The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) announces its highest number of visitors since the start of Covid-19, with the emirate reporting visitor arrival numbers in line with pre-pandemic attendance over the past few months. first six months of 2022.
The impressive first half performance saw the emirate welcome over 521,085 international and domestic visitors between January and June 2022, a total increase of +21% compared to the first half of 2021 and a return to pre-pandemic figures since June 2019.
An enriched tourist and hotel offer
The emirate’s strong performance in 2022 was bolstered by the opening of several new hotels and resorts, including the Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah on Marjan Island, the InterContinental Mina Al Arab, the first property in the InterContinental Hotels group in the emirate and more recently Mövenpick’s first on Al Marjan Island, located on a 300 meter stretch of golden shoreline and home to Ras Al Khaimah’s largest floating water park. The emirate now has over 8,000 keys, with 4,617 new keys in the pipeline over the next few years.
Famous for its exceptional nature, adventurous recreation and authentic offerings, Ras Al Khaimah has quickly become one of the most sought-after sustainable destinations in the Middle East, and was recently included in the magazine’s 2022 World’s Greatest Places. Time. The annual list, which features 50 must-see global destinations, highlighted Ras Al Khaimah for its adventure offerings and stunning and unique topography and geodiversity. In recognition of the emirate’s incredible natural environment, the Authority has continued to develop new sustainable attractions to attract both local and international visitors. A key new attraction to open was the Jais Sledder, the longest toboggan run in the region, spanning over 1,840 exhilarating meters of hairpin bends and reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometers a day. hour. Jais Sledder has welcomed over 54,000 visitors since opening in February.
Commenting on the rapid rebound in tourism in the emirate, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “Ras A Khaimah is one of the first destinations in the region to return to pre-Covid levels thanks to the agility of our tourism community during the pandemic. This is all the more remarkable given the current economic and geopolitical landscape in which we operate, which pushes us to focus on what is important for long-term resilience: diversification, community and sustainability. Our investment strategy, which focuses on precisely this, has been central to our rapid rebound. We are on track to reach over 1.11 million arrivals by the end of the year and to fully return to pre-pandemic levels in just two years.
The Authority’s commitment to building a sustainable destination is the basis for Ras Al Khaimah’s return to higher visitor numbers than before the pandemic. Announced at the 2022 Arab Travel Market, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has taken a bold new approach to sustainability – Balanced tourism – marking a key milestone in its strategy to drive global growth and become the regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025.
The Authority is committed to shaping tourism in the United Arab Emirates by placing all aspects of sustainability at the center of its investment and development strategy to create a destination that will resonate with today’s responsible traveler. today.
As such, he unveiled a tourism business accreditation program that will also provide a management framework to help individual businesses increase their sustainability efforts to assess their performance. It is expected that more than 30 businesses will receive tourism certifications in the first year of the program. In addition, the Authority has launched the destination certification program which provides a solid basis for action in terms of sustainable management. The goal is to obtain the “Sustainable Tourist Destination” certificate for Ras Al Khaimah in 2023, which is internationally recognized.
Driving growth for 2022 and beyond
With the ambition to continue to increase visitor numbers for the duration of 2022, the Authority recently announced a series of strategic partnerships with leading airlines and tour operators to target emerging and growing source markets. This includes the introduction of new direct air connections, with the emirate set to welcome several new weekly flights from major cities in Germany, including Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich. To further boost connectivity, the Authority is developing the emirate’s booming cruise industry, aiming to attract 50 cruise ship calls each season and more than 10,000 passengers in the coming years.
In early 2022, the integrated development of a multi-billion dollar resort with Wynn Resorts was also announced. Scheduled to open in 2026, the multipurpose integrated complex marks the largest foreign direct investment of its kind in Ras Al Khaimah. The complex will house more than 1,000 rooms, shops, meeting and convention facilities, a spa, more than 10 restaurants and lounges, extensive entertainment and a playground, intended to further increase the number of visitors in the years coming.
World-class event pipeline
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority is further focusing on promoting the emirate as a leading sports and MICE destination in the Gulf to boost tourism, announcing a number of strategic event partnerships concluded in the first half of 2022. With a solid track record of successfully organizing international sporting events, such as the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon – the fastest half marathon in the world which attracts over 5,000 participants per year – l he emirate was recently selected by the World Minifootball Federation (WMF) to host its biennial international football competition. A major international football competition held every two years, the 2023 Minifootball World Cup will attract more thousands of spectators and fans from around the world to experience Emirates’ unique tourism and hotel offer.
“Already one of the fastest growing destinations in the region, the first half of 2022 has set us on a very strong trajectory for the year. It is great to see the strategic investments made by the Authority throughout through a very difficult period to produce such solid results”, concludes Phillips. “As Ras Al Khaimah continues to expand its tourism, we plan to get better and better, inviting more visitors from around the world to experience our beautiful natural emirate.”
To learn more about the wealth of experiences in Ras Al Khaimah, please visit visitrasalkhaimah.com or visitjebeljais.com and/or check out the emirate’s social platforms Instagram, Youtube and Facebook.