The opening up of the extended six- lane Emirates Road between Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah on Sunday is expected to bring in a sea change in the overall economic development of Ras Al Khaimah.
The new road, which has effectively cut the travel time between RAK and Dubai to just around 45 minutes, will provide a big boost to the emirate’s economy which is banking heavily on a flurry of new initiatives in the tourism, real estate and industrial sectors.
According to the authorities, the 62- kilometre extension of the Emirates Ring Road between Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah at a cost of Dh 400 million, will throw open enormous opportunities for the emirate by allowing for easy transportation of goods and products. The drastic reduction in the travel time would also translate into a swell in the number of tourists who would find RAK easily accessible from Dubai and else where.
“The enhanced connectivity of the emirate following the opening of the new road is expected to accelerate the all round development currently witnessed in RAK under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi”, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah”, said Dr. Khater Massaad, Advisor to the RAK Crown Prince.
He said that the new road will also provide a fillip to the industrial sector of the emirate and enhance its potential to become a key player in the manufacturing sector. “Better logistics and competitive freight costs would add to the optimal environment already existing in RAK for manufacturing industries to set up businesses here”, Dr. Massaad added.
The Government of Ras Al Khaimah has announced a series of initiatives in the tourism, education and real estate sectors, aimed at cashing in on the unique opportunities provided by the emirate. The RAK real estate sector is already upbeat on the prospect that the opening of the road would attract people working in other emirates to set up residences in RAK.
On the tourism and real estate front, the new initiatives in the form of Mangrove Island Project by the newly formed RAK Properties’ and the Al Hamra Real Estate Development, which is about to complete the first phase of its freehold Al Hamra Village, will gain tremendously from the enhanced connectivity to the emirate. The residential projects in RAK seek to benefit from the increased demand for quality accommodation in the country following the large influx of expatriates and the spiraling building rents in many other emirates.
The Mangrove Island Development Project covers an area of 70 hectares of land and would have residential apartments, town houses and condominiums, entertainment and leisure facilities and retail and other shopping infrastructure.
The Government of Ras Al Khaimah had aptly christened the recently held global investors meet as `invest and live in RAK’ conference in an effort to project the emirate as a favourite destination to live in. It has also signed a MoU with the George Mason University of the US for setting up an international campus with state-of-the-art facilities in RAK.
“The new road is designed and laid as per international standards and it will cut the travel time between Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah by half”, an official of the Ministry of Public Works said. The road is complete with modern street lighting and has fencing along the entire stretch. It has got four interchanges and 12 under passes for animal crossings.