Ras al-Khaimah means business with real estate projects

27 July 2010

But the determination to push ahead with projects will need realistic targets not just words

But the determination to push ahead with projects will need realistic targets not just words

Ras al-Khaimah will find it difficult to complete the real-estate development projects it had planned before the UAE property market collapsed in late 2008.

Many of the projects have been in the pipeline for a number of years. With rents and housing prices continuing to fall throughout much of the UAE, it is doubt ful whether there will be sufficient demand and finance for the schemes.

But Ras al-Khaimah has pledged to press ahead with its development plans.

Local developer Khoie Properties recently signed a memorandum of agreement with Dubai-based Arabtec Construction to build the AED2.5bn ($680m) La Hoya Bay project on the $1bn Al-Marjan Island development.

This came shortly after the emirate announced plans to halt foreign investment and concentrate on stabilising the economy through investing in local projects.

The northern emirate believes that reducing investment in overseas projects will free up funds for its planned real-estate projects and boost its tourism sector.

Even if the emirate proceeds with the projects it will be many years before they are completed.

A prime example of this is the $400m Convention Centre that is planned for the Gateway City development on Emirates Road. The project was first launched in 2006 and is still in the design stage with no definite timeline set out for the construction process.

Ras al-Khaimah’s decision to curtail foreign investment and concentrate on internal development is not something new in the current economic climate.

The emirate may be forced to something more radical in the future and set more realistic targets.

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