Why the UAE is a Sound Investment Market
The UAE is a very innovative country, which has grown at a phenomenal pace, now boasting a thriving economy that includes a booming tourist industry, attracting interest and investment from all over the world. The UAE is recognised as having one of the most developed economies on the planet, reflected in its GDP per capita and is seen as one of the world’s leading strategic locations for business, trade, tourism and investment. Over two thirds of the world’s population live within an 8-hour flight of Dubai and over one-third within 4 hours.
On the ranking of the best destinations for direct foreign investment, the UAE regularly scores within the Top Global 15 countries, due to its foresight, excellent planning and a unique ability to understand investor needs. It’s depiction as a Tax-free haven provides huge benefits to investors with 0% corporate and income tax, as well as its diverse and ever expanding, open economy and extremely stable currency. The UAE also boasts a first class modern infrastructure which includes metros, trams, strong private local and international healthcare facilities and home to Dubai - the global city of fascination and the biggest re-exporting hub in the Middle East, shipping Chinese goods to MENA, CIS, Europe and North America.
The growth rate forecast for the UAE economy over the coming years is 13% (Source: Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Dubai attracted AED 25.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2016 and succeeded in maintaining its position among the top 10 global cities in attracting foreign investment, ranking 7th worldwide. Dubai Expo 2020 will also be huge for local investment with an expected increase in local economy by approximately USD 19.6 Billion.
In April of this year, the UAE was named as MENA's top economy for tourism growth in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report. According to Business Monitor, inbound tourist arrivals in the UAE grew at an average rate of 9% between 2010 to 2016 and is expected to increase further by 6% p.a. by 2020. 14.9 million overseas tourists visited Dubai alone in 2016 (Source: Dubai Tourism), which is only set to increase as we head towards Dubai Expo 2020 which is expected to attract 25 million visitors in its 6-month duration – the largest proportion of international visitors in Expo history.
Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism industry has experienced some of the greatest tourist growth of all the 7 emirates with an increase of 8.7% between 2014 – 2017, surpassing that of UAE, which has only grown by 5.7% in the same period. Ras Al Khaimah’s booming hospitality market is certainly a huge potential area for investment and in particular Al Marjan Island – RAK’s key investor haven and it’s equivalent to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah Island. Al Marjan accounts for 78% of upcoming hotel room supply in RAK and is home to a number of high-end beach hotels & has the highest hotel occupancy rates in RAK, as well as the highest average daily room rates. Occupancy levels on Al Marjan in 2016 were 75% - superior to RAK’s overall hotel market and as a result of this huge hotel market demand Crowngate International a leading global Real Estate Developer recently announced an agreement with Al Marjan Island and Minor Hotels to launch and build its own contemporary beachfront resort managed by Minor Hotels under their upscale AVANI brand. The AVANI Al Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah Resort is available for investment through a hotel fund, from only $25,000 with an investment period of 7 years and an impressive development IRR of 19.8%. This Crowngate/AVANI resort has spotted a huge gap in the market for upscale, premium 4* resorts – at present there are only two 4-star beach resorts operating in Ras Al Khaimah, with 61% of hotels in RAK classified as 5-star. An upscale resort such as this will achieve high occupancies due to its appeal to price-sensitive travellers and the presence of an International brand such as AVANI puts the hotel in a very favourable market position.