2014 was a year of robust growth and development for RAK Properties. We achieved a gross sales value of AED 364 million in 2014, up 47% compared to AED 248 million in 2013. We also achieved a consolidated net profit of AED 155.75 million during the year, compared to AED 150.59 million in 2013. The lines of funding are in place at a company and project level, which provides us with a solid platform for future business growth and pursuit of new opportunities.
The economy in our core market, Ras Al Khaimah, continued to go from strength to strength. The emirate’s tourism revenue exceeded AED 1 billion for the first time in its history, achieving 2.14 million guest nights in 2014 – a 72 percent increase from the 2013 performance, making it one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. The emirate’s logistics and industrial sectors also continued to grow off a strong underlying base with the RAK Free Trade Zone and RAK Investment Authority now being home to more than 15,000 companies collectively, representing over 50 industry sectors from over 100 countries
During the year, we continued to focus on the timely delivery of our ongoing projects as well as the conception and development of new projects in response to the UAE’s growing economy and market needs.
The hugely successful Flamingo Villas project that was launched and sold-out in late 2013, commenced construction in April 2014, and is on schedule for handover in late 2015. We also successfully launched a new prime waterfront villa community at Mina Al Arab in June 2014, Bermuda Villas, which started construction in December 2014.
In late 2014, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a leading international hotel operator to manage a new 200 plus key 5-star ECO Hotel & Resort at Mina Al Arab, which will be the first of a number of hotels and resorts to be developed by RAK Properties over the coming years as we expand into the hospitality sector. We also commenced the design of the initial phase of our lifestyle marina at Mina Al Arab, which will be operational in 2015 to cater to the growing boating community in Ras Al Khaimah.
Looking forwards, we will continue to roll out our value creation strategy for our stakeholders and diversify into new real estate markets and growth opportunities to drive tangible value and meet the company’s vision, mission and objectives. Priority will be given to satisfying our customers’ needs by providing high quality products and added-value services, and expanding our real estate portfolio in the UAE as well as opportunistic mixed-use development overseas. We remain very optimistic about the future and the opportunities ahead, as we are confident of having the key drivers to embark on a journey of further success this year and the coming years ahead with the support of our loyal customers’.
In summary, considerable progress was made in 2014. We are confident that our operational and financial performance will improve further during 2015, enabling us to achieve our targets for the year and maintain our position as one of the leading real estate developers in the UAE.
Our vision is to be a world-class business generating long-term value by creating sustainable and successful lifestyle developments where people aspire to live, work and play.
We will continue to forward sell our developments where possible, maintaining a strong balance sheet and keeping financial risk low in order to mitigate operating risks during delivery. We will also continue to carefully allocate capital to the right projects and investments at the right time, matching market demand and supply, to deliver long-term sustainable success whilst never underestimating the risks inherent in a cyclical market.
Our accomplishments have been made possible by the continued support of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qassimmi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Saud and the Government of Ras Al Khaimah.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors for their ongoing and valued contribution, our employees for their skill and dedicated efforts, as well as our customers and other stakeholders, especially our shareholders, for their continued support.