RAK's Real Estate Market Takes Off

Since Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi took over as Ras Al Khaimah's ruler in 2010, the emirate's real estate sector has been at the forefront of its breathtaking economic expansion. Thanks to conservative, forward-looking development policies as well as strong guidance from RAK Properties and other real estate concerns, RAK's property market is among the healthiest and fastest growing in the entire United Arab Emirates.

His Highness Commits to State-of-the-Art Infrastructure

Like any structure, a solid real estate market requires a strong foundation. Under the guidance of Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) has embarked on several noteworthy infrastructure projects and upgrades that have turned the emirate into an attractive place to live and work.

RAK's central city recently introduced a convenient, comprehensive bus network to shorten travel times and improve connectivity. Separately, a number of water-distribution projects and communications upgrades have dramatically increased the emirate's attractiveness to international tourists and business owners. A new motorway that connects the emirate with Oman complements an existing link to nearby Dubai. Most notably, His Highness has embraced international businesses and transplants by eliminating income, sales and corporate taxes.

Brand New Homes for Just 11 Months' Rent?

The local real estate market has been supported by a number of major new developments that have broken ground recently. RAK's real estate centerpieces include majestic, luxurious residential and commercial developments like Julfar Towers, but the emirate has plenty of more down-to-earth options for new arrivals as well.

For instance, Al Hamra Village offers 3,500 residential units at various price points. Despite an impressive average sale-price rise of 15 percent over the past year, spacious studios and one-bedroom units with crystal-blue sea views start at just Dh350,000. By comparison, average rents in the area come in at Dh30,000. Needless to say, these attractive spaces are being snapped up by savvy entrepreneurs, retirees and investors who have tired of the expensive Dubai market.

Tourism and So Much More

Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi believes in diversification. As such, he's focused on tourist-friendly amenities, hotel developments and commercial projects that can introduce RAK to the entire international community. Eclectic, luxurious projects like Mina Al Arab blend cultural refinement, natural beauty and practical amenities in a comprehensive package. Rather than focus on constructing flashy monuments to personal vanity or uninspired blocks of flats, companies like RAK Properties and Al Hamra Real Estate Development are creating a vibrant, mixed-use emirate that welcomes international investment with open arms.

This mature, long-term approach has boosted RAK Properties' sales by more than 12 percent over the past year. What's more, the company has restarted work on its signature luxury hotel at Mina Al Arab and plans to break ground on several additional projects in the coming quarters.

Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi: All Are Welcome Here

The financial crisis of the late 2000s affected virtually every major real estate market in some way, but the foresight and resolve of Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi ensured that his emirate would avoid the worst of its effects. On top of growing sales volumes and robust profits at RAK's biggest development companies, international hospitality companies and corporations have begun to make major investments in the emirate. For example, the new Waldorf Astoria hotel recently replaced the brand's venerable New York outpost as its flagship property. This is sure to be a big draw for people all over the world, from Minnesota to Germany.

With over a million international visitors arriving here in 2012, it's clear that His Highness has a powerful vision for his homeland. The coming years look certain to bring new developments and even more excitement.

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