News > UAE Armenians > Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi of Ras Al Khaimah visits Armenia
On 06 August 2008 President Serzh Sargsyan received His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates) and the accompanying delegation.
Sargsyan noted that the relations between the two countries (Armenia and UAE) has been very active in the recent years. "Armenia has always retained friendly relations with the Arab World, including the Gulf countries, and this kind of approach has a historical background" he maintained.
Sargsyan also pointed to the necessity of making utmost use of this relationship. He also pointed to the fact that during the last 6 months the trade volume between the two countries has nearly doubled. "This reflects clearly the activities undertaken by businessmen from both sides", he commented.
Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi said that the vision behind the UAE is simple and based on friendly relations with neighbors, stability and economic development. "We are keen in establishing cooperation with countries that have the same targets and aspirations", he emphasized.
The two sides discussed projects in the tourism and mineral mining sectors. Sargsyan underlined that Armenia will take seriously all investment projects on the table.
On 07 August 2008 Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi met with Tigran Sargsyan, Prime Minister of Armenia.
Greeting the high-ranking guest, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that his visit will give a new impetus to the development of friendship and cooperation between Armenia and the United Arab Emirates. He assured that the government of Armenia is prepared to continue supporting the ongoing investment programs launched by UAE-based companies in Armenia. The head of government expressed readiness to look at the opportunities available in the fields of mining and tourism, as well as to consider the possibility of creating a free economic zone in our country.
President Kocharian and Sheikh Saud in a December 2007 meeting in Ras Al Khaimah.
The relations between Armenia and Ras Al Khaimah entered into a new era after the visit of then President of Armenia Robert Kocharian
to Ras Al Khaimah in December 2007. Both leaders discussed the opening of new areas of cooperation and activating a strategic partnership for closer business and trade ties. "The two economies could become highly complementary to each other and hold great potential for joint initiatives across various sectors", Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi noted during the meeting. The visit was preceded with an Armenian Cultural Week in Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi organized by the Embassy of Armenia in October 2007.
In April 2008 Ras Al Khaimah Minerals and Metals Investments (RMMI) announced the acquisition of Armenian mining firm TSCC Armenia. The 100 per cent acquisition covered three mining complexes spread across two regions, North and South Armenia, and included copper and other polymetallic minerals. RMMI has earmarked $200 million over the next two years to fund the acquisition and set up a concentrate plant in the country, accroding to high ranking official in the company.
RAS AL KHAIMAH INTERESTED IN GEORGIA
Ras Al Khaimah is among the new investors that have entered the Georgian market in 2007. During a February 2007 visit by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to Ras Al Khaimah, a business partnership was established between the two sides aimed at tourism, real estate and other sectors. Part of the business partnership is the “Tbilisi Heights” real estate development plan that envisages the construction of a spa-like resort, business and residential area in Tabakhmela, near Tbilisi. A similar real estate project is “Uptown Tbilisi” in Tbilisi’s Digomi District.
Rakeen Development, a Ras Al Khaimah real-estate company plans to invest up to USD 1.5 billion in Georgia. The company purchased the Sheraton Metechi Palace hotel in Tbilisi in June 2007. That same month Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi visited Georgia and toured Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi. The Rakeen company also expressed interest in the development of the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti where the Georgian Parliament recently adopted a law establishing a free economic zone in the port.
Photo: Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassimi and President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan.
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