mother Care, Face Shop,

offing Starbucks, Nando’s, Pizza Hut, KFC,

UAE Exchange, Emirates Identity
Authority and News Centre and

Sharjah -based Al Safeer Group

has opened its fourth
shopping and leisure complex in UAE - the
features a major Safeer hypermarket
as its flagship store, apart from 100
other retail outlets and 12 food and
Safeer Mall. The mall, sprawled over six acres beverage outlets, Jungle Bungle
was inaugurated by Ahmed Bin Amer, the family entertainment centre and
RAK Director for EIDA, and saw about 30,000 parking of 240,000 sqft for 900 cars. It
visitors on its grand opening day. is strategically located in the heart of

Four new electricity plants with

a total capacity of 740MW
are being planned by the Ras Al Khaimah
the local community area of Kharran.

Government. Studies are on for a 2,000MW

plant to meet the needs of the emirate’s
Goodyear’s super service
future expansion too. The first plant at
Al Hamra, with a capacity of 120MW, has
centre rolled out!
been operational since November 08. An
80MW plant at Al Ghail Industrial City and
another with a capacity of 40MW at Al
Hamra will be ready for operation in June
Good year’s authorised dealer,
Swaidan Trading, has opened
the UAE’s sixth Goodyear Super Service centre,
2009. The combined cost of both plants in Ras Al Khaimah. The centre will offer a range
will be $120million. And the fourth plant, of Goodyear tyres for all vehicle types, plus
with a capacity of 500MW, is due to open in services such as tyre fitting, wheel balancing,
September 2010. The plants will be entirely wheel alignment and oil change. According to
owned by the government, which will the company, more Goodyear service centres
charge customers the same as the Federal are being planned around the UAE.
Electricity and Water Authority.

can be installed by either the developer’s

Unipods LLC launched contractor or Unipod contractors. This
innovative concept has proven highly

Al Rajhi Investment Group has formed

a company in RAK called Unipods
LLC that creates pre-engineered bathroom
even mirrors in place. They are read to be
installed when the building is erected.
The off-site construction reduces time,
successful in Europe where it has been used
for over 40 by 90 per cent of new hotel
construction. It is already proving a success
units for commercial and residential site traffic and environmental impact on in the Middle East’s hospitality construction
buildings throughout the MENA region. the project. It also eliminates construction market. Says Henrik Christiansen, CEO of
The bathroom pods are prefabricated waste, usually produced by site contractors Unipods; “We create customised bathroom
and created by utilising innovative and using traditional techniques, saving up to 20 pods in any shape or size with any interior
sustainable construction techniques percent. The pods are built to developer’s finishes that a developer specifies. We even
and delivered to the site as completed specifications and are available for both have our own architects and engineers who
units - with showers, sinks, toilets and newly built and renovation projects and can help you.”

Power Drive
Al Ghail Free zone is self sufficient in power and shortly, Al Hamra free zone,
through the Al Hamra 1 power plant will meet the immediate requirement

capacity, power plants at RAKIA have now and RAK warehouse leasing areas. “Al
managed 250 megawatts of power, all Hamra 2 is for the future developments in
within a year. That is shouldering nearly 50 this region and later both Al Hamra 1 and
percent of total power consumed. Al Hamra 2 will become one grid .
The Al Hamra 2 power station is in the
tendering process and will take 12 to 18
months to start generating power, the Al FEWA
FEWA in RAK has has
Ghail power plant will be commissioned
next month and the Al Hamra 1, under the aa 550
550 megawatt
commissioning process. “In addition to this,
we are planning a coal based power plant
capacity, but power
capacity, power
N Zakkir Hussain
at Mina al Saqr. Its Phase 1 will produce 600 plants at RAKIA
plants RAKIA have
megawatts to 3000 megawatts of energy
now managed
managed 250
One of the most important
segments of industrialisation
is power. And now, RAKIA free zones have
and it is undergoing a feasibility study,” he
While the Al Ghail power plant is
megawatts of power,
overcome, what was once an impediment. dedicated to the industrial area, the all
all within
within a year.
While FEWA (Federal Electricity and Water Al Hamra 1 will meet the immediate
Authority) has been supplying some requirement of the region supplying power
power to the emirate’s industrial areas, the to the many industrial projects in the RAKIA
growth of RAK’s industries and its power free zone, industrial zone, Al Hamra village
requirement, escalated much above
26 the supply. “Early last year, we came to
know that FEWA alone cannot meet Ras
al Khaimah’s needs in the energy sector
due to the emirate’s vast developments.
Immediately RAKIA took a decision and
planned for power plants that could take
on the load. Eventually, three power plants
were commissioned. An 80 megawatt
power plant in Al Ghail, a 45 megawatt
power plant at Al Hamra 1 and a 120-130
megawatt power plant at Al Hamra 2,” says
N Zakkir Hussain, Advisor, Power and Water
Projects, Government of Ras al Khaimah,
RAK Investment Authority.
While FEWA in RAK has a 550 megawatt

Benchmarking Success
Creating world class ceramics, sanitary ware, faucets and porcelain,
the RAK Ceramics group has several success stories

The largest ceramics producer in

the world, RAK Ceramics, now
Superbrand 2009, started its operation in
ceramic market worldwide, and it has
clearly rivalled the traditional advantage
that many major Italian and Spanish manu-
of RAK Ceramics by producing highgrade
porcelain for the hotel industry. It caters to
UAE’s mushrooming hospitality industry
1991 with a production capacity of 5000 facturers enjoyed in terms of quality and that shall see about 450 five star hotels
sq m per day . In 2000, it opened its first aesthetic standards in all market segments. in the region. RAK Porcelain has roped in
international tile producing plant in Bang- Many interesting new developments in three internationally acclaimed design-
ladesh followed by units in China, Sudan, ceramic and porcelain tiles will be show- ers, Alain Vavro from France, Creativa (an
India and Iran. Awarded the Mohammed cased, as is practice, at the Cevisama 2009. Italian designer house) and Roufel from
Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award RAK Sanitaryware comes equipped Germany. With products made from the
(MRM Business Award) for Industry for the with a sophisticated dual flushing system highest quality of raw material imported
year 2005, RAK Ceramics brand was rated that results in a substantial saving of water. from the famous mines of UK and Germany
as one of the top four brands of the UAE , Both reflect a sound understanding of that produce fully vitrified high alumina
and the topmost brand in the manufac- ergonomics as well as eco-friendliness. porcelain, RAK Porcelain is accredited by
turing sector in 2006 in a study conduct- Joining hands with KLUDI of Germany, RAK standard authorities in UK, US and France
ed by Brand Finance Middle East of the Ceramics manufactures state-of-the- art and has achieved ISO9001:2000 status.
United Kingdom. “Over the past 16 years, bathroom and kitchen faucets / mixers The porcelain is higher edge chip resistant,
RAK Ceramics has created the largest and and manufactures around one million higher scratch resistant and passes 65
most exclusive product lines in the ceramic pieces a year of top- of- the- line bathroom regulations before being readied for sale. It
world with new styles offered every month, fittings. KLUDI RAK is equipped with the is lead and cadmium free too.
appealing to all market segments, such as latest in European technology. The commitment to promoting and
interior designers and architects; engineers, RAK Porcelain, inaugurated by HH investing in the best and most innovative
major retail chains, corporates, do-it-your- Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, in January technology has always been the bedrock
of RAK Ceramics’ achievements.
self retailers and home owners” says Dr. 2006 was set up to repeat the success story
Khater Massaad, CEO for RAK Ceramics.
For the year 2008, the company has
notched up sales of $ 717 million consider- The success
The success story of
of RAK
ing the worldwide operations in tiles and
sanitaryware. Sales from the RAK plants
Ceramics has entered
Ceramics entered
touched Dh1.924 billion. Record sales for the management
the management
tiles touched Dh 1.631 billion and the sani-
taryware section division at RAK recorded study books
study books of the
sales of Dh292.77 – an increase in value of MBA programme
MBA programme of of
about 29 per cent over the previous year.
All their subsidiaries too have reported very Georgetown University
Georgetown University
good results for 2008.
The RAK crest is now taken as an as-
in Washington
in Washington DC,
surance of good value for money in the

But Naturelle(y)!
Naturelle LLC, part of Dabur International, (a subsidiary of Dabur India Limited,
India’s fourth largest FMCG Company) brings the natural health of beauty secrets
to Ras Al Khaimah
By Manju Ramanan
the efficiency and economy of scale. We
wanted to construct an efficient, Regulatory
& cGMP compliant factory which would
cater to our growing markets for the next
five years and beyond. And between Dubai
We have
have stringent
stringent Investment Park and RAKIA free zone, we

measures when when chose the latter because the atmosphere
here was cooperative and conducive. We
it comes
comes to to got excellent support and the project work
has been really fast. When we look back,
maintaining hygienehygiene we know that we took the right decision,”
A Subba Rao since it
it isis aa personal
personal he states.

We are handed some easy-to-wear
factory gear as we are taken on a care products
The foundation stone for Naturelle was
laid by Dr. Khater Massaad, CEO RAKIA on
guided tour to the Naturelle factory at RAK.
This is after Factory Manager, A Subba Rao,
factory 26th June 2007 and the actual construction
started on July 15th, the same year and by
has shown us a blue print of the unit that is July 2008 production had already begun
well planned and extremely well organised markets, South-East Asia, the US, UK and
so as to maximise total functionality. Europe markets, Dabur has manufacturing Dabur Naturelle factory
The Dabur Naturelle factory produces units in Egypt as well as Nigeria to cover
shampoos, hair oils, hair care products as major countries in Africa.
well as toothpastes. Rao, who has established the RAK
Naturelle has an estimated investment factory as Project Manager, explains the
of about 8-10 million dollars and is presence of Dabur in the UAE and then at
a subsidiary of Dabur International RAK. “We started off in UAE in 1992 and in
Ltd. Naturelle at RAK is Dabur’s third 1999 we took over Weikfield’s international
manufacturing facility in the UAE with the business. Over the years the business has
other two located in Jebel Ali and Sharjah. been growing and we were on the look
While the new unit will cater to the GCC out for a large scale factory operation with
Recently, the Ministry of Health, UAE, has recognised Ayurveda as a
complementary (alternate) system of medicine. Dabur being a pioneer
and market leader in India for Ayurveda and herbal remedies, has a
great potential in this field. The management of Dabur International is
evaluating the opportunities to serve the regional market. Dabur is already
established in the fields of herbal based oils and personal care products, in
the MENA region and have presence in food, digestives and drinks.

on all the lines. “By September’08 we had

already achieved the first year targeted
capacity,” he adds.
Rao guides us through the products that
will be manufactured and distributed from
the RAK factory. “There are Dabur Amla
Hair oils, Dabur Vatika Hair oils that have
ingredients like olive, gherghir and cactus,
Dabur Vatika Naturals hair cream range and
the new Dabur Amla hair cream range and
Dabur Meswak toothpaste. These products
are specifically designed for this market
and are not available in India. “We have a
capacity of 6000 cases per day and about
150,000 cases of different products per Dabur India Limited is India’s fourth largest FMCG Company with interests
month,” he states. in health care, personal care and food products. It has a portfolio of
As we are shown through various household brand names like Amla, Vatika, Chyawanprash, Hajmola, Dabur
manufacturing halls where oil, cream, Glucose-D, Dabur Honey, Gulabari, Promise, Odomos, Odonil, Sanifresh,
shampoo and toothpaste are produced, Lal Dantmanjan, Babool, Nature Care and Pudin Hara. Recently Fem Care
Rao explains that the products from here Pharma company has been acquired by Dabur India Ltd.
go to more than 40 countries and cover
the entire GCC market. “We also supply to
all MENA region, Levant, Africa, and South What about an R& D laboratory here? local authorities but also the more stringent
East Asia besides US, UK & Europe,” he adds. “We have a state of the art R&D Centre in requirements of European and US markets
Ask him how the clientele in this part of India, with a dedicated wing catering to the which are all serviced from here,” he states.
the world is taking to Dabur’s Naturelle International Business. At Naturelle, in Ras Al Are there any products that are sourced
and he states that while people of Indian Khaimah, we have an ultra modern testing locally? “The key herbal ingredients come
origin know Dabur, the nationals of GCC laboratory which has facilities to conduct mostly from India but bulk ingredients are
countries are equally familiar with Dabur
microbiological, analytical, packaging and purchased locally, so are packing materials
products “Dabur Amla and Dabur Vatika are chemical tests on all our raw materials, and boxes,” he adds. And, do they have
well known brands in the Arab region, an packaging materials and products, so as any plans for expansion? “We have built in
advantage for the other products,” he adds. to meet the requirements of not only the expansion space within our existing factory
and if we plan a second factory, it can stand
as an independent unit within the campus,”
The New Delhi-based company, founded in 1884, has three major strategic he states.
business units – Consumer Care Division, Consumer Health Division and Most of the staff at the factory
International Business Division. During the early ‘80’s, Dabur’s international comprises of Indians and Nepalis. “We
business was primarily focused on fulfilling orders and trading activities have stringent measures when it comes to
using the manufacturing facilities of India. As exports expanded during the maintaining hygiene since it is a personal
90’s, a new company with a manufacturing unit was set up in Dubai under care products factory. The infrastructure of
the name ‘Redrock’. During this period, the turnover increased by 10-fold the place is well planned to accommodate
over the previous decade. The International Business Division has been all our current as well as future needs,” he
clocking over 50% compounded growth rates in sales for the last few years. adds.

Goodwill is the Best

Believe in people power

Mabani Steel LLC is

a designer,
manufacturer and erector of Pre-
tons of HRSS/ month.
And what are their plans at expansion?
“We are thinking of Saudi Arabia since
Engineered Steel Buildings (PEB) and Hot power and life are much cheaper there.
Rolled Structural Steel (HRSS) equally Africa happens to be another option too,”
owned by the Al Rajhi Investment Group he adds.
(ARIG) Company and the Raed Al Mashal “Though we are veterans in this field,
Business Group (both prominent and our company is very young. And realistically
reputable Saudi Arabian business groups). speaking, we don’t want to think we are
In fact, Al Rajhi is one of the ten largest eight feet tall when we are but five feet,” he
business groups in Saudi Arabia and one states. But he does add that goodwill is a
of the top five Saudi investors in the UAE. great investment. “All my life I have helped
Bringing experience and expertise a lot of people and supported them and
to the group is the President of Mabani
Steel at RAK, Muayyad Khudairi, an Iraqi “We are
are five
American with 30 years experience in this
field with various big steel companies. An to think
think thatthat
we are
we are
feet feet
engineer from Cambridge Massachusetts, Muayyad Khudairi, President Mabani Steel LLC
Muayyad and his colleague Ken Krieger, a
German American started the RAK unit. report the same. But we are positive that now, they are supporting me. Goodwill goes a
“Ours is the only PEB and HRSS plant in we will come out of this situation. This long way,” he states.
the same area in this region. We produce year, we shall even
30 6000 tons/ month of PEB and 2000 tons make profits,” he
of HRSS. There is no factory in the USA states. “Our main
that does that,” he adds. Pre engineered market is 53 % in
buildings are cost effective and used the UAE and 33%
majorly in USA, the GCC and China. Now in Saudi Arabia and
India is also picking up the trend. They are the rest are in Qatar,
a smart way of building. The market for Oman, Ghana and
PEB and HRSS is Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Jordan, Karachi. About 47 %
Sudan, Djibouti, Libya and Liberia. of what we create is
Khudairi states that the steel market is exported. Iraq used
vast and Mabani steel is a very small part to be a good market
of it. too,” he adds. The
“We are very small and not even 5 %. RAK plant creates
In the last 3 months, our volume of orders 6000 tons of PEB/
Meet the team at Mabani Steel
has gone down by 60 %. Our colleagues month and 2000

Transporting Intelligence
Ashok Leyland to roll out 2000 buses every year in RAK

Ashok Leyland, the 2nd

largest commercial
vehicle manufacturer and the flagship of
license which the Company can utilise to
expand the product offerings in future.
Ashok Leyland supplies 5000 buses to
the Hinduja Group in India has set up an this region and about 2500 buses to the
integrated bus and chassis assembly plant UAE per year. The MoU with RAKIA was
in RAKIA Free Zone with an investment of signed in 2006, construction began in
Dh 70 million which will have a capacity mid 2007 and the RAK plant is presently
of 2,000 buses a year. It will be the only awaiting approval though trials have begun.
bus unit in the UAE and will strengthen the “Production will start from next month. Most
Company’s hold in the market of which they of the material comes to us as semi knocked
already have 62% in addition to 50% of the down kits which are assembled here. But we
GCC market. will soon explore the potential of this region
Sprawled over 60,000 square meters as well. Rakia has many companies that
with an additional 40,000 sq square produce parts and components which we passenger segment in India with the widest
meters reserved for later use, the Unit will can use – glass and aluminium for instance. range of buses that include the vestibule
strengthen Ashok Leyland’s hold in the We hope to get to a stage where we can and double decker buses for which the
market according to K M Mandanna, Vice source most of our raw material locally,” says Company is the sole Indian source. The
President – Manufacturing, Ashok Leyland Mandanna. Company has pioneered rear-engine and
The unit now employs 100 people. It CNG buses in India. At Auto Expo 2008 in
has its own labour accommodation, with New Delhi, Ashok Leyland unveiled the
a sports facility planned in the near future. iBUS, a future-ready, feature-filled concept
“We believe in taking care of our people. We vehicle developed by a team of young
have provided comfortable living facilities, engineers. For the first time on Indian roads,
recreational areas, entertainment and a the bus displayed separate ‘executive’ and
good canteen,” he adds. In about two years, ‘economy’ sections. Electronics in engine
32 Mandanna sees the manpower increasing management, air suspensions, passenger
to 250 people. infotainment were some of the features.
One of Ashok Leyland’s main markets is Recently, the Company bagged a Rs.
the one for school buses, a segment that 4.88 billion order from the Delhi Transport
is undergoing change with stricter safety Corporation for 875 ultra-modern Ultra
KM Mandanna, VP, Manufacturing regulations in place. “The norms for the Low Entry buses. This is for the first time
(UAE) LLC. Apart from the Gulf market, the school buses are stricter now. Safety is a that Ashok Leyland has been contracted to
capacity of the Unit will also be used to priority. Fire extinguishers, speed governors offer a comprehensive urban transportation
meet demand in the African market. ( that restrict the speed limit of a school solution where besides delivering these
Sold through Swaidan Trading, the bus to 80 kms /hour), padded seats, seat fully-built buses, the Company will train key
Authorised dealer in UAE , the buses have belts, anti skid mats are some of the things personnel like drivers and mechanics and
been a regular sight in the UAE for a long mandatory in school buses in the UAE and will maintain the buses to ensure uptime, by
time. “Our buses have been associated with we are prepared to meet and even surpass setting up exclusive maintenance depots as
industrial as well as school use,” he states. these,” says Mandanna. part of a 12-year, Rs. 7.1 billion maintenance
The RAK plant has a commercial vehicles Ashok Leyland is the leader in the contract.

PET Project
JBF RAK is linked to the essentials industry that has a long life

JBF RAK is a USD 220 Million

investment in emirate of Ras
Al Khaimah by an Indian group JBF
sourced from Saudi Arabia’s SABIC and
the import of raw material is imported
from Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
Industries Limits. The project has been 3) Almost 600,000MT per annum of
set up in collaboration with RAKIA under demand in larger middle east region for
the supervision of JBF Groups Chairman PET products can be reached by road
Sh B C Arya. JBF Group is a multi-location transport for JBF & the company has
industrial conglomerate focussed on clearly identified it as its home market in
polyester manufacturing for Fiber, Textiles & long run.
Packaging Industry But what about the environmental
The manufacturing unit in RAKIA Free consciousness associated with PET bottles?
Zone is a green field 330,000 MT per In the current times does he see recycling
annum state of the art facility dedicated PET as an important necessity? “Yes, of
for production of PET (polyester resins) & Rohit Maindwal, President, JBF RAK course. PET can be recycled. 20 percent of
BOPET (bi axially oriented polyester) films for recycled products can be reused and the
packaging industry. stays. However he adds that “In case of any rest is converted into fibre. Recycled PET is
The resins & films produced in JBF population exodus from middle east due used to make egg trays, vegetable and fruit
facilities are marketed under ARYA PET to poor economy & job losses the overall trays, bottle cans et al,” he adds.
brand which is the most renowned consumption may have a negative effect in And what are their plans at expansion?
industrial brand for packaging products in long run.” he states. “We have lot of emerging markets in PET
Middle East. The client base for JBF includes A former Reliance executive, Maindwal
all major brand owners in beverage & came to RAK in 2006 and started operations 2000-06 2007-10
34 packaging industry like Nestle, Cocoa Cola, in the RAK factory. Ask him what are the World GDP Growth 2.8 3.2
Pepsi, Masafi and Al Ain. JBF exports resins advantages of setting up the plant at RAK Polymer Demand Growth 4.1 4.6
& films to more than 70 countries globally and he’ll list three main reasons. Polyester Demand Growth 6.5 6.0
apart from meeting local demand for the 1) RAK is an extremely efficient port of PET Demand Growth 11.8 9.0
product in UAE & GCC. call for shipping lines entering Gulf Capacity Growth 13.0 6.6
“JBF RAK is emerging as a most preferred region and hence has a robust shipping Demand / GDP 4.2 2.6
supplier for all our clients across globe infrastructure which is accessible for Figures are in percentage
especially in EU Zone due to our excellent exports to US and European markets.
service & logistics capability” states Rohit About 5000 – 10000 tons of shipment demand perspective. Globally the demand
Maindwal, President, JBF RAK. Unaffected by can be planned in a week’s time and for is likely to grow by almost a million MT per
the current crisis, Maindwal states that most smaller orders like 200 containers, all you annum, we have expanded our facility in
of JBF products are supplied to an industry need is a couple of days. This has helped RAK from 220 KTPA to 330 KTPA. For future
which in turn caters to basic human build the Arya PET brand. growth JBF is exploring further options for
necessities, “We don’t foresee any demand 2) Raw materials are available in plenty backward integration & some inorganic
crunch in that segment as of now,” he in the region.Monoethylene glycol is growth opportunities in EU Zone.” he says.

Grit of Steel
The rebar steel market for 2009 is estimated
to be around 2.5 million tonnes

The Middle East Trader’s Group, which has been in the business of steel for
the past 24 years with their first plant in Oman joined hands with Rakia to
create RAK Steel in 2008 to produce deformed steel reinforcement bars.
According to the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), UAE
would use 44- 66 million tone of rebar products over the next 15 years.
Ras Al Khaimah Today spoke to Ajay Aggarwal, CEO RAK Steel.

ow big is the rebar steel market in the UAE is and how
Ajay Aggarwal
much does RAK Steel contribute to it?
During 2008, the UAE market for rebars was around five For 2009, the demand for deformed steel reinforcement bars is
million tonnes. 2009 is estimated to be around 2.5 million tonnes. estimated to be around 2.5 to three million tonnes.
RAK Steel’s current market share is 10 per cent in the first year and is
estimated to go up to 20 per cent by 2010. Are there any locational as well as cost advantages of setting up
base in RAK? What are they?
Tell us about your RAK plant and its capacity? Due to the enlightened policies of Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al
RAK Steel is a joint venture of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority Qasimi, it is relatively easy to set up business in RAK. Other things
and the outcome of the vision of HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, like availability of finance, human resources, technology follow
Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. It commenced the same efficiency. RAK Steel was set up in 16 months from
production in Jan 2008. The plant capacity is 500,000 tonnes per concept to execution including 13 months that was devoted to
year. It is a modern substantially automated and environment construction. The Al Ghail industrial area is located equidistant to
friendly plant. It is also the second largest production facility for important and emerging markets of RAK, Sharjah, Ajman, Dubai,
rebars in UAE, set up with an investment of around $ 50 million. and Fujairah. Therefore, logistics are extremely efficient.

With the current slowdown in real estate projects, has the steel What are your future plans at expansion?
industry been affected? We plan to expand our rolling capacity to 750,000 m per year and
Real estate is the main driver for steel consumption in the UAE. to establish a steel melt shop with an investment of $ 150 million.
Therefore, with the slowdown in projects, steel industry is affected.

Which are the countries you export steel to? Do you see the UAE RAK Steel was recently awarded the highly esteemed
achieve self sufficiency in steel? CARES Certificate of Approval. The Certification Authority
RAK Steel has exported to Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. For for Reinforcing Steel based in UK is an impressive
construction steel UAE will soon be self sufficient as many projects accreditation recognized all over the world. RAK received
are on the anvil. the award for 2 grades BS4449 2005, B500B and 2nd grade
is BS4449 1997, Grade 460B for sizes 10-32 millimetres.
What is the demand for deformed steel reinforcement bars in the UAE?

We, The People

The world’s largest manufacturer of float glass, mirrors and fabricated glass
products, Guardians RAK brings to RAK its own philosophy of success

in his own way. Right from colour coding to the GCC, India, Australia, Africa but the core
to landscaping, office décor, work spaces et clientele is from the Middle East.
al, it really is the MD’s vision all the way. Of Is it feasible to ship glass to countries that
course, some basics of design have to be are not located nearby? “Yes of course, our con-
maintained. tainers go all the way to Australia too,” he adds.
The company also maintains high stand- And he hopes that RAK port would soon begin
ards of self-awareness and consultation. “We operations since the cost of inland transport
have an open door policy here. Anyone with could be saved. The glass is shipped to other
a work or related problem, can walk in and countries through the Jebel Ali port right now.
discuss it with us,” he adds. Guardian Industries began as the Guardian Glass Company
No wonder, it is the largest manufac- in 1932 making windshields for the automotive industry
ture of float glass, mirrors and fabricated and later moved on with the float glass business. It is one
glass products in the world. Guardian RAK of the world’s largest manufacturers of float glass and
produces 700 tons of glass per day, used in fabricated glass products and manufactures and supplies
construction and automotive applications. the automotive industry with a variety of exterior products,
GS Raju, General Manager, Guardian Zoujaj The facility employs nearly 300 people and is a significant player in the building materials distribution
international Float Glass Co LLC has generated approximately 1,000 ad- business and is the world’s largest producer of mirrors.

He could be a life coach dazzling peo-

ple with his power of knowledge
and discipline but he chooses to let his work
ditional jobs in related supplier and logistics
industries. “This is our first year of coater
operation and our goal is to produce 25000
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the privately held
Guardian Industries group of companies has over 19,000
employees worldwide in 21 countries across 5 continents.
do the talking. GS Raju, General Manager, tons of glass. Eventually our capacity coater

Guardian Zoujaj international Float Glass Co shall produce 50,000 tons /year,” adds Raju. “Recruit the right
“Recruit right
LLC, “Guardian RAK” that produces glass for With an environmental policy back
construction and automotive applications, in 1993 that has full compliance with all people and let them
people them do
has been part of the company for the past relevant environmental laws and regula- their jobs”
their job”
15 years. Because its value based philoso- tions; Guardian products reduce the harmful
phy was extremely compatible to his own effects man can have on the planet. The William Davidson
set of rules about work ethics. “Arrogance, plant produces high-performance coated President Guardian Glass
irresponsibility and self pride are misfits with glass products, including SunGuard, Guard-
Guardian and we recruit people who make ian’s line of advanced architectural glass,
things happen. We base our ideology on following installation of a high-tech coating
values like discipline, integrity, honesty and machine. “Our main objective for 2009 is to
compatibility,” he says. launch our expansion coater, get it out in
Each unit of Guardian (they have 55), the market,” he adds. The coater is aesthetic
has its own culture. Whenever a new plant and though expensive than ordinary glass,
is built the organisation identifies the MD can save a lot of energy and is a solar per-
and gives him the levy to design the space formance glass,” he states. His clients belong

Desert Paraphernalia
Camel races and horse safaris are fun, so are colourful animal accessories !


Touch of glass
The use of glass in tableware is cultural to the UAE

It is a subtle way to tell your guests that

you are classy and ‘with it’. And who
doesn’t want to be associated with good
Middle East and Africa,” he states naming
India and China as their competitors. As
for the Middle East, the location at RAK is
bars and to companies like Coca Cola
that have a high volume exclusivity with
their products. Or with Kraft to create their
taste? No wonder glassware is much closest to their markets. “The Middle East mayonnaise glass pots.
sought after in this house-proud region. consists of 80 per cent of our market, India The hotel industry is a major buyer and
And high-end glassware is a souvenir to and Africa are 10 per cent each,” he states sources beverage glasses, water glasses
showcase to guests and family. Women adding that they have many centres in et al.“Glasses manufactured for the hotel
of the UAE love glassware and often have China and Europe as well. industry are different. They have to have
several sets of it. Glass is classy since it is “Glass cannot be shipped long distances thin rims(that denote sophistication) and
transparent and showcases the food served because of its fragility. So it helps us if we have to break less for functionality,” he
in it beautifully. Opaque tableware doesn’t have a base near our distribution centres. adds.
have the same effect, state. Bart Muller, And we can use roads for transport,” he Is there any specific reason people in
CEO of the International Division of Arc adds. this region use glass other than its snob
International. Muller is all praise for HH Sheikh Saud value?
Luminarc, Arc International’s brand, as bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and “The use of glass is culturally related.
the name suggests lights up your table Deputy Ruler of RAK and Dr Khater Masaad,
with well made glassware. Its parent CEO of Rakia.“ HH Sheikh Saud is a hands-on
company Arc International took over RAK ruler and is very close to the people of his
glass some time ago and since then RAK Emirate and understands his investors. Dr
has been a base for them. “The RAK Glass Masaad, on the other hand is an inspiration
factory had been part of RAK Porcelain. to everyone and helps solve out problems,”
38 When we took over, we had an existing he adds.

Founded in
in the
the French
French town
1825, ARC
ARC International
International has
the Durand
Durand family since
since 1916
infrastructure already and built a new Do they do customised table ware or
factory,” he states. take specific orders from a chosen few. “No,
Are there any locational advantages of we cannot, since we are a big factory and
being in RAK? “From a production point of cannot cater to small orders,” he states.
view, from energy and labour costs RAK The group caters to consumer channels
is the perfect location for us. We use this that take their products to supermarkets
facility to supply to the markets in India, like Carrefour and Lulu, to restaurants and
People in this region prefer their sulaimanis
in glass since it showcases the colour of the
drink,” he says. Of course one cannot miss Bart Muller, CEO of the International Division of ARC International worked
the comfort of sipping a bubbly or a fizzy with Phillips before he took over the RAK branch. While he has been with
drink out of a glass. Glass pervades our life
and our culinary habits so much that it is
this company for two years and lead ARC in Asia, India, Africa and the
usually difficult to imagine hotels or homes Middle East, a major part of his previous job had an uncanny association
without glasses for various occasions. with glass and light.“I was with Phillips for 15 years in Germany and
So, are the glass designs, region specific?
Paris is where Arc International’s design
Austria in guess what? The lighting section,” he states. Luminarc’s tagline
intelligence is located and that office happens to be ‘illuminating your table.’
decides on the specific designs for the
Middle East. “Colours are an expression of a
culture and this market has a penchant of
colour,” he adds. since the earth will take it back. It needs a current drop in sales since consumers are
Is there any raw material sourced less energy to produce and is friendlier holding back at adding that extra tableware
locally? “Sand is an integral part of the glass than plastic or any other material. In fact, in set given the current situation. But we shall
industry but no, we cannot use the sand Europe, we have started a campaign for the be building a new furnace that will double
of this region. It is sourced from Jordan eco friendly nature of Arc,” he adds. the current capacity of production,” he adds.
and Egypt. The rest of the raw material, What about expansion? “There has been
we produce ourselves since quality levels
have to be maintained,” he adds. Luminarc
is slowly getting into tableware decoration
as well with vases, jugs and food related
Muller states that glass does not cause
much harm to the environment. “Glass is
organic. It doesn’t add to ecological waste


Enterprising RAK
RAK Offshore is an entrepreneur’s paradise

Adding to the investment

climate of Ras al
Khaimah is RAK Offshore that is bridging RAK
RAK Offshore
Offshore helps
the gap between the regional and world-
wide offshore opportunities of business kick-start
kick-start businesses,
and financial companies that address the
needs of investors and investment profes-
in shorter durations
sionals in the Gulf, Middle East, Russia, CIS of
of time
RAK Financial City
countries, Europe and South Asia.
Be it offshoring companies, high net and owners the possibility to register their
worth individuals, family businesses, boats from anywhere in the world through
low profile companies, banks, insurance a rapid, secure and convenient registration
companies, fund management firms etc, system. This is in response to the booming
RAK Offshore benefits them in arious ways. leisure boat industry. From the berthing
It is strategically located on the crossroads port of a boat, RAK Offshore can handle
Peter Michael Schuster, GM RAK Offshore
of the East and the West, with access to the registration and surveying of the ves-
a market of over two billion people from Infrastructure wise, it shall have an inde- sel through licensed maritime surveyor
Morocco to China and from Russia to Af- pendent registrar of companies and boats companies. Anyone can apply through
rica. With modern telecommunication and to deal with incorporation and registra- the creation of a special IBC with the sole
transport infrastructure, well developed tion of all offshore corporate entities and objective of owning a yacht. A vessel like
road, air and transport facilities, no restric- marine vessels. a yacht is usually divided into 64 shares. To
tions on hiring manpower and high access The office space options will range be registered in RAK Offshore, a minimum
40 to a range of well qualified trained profes- from ready made offices available on a of 33 shares must be owned by the IBC of
sionals, RAK Offshore is a comprehensive leasehold or freehold basis to freehold RAK Offshore. For more information, you
solution for a range of businesses. plots of land on which buyers can con- could log on to www.rakoffshore.ae.
Soon, the space shall see an upcoming struct office buildings to suit their taste Peter Michael Schuster, GM RAK
International Offshore Business Centre for and needs. Offshore, states that the RAK Offshore
non- resident entrepreneurs who need An independent financial services companies come through registered
an offshore location to conduct business authority will act as a regulatory and agents, law firms, business consultants
and outsource back office activities, an auditing body for RAK Offshore and all and chartered accountants
upcoming International Offshore Financial financial companies within it. The Financial As for the advantages, there are several
Centre. For offshore financial services Services Authority would be completely of them. “We help start businesses really
companies and finance professionals., also autonomous and will comply with all faster In fact, work gets done faster here
being planned, is a Financial City to house international and local regulations on AML than in other places. If other places take
the offices of RAK Offshore as well as and CTF. two weeks, we work in less than two
offshore businesses and financial services In the near future, RAK Offshore will hours. This helps kick-start businesses, in
companies that domicile in RAK Offshore. also grant sailing and yachting amateurs shorter durations of time,” he adds.
Over the last 33 years UCC
contributed to the growth of
the U.A.E. with its high quality
cement and customer care.

UCC shall continue cementing

the growth with its bigger
capacity in future.


PO Box 170, Ras Al Khaimah
United Arab Emirates
E-mail: uccrak@eim.ae
Tel: +971 7 266 8166, Fax: +971 7 266 8635

The emirate is slowly becoming the new celebrity hub
A Bollywood superstar’s first real estate project, a world renowned architect
waiting to build his dream academy and an international tennis sensation
who will coach students at his own island tennis resort – Ras Al Khaimah
has turned its sights towards the world of glitz and glamour. And there is no
looking back.

The Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard

Bollywood superstar
Shah Rukh
Khan is a co investor in a project called the
Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard

Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard, a Dh8 billion

project stretching to 3 million sq ft, that is
42 coming up in the Dana Islands. The island
that has 63 kms of shoreline shall have the
SRK Boulevard, a freehold area that would
have 7kms of seashore development,
apart from modern residences like
specially designed studios, one and two
bedroom apartments and townhouses.
“I have not merely lent my name
to this project, but am well aware of
all its nuances right from its design to “I“Ihave
have notnot merely
merely lent
lent my
my name
conception,” says King Khan as he is to
this project
project but am
am well
well aware
popularly known in India. Tony Ashai,
the celebrity architect has designed of
all its
its nuances
nuances right
right from
the project and it is being built by TSA
real estate in conjunction with Master
design to to conception,”
Planners Consultants FZ LLC. “I have had complexes spread across 6.3 million sq ft.
a fascination for homes. When I came to With a penchant for healthy living
Mumbai from Delhi, my first investment by which he means, people have a life
was a home. And the home where I live dedicated to outdoors, exercises as well as
now too is very special to me. It is the safety of their children, SRK feels that his
place where I really turn to myself, tuck my fetish for living spaces has made him turn
children to bed and unwind. So, you can developer. “People, who come to our home
say that the SRK Boulevard is an extension Mannat in Mumbai, feel that it is different
of my dreams to be an architect. In many and a little whacky and weird. A home
ways then, you could call me a frustrated reflects us. It is an extension of ourselves
architect who is now getting to build his and that is what we have tried to do with
dream project,” adds Khan. The project is the Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard. It shall have
scheduled to see completion in 2012 and an actual boulevard, an underwater disco
shall become part of the larger, high quality and an underwater corridor connecting to
living environment of Dana Island which a lounge,” he says. Shah Rukh often felt that
will eventually house several world class the sea shore is pretty active during the
hotels, a shopping centre and commercial day and not during the night. So, the place
will have an open air
theatre by the sea that
will get active by night
time. There too, there
will be no sound, since
people who want to
watch films can rent a Dr Khater Massad Executive Chairman RAKEEN,
Shafi Tofic, President of TSA group with SRK
blue tooth and watch
the films without President of TSA Group also organised
disturbing others. Temptations Reloaded, SRK’s performance
The SRK Boulevard with leading Bollywood stars recently to
shall have the Shah promote the SRK Boulevard.
Rukh Khan signature Dr Khater Massad, Executive Chairman
Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan briefing H.H.Sheikh Saud about
Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard towers where residents Rakeen, states that developments like
will not know which floor they are living the Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard will help
in. And how is that done? “Each apartment sustain growth in the property market
at the SRK signature towers shall have as they bring in more variety, star power
its own elevator. So when you enter the and investment. “Pro active legislations
place, you’ve to actually enter the elevator and progressive policies on property
that takes you to that apartment. That is development and ownership have helped
how exclusive we have made it,” states
RAK to evolve as the region’s preferred
architect Tony Ashai who feels that since destination,” he states.
the boulevard is made by a creative person, The project shall be launched in
it will reflect his sense of design. Shafi Tofic, February 2009, according to the TSA Group.

The project
project isis scheduled
completion in in
2012 and shall
shall become
quality living
living environment
will eventually houseseveral
eventually house severalworld
aa shopping centre
centreand andcommercial
spread across 6.3
spread across 6.3million
World renowned celebrity
Tony Ashai Design Academy architect Tony Ashai founded
his Los Angeles-based

ony Ashai’s upcoming Design design firm Ashai Design
academy at RAK will be partnered Corporation with his brother,
with RAK Ed. “The academy is my Arthur Ashai, to provide
dream and His highness Sheikh Saud Bin clients with exceptional
Saqr al Qassimi has been very encouraging creativity, design sense and
about it. He even took me in his helicopter style. Over the years, Ashai
to see his Emirate. He is extremely Design has grown into one
foresighted and enterprising,” states of Southern California’s
Ashai. He feels that the academy shall prominent architectural
devote itself to design since he feels that firms for luxury estates and
there is a serious dearth or deficiency in villas and encompasses
design education in the world. “It will be of master planning, interiors
international standards and the curriculum and landscape design
is being designed right now. To let you in internationally. Several
to some ideas, it shall have a panel of world Hollywood and Bollywood
renowned experts design its curriculum. stars and artists are his
For instance, I am planning to rope in the clients. Some of his prestigious
likes of pianist David Benva,” he adds. Ashai projects have been master
Tony Ashai
already has designed the Santorini project planning for 5 world islands
on the Al Marjan islands. a public square in a beach. Ashai believes in Dubai, Dubai Lifestyle City
With a passion for public squares and that spaces can make you happy as well and Tiger Woods villas.
watching human behavior. Ashai’s own as sad. “Quite like music that can make you
academy is sure to reflect his approach morose or elated, spaces too generate that want to continue and further their art but
to design. “I believe that Italy is the seat energy about them. They can make you feel cannot, due to lack of funds or support. The
of architecture and public squares in Italy bigger or smaller, claustrophobic or open. Ashai Foundation aims to support them,”
hence have been my topic of research and Which is why, space planning is extremely he states. And will his celebrity clientele
interest. I noticed that some squares were important. People are happier in well- involve themselves in the process. “For sure.
hubs of activity and some weren’t. So, I planned spaces,” he states. Many of my celebrity friends are charitable
sought out to seek why and came up with Ashai is also gathering funds in the UAE and want to make sure that the cause they
a list of things. When I build my structures, I for the Ashai Foundation that will raise donate for is a noble one and something
keep this in mind for sure,” he adds. The SRK money for scholarships for ‘starving artists’ that is authentic too. So, some of them will
Boulevard too is a contemporary version of worldwide. “Over the world, a lot of artists surely be a part of it,” he adds.

The academy
academy will
standards and
prominent artists,
musicians and
designers will
will create

Tony Ashai’s `Santorini project at RAK

Boris Becker Beach Resort and Tennis Academy

Shaped like a turtle,
turtle, the
Boris Becker Beach Resort and Academy
academy is valued
valued at
at Dh3
tennis sensation Boris Becker, who is
includes premier
includes premier holiday
turning co-investor and partner with ACI 10,000 residences
10,000 residences
Real Estate is coming up with the Boris
Becker Beach Resort and Tennis Academy Aimed at global investors in the top end An aerial view of the massive project tells
at the Al Marjan Islands, a 20 hectare master holiday homes segment, the place will offer the story of the sea turtle noted in folklore
development that shall have more than a buy-to-use and lease option and will be for its longevity and resilience, nestling
10, 0000 residences. Shaped like a turtle, powered in part by solar energy. Becker is peacefully off the RAK island shores. Using
the resort and academy is valued at Dh3 50 per cent partner and will co manage the latest in membrane design, the academy
billion and includes premier holiday homes, the project assisted by long time friend and will be housed within what would be the
a world class luxury resort, spa facilities and fellow German Davis cup team partner Eric ‘shell’ of the turtle. Robin Lehmann, MD of
a five star hotel along with a world class Jelen. Becker will also offer personal training ACI Real Estate states that the design of the
tennis academy. Strategically located at sessions to a select few and handpicked project is inspired by RAK’s natural landscape
the entrance of the Al Marjan Islands, the from across the globe to ensure the ‘Becker as a marine community. Achim Bullinger, CEO
resort and academy sprawls over 2.5 million way’ is well observed and young talent Middle East Vision, the developer states that
sq ft land and offers a rare dual ocean carefully groomed. The Academy will the project has been planned to integrate
front advantage, with the estate stretching feature six tennis courts with rebound-ace the different needs of holiday makers and
from one end of the isle’s shore to another. surfaces. long term residents.

Survival of the fittest

“The crunch will filter those who can really survive.”

Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi, MD RAK Properties

RAK Properties is a Public Joint Stock Company formed with the support of the RAK government to
oversee development of real estate, tourism and leisure facilities in Ras Al Khaimah. Founded under
the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras
Al Khaimah, RAK Properties aims to maximize shareholders’ value through its development projects
in the coastal and inland areas of RAK. With a sound capital of Dh2 billion, the company’s founders,
including the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, hold 45 per cent while the remaining 55 per cent is
held by the public.The Initial Public Offering (IPO) of RAK Properties in 2005 was over-subscribed by
almost 57 times. In its mission to lead the development of real estate and tourism infrastructure in
Ras Al Khaimah, RAK Properties aims to attract foreign investors of repute to launch state-of-the-art
projects, including luxurious hotels, resorts, malls and industrial facilities. Currently RAK Properties has
some projects in Abu Dhabi as well as RAK. Mohammed Sultan Al Qadi, MD, RAK Properties, answers
a few questions.

RAK Properties has sufficient capital to

hat is the profile of your How has RAK Properties worked out its fund operations for the intermediate term
investor? way through the current credit crunch? and has not yet been required to raise
Traditionally investors can be RAK Properties has no debt and, as per debt financing.
broken down into 3 broad categories: 1. its publicly released audited financial With this correction happening, we are
The speculator – who never intends on statements, has approximately Dh700 still on the ground, executing our plans as
46 staying on or holding on to the property million of cash-on-hand. Therefore, well as hunting for future opportunities.
for a longer period. This type usually resells although the credit crunch is adversely The market is filled with developers (big
/ flips the property before completion. 2. affecting both local individuals and and small) and we believe this crunch will
The long term Investor plans to hold on businesses, it is important to note that filter out those who can really survive.
to the property with the view of capital
growth and rental returns after completion
of the project. 3. The end buyer who buys
property for personal use. Even though RAK
RAK Properties
Properties has
has no
no debt
we have no empirical evidence here of
the vast majority of our buyers linked to its
its publicly
publicly released
released audited
categories 2 and 3, end buyers would be statements,
statements, has approximately
the vast majority of middle class. They
need a property that is completed to allow of
of cash
cash in
in hand
them to move in or use immediately along
with finance suited to their needs.
What has been the response from buyers
in the current scenario?
We believe that the slowdown in real
estate market is not only inevitable but
necessary to ensure the sustainability of
the market. Buyers at this temporary
stage are a bit nervous, with
expectations that prices will go down. It
is not just a matter of liquidity but more
importantly trust and faith which needs
to be restored.

Tell us about the type of projects

coming up in Mina al Arab that will
contribute to RAK as an investment and
tourism destination?
Due to its distinctive position and rich
natural beaches and waterfronts (unlike
the man-made projects), the flagship
Mina Al Arab project is expected to be
one of the unique projects not only
in Ras Al Khaimah but in UAE and the
whole of Gulf . Therefore we think it will
play a vital role in attracting tourists and
investor as clearly noticed now through
the full occupancy of the RAK hotels
around the year.
all loans to all developers, including RAK and its behaviour. We have many projects
How have your projects in RAK and Abu Properties to be announced in the right time in the
Dhabi been received post Cityscape? What are your future projects and when future as most of them being reviewed to
The reaction of the market varies from are they likely to take shape? make sure of their legal and contractual and
one place to another, but overall, we The management keeps reviewing its marketing aspects. Our announced current
noticed the interest to slow down. planned projects while watching the market projects are proceeding well as planned.
Customers are focussing on completed
projects. Distinctive
With distinctive
and rich
and rich
and 47
What are the investment opportunities waterfronts
and waterfronts
the man-made
offered by RAK Properties? the
the flagship Mina
Mina AlAlArab
expectedis expected
to be one to
Since inception, RAK Properties used
to approach investment opportunities be
of the
one unique
of the projects
unique projects
not only not
in Ras
Al in
Ras Al
carefully. The company has multiple
investment opportunities being
but in UAEbut
in the
and the
regionGulf region
discussed with those interested from
time to time.

Which are the financial institutions that

work alongside RAK Properties?
We have agreements with HSBC, NBAD,
Amlak & CBI Bank. Amlak has suspended

Keen on Development
Rakeen creating iconic projects
Ras Al Khaimah’s private joint stock company, Rakeen Development, is keen to
enhance the emirate’s natural wealth of the deserts, seas and the mountains
through various developmental projects. Architecturally unique and set to
be landmarks for the emirate, the projects include Al Marjan Island, Bab Al
Bahr and Banyan Tree Resort. Reiterating HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassimi,
Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah’s vision on creating favorable

Bab Al Bahr
business, work and living conditions – in short sustainable growth - Rakeen has
more than 20 projects in all – inside RAK and internationally in Georgia, Iran,
Congo, Kyrgyzstan, India, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan,
Tanzania, etc. These projects comprise building projects as well as land banks.
The resort destination on the
entrance of Al Marjan Island
– Bab Al Bahr - will create the ideal home
spoilt for choice with a 360 degree
sea view and majestic landscaping
that includes exotic gardens, open
that offers 832 freehold apartments in 6 private beach fronts and themed
buildings, a hotel of international standard, swimming-pools. The ownership of
retail and office space in a cosmopolitan office space will be under the free
setting. Residents at Bab Al Bahr will be zone trade license conditions, while

the residential ownership will be 100 per cent freehold.

The neighborhood of Bab Al Bahr is spruced up with a
sprawling golf course, in addition to hotels and resorts,
schools and hospitals of international repute. Bab Al
Bahr redefines the Ras Al Khaimah lifestyle in ways that
people from different nationalities and cultures will truly
48 appreciate.

Al Marjan Islands
The first man-made island project to be developed in RAK, the
Al Marjan Island, consists of a cluster of a peninsula and 4
coral-shaped islands, which extends over 2.7 million m2 of reclaimed
land, reaching 4.5km into the sea. It is designed to become a haven of
luxurious living and a world class leisure destination that will comprise
of waterfront homes, hotels, resorts, leisure facilities and commercial
areas. While creating the island, Rakeen has not resorted to ‘hostile
dredging’ but used surface fill with coarse earth material. Over two
Al Marjan Islands
Banyan Tree
Another very special and unique
development by Rakeen
is Banyan Tree Al Wadi, an exclusive Arabian Desert
resort with 31 luxury tented pool villas and 70 block
pool villas. One million m2 desert in its pure form
will provide the real orient adventure experience.
A diverse range of outdoor attractions like camel &
horse stations and a falcon center will captivate the
visitors on a journey through pristine Arabic cultural
heritage and traditions. For indulgence in relaxation
and wellness treatments, Banyan Tree Resort will
offer an unrivaled royal spa complex with a yoga &
hydrotherapy center and health club. Fully equipped
conference & seminar facilities and sumptuous dining
outlets complement this desert paradise. Banyan Tree
Resort is the perfect getaway for peaceful, inspiring
tranquility in a romantic oasis combining surpassing
luxury and amenities with a breathtaking surrounding
of pure nature. Banyan Tree Resort Al Wadi is due to
open in summer 2009.


million pieces of natural rock were cautiously

and carefully laid one at a time for building
essential breakwaters, instead of utilizing
concrete ripraps that are visually unacceptable
and naturally unwelcoming to marine life. This
has resulted in generating a home to marine life
over more than 400,000m2 of rock. These will
also, in the long term, attract coral life and help
a reef formation, giving birth to a new ‘natural’
wonder in RAK and a breathtaking underwater
paradise unique to the Arabian Gulf.

Ecology in Practice
With solar lighting systems and rainwater harvesting RAK Uniestate strikes an
ecological chord . Alexandra Andres, Manager, Marketing and Sales, Uniestate, RAK,
spoke to Ras Al Khaimah Today

treatment plant, stormwater drainage

What are the features of Yasmin village and the use of solar lighting systems.
and the properties in RAK handled by Water from the minimal rain fall is
Uniestate? going to be collected through rain
UniEstate has many projects namely harvesting and will be used to water
Yasmin Village, Yasmin Tower, Orchid the landscaped area.
Tower, Yasmin Town, Yasmin Residency
in Bulgaria as well as asset based Rose What is the USP of your project?
Building Rif’a Villas and Al Zahra Complex. The USPs of UniEstate’s projects start
Yasmin Village is one of the large projects with the vision of our Chairman, HH
in Ras Al Khaimah and is ideally located Sheikh Tariq Al Qassimi, that is “ to
between the sea and the mountains. be a leader in providing turnkey real
It is five minutes away from the Golf estate management solutions through
Cub and the site extends to 4.8 million commitment in providing excellent
square feet land for a built up area of Alexandra Andres, Manager, Marketing and Sales, services and delivering development
2.2 million square feet. With a ratio of Uniestate, RAK projects that bring new standard of
53 per cent landscaped to 47 per cent buildings, villas and terraced apartments, quality with lower than market prices
built up area and a lake of about 250,000 a community club with swimming and endure sustainable relationship with
square feet in the centre, it is generous pool, fitness centre and a few chosen customers and investors alike to achieve
and open spaced. The project is lowrise retail shops. Yasmin Village is also an superior value”.
with ground + 4-5 storey apartment eco-friendly project with a sewerage Location is a prime USP to achieve this

vision. This approach takes us beyond prosperous future that could carry Ras Al external factors like the financing situation
the developer status to being master Khaimah safely through tumultuous times. that might slow down developments or
developers on some of our projects as As developers, we are grateful for this falling prices in neighbouring emirates,
we conceptualise first and then go into long-term vision and the support it brings but especially distress sales that give a
a project, handling all the phases in to realise our own goals. negative image of the market in general.
between from the layouts to the finishing. Sentiment is the key issue at the moment
The purpose is to ensure the end-user’s Do you see a slump in the current mar- and news about sales happening at
benefits. This orientation, to offer valuable ket? How are you combating it? much lower than market prices tend to
packages to end users and investors alike, There is no denial that, with the current make investors nervous about the trend.
brings us to the economical location worldwide economic down-turn, the It is vital to see that these exceptional
of our projects, as an extra benefit. To real estate market has become slower. prices are single cases and that sooner
achieve this extra benefit for our clients, Nonetheless, RAK is a different story than or later they will disappear. To us as a
we tie up with partners who can offer an other emirates and though it is not left developer, it is important that, regardless,
economical platform. unscathed, no comparison or generality we are delivering, constructing and
Ambience is another major USP can be made. RAK has its own economy even launching new projects like Yasmin
with our projects being located on and its growth relies on different factors Residency in Bulgaria. Real Estate is a
the outskirts of the town. In gated such as commercial activity, tourism and secure medium to longterm investment
communities with lush landscaping in population growth. For the real estate and since our projects are targeting
beautiful natural surroundings, we focus sector, this means less speculators and end-users and longterm investors we
on the quality of life attractive to families more genuine demand. The population are confident of our future and we will
with children too. For those favouring has been growing constantly since five continue to grow with our clientele.
business hubs, we located Yasmin Tower years to reach 250,000 inhabitants today.
and Orchid Tower in the economical The expected population size by 2020 What are your new projects?
district of RAK in the vicinity of the is 750,000. Currently, despite numerous Value for money is what we are offering,
Economic Department, and the Exhibition housing units already being delivered, so for our projects, we are mainly looking
Centre, to name a few. there is an expected shortage of 20,000 at emerging markets where there is a
housing units with growing tendency high potential for growth. Under way we
What is the profile of your investor? reflecting population growth. have projects in Ras Al Khaimah, Bulgaria,
The majority of our investors are end- The tourism sector is also on the Ethiopia and Jordan namely Orchid Tower,
users and longterm investors with a small upside with five hotels to be delivered this Yasmin Village - The Villas, Yasmin Town
amount of speculators. They are from year, like Banyan Tree, adding 500 rooms and Yasmin Residency to be launched in
multicultural societies like GCC, other Arab for the blooming tourism industry. March.
countries, Europe, Asia, Russia and Iran. The influence of the crisis lies more on

What motivates people to buy

property in RAK?
Investors who come to RAK are those
who recognised the opportunities and
the long term potential of the emirate.
Property development, comes before
development of the location itself. The
vision of HH Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al
Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler
of Ras Al Khaimah, is most definitely
at the origin of the local, national and
international interest. By laying emphasis
on economic diversification starting with
infrastructure, followed by manufacturing
industries, tourism and real estate
development, the ground was laid to a

A hub of higher education

HH Sheikh Saud stated that the government would provide scholarships to
support George Mason University- RAK students. This was announced
when Stuart H. Mann, Dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration
at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) called upon him. The academic initiatives
undertaken by UNLV that is part of the GMU-RAK campus were lauded.

tobacco use
RAK College of Dental Sciences
hosted a one-day symposium
on ‘Tobacco and Oral Cancer.’ It was
organised in collaboration with
International Medical Sciences Academy
(IMSA) and UAE Association for Dental
Education and Research (UAEADER).
H.H. Sheikh Saud and Chancellor of RAK George Mason University students
Medical and Health Sciences University, GMU- RAK, established in 2005 under the initiative of Ras Al Khaimah Education
inaugurated the International Medical Company is the first full branch campus of an American university in the UAE and
Sciences Academy Conference, 2008 and currently offers six undergraduate degree programmes. ‘Instead of just being a teaching
the symposium that targeted medical, institution, we want faculty who are doing research that relates to the public and private
dental practitioners and health care sector. In this context we are going to select some areas to do research, like public policy
workers in the UAE. International and local or science and technology, that has relevance to the country and the society,” President
speakers from UK, India, Pakistan and UAE of GMU, Alan Merten stated. In addition to its focus on bachelor’s,
participated in the event. master’s and Ph.D programmes, GMU- RAK is planning to get deeply
involved in the area of continuing education.

of R
rich na

The Environment Protection and Development Authority,
one of the partners backing ‘Enviro-Spellathon’ - a
highly successful schools environmental education programme,
of the rich natural habitat of the UAE as well as local and global
conservation issues. Dr. Nejib Zaafrani, Managing Director for
Shell Abu Dhabi one of the sponsors said: “The message that the
has been launched for the academic year 2008-2009 in schools Enviro-Spellathon programme delivers is very simple, yet very
across five emirates in the UAE including RAK. The programme, powerful: ‘our environment is important to all of us’. Imbedding
now in its eighth year, introduces an exciting new ‘Interactive environmental awareness into the minds and souls of our youth
Enviro-Spellathon’ for the first time, as an additional online is of extreme significance, not only to us as parents and teachers,
option for teachers, parents and pupils to enjoy. The aim of the but also to the future generations, who will face even bigger
programme is to increase children’s knowledge and awareness environmental challenges in the future.’

Blessed with Rainfall

Agriculture thrives in Ras al Khaimah due to its conducive weather


Sculpting Excellence
Dr Gurumadhava Rao,Vice Chancellor of RAKMHSU, is
resolved to create quality health care professionals for
the UAE and the world outside
“All of
of us need aa caring
doctor who understands
understandsour ourproblem,
diagnoses our illness
illness and
medical treatment”
Dr Gurumadhava Rao, Vice Chancellor,
and compassionate, understands your and honesty and expect that from my

“What kind of doctor would

you want to go to when
you fall sick?” asks Dr Gurumadhava Rao,
problem, diagnoses your illness and
provides you suitable medical treatment,”
he continues. And Dr Rao, is resolved to
students as well. These qualities go a long
way in any profession,” he states.
RAKMHSU has three investors. Firstly
Vice Chancellor of the Ras al Khaimah create a battery of doctors who will stand the RAK government, represented by HH
Medical and Health Sciences University. A out among the rest with all these qualities. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, who has
question, he often asks parents of probable With 29 years of experience behind him provided land to its existing new campus,
students and students who come inquiring in one of India’s premier institutes Manipal Mr Salaluddin from ETA Star and Essa al
about the various medical courses at University, Dr Rao arrived in RAK when he Ghurair.
RAKMHSU and the quality of teaching. was offered the position at the RAKMHSU. The new RAKMHSU building is a state
“Naturally, to someone who is caring “I am very particular about discipline of the art facility that extends to an area

of 10.2 acres and is well landscaped. The
University building extends to 60,000 sq
ft and the total built up area extends to
250,000 sq ft. It is a G + 3 floor structure
with all facilities that include medical,
nursing and pharmacy colleges. It has 10
lecture halls, around 10 labs, including the
clinical skills lab, rooms for small group
discussions, a very big library containing
5000 books and 1000 online journals. The
University also has a sprawling auditorium
that has 650 seating capacity.
“We have strength of 230 students
across 30 nationalities in our five
programmes that include Medical, Dental,
Pharmacy and Nursing. In Nursing, we staff members,” he adds. discussing, tolerate other’s mistakes and
have the BSc programme as well as the The curriculum encourages problem develop a good team spirit,” he adds. The
Bridge programme where diploma holders solving. There are sessions where students faculty also undergoes teacher training
in Nursing can upgrade their diplomas to are split up into groups of 8-10 and programmes. The University conducts
degrees. Our staff consists of 103 faculties given a problem to solve. The teacher is Institutional Research Surveys about
out of which 60 are full time lecturers and the facilitator who guides the students. performance of the faculty and regular
professors. We also have 35 non-teaching Through this exercise, students gets student assessment too.

Superior Healthcare
Saqr Hospital
With a well endowed
landscape, open spaces
and fresh air, RAK is the
perfect centre for major
Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah
and the Dubai-based ETA Star Healthcare. A
sprawling complex with a built-up area of

Ras al Khaimah has both, public

and multi- speciality hospitals
devoted to premium healthcare in the
non citizens of both sexes. A remarkable
increase was noticed in the number of
surgical operations by 11.5 per cent in 2007
140, 000 sq. ft. on three levels, RAK Hospital
offers a range of premium rooms. It has
a capacity of 65 beds, a number that will
emirate. According to the Statistical compared to 2006, while the number of eventually go up to 100. Of these, eight are
Year Book – 2008, from the Economic lab tests increased by 13.6 per cent in 2007 in the Intensive Care Unit, six in the nursery
Department, Ras al Khaimah, the number of over 2006.The number of vaccinations and four in the NICU. The Hospital has 22
public hospitals in 2007 were three (Saqr, made in protective medicine against Out Patient Clinics with state-of-the-art
Seif bin Ghabbah and Shaam) with beds hepatitis, cholera, meningitis, typhoid fever, accident and emergency services. It also
totalling 480 and 261 doctors and dentists. yellow fever and others increased from houses a 24-hour pharmacy and cafeteria. A
The nursing staff totalled to 605 nurses 5494 to 5651 vaccination cases. strategic contractual tie-up for professional
and the number of government primary RAK Hospital, is an advanced secondary support and partnership for operational
medical care centres were 18 centres care multispecialty hospital, promoted management of the hospital has been
58 with 64 doctors. Medical technicians and by Arabian Healthcare. It is a joint venture made with a leading Switzerland based
non medical organisation members in between the Government of Ras Al healthcare company, Sonnenhof Swiss
government hospitals totalled to 1,329. The Khaimah, under the aegis of His Highness Health Ltd.
total number of patients visiting hospitals Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Crown
and medical centres increased to 22182
patients during 2007, recording an increase RAK Hospital
of 4.43 percent compared to 2006. The
number of private pharmacies increased
by 11 per cent upto 61 pharmacies in 2007
compared to 55 pharmacies in 2006. The
number of cases treated in government
clinics amounted to 430,657 cases for new
and recurrent cases of different diseases
including 76 per cent of cases for citizens
of both sexes and 24 per cent of cases for

Leisure Destination
Fill your bags with a scintillating list of goodies from the newly
opened Al Hamra Mall

architecture, an array of international
Village, the mall complements the overall
ambience of the surroundings and blends
into it subtly. The mall’s exterior glass walls
retail outlets, a melange of stores and that begin right up from the ground, add
good joints plus a strategic location a dash of modernity to the mall. Also the
to attract locals and expatriates to the exterior colours depict desert tones that
region, the opening of the Al Hamra are quite unique to the natural hues of
Mall has been long awaited. Dr Khater RAK landscape. Put together, the mall, with
Massaad, Chairman of RAK Real Estate, all its aesthetic qualities is well suited to
developer of the Mall says, “We are very the everyday shopping and recreational
excited about Al Hamra Mall which will needs of people of the UAE. It has a central
be added to the collection of family location too. It is strategically located in the
destinations in Ras Al Khaimah.” Al Jazeera Al Hamra area that is central to
The mall which is located in Al the major developments in Ras al Khaimah.
Hamra Village opposite RAK Ceramics Easily accessible from Dubai since the drive
boasts 38,000 sq meters of prime retail from the Emirates road takes about 45
Firoz Majid
spaces. “As a major attraction for the minutes, the mall has already seen an influx
European tourists frequenting RAK, Firoz A. Majid, Mall Manager, Al Hamra
we wanted to capture the drama and Mall speaks to RAK Today
romance of a Middle Eastern Bazaar What are the unique features of the
with rich details, colourful lanterns, Al Hamra mall in terms of location,
60 glimmering mosaic tiles, fountains but architecture and design?
with contemporary twist” says Medardo The mall is a fine blend of Arabic heritage
Cadiz, CEO of Cadiz International that architecture and contemporary design.
has designed the mall. Quite like its precincts, the Al Hamra

As aa major
major attraction
frequenting RAK,
RAK, wewe wanted
and romance
romance ofof aa Middle
details, colourful
colourful lanterns,
fountains but with
fountains with contemporary
ItIt isis strategically
strategically located
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera Al Hamra
Hamra area
central to the major
central major developments
in Ras
in Ras al Khaimah
of visitors from other emirates.
Also, if you happen to come from the
Umm Al Qwain road to RAK, the Al Hamra shopping complex, which comprises of What about infrastructure around the mall
mall is the first mall to greet you. organized staff, staff from the management and parking?
to maintenance levels, all of who are The mall is futuristic in every sense of the
How big is the mall and what is the dedicated to cater to the services of our term and as of now parking is available for
strength of your staff? increasing clientele. approximately 1000 cars. Al Hamra Mall is
The mall boasts 38,000 sq meters of The mall also has a food court with a part of Al Hamra Village development, which
prime retail spaces that houses the fantastic array of well known brands. comprises of townhouses duplexes, beach
Spinneys, Guess, Esprit, Adidas and other areas, a beautiful marina, an international
international brands. It is a two storeyed What is your client profile? 18 hole championship Golf Course and 2
While malls usually address a large variety Hotels, so it has excellent infrastructure. For a
of people, at the Al Hamra mall, we are lot of people who live in the Al Hamra Village
targeting the middle and higher end villas and residents, this is a 2nd home to
clientele. them.
What are the brands that will be part of How are you planning to promote the mall
the mall? in the various emirates?
We have a range of clientele ranging from The mall shall be promoted through various
Starbucks, Springfield, Giordano, Guess, popular print media, radio and magazines
Espirit, Spinneys, Burger King, Costa, G and outdoor media as well. Al Hamra Mall
2000, Bossini, Mothercare, Claires, Ajmal, offers an ambience that a visitor can shop
Fono, Betterlife, Adidas to name a few. The in peace and tranquillity. It has the right
mall also has a food court with a variety touch of sophistication and class. Our malls
of cuisine such as Burger King, London corridors are grandly built and aptly lit
Fish n’ Chips, Mary Brown, NY Fries, Rupee up. The entire feel is very welcoming. The
Room, Burger King et al. Al Hamra also vibrant hued dome area that is sprawling
offers Starbucks, Costa and Mug and Beans and covered with stain glass will be a centre
Coffee Shops of a lot of activities of the future.

A Heritage of Pearls
Nearly every roundabout in Ras al Khaimah depicts heritage aspects of the emirate.
The Pearl roundabout is a reminder of the UAE’s rich pearl diving and pearl trading history. The RAK
museum as well as museums of personal collectors are filled with priceless memorabilia that depict
aspects of pearl trading and pearl fishing from the times of yore. RAK was an important centre for the
global pearl trade till the 20th Century.


to the
Benoy Kurien, Mall Manager, Manar Mall
Aesthetic design, apt location, sprawling spaces and exciting
brands make Manar Mall a delightful landmark  

“In 1998, when I came here, the sea was being filled and the mall’s ground work
hadn’t started. The etisalat building and the bridge was there and the Hilton
hotel wasn’t occupied though it was ready. We had our office in the Iran Insurance
building and we moved to the site in 1999. In September 2000, the mall opened
Carrefour and in May 2001, it opened completely,” says Benoy Kurien, Mall Manager at
Manar Mall who has been with the group for a decade.  
The Crescent shaped mall that reflects the sun, sand and water is an early initiative of
HH Sheikh Saud and is extremely futuristic. “When it was built, the car park could hold
2200 cars. People joked that there were not that many number of cars in RAK but that
was an international standard and we stuck to it. Today with the increasing number of
clientele patenting the mall, as part of our expansion, we are building several levels of
car parks,” states Benoy. With corridors as wide as 13 metres, a panoramic promenade,
lots of skylight and every outlet visible from the centre of the mall, the structure em-
braces design, aesthetics and functionality at its best.
Intima card launched

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi (Right) and Mohammad Sultan Al-Qadi,
Manar Mall Chairman (Left) at the Intima award launch

Manar Mall recently launched its smart card based loyalty programme Intima, to ensure
that every customer gets full value for every dirham they spend in Manar Mall. You
could fill the enrolment form and submit it to the customer service counter or to the management
office or select partner outlets with a minimal enrolment fee and the card will be activated. The ready-
to use Intima card will be mailed to you within 24 hours. Simply shop at a partner outlet in the mall
and present your Intima card when you pay. They will reward your card with Manar Dirhams on your
card according to your purchase amount and the percentage stated in the loyalty programme guide.
One Manar Dirhams is equal to one UAE Dirham of additional shopping.

Envisioning RAK

Hospitality at its best

Leisure gets
gets a new meaning
RAK with

Welcome to RAK’s hospitable climate

66 Hilton beach resort

Having a natural advantage with its deserts, mountains, sea sides, hot water
springs and lush green landscape, the hotels and resorts at RAK, make the
most of the good seasons in the UAE. While several real estate projects have
got people to the emirate for tourism purposes as well as investing in leisure
homes, the hotels offer a great deal of luxury and lifestyle packages for
those raring to explore and unwind.

Khatt Springs hotel

Bin Majid Hotel

Desert Enclave

It is a tad uncommon to see people setting their professional goals in their early teens.
Pascal Eppink, General Manager of the Banyan Tree resorts at RAK was sure that the
hospitality industry was his forte when he was but 12- 13 years of age. “I used to get a
good feeling when I walked hotel corridors as a child and knew that’s where I wanted
to be,” says this Hollander.Three and a half years with the Banyan Tree group, Eppink
was in the Phuket office before his foray into Ras Al Khaimah, though he has been in
this region for six years with other groups. He spoke to RAK Today about the new desert
resort slated to open by Ramadan this year.
Pascal Eppink, General Manager,
Banyan Tree RAK

Tell us about the features of the upcoming How different would the resort be
landform of the surrounding environment). compared to other resorts in the region?
Banyan Tree desert resort?
The architecture emulates traditional RAK Banyan Tree has a unique integrated
Banyan Tree Al Wadi is the first integrated architecture and Arabic forms. Even the business model with full time design
luxury desert resort in the emirate that paint we have chosen for the resort is the and project management team. A team
offers all pool villas (including tented colour of the sand in the region. of specialist officers drawn from existing
68 villas), hydrotherapy spa treatments, beach Banyan Tree takes it brand name from hotels purely support its pre –openings as
club, adventures and activities amidst the tropical banyan tree known for its a centralised global marketing team. This
the spectacular Al Hajjar mountains. The strong and graceful image. The broad and enables the group to express the brand at
resort offers the beauty of the sprawling leafy foliage of the banyan tree evoked the every level of operations and throughout
desert which also features a 100 hectare image of shelter and retreat in a lush Asian the business model while adopting a
nature reserve and guests can indulge in rainforest. It has been a symbol of sanctuary holistic approach to innovation – from
pampering spa treatments at the award under which one finds peace of mind and physical product to guest experience. It
winning Banyan Tree Spa. internal harmony – the same elements allows innovation or new hotels to be
What are the architectural and retail upon which its hotels and resorts have rolled out faster than competition and
specifications of the project? flourished. enhance negotiating leverage with global
The resort follows a low key architectural What are the transport facilities to and fro wholesalers and business partners. Banyan
style to seem seamless with its natural the resort? Tree has also pioneered the tropical garden
settings (desert and natural colours, low We have facilities of a car, four wheel drive spa and pool villa concepts that come to
buildings forms and massing, placement a buggy within the resort grounds and define the tropical resort experience that
of facilities to merge with the natural camels as well as horses around the site. is proliferated in many resorts around the
What would be the sightseeing, adventure
tourism packages you would offer to
promote tourism in the region?
We will be developing activities that
are inspired by and/would accentuate our
guest’s experience at RAK. We are talking to
camel farms in the region that would help
arrange camel rides to the tourists. We are
also negotiating a large horse stable next
to the resort to serve the local community
because horse riding in the desert is a
beautiful experience.
How many restaurants would the resort
have and what kind of food would they
We shall offer the Saffron Asian Fusion
culinary delights. Apart from our other
facilities, we have planned an intimate
desert dining experience that would have
features such as towers, platforms, deserts,
excursions as well as Bedouin dining – that This
We adhere
enablestothe EIAgroup
to express
would be intimate, romantic and exotic. the
- that
is not
in foreign
of opera-
What are your efforts to preserve the flora
and fauna of the region? Which are the flora and
tions and fauna. The designing
throughout of
the business
animals that would be part of the reserve?
We give stringent importance and adhere
the resort
whileis done
with anature
to EIA requirements – that is, not to bring proach
natural toconditions.
innovation We’ll
– from
in foreign flora and fauna. The entire
designing of the resort will be done with
the product
to guest
Gaff experience
nature and natural conditions. We shall
enhance the landscape with species What are the future projects of Banyan have two in Abu Dhabi, three in Dubai,
endemic to the environment and shall be Tree in RAK as well as the other emirates two in Oman, one in Fujairah and one more
replacing the damaged Gaff trees – that are of the UAE? in RAK. They are named Banyan Tree Al
the national trees of the UAE. We shall also Currently we have one Banyan Tree resort Gurm and Angsana Abu Dhabi, Banyan Tree
be planting more Gaff trees and enhance in Bahrain and a city suites project in Dubai Meydan in Dubai, Banyan tree Al Sahab/
the environment. We shall have a falcon that is slated for full completion this year. Saraya islands in RAK, Banyan Tree Sifa
rehabilitation centre for hurt falcons and As for upcoming projects, we currently and Angsana Sifa in Oman, Banyan Tree
a snake specialist who will educate guests Marrakech in Morocco, Angsana Dead Sea
about the snakes in this region. in Jordan, Angsana Fujairah.
How have you involved locals in the
venture? Which are the countries you are targeting
We will be employing a significant in terms of tourists?
percentage of our associates from the local The primary market would come from
community and in turn invest in training the GCC, while other key markets include
them on a continual basis to provide them European ones from UK, Germany, France
with the necessary skills. In doing so, we and Russia.
hope to inculcate a Banyan Tree service
culture and corporate identity across all our

The hearth of business

Acacia RAK will be the first business hotel in the RAKIA Free zone

Hotels, RAK states that the hotel leadership of Dr Khater Masaad. In fact, you
doesn’t target tourists as much as could see his mobile number in various
businessmen. “Its design is based offices with a note that states that you could
on a business hotel and it is largely contact him. That is the level to which he
meant for the RAKIA Free Zone. It goes to ensure smooth functioning,” he adds.
shall have 250 rooms in Phase 1 and Michael El Nayal brings to the project
about 80 furnished apartments. There his own expertise in the fields of organising
are several technicians who come exhibitions as well as conferences. “I used
from all over the world to help set up to do that in Dubai. Professionals are on
units in the free zone and they usually the lookout for newer places to hold their
stay for 2-3 months, so furnished annual conferences or business meetings
apartments give them a sense of and RAK shall soon be their destination,” he
home and a hotel at the same time. adds. Michael is also the President of Beme
They can avail of the hotel services, the Solutions, a medical solutions company
Michael El Nayal swimming pool, restaurant outlets et and has a large clientele of medical health
al,” he says. “While RAK has several hotels to professionals the world over. “We have been

t is one of the first business hotels target high-end tourists, this hotel is mainly talking to dental associations the world over
coming up in the RAK IA Free Zone and for the business sector. Of course, we will to conduct their yearly meetings at RAK.
will cater to the floating population that offer tourism packages since RAK is a very There are yearly meetings for Laser Surgery
visits RAK time and again and lives there for picturesque emirate and once here, we do and such other specific areas and the region
shorter and longer periods of time. Acacia have to address tourism,” he states. has great potential to pull them for business
RAK was conceived over a year ago and is Most importantly, the hotel will have tourism,” he adds. His efforts have brought
a partnership between Benaya Holdings a conference hall for 400-500 people; a in Evomed, a Food Allery Type 2 training
and RAK Ceramics. The hotel’s construction business centre equipped with all amenities conference that will have its first meeting at
is going on and it is scheduled to open its and will be completed by October 2009. RAK. A classic case of mixing business with
doors by the end of this year. “RAKIA Free Zone is a quality industrial area pleasure.
70 Michael El Nayal, Director of Acacia and has been developed with the keen

Acacia Hotel at RAK


The Doors
Walid Al Shehhi’s 20 minute
art film BAAB or Door asks
some pertinent questions about
Emirati identity
By Manju Ramanan

he baab or door can be ‘poetically and politically
associated with various images,” states Emirati film
director Walid Al Shehhi from Ras Al Khaimah. Literally it
represents the entrance between spaces, symbolically as the

“I am
am a big admirer
Arabic and European
cinema and anan avid
reader of Paulo
Paulo Coelho,
Dostoevoesky and
Gabriel Garcia
Garcia Marquez”

Walid Al Shehhi

crevice to the world of dreams, imagination, memory, poetry,

nostalgia, thoughts and imagination while politically, it transforms
into the entry point that controls the influx of people entering the
country from all over the world. The film
true to its name, opens its doors to all three
aspects, which makes it interesting and
thought provoking.
Walid Al Shehhi, a self taught film-maker
is an employee at the Higher Colleges
of Technology, RAK has eight years of
experience in this field and is the winner of
the Muhr award at last year’s DIFF. Shehhi’s
films (that he scripts and shoots in his free
time) have also won awards outside the
UAE, in Jordan, Baghdad and Muscat. “I
am a big admirer of Arabic and European
cinema and an avid reader of Paulo Coelho,
Dostoevoesky and Gabriel Garcia Marquez,”
he states. He is part of the UAE Writer’s
Literary Union and mentions that their
regular poetry sessions helped him craft his
film well.
On the surface of it, the film depicts a
young man searching for a door that has
been washed away by floods. He wades
through water touching and feeling at
familiar doors that he encounters. Quite
similar to his blind grandmother who
touches his head and tracks down his fever
– that he compares to a door – since fever
enters from a door in our bodies after all.
Shot entirely at Al Jazira Al Hamra as
well as the Fahleen area of RAK, next to
the Khatt springs, Al Shehhi went location
hunting while writing the script. “We
needed to shoot at water bodies on the
backdrop of mountains and we found it
near Khatt Springs,” he states. The film is self Film Location
funded and made at the cost of Dh150, 000
– the money Al Shehhi received from last
But the door takes a completely combat a leaky roof – by placing porcelain
year’s Muhr award. different meaning when the writer says, cups across their home that traps the rain
Ask him why he chose the genre of “When there are more doors, the hands water falling in.
short films? “Because, it is economically which open and close them get lost, and “The film does mourn loss. Everyone
viable and can be made in the lines of we lose everything we call in and out.” Ask in the film is missing something, a male
poetry. The films are not the dramatic him, if that is a political statement he makes presence, days gone by etc.” The film ends
narratives. They let the viewer participate in with regard to the influx of foreigners or with a range of door frames without doors
it, adding his/her dimensions to the story. expatriates in the country and he laughs. –but the walls are missing. As the film’s
For instance, in the film, the child’s father is “You can interpret it in any way but yes, we subtitles state, “When things become more,
not shown, but there is a man who appears are losing our culture and identity in this they start getting lost.”
in the child’s imagination, he could be influx. We are losing our doors,” he says. The film will be shown at the Gulf Film
interpreted as his father,” he adds. Also fever A fact that resurfaces in many aspects Festival in April and cannot be shown
is interpreted differently. “The fever of a of the film – especially a scene in the publicly before that date.
child takes him on a journey of imagination film where the family of the narrator that
from the doors of his soul,” adds Al Shehhi. includes his mother and grandmother


For a country that sees the mercury notch up several

degrees on a single day, snow fall is a rare occurrence
The Jebel Jais mountains at Ras al Khaimah, an area usually
covered with rocks and sand, reached -3 degrees C in
January and rose up to 1 degree later when the peak of the
mountain was covered with 20 cm thick snow. While rains,
showers even hail storms have been part of the UAE these
winters, snow fall is truly rare. Snow covered the mountain
peak of Jebel Jais, and an area of 5 km around it and was
much thincker than the snow fall at the same area in
2005. The mountain cluster is situated at a height of 5,700
feet and is 1900 metres above sea level. M. V. Varghese,
Observer at the RAK Airport Meteorological Office, said that
there were scattered rains in Ras Al Khaimah that brought
the temperature down. “The rain along with the cold
easterly winds and low-lying clouds could have bought the
temperatures further down on the mountains,” he said.

Envisioning RAK
Rarely would you find an emirate that
encompasses a variety of natural
advantages ideal for tourism. Mountains
and cascades, wadis and water bodies,
sea shores and mangroves, creek-waters
and islands, deserts and sea shores,
green parks and date palms– RAK is
blessed with this natural diversity and
rainfall as well. Make the most of the
weather to drive down to these truly
Sea and mountains picturesque landscapes.

Waterskiing in the picturesque seas

Mangroves Wadi Al Beah during the monsoons

Winter greenery in the mountainside

Waterfall in the mountains Saqr park

Picturesque rocky sea shore

Desert dunes Hajjar Mountains


Strategic Tourism
Tourism success is not
easily won; it results from
a combination of careful
macroeconomic management,
judicious investment of
government and private
monies, and a results-oriented
partnership of public and private
interests in developing and
marketing the product.
Nature Tourism
Ras Al Khaimah’s USP as a tourist
destination lies in a variety of aspects. An
excellent 5 star beach resort, many with
Dhow making yard at RAK
private beach access of minimum one
78 kilometre, a beautiful natural environment Romantic red sunsets in the desert dunes Business/Leisure Tourism
such as Al Hajjar Mountains, the coastline can be rounded off with a private dinner RAK Convention Centre (Rakeen) is a USD
and beaches plus the unspoilt desert under the stars, or in a traditional Bedouin 400 billion project with a capacity of 5,000
landscape, authentic local events and tent. delegates. It will have three different
activities such as Awafi, camel racing, hotel categories on site plus a retail and
and shopping in the Old Souq, the many Real estate tourism sophisticated business centre. Mina Al Arab
cultural and heritage sites in the mountains Al Marjan Island is the first manmade is a resort style multi-use community with
and along the coastal areas. And of course island in Ras Al Khaimah and it is a US$1.8 approximately nine international branded
its close proximity to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and billion project that will have six hotels with hotels; to its north side is a three square
Oman. an average of 350 rooms each. Al Hamra km nature reserve which will have a visitor
Visitors to Ras Al Khaimah can also Village, the largest leisure resort of its kind centre and eco accommodation on its
explore the near by fjords of Musandam, in the UAE with five million sq. mtr, an 18 perimeter. The project is designed around
Oman which also provide ample hole championship golf course, a marina extensive water ways and is worth US$ 2.3
opportunity for dolphin spotting or enjoy with capacity for 200 berths, and The Palace billion. To-date, Mina Al Arab has confirmed
wadi-bashing in Al Hajjar mountains. Hotel is expected to be complete this year. Hilton Ras Al Khaimah, Intercontinental
Group, Millennium and Rotana Hotels.
They are currently seeking additional eco
tourism and other specialist operators for
this project.

Heritage Tourism
Over ten years ago, the Department of
Antiquities and Museums Ras Al Khaimah
established a division to manage the
restoration of historical monuments and
sites. These monuments and sites are
selected according to their historical
importance, like Dhayah Fort, where the
last battle with the British troops took place
in 1819, or the summer residence of the After the new Tourism Department and palm gardens; the archaeological
ruling family in Falayah, where the peace outlined its wishes to establish area of Shimal, where prehistoric tombs
treaty was signed in 1820. Furthermore heritage tourism in Ras Al Khaimah, will be partially reconstructed and nearby
monuments of local and visual importance the Department of Antiquities and Sheeba’s Palace; the Falayah Summer
have been restored, like the watchtowers Museums was prepared to contribute a Residence, where a heritage park will be
of the coastal towns Jazirat al-hamra, number of sites together with individual themed around the palm garden, as well
Ma’arid and Rams. A further priority for the development plans for touristic as various other sites.
Department is the restoration work and the infrastructure. The Tourism Action Plan deals with
aspect of authenticity, regarding the choice Heritage sites included in the Action the restoration of historical monuments,
of materials and building techniques used Plan for Heritage Tourism are the the reconstruction of archaeological
during this process. In line with this work, medieval trading town of Julfar, where an monuments, as well as the creation of a
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism has developed archaeological park and site museum is touristic infrastructure, comprising fencing,
an “action plan” for Ras Al Khaimah planned; Dhayah Fort with its spectacular public access, ticket boot, toilet houses,
Heritage Tourism in association with RAK position between high rising mountains walkways and information boards.
Department of Antiquities and Museums
to promote and preserve the emirate’s
historical sites.
2007 statistics
statistics reveal
H.H. Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al an
an annual footfall of
annual footfall of
Qassimi has always shown keen interest
in recording and protecting the Emirate’s
over 500,000 visitors
500,000 visitors
history, and from 1968 onwards supported to
to RAK.
RAK, aA figure
archeologist Beatrice de Cardi to begin
surveys in RAK. Soon the Ras Al Khaimah
isis on
on the increase
increase and and 79
museum was established in the old fortress predicted
predicted to reach
and former palace of the Al Qasimi family.
Today, just like his father, H.H. Sheikh Saud over
over 2.5 million
million visitors
Bin Saqr al-Qasimi has a profound interest annually 2012,
annually by 2012,
in the archaeology, history and heritage
of Ras Al Khaimah. Parallel to the fast largely
largely as a result
result of
developments and modernisation plans, he
endorses and encourages the protection of
the emirate’s continued
emirate’s continued
archaeological and historical sites. heavy
heavy investments
When the Department of Antiquities
and Museums started its restoration work
to harness its leisure,
harness its leisure,
10 years ago, it had the protection of local business
business and eco-eco-
culture for both the local community, as
well as possible heritage tourism in mind. tourism
tourism potential.


Frolicking the sands

Desert sands beckon
beckon aahost
from dune
dune bashing
bashing to