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Raking up the projects
Ras Al Khaimah has said that it is planning to spend heavily on improving infrastructure. The move may provide a big boost to RAK’s strained property sector.
February 17, 2010 4:58 by Aarti Nagraj
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is planning to develop numerous new infrastructure projects to try and generate interest among investors, Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr al-Qasimi, chairman of the RAK Finance Department said in an interview with the Oxford Business Group (OBG) recently.
“Funds are to be spent in the development of our ports system, sewage plants, industrial parks, natural parks, and educational facilities,” he said. “People with high liquidity are waiting for the right opportunity to invest, and 2010 will be the year to do so,” he added.
The list of major infrastructure projects signals the “healthy state of the construction sector,” the OBG said in its annual business report.
But while the real estate sector in RAK may not have been as badly affected as Dubai’s property market, it does seem far from healthy at the moment.
Residential prices in RAK are currently standing at AED6,700 per square meter, as compared to more than AED11,000 per square meter during the peak season in 2008, real estate services company CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said in a report earlier this month.
“2009 has been a challenging year for the Northern Emirates as reality returns with a bump amid severely pressing economic conditions,” the report said. The leasing rates across the Northern Emirates also dropped by an average of 29 percent since the first half of 2008, it said.
However, the report acknowledged that residential prices in RAK were doing better than those in Ajman as “building features, facilities and amenities are typically superior.”