RAK Free Trade Zone: Maryam Al Murshedi

RAK FTZ has seen spectacular growth during the last few years. Deputy director general Maryam Al Murshedi reveals the secrets of its success

Maryam Al Murshedi knows all about hard work. The deputy director general of RAK Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has seen it become one of the fastest growing and most successful free trade zones in the UAE, since it was formed twelve years ago.

But it wasn’t always this way. At international conferences in the early days, the team was mistaken for promoters of Iraq, and regularly asked if they had forgotten the “I” in front of “RAK”. She explains, “Even some people inside the UAE did not know we existed at the time”.

That sparked a change in the marketing strategy. “We then decided to capitalise on the success of the other emirates,” says Al Murshedi. “Our advertisements highlighted the fact that we were 45 minutes away from Dubai airport.”

And so with government support, clever marketing and cost-effective solutions on offer — the cost of registering a business in the free zone starts at $5,000 — the RAK FTZ grew in stature. Currently the industrial complex has more than 6,000 companies based there from 106 different countries. In 2011, 2,000 companies joined RAK FTZ, a rise of sixteen percent on the previous year.

However, when asked to pinpoint the reason for RAK FTZ’s impressive growth, Al Murshedi focuses on the one thing that she says the bigger zones can’t offer: making its new tenants feel part of a community.

“The first thing that we’re capitalising on is our personal reach,” she says. “You can call me at any time; I can call and see you at any time. We deal with our companies like families. We adopt them. We go and visit them, listen to their problems,” she pauses, and then with a grin adds: “Even be their shrink”.

“And you don’t find this in the bigger free zones; they don’t have this personal touch any more. Although we’re growing, we try and keep that.

Article continued on next page

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Shabu Korah Vaniyapurackal

Respects to Madam Maryam Murshedi ! A dedicated and motivational leader of RAK FREE TRADE ZONE. I am honored to have worked with her for almost seven years and still supporting as a Consultant. Wishing success in all her endeavors .

Posted by: Angelito Castillo

Ms. Maryam is a hands-on Boss. I used to work with her a few years back and saw her total dedication to the company and she takes care of her employees. More power and I firmly believe that RAKFTZ will emerge as one of the best free zones not only in the UAE but in the world.

Posted by: A.Aziz Alshehhi

Al Murshedi is very talnted & sucessful business leader, she is dynamic, results-oriented leader with a strong track record of performance. she is dealing & handling all different kind of international companies. with her vision and strategy.
Ras Al Khaima is very attractive because of the low cost of establishing business and also low cost of living.

Posted by: Sudhir Gupta

I have had the opportunity of working with Maryam; she is a hard worker with great people skills. She has been a constant source of inspiration for the employees all these years.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
The cost of the US laptop ban

The cost of the US laptop ban

Aviation analysts and airline bosses are warning of significant...

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Couldn't a laptop with a bomb inside still pose a danger within...

After all the hype, what's the future for Hyperloop One

After all the hype, what's the future for Hyperloop One

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One may have struck a deal this month...

Most Discussed