Ras Al Khaimah comes out on top
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has enjoyed an excellent 2019. With over 1.12 million visitors, the hotels enjoyed an occupancy of 74 per cent and the emirate ultimately benefitted with the highest RevPar in the region, according to STR reports.
We spoke to Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA, at the official launch of Jais Adventure Peak, a collection of iconic adventure attractions on the UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais.
The emirate’s latest adventure tourism offering includes the Jebel Jais Flight, Jais Sky Tour and Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park, in addition to the brand new Jais Adventure Center and Jais Sky Maze.
“Adventure sports is a $500 billion business annually throughout the world and we are still a very, very small part of that business,” Philips says. “Adventure travel ties in very well with health and wellness travel, experiential tourism as well as with sustainable travel, so for us adventure will definitely be a big focus.”
“The eagerly anticipated launch of the Jais Adventure Peak will not only add to the emirate’s diverse hospitality offering but will also elevate the undeniable appeal of Jebel Jais itself. The Jais Adventure Peak captures Ras Al Khaimah’s adventurous spirit through a series of adrenaline-pumping experiences that will leave a lasting impression on our guests and unforgettable memories; everything from the views they will take in as they make their way up to the Adventure Peak to the welcoming staff on-hand with information, the various activities, and most importantly the sustainable yet unique adventure attractions themselves.”
MICE AND CULTURE
Apart from the key adventure angle, however, Ras Al Khaimah will also focus on its Mice business this year as well as cultural tourism, Philips tells TTN.
“We have opened a brand-new convention centre, the Hamra International Convention Center, located right on the beach and have been able to host a lot of weddings, especially Indian weddings.”
RAKTDA has also launched the highest conference room in the UAE, a trailer that has been converted and the views it affords trumps all conference rooms in the country. The trailer is also part of the Jais Adventure Peak and may be surrounded by food trucks of choice should a luxury launch or a creative outdoor event would like to book the place out.
“Apart from Mice travel, we are also focusing on cultural tourism as Ras Al Khaimah has over 7,000 years of history and now we're ready to showcase it to the world.”
KEY SOURCE MARKETS
Germany, Russia, India, the UK and the UAE from a drive market perspective, remain the top five feeder markets for Ras Al Khaimah. “But we've seen some tremendous growth from markets such as Kazakhstan that's had a 15 per cent growth year over year and continues to grow. We've also found increasing interest from the Benelux countries and the Scandinavian market is a big market for us as well. Growth from the Indian market continues to be healthy as we're launching SpiceJet flights direct from Delhi in 2020,” he says.
And as the visitors continue to grow, a number of hotels are also expected to open in 2020, not least of which are the Park Inn by Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island and InterContinental Mina Al Arab.