ATM update: Ras Al Khaimah to invest $136mln in tourism sector
New attractions will be 'experiential' with a back to nature theme focusing on the UAE's highest peak, Jebel Jais
Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island
By Imogen Lillywhite, ZAWYA
Ras Al Khaimah will invest $136 million in tourism that will see the development of more than 20 sustainable initiatives covering the emirate’s natural attributes, including Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain.
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) in partnership with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be investing in the 20 new sustainable projects.
The main strategy of the projects focuses on the emirate's nature, leisure, adventure, accessibility and authenticity. All projects are purpose built with sustainability standards and processes, appealing to those seeking safe and expansive experiences in the new normal of travel, Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said at the Arabian Travel Market 2021.
“This multi-million investment plan further demonstrates our resolve and commitment to tourism, despite the global challenges faced this past year that continue to shake our industry today. These projects also align with our vision and strategy moving forward with our new brand identity,” Phillips said.
The announcement was made alongside the tourism authority's unveiling of its new brand identity, which features a mountain motif.
Ras Al Khaimah is also strengthening its hospitality infrastructure through new hotels, such as the all-new Mövenpick Resort at the Al Marjan Island (418 rooms), which offers direct sea views. Guests can choose from large-sized family rooms, suites or 28 beachfront chalets with private pools and gardens.
The upcoming Hampton by Hilton at the Al Marjan Island, comprising 515 rooms, will be the largest Hampton by Hilton globally and the first to offer an all-inclusive resort concept. Other new openings include Radisson Al Marjan Island with 388 rooms and InterContinental Mina Al Arab with 351 rooms.
The success of RAK as a domestic destination has triggered more interest from investors, according to Phillips.
"As a Ras Al Khaimah government body, we are investing in the infrastructure and the attractions that are coming into the destination, such as the road that cuts down the travel time up and down Jebel Jais. All the hotels that are coming on board are independent investment, so that shows the interest in the destination," he said.
The tourism authority's CEO also said that the emirate's tourism market declined 25 percent year-on-year in 2020, as opposed to 75 percent globally.
Ras Al Khaimah was the best performing market in the GCC based in REVPAR in 2020. The reason for our success is we are a nature driven destination, we are a great getaway. Domestically we fared quite well, we went from being a 30 percent domestic destination, to a 60 percent domestic destination," Phillips said.
(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)
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