Ras Al Khaimah comes to town
Marian Benton (Travelbiz) reporting.
In the unique surroundings of the Arrol Suite in the Guinness Storehouse the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority hosted an excellent lunch for the Irish media to introduce us to Ras Al Khaimah, the Nature Emirate. The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority Team of Raki Phillips (Chief Executive Officer), Alka Winter (Vice President Destination Marketing & Communications) and Gehan Sidky (Senior Manager Destination PR & Communications) together with Phoebe Irving (Communications Director PRM Global) were our most hospitable hosts.
Raki gave a most informative presentation in which he told us that Ras Al Khaimah (which means ‘top of the tent’) is the fourth largest and the most northern Emirate in the UAE. It has a population of 400,000 people. It is where East meets West, being equidistant from London and Beijing. It is 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport and 2 hours and 30 minutes from Abu Dhabi, both served by direct daily flights with Emirates and Etihad airlines respectively.
There are over 8,000 hotel rooms, over half of which are 5 stars. All major international groups are represented there and another 4,617 beds are in the pipeline. including a multi-billion dollar Wynn Resort on Marjan Island with 1200 rooms, shopping mall, spa, entertainment and gaming area, due to open in 2026.
With over 7,000 years of recorded human history dating back to the Bronze Age, Ras Al Khaimah is steeped in rich Arabian culture. Dhayah Fort is the UAE’s only remaining hilltop fort and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Ras Al Khaimah has a rich history of pearl diving (it was the main commercial activity before the discovery of oil and gas) and a visit to the Suwaidi Pearl Farm will teach you everything you need to know about these precious gems.
The perfect combination of mountains, desert and sea at Ras Al Khaimah provides ideal conditions for the seemingly endless list of activities on offer including water and desert activities, golf, zip lines and the Bear Grylls Explorer Camp.
Their long-term tourism vision is to become a regional leader in sustainable tourism attracting over 3 million visitors annually by 2030. With their balanced approach ‘Nature + Development = Balanced Tourism’, Ras Al Khaimah are on track to achieve this goal.