Ras Al Khaimah – MENA Herald: The number of new members registered with Ras Al Khaimah’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has risen during the first half of the year, with the Chamber attracting 1,414 new establishments from the private sector – an increase of 20.5% on the same period last year. Of these, 189 were establishments affiliated with the Free Zones, while 58 were new branches of existing establishments from inside and outside the emirate. 10,423 existing members also renewed their membership during the same period, and the Chamber is currently looking to attract more companies from the private sector.

The new establishments were categorized according to the RAK Chamber’s classes of membership determined by their capital. 85 (6%) of the new establishments were listed in the special class, 57 (4%) in the premium class, 117 (8.3%) in the first class and 652 (46.1%) in the second class, which accounted for the largest proportion of new establishments. The third and fourth classes accounted for 469 (33.2%) and 34 (2.4%) of new establishments respectively. When establishments were divided according to their legal status, sole proprietorships accounted for the largest proportion of new licenses, with 624 licenses – or 44% of all those issued – being handed out to sole proprietorships during the first half of 2016. The number of licenses for new limited liability companies totaled 287 (20.3% of the total issued), while 488 (34.5%) were issued to local service agents. 8 of the new establishments were classified as civil works companies, 6 as private shareholding companies and one as a government institution. Establishments registered in the first half of 2016 were also distributed across different areas of the emirate. The most popular area was the Al Nakheel area, with 340 new establishments, or 24% of all those registered. This was followed by the Ras Al Khaimah area (151 new establishments) and then by Qusaidat (103), Maareed (69), Julphar (68), Al Jazirah Al Hamra (61), Mamourah (53), Rams and Diqdaqah (both 46) and Dahan (42). The remaining establishments were distributed among various other areas of Ras Al Khaimah, including Al Kharan, Al Ghail, Al Dhait South, Othon and others.

When establishments were categorized according to the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) system, the construction and building sector accounted for the largest proportion of those registered in the first half of this year, with a total of 836 (36% of all those registered). Trade and repair services was the second most popular category for new licenses up to June 2016, with 775 establishments (34% of total registrations), while manufacturing came in third place with 244 new establishments, or 11% of all those registered. 5% of new establishments were in the social and personal businesses sector, 4% in the hotels and restaurants sector, 79 establishments in the real estate, leasing and business services sector, 87 establishments in the financial sector and 61 establishments in the transport, storage and communications sector. Finally, 19 establishments came from the healthcare and social work sector, 2 from the education sector and one each from sectors of agriculture, mining and quarrying and electricity, water and gas. Over the same period, estimated total capital and planned investments rose to 647 million dirhams excluding capital of 189 free zone establishments and 58 branches of establishments from inside and outside the emirate. The number of Certificates of Origin issued by RAK Chamber in the first half of 2016 reached to 18,690 certificates, while the total value of exports produced by members of the Chamber rose to almost 4.7 billion dirhams.