- His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi:
- “We seek to empower our younger generations to greater achievement”
- “To do your best in life’s great journey, you must educate yourself, through reading, listening and learning”
- Children from 4 RAK Academy schools delight in online question and answer session
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates: His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has offered a heart-warming and inspirational message via video call to young students of four of Ras Al Khaimah Academy schools as the academic year draws to a close.
H.H. Sheikh Saud spoke to hundreds of Grade 1 students from across RAK Academy’s schools about the importance of education for the future of Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE before going on to answer questions from the students about his life experiences and his passion for books and mathematics. He wished the children continued success and the best of luck in their studies.
The Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah is committed to improving educational standards across the Emirate, in line with global best practice, so he regularly engages with students of all ages to ensure he is well-informed of their development.
H.H. Sheikh Saud told the children: “The journey of life seems long at your age but, when you grow older, you realize that life is short. That is why I implore you all to live your life and do what you really love, because to succeed is to do what you love. Life is a great journey and, to do your best, you must educate yourselves, through reading, listening and learning. You are our champions of the future, so I hope that you have a great summer and come back next year ready to enjoy what will hopefully be a more normal school experience.”
After the call, H.H. Sheikh Saud said: “Today I had the opportunity to speak with some of the wonderful young minds from across RAK Academy schools and I found their inquisitive nature, energy and enthusiasm to be heart-warming. I sincerely hope that they maintain those traits as they navigate through their school years, as the importance of approaching education with passion and intrigue cannot be understated.”
“A good education is vital to our success, both individually and collectively, and that is one of the main reasons why Ras Al Khaimah places such emphasis on improving standards across all of its schools,” H.H. Sheikh Saud added. “We seek to empower our younger generations to greater achievement as this, in turn, will help Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE to prosper and develop sustainably.”
Graham Beale, Executive Principal of RAK Academy, believes that the hands-on approach of H.H. Sheikh Saud demonstrates his commitment to education and sends the message that it is of great benefit to the students.
“At RAK Academy’s family of schools, we are fortunate indeed to have the ongoing support of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi; a clear example of this can be seen through the interaction that occurs every year between His Highness and our Grade 1 students,” he said. “Our pupils were delighted to have the opportunity to share their ideas for the future, ask questions of Ras Al Khaimah’s Ruler and gain from his knowledge and wisdom. This really is a high point of our academic year and another key element that provides an enriching and motivating experience for our young learners at RAK Academy.”
RAK Academy, which consists of five schools across the Emirate, including a secondary school, boasts advanced classrooms, modern campuses and a diverse student body. Student safety is a top priority for RAK Academy – particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and with that in mind, the school has implemented health and safety protocols to ensure students are learning in a secure environment where they can focus solely on their education.
About His Highness Sheikh Saud
Born in Dubai in 1956, H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi was educated at Al Qassimiya Primary and Al Siddique Secondary schools in Ras Al Khaimah before attending the American University of Beirut in 1973. He later transferred to the University of Michigan in the United States, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics.
Upon his return from the United States in 1978, H.H. Sheikh Saud was appointed Chief of the Ruler’s Court. In 1986, he became the Chairman of the Ras Al Khaimah Municipal Council and continued his work to improve the Emirate’s infrastructure and governance practices.
During this period, H.H. Sheikh Saud also founded RAK Ceramics and restructured Julphar Pharmaceuticals and RAK Rock to ensure that both became the industry leaders they are today.
H.H. Sheikh Saud was named Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah on 14 June 2003.
As Crown Prince, H.H. Sheikh Saud oversaw the introduction of free zones and industrial parks, efficient business licensing procedures and offshore corporate registration.
On 27 October 2010, H.H. Sheikh Saud succeeded his father, the late Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, to become the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. As Ruler, he has continued to expand and diversify Ras Al Khaimah’s economy, showing an unwavering commitment to improving the wellbeing of the Emirate’s inhabitants and enhancing the quality of its social services.
Under H.H. Sheikh Saud’s guidance, Ras Al Khaimah Government adopted an institutional approach to business procedures, which has had tremendous positive effects on government procedures in the emirate, guaranteeing efficiency, quality, and transparency, and improving the ease of doing business.
H.H. Sheikh Saud has also worked to make high-quality education and healthcare services available to Ras Al Khaimah’s population. The Emirate hosts numerous institutions of higher learning, including the American University of Ras Al Khaimah, the University of Bolton (UK) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), while training for doctors and nurses is offered through the RAK Medical and Health Sciences University (RAK MHSU).
In recognition of his leading role in spearheading the sustainable development of Ras Al Khaimah, H.H. Sheikh Saud received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bolton, UK, in 2010; an Honorary Fellowship of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in India, in 2013; and an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Economics from Incheon National University, South Korea, in 2018, a year in which he was also named Visionary Leader of the Year by Arabian Business.
About RAK Academy:
Welcome to RAK Academy! We have been up and running since 1975 during which time we have welcomed countless students of all ages and abilities through our doors. Founded under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, our Academy is located in the scenic emirate of RAK, one of the seven emirates of the UAE. We are honoured to give back to the community we are based in. We offer internationally recognised curricula to more than 2700 students from 97 nationalities.
Our not-for-profit and non-selective organization spread across five community campuses offers quality co-education. We teach IB and British curriculums to pupils aged between 3 to 18 years old. We are privileged to be an integral part of the local community and regularly get involved in community events. Graduating from a stimulating and encouraging environment, our confident and high-achieving students go on to study at top-notch universities, have successful careers and become innovative leaders in all sectors, proud to be alumni of RAK Academy.
About Ras Al Khaimah:
Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the northernmost of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is known for its diverse landscape, from 64km of pristine beaches, to terracotta deserts and an imposing mountain backdrop, as well as its rich history, dating back 7,000 years. It has many archaeological sites, four of which have been shortlisted on UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
Alongside its breathtaking natural vistas that have been carved out over millennia, the Emirate’s Jebel Jais mountain, which is the highest peak in the UAE, boasts more modern attractions, including the world’s longest zip line at almost 3km and 1484 by Puro, the UAE’s highest restaurant, as well as a host of other adventure pursuits.
In light of its array of premium tourist offerings, Ras Al Khaimah was named the Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council – a title it won for the second consecutive year – while in recognition of its safe environment for visitors, the Emirate became the first city in the world to be certified as ‘safe’ by Bureau Veritas and the first Emirate to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) ‘safe travels’ stamp.
Ras Al Khaimah is centrally located at the modern crossroad between Europe, Asia and Africa, with one third of the world’s population within four hours’ flying time, making it an ideal location for businesses to expand into the UAE, the Middle East and Africa and beyond. Indeed, the World Bank’s Doing Business report ranks Ras Al Khaimah 30th out of 190 economies for ease of doing business.
At the Emirate’s economic heart lie multiple major companies and diverse sectoral interests, including manufacturing and tourism. Major companies include: RAK Ceramics, RAKBANK, Julphar Pharmaceuticals, RAK Ports, RAK Rock, Stevin Rock, RAK Economic Zone and RAK Gas. Supporting these industries is a modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art industrial areas and business parks and world-class hotels, facilities and attractions for tourists.
For more than a decade, Ras Al Khaimah has been consistently rated in the ‘A’ range by Fitch and Standard & Poor’s international ratings agencies. The Emirate is home to more than 38,000 businesses from 100 countries representing over 50 industries, all of which are taking advantage of the excellent quality of life on offer, the lower cost of housing and labor, modern infrastructure – including a growing airport and the largest bulk seaport in the region – and its state-of-the-art industrial areas and business parks.
An essential element of the business ecosystem in Ras Al Khaimah is its free zones, which are attracting foreign investment and boosting the economy in line with the Emirate’s vision for 2030. Its numerous business advantages are complemented by the Emirate’s world-class hotels, facilities and attractions, all set in an extremely safe and secure environment.
Ras Al Khaimah Government adopts an institutional approach to governance and business procedures and is committed to reducing red tape and improving the ease of doing business. The Government is driving digitalization and has transitioned more than 700 services from various Government departments into e-services available online, while the mRAK app offers over 150 services, ensuring convenience, safety and high standards for businesses and the general public.
Ras Al Khaimah is also a cultural melting pot with a growing population that stood at 345,000 in 2015 – 37% of whom were local Emiratis.
With year-round sunshine, straightforward business set-up and a competitive and affordable cost of living, Ras Al Khaimah is the informed choice for business, lifestyle and travel.