RAK development to be led by RAK Properties

Investors are sought for developments such as Mangrove Island project

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By  Eudore Chand Published  April 2, 2005

The Government of Ras Al Khaimah’s Investment and Development Office has announced the establishment of a new real estate development company, RAK Properties, to help promote real estate, tourism and leisure facilities in the UAE’s latest freehold home-owning hot-spot. The company’s founders, including the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, will hold 45% of the firm’s share capital, while the remaining 55% will be offered in an initial public offering that opened on 30th March, and will close on 12th April 2005. “In seeking to support economic growth in the UAE and Ras Al Khaimah, RAK Properties will maximise shareholder value by developing coastal and inland Ras Al Khaimah through land, communities and mortgage facilities,” said the IDO’s chief executive, Dr Izzat Dajani. The Government of Ras Al Khaimah is providing 72 hectares of land free for the development of the creek-side Mangrove Island Project. It is also developing a further 150 hectares in the Khor Qurm beach area and the new Emirates Highway ready for the second phase of expansion. RAK Properties will develop certain components of these projects, and will also sell or lease rights to outside investors to oversee other components. In the long term, RAK Properties also envisages the creation of a finance/mortgage subsidiary to help potential homebuyers purchase their property. Ras Al Khaimah, the the fourth-largest emirate in UAE, has gone into construction overdrive, led by Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, who plans to turn it into “the ideal getaway”. The emirate is building new roads and is expanding its free zone, port and airport. Incorporated in 2000, the RAK Free Trade Zone has licensed over 400 companies from 33 countries. Saqr Port is undergoing an AED165 million (US $48 million) upgrade to increase its cement and bulk handling capacity, while Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is undergoing enhanced activity. The new Emirates Highway, which is designed to cut the travel time to Dubai to under 50 minutes, is scheduled for completion by late 2005. A large number of units have already been sold off in the first freehold property development in the emirate, the AED1 billion ($272 million) Al Hamra Village, only months after its launch. It is scheduled for completion in 2006. Around 1200 residential units — from studios to luxury villas — built by the Al Hamra Property Development Company, have attracted investors both locally and internationally. Investors will be invited to share the AED2.7 billion ($735 million) initial cost of developing Mangrove Island’s condominiums and town houses, entertainment and retail facilities, eco-tourism zone and marina.

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