Published on : Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Ras Al Khaimah, the fourth largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates recently announced a total investment of over £96 million in its tourism sector. It is likely that the cash will result in over 20 exciting sustainable tourism development initiatives as part of its aim to attract 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2021 and three million by 2025.
The latest announcement comes following the emirate’s previous efforts as the region to introduce a Tourism Incentive & Stimulus Package in April last year followed by an emirate-wide certification as the first safe destination worldwide from Bureau Veritas and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).With the desire for social distancing, tourists are no longer attracted to bustling cities and crowded beaches, and seeks personal space instead as well as a closer connection to nature. This change in direction will allow the spotlight to shine on Ras Al Khaimah, enabling it to step out from the shadow of its well-known neighbours, offering world-class hotels and infrastructure in a wild and unspoiled landscape of desert, beach and mountains.
The emirate, currently the Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021, is the first destination in the world to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels certification, and has been offering free COVID PCR tests to inbound travellers since October, the first initiative of its kind in the world. Efforts such as these, with costs absorbed by the tourism board rather than passed on to visitors, has resulted in Ras Al Khaimah being classed as COVID-safe, including all 46 of its hotels and the world’s longest zipline on Jebel Jais mountain peak.
Raki Phillips, Chief Executive, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), said in a statement that it has been an incredibly busy and proactive time at RAKTDA as the emirate evolves into a global destination of distinction. He shared that the multi-million investment plan further demonstrates the resolve and commitment to tourism, despite the global challenges faced this past year that continue to shake the industry today. He mentioned that the projects also align with RAKTDA’s vision and strategy moving forward with its new brand identity, based on the destination’s natural topography as well as the desire to progress, grow and evolve in tune with tourism aspirations and needs.