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Start Business in Ras Al Khaimah

The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is the northernmost emirate in the United Arab Emirates. It is the fourth-largest emirate in terms of size and fifth in terms of population.
Business Setup in RAK
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Business Setup in Ras Al Khaimah

As an emirate that has never had oil wealth, Ras Al Khaimah has focused on diversifying its economy and has had real success with its thriving industrial, real estate, agricultural, and tourism sectors. As a result, it has one of the most diverse economies in the GCC region, with no one industry taking up more than 20 percent of the total GDP.


Ras Al Khaimah has adopted many of the same principles that have boosted the economy of emirates such as Dubai. As a result, the emirate boasts a wide range of business licenses, extending to commercial, industrial, and professional consultancy services licenses offered via free zones and through the local economic development department.

In 2018, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings affirmed the Emirates “A” long-term status. RAK’s GDP is expected to grow steadily over the next decade.

Business Setup in Ras Al Khaimah Free Zones

Company Formation in RAK Free Zone

Entrepreneurs have a few jurisdictions to select from when it comes to incorporating a business in Ras Al Khaimah.

Free Zone

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

RAKEZ was established to oversee and consolidate the clients of both Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) and RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA). This jurisdiction is one of the most popular free zones in the UAE because of its affordable packages and wide range of licenses.

RAK International Corporate Centre (RAKICC)

RAK ICC is responsible for registering and incorporating International Business Companies (IBC). They provide a full suite of registry services related to IBCs. RAK ICC is headquartered in Ras Al Khaimah, with an additional office in Dubai.
Ras Al Khaimah Local LIcense

Starting a Business in RAK DED

The Ras Al Khaimah Department of Economic Development (RDED) issues all local business licenses for areas that are not covered by free zones. Historically, local licenses required local citizens to be majority shareholders. However, the UAE has modernized its laws recently to grant ex-pat owners full ownership of a business in most sectors.

Emirates of Ras Al Khaimah

History of Ras Al Khaimah

With a rich history dating back to the Bronze Age, Ras Al Khaimah has been continuously settled for over 7,000 years. Known through the ages as Julfar, Majan or Al Seer, Ras Al Khaimah has stood throughout antiquity as one of the region’s most important trade centres and markets.


Its geographic position meant that the emirate was known to traders around the Gulf. Records show that inhabitants from the emirate travelled as far afield as Bombay, China and Zanzibar as early as the 10th century.


Ras Al Khaimah opted not to join the United Arab Emirates in 1971. However, a dispute arose that same year over the small islands of Greater and Lesser Ṭunb with Iran. The incident was a significant factor in convincing the emirate’s leaders that Ras Al Khaimah would benefit from joining neighbouring states, and it joined the United Arab Emirates in 1972.

Principal Producers of the Country's Crops

The Economy of Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah is among the principal producers of the country’s crops. Cabbages, onions, tomatoes, dates, tobacco, bananas, and citrus fruits are grown along the coast around Ras al-Khaimah city for local consumption and trade across the UAE.


The emirate is the UAE’s largest producer of cement. In the 1980s, the emirate formed Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics, which has become one of the world’s largest ceramics producers. The emirate also has the region’s first pharmaceutical company. The company is now one of the GCC’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, producing more than a million medicine boxes each day.


Ras Al Khaimah has become a tourist destination of its own. With numerous five-star hotels and resorts, it has plenty of attractions for the whole family. The emirate is also positioning itself as a more laid-back destination for ex-pats interested in buying property in the UAE.

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