Being informed is the key when moving to an unfamiliar place, and moving to Ras Al Khaimah is no exception. Ras Al Khaimah, commonly referred to as RAK, was the seventh and last to join the United Arab Emirates in 1972.
This Northern Emirate, unlike its fellow members, has an expanding economy which is not based on oil. It has been, and continues to be, successful in building a multi-faceted economy; real estate, tourism, financial services, industry, agriculture and fisheries all play their part in the integrated economic model, with no one sector contributing to more than 20% of gross domestic product.
Its robust and expanding economy is attracting more and more professionals to make the move to settle and work in the emirate. Making a move anywhere can be fraught, but moving to RAK can in fact be fairly straight forward. As with moving anywhere, background knowledge is the place to start.
For those expats moving to RAK for the purposes of work can normally expect the employing company to act as their sponsor and to undertake the administrative work of the application process. However, most movers will want to visit the emirate prior to any permanent move. This can be done on an ordinary tourist visa.
A 30-day visa on arrival (VOA) is issued to passport holders of 20 countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. A further 40 countries will be issued with a 90-day VOA, these include many European and South American countries.
Where to live is the first vital consideration for all movers, and is best done in situ. First, weigh up your requirements, and the type of residence you prefer. Accommodation choice is vast and you will need to decide if you want to live in town, apartment, town house or villa, a new out of town development or in a compound.
Rental costs are just as varied. You could pay a little as 20,000 Dirhams per year, around 4,500 pounds. As for the upper end, the sky’s the limit. As an example, on the edge of town, a new town house in a smart village development with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, gardens front and back is available for 75,000 Dirhams per year. This equates to around 16,000 pounds sterling.
Education in RAK
If you are moving with your family, the education of your children will be a priority. On this point there is actually no need for concern. RAK has excellent educational facilities and fully equipped modern schools are the norm. Schools follow either the English or American curriculums and many schools are entirely English speaking.
Emergency and Healthcare
Obviously healthcare insurance is essential and would normally be given through an employer. If you are taking out your own medical insurance be sure to check that it is recognized by the medical establishments throughout the emirate. In RAK, hospitals are nothing short of being state of the art. The personnel are highly skilled and are usually western trained. This is also true of the emirate’s orthodontists.
This modern professionalism is mirrored in the emergency services. Ambulance, police and fire services are unquestionably the equal of any other modern developed country. Emergency numbers, 999, 998 ,997 for police, ambulance and fire, respectively, are handled efficiently by extremely well trained staff. Although no one wants to be caught up in an emergency, in RAK it will be dealt with as fast and efficiently as anywhere else in the world.
Driving in RAK
Visitors are permitted to drive with an international driving permit for 30 days, which is likely to cover most tourist visits. For those people settling in RAK, within 30 days of the resident’s visa being issued their license should be transferred to the appropriate RAK one. Throughout the emirates, driving is on the right, one word of caution, on the open roads, particularly out of town, locals have a tendency to drive very fast. It pays to be road savvy at all times.
It is always worth keeping in mind that moving to RAK may mean you are entering into a culture which is entirely alien to you. Bear in mind that it is Muslim, and thus, very likely far more conservative than the culture you are used to. For example, there are strict restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol, so be aware.
With all your ground work completed, get ready to move. There are many companies that can execute your move, but it is a wide choice to select professional movers from RAK. Recognized as the leader in this field, for professionalism and value can be found here, https://smarttruck.ae/ They will aid you in a fast, efficient and worry free move.
Interesting related article: “How to invest in Dubai real estate market.”