Free Zones in the UAE – by Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA)
Introduction by Aris Kotsomitis, Chairman of FBS KOTSOMITIS CORPORATE AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES FZE
One can avail the benefits of the ‘Emirates Advantage’ by setting up a business in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) via Ras Al Khaimah Freezone Company Formation or RAK LLC Company formation. The Ras Al Khaimah Freezone (RAK Free Zone) provides the most flexible and low cost UAE regime for international investors. The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAK Investment Authority) is the Licensing and Regulatory Authority for the Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone Company regime.
Our group’s offices are located in the same building as the offices of the RAK Investment Authority, in the Ras Al Khaimah Government building (the only corporate service provider to be located in the building). This unique advantage along with our strong local contacts at every level guarantee swift and valid execution and top-level advisory and consulting services.
By forming a Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone Company or an LLC Company, which are local entities with real substance and not paper companies, the international investor can harness the strength and international prestige of the local UAE and Gulf market while being able to access UAE’s double tax treaties to avoid double taxation, ensure 0% tax, 100% free repatriation of funds, multi-year residence visas for the investors as well as managers and staff.
Compared to other UAE freezones procedures are quicker, local authorities welcoming and hospitable, confidentiality is strong and the cost advantages are significant … while being 40 minutes close from Dubai!
Francois Bonneville, CEO Arc International Middle East: “Nearly 10 times in turnover in less than 6 years.”
G.S. Raju, Executive GM, Guardian RAK: “Investors can come. They can count on the support from the government.”
Ozcan Ozagir, MD, Franke: “Transport is not a problem.”
M. Iqbal Khan, GM, RAK Ghani: “Sold 70% of our production.”
Daniel Hutmacher, MD, Swiss International Chocolates LLC: “There was no differentiation between a larger company setting up and a smaller company setting up.”
Franco Vigliotti, PhD, Dean, EPFL Middle East: “We find it a very good place to live for the family.”
Passport to Business
The place they are talking about is Ras Al Khaimah, the gateway to the Arabian Gulf. Situated at the entrance to the Gulf, Ras Al Khaimah is the northern most of the seven Emirates that form the United Arab Emirates. With the majestic Hajar mountains on the east and the Arabian Gulf on the west, the picturesque Emirate boasts long, sandy beaches, year-long sunshine, fertile soil, and beautiful deserts.
Blessed by political stability and a visionary leadership, the United Arab Emirates has seen a pace of growth that is unparalleled in the world.
The United Arab Emirates is the leading trans-shipment hub between Europe, Far East, CSI countries, Africa, and the Indian sub-continent. In other words, it is the pivotal point to reach more than two billion consumers.
With world class hotels and resorts, Ras Al Khaimah attracts visitors from all over the world. Lately it even snowed up in the mountains at Jebel Jais where a mountain resort is nearing completion.
The region’s biggest Opera theme park with the world’s biggest man-made waterfall is also situated in Ras Al Khaimah. The government is continuously expanding and modernizing the infrastructure for new projects.
Agriculture, dairy products, poultry and the fishing industry feature prominently amongst the other thriving sectors of the economy.
Julphar, the region’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturer is also based in Ras Al Khaimah.
With its large mineral deposits, especially limestone, it is a natural centre for the region’s cement industry.
Ceramics is another success story. In just 15 years, RAK Ceramics grew to be the largest single ceramic tiles manufacturer in the world. RAK Ceramics products, which include sanitary ware are exported to more than 200 countries today. The Group’s success supports a stream of related industries.
The government, under the able leadership of His Highness, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, is proactive and keen on enterprise.
As a result, in 2005 the RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA) was launched. It is a one-stop shop providing support to the rapidly expanding industrial sector in the Emirate…. right from planning stages to completion.
The type of licenses issued are: Industrial License
- Commercial License
- Consulting and Service License
- General Trading License
To facilitate incorporation, RAKIA has Business and Industrial Parks consisting of Free and Non-Free Zones as well as RAK offshore for those wishing to start cost-effective offshore companies.
Amongst other factors, RAKIA’s advantages include:
- 100% foreign ownership of Free Zone companies
- 100% profit and capital repatriation
- 0% income and personal taxes
- 0% corporate tax
- No restrictions on foreign exchange transactions
- Liberal labour laws
- No hassles in obtaining visas
- Low cost of land
- Low living costs
- No restrictions on working hours.
Unlike traditional free zone entities that offer only real estate, RAKIA offers investment advisory service and capital participation on several projects. RAKIA has a single-window clearance for all applications. Furthermore, a dedicated person is assigned to ensure that the investor’s requirements are met quickly and efficiently. Profitability and business is closely tied with the availability of quality infrastructure.
There are excellent road networks that connect with all the major seaports and airports in the UAE within an hour’s drive away. The Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is just 20 minutes from the city centre.
Mina Saqr is the biggest bulk commodity port in the region, handling over 50 million tonnes of rock and aggregate. Al Jazeera Port is designed for bulk cargo and ship repair services and the Maritime City, being developed, encompasses more than 80 million square metres.
The availability and ease of recruiting a skilled workforce from nearby regions has also been an attractive factor for investors in Ras Al Khaimah.
Peaceful and crime free, the Emirate offers all amenities and facilities for a healthy lifestyle. The educational sector is impressive too. Ras Al Khaimah also offers a wide choice of leisure activities.
It is not surprising that:
- Standard & Poor affirmed its “A” Long Term and “A-1” Short Term solvent credit ratings
- Financial Times called it “the most cost efficient destination”
- Middle Eastern Cities of the Future awarded Ras Al Khaimah, “The Most Attractive Destination For Foreign Direct Investment, FDI”
- World Finance has awarded Ras Al Khaimah the “GCC Development and Investment Award for 2010”.
Ras Al Khaimah today has emerged as the industrial heartland of the northern Emirates and the fastest growing free zone and industrial zone in the Mena Region.
With the government’s far-sighted progressive policies, deep understanding of investors’ needs and a commitment to foster success and growth, Ras Al Khaimah most certainly has transformed into the investor’s choice and your passport to business.