Ras al-Khaimah has pledged to halt foreign investment plans and concentrate on stabilising the economy through investment within the emirate.

“We are going to concentrate on investments within Ras al-Khaimah and seek to create better opportunities for our people and investors here,” said Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr al-Qasimi, crown prince and deputy ruler of Ras al-Khaimah.

“The most important sectors for Ras al-Khaimah’s development in the coming years will be tourism and industry,” he added.

This marks a change from recent years in which the emirate has sought to invest in projects abroad through the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia). The Sheikh’s statement was reaffirmed by Khater Massaad, chief executive of Rakia.

 “We have been instructed not to invest any more money overseas and to invest only locally,” said Massaad.

However, Massaad confirmed that overseas projects that had already been started would be completed.

“We won’t invest abroad in any new projects, but will continue with projects that are underway,” Massaad added.

One of the main overseas projects that Rakia has invested in is the Poti port project in Georgia. The emirate’s investment authority bought the Black sea port in 2008 to develop a free industrial zone. In addition to the Poti port, Rakia has an aluminium project in India.

Profits from Rakia’s investment portfolio increased by 25 per cent in the first half of 2010, according to Massaad. Last year, the investment authority made a profit of $65 million.