Ras al Khaimah: The Affordable Luxury
06 February, 2013
At the end of 2011, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA) faced a tremendous dilemma: how to get one million people into a desert within just one year? With the total of 1,001,495 visitors coming to RAK between January and November 2012, they somehow did it. The generated hotel revenue quantified as almost US $150 million, 45% more than in 2011.
So how did they do it? First of all, Ras Al Khaimah is more than just a desert. As one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, its territory is nestled between the Hajjar Mountains on the east and the Arabian Gulf on the west and shares mountainous borders with the Sultanate of Oman. It only takes 45 minutes to drive to RAK from Dubai.
Actually, rather than being a dead spot in the desert, Ras Al Khaimah is the most fertile of the emirates. It has over 40 km of coastline and although the temperatures in summer are high and the climate humid, the winter weather is moderate. The views of the mountains are spectacular and the beaches are pristine and with the exception of luxurious beach resorts they are development free.
With over 260,000 visitors, the majority of tourists come from Germany followed by UAE tourists (260,000) and Russians (140,000). The United Kingdom, Italy, Ukraine and Czech Republic follow. The luxury of the accommodation facilities is obvious: out of 22 hotels in RAK that are listed at Booking.com, 21 carry four or five stars.
The RAK TDA does not rest on their laurels, they are planning to increase the room inventory to 10,000 rooms by 2016. New attractions, hotels and resorts are scheduled to open including the 349-room Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah luxury brand property (2013), the 632-room resort Bab Al Bahr (2013); the 340-key DoubleTree by Hilton Resort (2014) and the 442-rooms Crowne Plaza Ras Al Khaimah on the man-made Al Marjan Islands (2015).
The number of charter flights mostly from European destinations is increasing steadily.
As the target for 2013 counts 1,200,000 visitors, you might be one of them. Should you plan a trip to Ras Al Khaimah, please schedule a day in Dubai so that you can meet us as well!
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