Ras al Khaimah Rising: Latest Developments Revealed

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the northernmost emirate of the UAE, is making significant progress and achieving groundbreaking milestones that are reshaping its landscape and boosting its global status. Unlike its more famous neighbors, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, known for their skyscrapers, luxury shopping, and vibrant nightlife, RAK is establishing itself as a leader in sustainable tourism, cultural heritage, and multi-sector investment. The emirate offers a more relaxed atmosphere with mountains, beaches, and historical sites, making it a unique destination. With efforts to diversify its economy in full swing, RAK is set to raise the bar for urban development and economic growth. Here’s a glimpse into RAK’s latest hospitality, innovation, real estate, and economic developments.

A+ Fitch credit rating 

Fitch Ratings has upgraded RAK’s credit rating to ‘A+’ from ‘A’, indicating improved credit metrics driven by more robust medium-term growth forecasts. The upgrade is attributed to the Emirate’s large investment projects and economic diversification efforts. Fitch Ratings highlights RAK’s mega tourism projects, such as hotels and resorts, as promising opportunities for investors, enhancing economic resilience and boosting investor confidence. Growth forecasts of 6.2% in 2024 and 5% in 2025 signal continued global investment attraction in RAK.

Increase in Free Zone Business Establishments

In the initial quarter of 2024, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) saw a significant 61% increase in new company registrations compared to the same period in 2023, with 3,000 new enterprises joining the RAKEZ business community. The surge in registrations reflects significant expansion across diverse sectors within the free zone.  Service-oriented ventures accounted for 38% of newly registered entities, this growth demonstrates the supportive ecosystem fostered within the RAKEZ business ecosystem, catering not only to industrial entities but also to professionals and budding entrepreneurs seeking to establish their ventures.

Flying Taxis

The Ras Al Khaimah Transport Authority (RAKTA) and the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), in partnership with Skyports Infrastructure, are planning to create a series of vertiports for electric air taxi services in RAK as part of RAKTA’s Strategic Plan 2030. This collaboration aims to facilitate establishing, constructing, and operating RAK’s first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi system, with commercial operations scheduled to begin by 2027. The goal is to integrate Skyports’ vertiport infrastructure with RAKTA’s current transport network to provide fast and environmentally friendly transportation options to popular RAK destinations like Al Marjan Island, Al Hamra, and Jebel Jais.

World’s first and highest rooftop beach

Manta Bay, located on Al Marjan Island in RAK, has been recently unveiled as the site of the world’s first rooftop beach. This groundbreaking project, valued at AED 1 billion, aims to redefine luxury living by offering residents their own sand and seawater experience. The residential freehold development, with a total cost of Dh400 million, will consist of 450 units, with prices starting from AED 1.2 million. Construction is in progress and is slated for completion by the end of 2026.

RAK Central

Set to debut in 2026, RAK Central is an expansive mixed-use destination scheduled to open in 2026 and is poised to become the largest business district in the Northern Emirates. This upcoming development will include a Grade-A office and commercial district featuring over 3 million square feet of leased office space and more than 4,000 residential apartments. Additionally, the complex will encompass three hotels with over 1,000 rooms, numerous parks, and various retail and entertainment facilities.

Luxury Residences

In December 2023, RAK Hospitality Holding announced the launch of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, a collection of 3, 4, and 5-bedroom villas. These villas are located within the 1,235-acre Al Wadi nature reserve in the Al Wadi desert. This development offers luxurious villas with private terraces and pools, providing breathtaking views of the desert and the Hajar mountains.

Situated at Marjan Island, Nikki Beach Residences offers a range of luxury units, including 1 to 5-bedroom layouts with exclusive amenities. All units include open-plan living areas, smart home technology, and spacious balconies with premium finishes. With a global reputation for beach clubs, dining, and entertainment, Nikki Beach brings over two decades of expertise to redefine luxury living. The residences reflect the brand’s signature style of relaxed beach luxury, providing exclusive resident-only amenities and boutique hospitality services that embody Nikki Beach’s commitment to bespoke living.

Adding to the luxury portfolio, Tonino Lamborghini Residences in Al Marjan Island, RAK, offers 241 luxurious units with modern design, premium finishes, and exclusive amenities. The development boasts panoramic sea views and a seamless integration of modernity and serenity. The project guarantees residents a luxurious and environmentally friendly lifestyle by integrating cutting-edge design features like smart home technology and sustainable building practices. The varied product lineup includes in-demand choices such as one- and two-bedroom units, duplexes, villas, and penthouses.

New Hotels to open in 2025-2027

RAK is also set to welcome an array of new hotels between 2025 and 2027, including Earth ShoreJW Marriott Al Marjan Island ResortLe Meridien Marjan Island Resort & SpaUshuaïa Unexpected HotelWynn Marjan, and the Sajj A Mantis Collection Mountain Lodge. Each hotel strives to offer distinctive experiences highlighting RAK’s stunning seashores, majestic mountains, and breathtaking deserts.

The future of RAK looks promising with ambitious projects that go beyond mere developments, representing a bold step towards realizing the emirate’s future vision. These initiatives are expected to unlock additional business and investment prospects and signal a monumental change, fostering a sustainable and innovative environment. The transformation aims to enhance the quality of life, promote environmental sustainability, and advance the emirate across all sectors for the benefit of its residents, investors, and businesses.

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