Northern emirates offer ‘untapped possibilities’


THE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates could become one of the country’s strongest tourism destinations, according to Oxford Business Group (OBG), the UK-based publishing, research and consultancy services company and the name behind the authoritative Emerging Markets economic, political and business annuals.

OBG says Ras Al Khaimah has made major efforts to market its mountains and coastlines which until recently were destinations only for the intrepid traveller.
“Major upgrades to the airport and road networks have opened up access to the emirate and with a string of new hotel developments, its tourism industry could benefit massively,” says Andrew Jeffreys, Editor-in-Chief of OBG’s Emerging Market series. Already, the emirate is positioning itself as a leader in the space race, making overtures to various space tourism companies.
OBG says from its past year of UAE research, the Northern Emirates, made up of Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, are vital to the country’s future development. “Each emirate has unique characteristics and development strategies. For example Sharjah was one of the region’s most important hubs and has clearly benefited from Dubai’s aggressive expansion,” adds Jeffreys.
“Fujairah will also benefit from a number of infrastructure projects like increases in hotel rooms and further development of the airport. Ajman, the smallest of the seven emirates, has good untapped possibilities. Its location, just to the north of Sharjah, means that it has access to just about any point in the country and could provide attractive housing and office space.”
Jeffreys says investors are starting to sink money into Umm Al Quwain, taking advantage of the emirate’s reasonable land prices.
The Northen Emirates’ future outlook and its growing importance to the region will be featured in the first ‘Emerging Northern Emirates 2006’ series, produced by OBG. It will provide comprehensive overviews and analysis of each emirate’s political and macroeconomic environment, as well as trends in all the major economic sectors, including banking, capital markets, insurance, IT and telecom, real estate and construction, tourism, energy and media. Emerging Northern Emirates 2006 will be launched in August.