Along with Jebel Jais, breathtaking natural surroundings, golf courses, archaeological sites and pristine beaches, Ruth Carpenter, marketing manager, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, underscored, “Ras Al Khaimah offers a quieter, more culturally-focussed destination, and is therefore a great option for tourists looking to explore Arabic art, music, literature and history.”
Aiming to drive awareness of the emirate as a hotspot of endless choice for all, Mokhtar described the launch of a destination campaign, #myrakday, a Hilton Worldwide scheme to showcase it as a place for adventure, peace and quiet as well as a leading wildlife location.
Mokhtar revealed, “The campaign has been designed in a way that targets GCC Arab nationals as well as western expats and travellers.
For the GCC Arab nationals, the message is to inspire them to come back home and relive the old times, where the pace was different and [...] filled with family or simple things in life.
For western [tourists], it is portrayed as a destination with ample leisure and outdoor sports waiting to be discovered.”
The Cove Rotana Resort Ras Al Khaimah, has also been actively involved in placing the emirate in the spotlight.
Mueller pinpointed, “We are committed to the success of the destination and work closely with RAKTDA by supporting activities such as familiarisation trips, media stays and other marketing
JUST THE BEGINNING
As a key pillar of the emirate’s economic development plan, Mokhtar enthused, “Tourism is expected to grow exponentially in Ras Al Khaimah [...].”
It is therefore essential that the growth is not just sustainable but also adds value to the destination. Alongside the ongoing development of the emirate as a leisure destination, RAKTDA is also shifting the focus and fostering Ras Al Khaimah’s MICE offerings.
Matter illustrated, “[...] We are keen to raise the profile of Ras Al Khaimah and its various venues within the MICE segment to attract further mid-week visitors [...].”
Having already hosted large-scale sporting tournaments and conferences, including the UAE’s World Tourism Day Conference, Mattar detailed that the emirate is home to a selection of viable conference and exhibition centres, including the recently opened Ras Al Khaimah Convention Centre on Marjan Island.
Such facilities, along with the anticipated expansion of accommodation options, will make the emirate an ideal destination for large scale events.
The MICE sector holds a great deal of potential, ensuring mid-week occupancy and maintaining visits from Emirati and GCC travellers, thus making it a segment that Al Wadi Desert Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel aims to cater to, stressed Arora.
Due to embrace some 20,000 keys by 2025, four times the current volume, the tourism industry in Ras Al Khaimah is set to transform. Althought this offers some challenges, as Mueller explained, it will also provide a whole world of opportunity.
“Ras Al Khaimah will further develop and we will see new hotels and new players in the region by 2019, whilst this will no doubt lead to tough competition, it will be healthy for us and a diversity of products in the destination will attract new visitors from new markets,” clarified Mueller.
At the same time as noting that the launch of various products this year and in 2018 will prolong the current growth trajectory, ensuring that Ras Al Khaimah will meet its target of one million visitors before 2019, Mattar concluded, “The emirate is already seen as one of the fastest emerging destinations in the region, and this is something that will not slow in the coming years.”
As Arora summarised, “The future of Ras Al Khaimah is bright [...].”