RAK, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Ð Mar 2,2011: Traffic on the road in Ras Al Khaimah. (Pawan Singh / The National) For News. Story by Anna
Fitch Ratings assigned a stable outlook for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and affirmed its 'A' long-term issuer rating. Pawan Singh / The National

Fitch Ratings assigns stable outlook for Ras Al Khaimah



Fitch Ratings on Monday affirmed the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah’s long-term issuer rating of A and assigned it a stable outlook, based on its low government debt and high gross domestic product per capita.

“The emirate derives substantial support from its membership of the UAE federation,” Fitch said in a report. “It shares the UAE monetary and exchange rate system of a credible US dollar peg and absence of exchange controls.”

Close integration within the UAE has also allowed RAK to focus on its development strategy and build a relatively diversified economy dominated by manufacturing and services.

The government is making progress on developing the emirate as a tourist destination, and plans a 90 per cent expansion of hotel capacity by 2022. Meanwhile, visitor arrivals to RAK have trended upwards in the past two years, the report noted.

In addition, the development of RAK’s container port could spur new investment in the free zones and the broader economy. GDP growth is expected to pick up in 2018 and 2019 on the back of higher oil prices, after slowing to 1.5 per cent in 2017 from 4.6 per cent in 2016, Fitch said.

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Government debt (including that of state-owned enterprises) is expected to fall to around 20 per cent of GDP in 2018 from 33 per cent in 2015, and the rating agency expects a fiscal surplus of 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2018. The government balance will be boosted by over one per cent of GDP with the proceeds from the sale of its stake in Union Cement Company.

However, the emirate’s small size and “weaknesses in the policy framework”, including poor availability of economic data, weigh on the ratings, the report added.

“Further expansion of capital spending and the wage bill will outweigh revenue growth, principally in state-owned rock quarries and hotels,” the report said. Growth in hotel revenues should be supported by the completion of renovations in several properties to meet rising demand, it added.

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Best Foreign Language Film nominees

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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Civil War

Director: Alex Garland 

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura, Nick Offerman

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

The specs

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1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

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4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

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Director: Michael Sarnoski

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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
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Company name: Revibe
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Based: UAE
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Credits

Produced by: Colour Yellow Productions and Eros Now
Director: Mudassar Aziz
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Who are the Soroptimists?

The first Soroptimists club was founded in Oakland, California in 1921. The name comes from the Latin word soror which means sister, combined with optima, meaning the best.

The organisation said its name is best interpreted as ‘the best for women’.

Since then the group has grown exponentially around the world and is officially affiliated with the United Nations. The organisation also counts Queen Mathilde of Belgium among its ranks.

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