Sheikh Saud: ‘We live in era of internet’
Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah trumpets Emirate as destination for high-tech investment
His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has reiterated his Emirate’s credentials as a destination for high-tech investment.
At the inauguration of Middle East Specialised Cables’ (MESC) new site in Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Saud told ITP.net in an interview that “we live in the era of the internet” and that “governments, companies and individuals have to take advantage of that”.
"It is obvious that technology is [a way] which we can do things better, and we can allow our people to learn better, so it is key for ourselves [and] to afford our people a better income,” he said.
"We are definitely welcoming and promoting high-technology companies to come and work in Ras Al Khaimah,” Sheikh Saud added.
Among the benefits for IT companies investing in the Emirate, he observed, were its coastal location and liberal regulatory policy. "If we look at the whole of the Emirates as such, [Ras Al Khaimah] has a fantastic geographical location. We have a very liberal policy towards the transfer of money, a very liberal policy in terms of bringing in talent and labour, [and] you have a fantastic centre for education and healthcare, [as well as] roads, ports, and airports.”
RAK does not levy corporation or income taxes on companies that set up in the Emirate.
Sheikh Saud also lauded his Emirate’s transparency and cost-friendliness: “Here, what we really promote is zero corruption - we are affording people access at reasonable prices, but with zero corruption.”
Sheikh Saud was speaking at the launch event for MESC, a Riyadh, KSA-based manufacturer of industry specific cabling solutions. MESC’s plant in Ras Al Khaimah is the first the company has opened in the UAE, and will complement MESC’s existing locations in Jordan and the Saudi capital.
The company’s chairman, the Engineer, Abdul Aziz Al Namlah, highlighted RAK’s industrial heritage: "In Ras Al Khaimah, you have a lot of raw materials, and many construction materials, and you have unlimited electricity, and land. Land is very expensive in many of the Arab countries, except here, where it is reasonable. So it encourages businessmen to come and do business here,” he explained.
To attract high-tech companies to the Emirate, Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) in 2006 set up the economic free zone Ras Al Khaimah IT Park.