Ras al Khaimah also known as RAK was the second emirate after Dubai to allow foreign property ownership . his means that even non GCC citizens can buy a freehold property and call it their own. When the first sign of trouble surfaced in Dubai last year many expats were forced to look elsewhere as landlords raised their rent. Some of these raises were massive (around $16,000 for a two-bedroom home).
Since RAK is ideally positioned to take advantage of the sea, and being close to the other emirates, more and more expats are considering to make the move.
Al Hamra Village boosts around 1,350 residents and it only takes one hour by car to travel to Dubai which is ideal for commuters. But best of all, rent in RAK is much cheaper than in Dubai and so is the lifestyle.
Infrastructure is well developed to allow residents a relaxed lifestyle amidst sunshine and scenic beauty. Other areas such as the man-made Al Marjan Island, The Cove and Mina Al Arab are also attractive for people looking to escape from Dubai’s ever increasing rentals.
With the new developer rules that have been designed to protect buyers many have been left with huge debts, making it impossible to finish construction. This has resulted in many sites being left without electricity showing that the financial problems are also affecting RAK, albeit not as badly as in Dubai.
The natural beauty of RAK is seen as a big bonus for those buyers who are willing to overlook the current problems and are buying with the future in mind.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr stated: “We have tourism and several industrial parks. Our property developments are not being built for nobody.”
The variety of the landscape of Ras al Khaimah has long been a magnet for tourists. Situated the northern tip of the UAE, the emirate offers visitors large natural beaches, mountains and desert. Some 500,000 visitors are holidaying in the emirate every year and many of them are from Europe.
Wealthy Dubai residents have also seen the potential at their doorstep and many have bought vacation homes in RAK.
Another bonus for longevity of the RAK emirate is the manufacturing industry which accounts for 9 percent of the emirate’s GDP.
Despite the potential prices have also fallen in RAK due to the economic crisis. What saved them from much worse conditions though is the fact that their property market is relatively undiscovered and therefore growth was more sustained in the last few years.
Sales of development properties have been stagnant in recent month and this is not expected to get better soon. Then there is the electricity crisis which leaves many buildings without power making it impossible to live.
The government is currently looking into the crisis to help find solutions ASAP.
Photo credits: by Bob McCaffrey via flickr