RAK tourism authority working on $500m projects

Projects are expected to complete by 2013-end, says official

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (Ras Al Khaimah TDA) announced on Sunday that the total number of visitors to the emirate from January to May 2012 were recorded at 523,568 visitors, generating revenues of almost Dh277 million ($75.5 million).

The main visitor source markets to Ras Al Khaimah were Germany, UAE, Russia, Austria, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Italy, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Being the strongest market, more than 172,700 German visitors toured the emirate followed by the UAE with 114,000 visitors.

Compared to the year 2011, Ras Al Khaimah hotels have performed consistently well for the first five months of 2012 with occupancy and daily rates increasing across both beach and city properties resulting a total hotel revenue of almost Dh277 million.

The beach hotels and resorts recorded an occupancy average of 82.42 per cent with an increase of 5.9 per cent as well as a 23.16 per cent increase in average daily rate, where the revenue per available room (Rev Par) improved by 32.66 per cent. The city hotels showed an increase in the average daily rate by 20.64 per cent and in the Rev Par by 32.79 per cent as well as the occupancy, which increased by 6.75 per cent reaching the average of 73.73 per cent.

Commenting on the recent visitor figures, Victor Louis, Chief Operating Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: "Ras Al Khaimah's popularity among domestic, regional and international visitors continues to rise. This is an extremely encouraging result that both supports and bolsters Ras Al Khaimah's success as a global affordable luxury destination offering leisure and adventure experiences as well as a viable destination ripe for further tourism investment."

Louis said: "In the coming months we are working on a series of new tourism projects with a budget of $500 million that was assigned by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah until end of 2013. We are also tapping into new source markets and looking into expanding and developing charter flights direct to Ras Al Khaimah from European cities after the success of the charter flights from Germany, Austria and Sweden that we introduced in 2011, bringing more 55,000 visitors to the emirate."

In light of the most recent visitor figures and with new attractions, hotels and resorts due to open, Ras Al Khaimah TDA is confident of achieving its goal of welcoming 1.2 million visitors by 2013 and reaching the hotel room inventory of 10,000 rooms by the year 2016.