This chapter includes the following articles.
Despite the lingering effects of the 2008-09 international economic downturn and the more recent political unrest in the region, Ras Al Khaimah’s financial services sector is expected to grow substantially, fuelled by steady expansion in retail banking, Islamic financial services (IFS) and the insurance segment. Indeed, annual deposit growth at UAE banks reached a high of 16% in April 2011. However, financial institutions face a host of challenges; perhaps most notably, the real estate and construction sectors continue to face difficulty in terms of obtaining loans from banks. Local banks are under pressure from the government and central bank to increase lending further, in an effort to boost overall economic growth. Despite these issues, RAK has received consistently high ratings from two of the most prominent credit ratings agencies, thanks to its continuing development, social and political stability, and membership in the UAE.