Despite the global economic downturn in 2009 and 2010, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), picked up comparatively well, with several developments being pushed forward.
The real estate and business sector contributed to 7.2% of total GDP in RAK during 2010, the RAK Department of Economic Development said in its latest data. Some major players, including Al Hamra Real Estate Development Company (AHREDC), Rakeen Development and RAK Properties, partly owned by the government have continued on track to oversee completion of major projects in 2012-13.
For instance, the Mina Al Arab villas project, which began in 2005 by RAK Properties, is now in its final stages. Towards mid-2011, the firm handed over a total of 307 villas, and the occupancy level for the project stood at 84% by February 2012, AHREDC said.
RAK Properties, the biggest real estate developer of the emirate, has seen large-scale developments that are nearing completion, including the $3.27bn beachfront resort, Mina Al Arab, featuring several islands, apart from recently completed RAK Tower and Julfar Towers.
Although the company posted net profits worth $29.5mn in 2011, marking a decrease from $51mn the previous year, the new revenue streams, in addition to handover of 3000 apartments, offices and villas by the year-end, indicate that RAK Properties should return to growth in the short-to-medium term.
Meanwhile, work on Al Marjan Island, a cluster of five man-made islands, near the Al-Hamra area outside the RAK City, the $1.8bn project, is progressing well, and is due for completed by 2015. The islands offer a range of developments, including residential and commercial, and apartments for rent.
Other major tourism infrastructure projects including Bab Al Bahr, and Al Marjan Island will open doors in 2012-13.
With growing number of tourists, owing to government's promotion of the sector, such developments will always be in demand. Nearly 1.2mn tourists are likely to visit the emirate by end of 2012, marking an increase of 800,000 numbers in 2011.
Due to increased number of buildings earmarked for completion and handover, connectivity problems may continue within UAE. But, it is evident that RAK Property market is back on track now, while other new projects are nearing completion.