Ras Al Khaimah will enjoy a surge in international investor interest over the coming years, especially in its hospitality and property sectors, a top official has said.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Abdulla Al Abdouli, CEO of Marjan, explained that, in addition to a high return of investment and tax-free status, international investors stand to benefit long-term returns through their investments in Ras Al Khaimah.
“In fact, as master-developer, we are already engaging with leading developers in the UAE such as Emaar Properties and Dubai Investments,” he revealed. “Further, the robust rebound of tourism and the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the safest destinations in the world will further lend traction to investing in the emirate.”
As an investment destination, Al Marjan Island offers several benefits to international investors, such as zero per cent income and personal tax, 100 per cent foreign ownership, no foreign exchange controls, 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits, 100 per cent ready infrastructure, 100 per cent availability of utilities services, and residency visa for homeowners in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ).
Al Marjan Island is the flagship development of Marjan, and is developed under the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. A tourism and resort development, Al Marjan Island boasts 7.8km of pristine beaches, 23km of waterfront, 12,000 planned residential units, 8,000 planned hotel rooms, 400-room wellness retreats and 600 holiday villas. International investors can purchase land plots with development rights. Moreover, investors in property worth over Dh2 million, can benefit from the Golden Visa programme.
Al Abdouli noted that Al Marjan Island is regulated by the Ras Al Khaimah Real Estate Regulatory Authority, ensuring peace of mind for investors that their investment is in safe hands with accountability and transparency. “The infrastructure for the land is already developed under a plug-and-play model. Most of the plots are designated for residential units, boutique hotels, resort hotels, community facilities and retail.”
He added that there has been growing interest from hospitality developers since Ras Al Khaimah is today regarded as one of the best performing destinations in terms of 5-star and 4-star hospitality performance. This is reflected in the average room rate (ARR) in Ras Al Khaimah gaining 20.5 per cent, beating the downturn effect of the pandemic, over 2019, increasing from Dh552 to Dh665 - the only emirate in the UAE to record a double-digit growth.
As per Ras Al Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority, the emirate achieved higher RevPAR and ADR compared to all other markets in the country in 2020, underlining the positive performance of its tourism and hospitality sector.
“The lower development cost and wide array of investor benefits add to the interest from international investors and hotel brands,” Al Abdouli said. “Currently we have 1,670 operational five-star hotel keys, including Rixos Hotels, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Accor Hotels brands, and 3,010 residential units including Bab Al Bahar residential, Pacific by Select Group and Uniestate Living Bay.”
Al Marjan Island will add three new hotels in 2021, including a 515 rooms Hampton By Hilton Marjan Island, which is a 4-star resort with a private beach area; another four-star property, which is the 400 rooms Radisson Resort Marjan Island; and 418 rooms Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island.
“Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, which has a spectacular location in the heart of Al Marjan Island and is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of this year,” Al Abdouli said. “Set in elegantly landscaped gardens with its own secluded white sandy beach, the hotel will add 418 hotel keys, all with direct sea views. Guests can choose from large-sized family rooms, suites or beachfront chalets with private pools and gardens.”