Wine bottle samples stand on a table as a worker checks the production line at a Saverglass' plant in Ras Al Khaimah March 31, 2014.(REUTERS/Martin Dokoupi)
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When French wine and cognac bottle maker Saverglass decided to expand three years ago, it chose a relatively remote, less affluent location in the United Arab Emirates for its plant rather than the business hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.The company sited its 75 million euro ($105 million) factory, which produces some 400,000 bottles a day, in the desert emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, an hour's drive north from Dubai along the Gulf coast. Traditionally, oil-rich Abu Dhabi and trading center Dubai have boomed while to the north, the country's other five emirates – Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm al-Quwain and Ajman – have developed more slowly, languishing in relative obscurity.The northern emirates lack the large oil reserves of Abu Dhabi and the entrepreneurial glamour of Dubai. The rate was 16.2 percent in Ras al-Khaimah and 15.3 percent in Sharjah.Growth in the northern emirates may be boosted further by the planned opening in 2018 of an $11 billion railway, which is to stretch across the UAE from Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah to the UAE's borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman.
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