From the Newsroom
São Paulo – Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), United Arab Emirates, announced this Tuesday (12) that the emirate received over 1 million tourists in 2018, a 10% increase over the previous year. It received 1,072,066 visitors. RAKTDA has implemented its 2016 strategic plan to attract 1 million tourists in three years. The plan for the next triennium, from 2019 to 2021, is reaching 1.5 million tourists per year.
The growth was due mainly to the domestic tourism from UAE, which represents 38% of the total visitors to Ras Al Khaimah. Germany continues to be the leading international source market, with 83,605 visitors, followed by Russia, with 83,531 visitors – up by 17% over 2017. The third largest source market was the UK, with 63,054 visitors, up 11.5% in the same comparative; India was the fourth with 62,325 tourists, up by 22%; rounding out the top five was Kazakhstan with 27,168 visitors, a 28% growth.
One of Ras Al Khaimah’s key milestones in 2018 was the launch of Jebel Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline – the highest mountain in UAE. The attraction has welcomed over 25,000 flyers since opening 12 months ago and put Ras Al Khaimah on the tourism map and strengthened the emirate’s credentials as the fastest growing adventure tourism destination in the region. The zipline reaches up to 150 kph at a height of 1,680 meters, and stretches for 3 km.
The attraction also features seven viewing decks on top of the mountain, an adventure park with more than 64 km of hiking trails, in addition to a climbing tower, a 47-room luxury camp, and other services.
RAKTDA recently announced the launch of its new destination strategy for 2019-2021, which will focus on diversifying the emirate’s tourism offering to attract a wider segment of tourists looking for authentic cultural experiences and adventure tourism. The emirate plans “to attract close to 1.5 million visitors by 2021, and 3 million visitors by 2025,” said Haitham Mattar, RAKTDA CEO.
The new strategic plan also aims to employ 10,000 more people in the tourism and hospitality sector and nurture investment for small and medium businesses. Ras Al Khaimah will also increase the supply of rooms. RAKTDA should add 5,000 rooms to the 6,500 currently available in the emirate, with the introduction of major global brands including Marriott, Movenpick, Sheraton, Intercontinental and Conrad over the next three years.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda