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Ras Al Khaimah welcomes 14% increase in visitors in first half of 2018

The number of international visitor numbers in Ras Al Khaimah have increased by 14 percent in the first six months of 2018, according to figures from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). The emirate continues to be an emerging tourist destination in the Middle East, thanks to its breath-taking landscapes and exhilarating adventure activities.

Ras Al Khaimah welcomes 14% increase in visitors in first half of 2018

Ras Al Khaimah has recorded an increase in international visitor arrivals in the first half of 2018. According to new figures released by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), international visitor numbers are up by 14 percent compared to the same time in 2017.

Ras Al Khaimah has emerged as a popular tourist destination in the Middle East over recent years. This is thanks to the emirate’s magnificent natural landscapes, and its extensive adventure activity offerings.

International visitors made up 66 percent of the total number of arrivals in Ras Al Khaimah between January and June this year. The number of Russian tourists increased by 50 percent compared to the same period in 2017, German arrivals were up by four percent, and UK tourists were up by 13 percent.

“With international arrivals to the emirate rising by 14 percent in the first half of the year, we are on track to exceed our projection of 1 million visitors by the end of the year. Our focus remains on sustainable development with new products and accommodation to meet the growing demand. This will form an integral part of our Destination 2019-2021 strategy which will be released in Q4.”

Explained Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

The emirate is one of the region’s leading adventure tourism destinations, and it is a haven for thrill-seekers. It is home to Jebel Jais, the highest mountain range in the United Arab Emirates. The "Jebel Jais Flight" is the world’s longest zipline, and it has become a favourite for thousands of visitors. The 2.83-kilometre-long zip-wire allows passengers to reach speeds up to 150 miles per hour, and there’s a double cable so that visitors can zipline in tandem.

On Jebel Jais, there’s also the Observation Deck which sits 1,300 metres above sea level and offers views of Al Hajar mountain range, the Arabian Gulf and Ras Al Khaimah. The platform area doubles up as a base camp for cyclists and hikers who are visiting the mountainous terrain. There are also picnic areas, walking paths, a dedicated zone for food trucks, and a multi-purpose events facility.

Mr Mattar alos explained:

“Jebel Jais remains core to our proposition as we look to capitalise on the global adventure tourism industry and secure further interest from investors in this growing segment. With the right investment and the use of best practice to develop sustainable tourism, we envision a globally recognised destination attracting 3 million visitors and contributing Dh3.5 billion ($952.8 million) to the emirate’s GDP by 2025.” 

To keep up with the demand of visitors to Jebel Jais, there are plans to develop a 37-room Luxury Mountain Camp in December 2019; a Survival Training Academy which will be completed in Q3 2019; and 64.72km of Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails opening next year. Ras Al Khaimah was recently awarded the World Travel Award for Middle East’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination 2018.

The emirate has also seen an increase in hotel occupancy rates with the average hotel recording 73.3 percent occupancy compared to the first six months of 2017. Over the next three years, there are plans for the development of new hotels in the emirate under brands including Marriott, Movenpick, Sheraton, Anantara, Rezidor, Intercontinental, Hampton by Hilton and Crowne Plaza.

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