RAK Properties expects stellar year

RAK Properties' net profit rose to Dh150.6 million in 2013 compared with Dh147.1m a year earlier, as property prices in the northern emirate rose after the Expo 2020 announcement.

Demand for properties in Ras Al Khaimah has increased, after prices surged in Dubai in recent months. Jeff Topping / The National
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RAK Properties showed modest growth last year but predicts "spectacular growth" in the emirate this year.

Ras Al Khaimah’s largest developer wrote on its website its net profit rose to Dh150.6 million in 2013, compared with Dh147.1m a year earlier.

“Real estate prices in Dubai are set to increase in the short term after the announcement of Expo 2020. This trend is also seen in Ras Al Khaimah,” said Mohammad Sultan Al Qadi, the company’s managing director and chief executive.

In its outlook for this year, RAK Properties predicted that the year would be a strong one for the country’s property, construction and hospitality sectors.

The company’s revenue for last year was Dh322.3m, compared with Dh642.2m in 2012.

RAK Properties is proposing a 5 per cent cash dividend for the 2013 financial year, subject to board approval.

Its shares fell 2.4 per cent yesterday to close at Dh1.22 each.

The developer said that its future projects included two buildings in Abu Dhabi and sea view villas in its Mina Al Arab project in Ras Al Khaimah.

RAK Properties handed over 192 villas, town houses and apartments last year. The units were in Mina Al Arab and Julfar Tower in Ras Al Khaimah, and RAK Tower in Abu Dhabi.

2012 was a busier year for RAK Properties, when the company handed over 648 units and leased another 135 properties in the same developments.

Looking ahead, the company predicts increased activity.

“The leasing of residential, offices and retail space have improved and is expected to improve further thisyear,” RAK Properties said.

Demand for properties in Ras Al Khaimah has increased, after prices surged in Dubai in recent months. Many people have considered moving to the northern emirate to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle at a lower price. There has been a big increase for pilots and other airline staff in particular, as their unusual working hours make traffic congestion less of a concern.

Also, the Emirates Road to Dubai International Airport, a distance or 50 kilometres, takes an average of 45 minutes from RAK.

Rent of a sea-view studio in RAK costs an average of Dh20,000 a year. In Dubai a similar studio in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) would cost Dh90,000, according to Dubizzle.

In December, RAK Properties said it would repay the Investment and Development Office of Ras Al Khaimah US$22.3m, due in July, along with an early settlement fee. In 2009, RAK Properties received $150m from the office to finance existing and future projects.