Ras al-Khaimah

Executive Summary
Ras al-Khaimah is literally translated from the Arabic language as The Top of the Tent. It is and one of seven emirates of the UAE. Its area covers 1700 sq km, and it is situated in the Southern part of the Persian Gulf. It boarders with Oman, and its population counts approximately 300,000 people.

As this emirate does not have significant oil resources, its way of development was to concentrate on industrial sector. It has the largest and the oldest cement producer in the UAE, as well as one of the largest ceramics producing companies in the world – RAK Ceramics. It also has a developed pharmaceutical market sector. Hotel business and tourism represent a rapidly developing trend in the emirate.

The UAE Dirham (AED) is used in Ras al-Khaimah as the national currency.

Ras al-Khaimah is the fourth largest emirate of the UAE. Its landscape is varied and described as the most picturesque in comparison to the rest of the territory of the federation. It has a 40 km coastline, fertile territories and beautiful mountain chains, which reach 1900 metres of height above the sea level. In summer time the temperature often reaches and exceeds 40 degrees C with high humidity; in winters the climate is drier and temperature is pleasantly warm.

Even though Ras al-Khaimah does not possess big gas and oil reserves, it is rich with rocky quarry, high-quality limestone and clay deposits. Fertile zones are an essential aspect for cultivating fruits and vegetables, which together with fresh milk are distributed in the major part of the territory of the UAE.

Map, Flag and Coat of Arm

Types of Company

New legislation and regulations adopted by Ras al-Khaimah authorities favour big international interest for offshore business purposes. The combination of security and confidentiality is ensured to entrepreneurs.

International Business Company
A Free Zone was established in 2006 which is now widely known as RAK Offshore. It has become an offshore centre regulated by the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority.

It takes only 1-2 working days to incorporate an International Business Company that is much faster than incorporation of similar structures in a major part of offshore jurisdictions. This type of company may only have foreign customers and is not liable for paying local taxes. It is possible to open a local bank account, make investments tax-free, obtain mortgages for investing in UAE assets. Employment visas are available.  When approved, this type of company can own property in UAE free trade zones.

There are no requirements for a minimum authorized share capital; a minimum number of issued shares is one share, and capital may be placed in any currency. It is possible to issue shares without par value. Copies of passports of a company shareholder(s) must be filed with the Registrar of Companies. An International Business Company may be of a 100% foreign ownership.

Corporate entities can become directors of an International Business Company, and there is a minimum requirement of one director for a company management. A secretary is optional. It is possible to redomicile a company to and from the jurisdiction, following a precisely defined procedure. The registers kept by the Registrar of companies (also containing information on a company director and secretary) are not accessible to general public. Such a company’s name must end with “Ltd”, “Corp”, “Inc”, “AG”, “SPA”, “SA”, “GmbH”, “OOO” or “OAO”.

In order to conduct a business, every company must obtain a license, which is issued under 4 categories: industrial licenses, commercial licenses, consulting and service licenses, general trading license.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)
This type of company requires a minimum of 51% of shares to belong to the citizens of the UAE. In addition, at least two shareholders is an obligatory requirement for registering and managing this type of company. A minimum capital of this company is AED 150,000.


No income, sales or wealth taxes are payable by individuals in Ras al-Khaimah.

Corporate tax is not payable in Ras al-Khaimah. In addition, there are no exchange controls, no withholding nor import or export taxes in the jurisdiction.

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