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A favorite haven for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of the UAE's busier emirates, Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is known for its diverse landscape, naturally beautiful surroundings, and much cheaper rental rates. Often popular as a tourist destination within the UAE and the Gulf in general, RAK is now starting to develop its residential community and has seen some fantastic growth in areas over the past years. RAK has managed to provide both a cosmopolitan and a multicultural environment without sacrificing its traditional values and Arabian culture.
There was an upward trend in the residential rental market across all of the northern emirates last year with RAK increasing by 18% year-on-year, according to a Northern Emirates Q4 2013 report from Asteco.
While rents are still well below the levels they reached at the height of the real estate boom back in 2008, approximately 27 to 36% below their values from six years ago, their upward trend has been fairly consistent and looks to continue in the coming quarters.
While the rental rates of northern emirates such as RAK and its neighbor Sharjah are directly affected by Dubai's real estate market, both emirates have been working to take more control of their own markets, according to Asteco.
With regional unrest still funneling investments into the UAE, those unable to afford Dubai and Abu Dhabi's more extravagant prices are opting instead to buy in the northern emirates such as RAK. Following the continued success of RAK properties which reported a net profit of Dh151 million for 2013, a list of new residential developments are underway to further boost supply including the two major waterfront properties Flamingo Villas and Lagoon Heights.
With the rental rates in the northern emirates a reflection of how Abu Dhabi and Dubai's rental markets are behaving, it is fair to assume that rates will continue to increase in line with the preparation for the World Expo 2020.
• RAK has new residential developments underway to boost current supply
• According to an Asteco report, RAK residential rents have increased 18% YoY
• It is assumed that the rates will continue to rise in preparation for Expo 2020
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer