Ras Al Khaimah big regional winner

Jebel Jais will see a 47-villa luxury mountain camp break ground next year

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) was the proud regional winner of the WTM Travel Leaders Award at the recently concluded World Travel Market (WTM) in London.

This award was designed to recognise the most innovative companies in every region of the world, judged on the basis of having made the biggest impact in the industry over the last 24 months.

The award was presented to Haitham Mattar and his team by WTM Global Media Partner TTN’s publishing director, Kim Thomson.

Mattar, who is the CEO of RAKTDA informed TTN that the emirate was well on track to meet its target of attracting one million visitors by end of 2018 and that the emirate now aims to attract three million visitors by 2025.

RAKTDA reported a growth of 11.2 per cent in international guests in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2017, with almost 795,000 guests choosing to stay in Ras Al Khaimah from January to September 2018 for a total of 2.53 million guest nights.

Double digit growth from international markets was led by Germany as the single largest source market with 64,372 visitors, up 4.1 per cent on Q1-3 2017. This was followed by Russia, with 57,117 visitors – up a significant 36.5 per cent on the same period in the previous year. The third largest source market was the UK, with 45,496 visitors, up 10.1 per cent; India was in fourth position with 44,734 visitors, up 16.1 per cent; and rounding out the top five was Kazakhstan with 21,966 visitors, up 26.9 per cent.

In terms of market growth, Norway saw the largest percentage increase in visitors, up 41.5 per cent on the first three quarters of 2017, with Nordic neighbours Sweden and Denmark also showing increased interest in the emirate, with guest numbers up 27.7 per cent and 19.3 per cent respectively.

Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism indices were up across the board – with visitor satisfaction at 94 per cent, above targets of 90 per cent, and average length of stay at 3.19 days. 

The emirate is preparing to add 5,000 rooms to the 6,500 currently available with the confirmed introduction of major global brands including Marriott, Movenpick, Sheraton, Anantara, Rezidor, Intercontinental, Hampton by Hilton over the next three years.

Mattar said, “Jebel Jais will see a 47-villa luxury mountain camp that will be managed by an international operator of some repute and will break ground next year. We believe that this luxury mountain resort will not only be a regional first, but a world-first for us.

“We will also reveal the completion of unique projects including the Survival Training Academy and 64.72km of Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails to be opened in the next two years.”