Lacking the huge natural resources of Abu Dhabi or the world class infrastructure of Dubai, the smaller members of the United Arab Emirates do have developmental advantages of their own in terms of geographic location and tourist potential.
Ras al Khaimah (population 205,000), the northernmost of the emirates, close by the Omani enclave, reported investment of Dh 100bn in 2006 (approximately $25bn) with the tourism and real estate sectors being particularly active. However, the emirateâ€™s economic plans place industrial development in the key position.
Fujairah (pop. 127,000) has the advantage of being the only UAE port outside the Persian Gulf. Strategic facilities are being constructed to take advantage of this, anticipating any military or naval action that could close the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the gulf. These include an oil pipeline from Abu Dhabi and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage hub.The latter is a project being undertaken by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre in conjunction with LNG Impel, part of Galveston LNG of Canada. The go-ahead for this important project, representing a capital outlay of Dh 8bn, is contingent on arrangements for Qatar to use the facility. The Fujairah authorities have plans to reclaim two square km from the Arabian Sea for the project.