UAE - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have played an integral role in the diversification of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, and will mainly be responsible for driving growth and creating jobs in the emirate in the next few years, said Ramy Jallad, group CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ).
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Jallad highlighted the support that RAKEZ extends to SMEs. "A large percentage of our 14,500+ companies are SMEs, spread across 50 industries, which are driving growth and creating jobs for the emirate. RAKEZ has various solutions designed for SMEs including cost-effective packages, various licence types, an ideal co-working environment in our business centres, offices of various sizes and locations, and a one-stop shop for all requirements. The startup landscape itself has evolved tremendously, and today we have a number of co-working spaces, accelerator and incubator programmes. RAKEZ is a strong supporter of the startup community, hosting the first-ever Seaside Startup Summit in the UAE, as well as the Startup Weekend Ras Al Khaimah."
RAKEZ's Mubader Package for aspiring young entrepreneurs, in particular, targets fresh graduates and final year students. Starting from Dh650 per month, the package includes a licence, shared workspace, and ongoing support services.
Jallad also noted that the economic zone has an exclusive product that is designed to aid businesswomen. "There are not enough customised incentives and services that cater to women entrepreneurs; so, we consulted many women business owners to understand their needs and challenges and launched the 'RAKEZ BusinessWomen Package' to empower women to become the businesswomen they are meant to be."
The package starts from D6,200, and includes a free zone licence, shared workstation, and a range of support services under a 1-Year or 3-Year option. Entrepreneurs have free use of shared workstations and printing of business cards, priority tokens at RAKEZ Service Centres, installment plan options, as well as a free Investor Visa worth Dh3,950 for those that opt for the 3-Year Package.
RAKEZ is also playing a critical role in helping to achieve the goals set in the Ras Al Khaimah Vision 2030. One goal revolves around increasing manufacturing jobs and manufacturing GDP by 2030 under the Ras Al Khaimah Industrial Strategy. Towards this ends, Jallad highlighted the master planning of three RAKEZ industrial zones that will focus on the pharmaceutical, waste management, energy efficiency/renewables, and additive manufacturing sectors.
"The goal is to support infrastructure development and grow the industrial base of companies, while ensuring good governance and compliance with UAE rules and regulations," he said.
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