Record 600,000 tourist arrivals in Jan-June 2023 in Ras Al Khaimah

‘Fast-growing’ MICE market in H1: RAKTDA
/ New Delhi
Ras Al Khaimah
Record 600,000 tourist arrivals in Jan-June 2023 in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah received six calls by four luxury cruise liners in H1, including Florida-based Azamara Quest, one of the largest ships ever to arrive in the Emirate

The tiny emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has reported 600,000 visitors in the first six months of the current year, a record, with over 52 pc international visitors.
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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has reported its highest ever half-year arrival numbers, marking a record-breaking first six months.

In a press statement, RAKTDA says international tourism rebound accounted for over 52 pc of all visitor arrivals. The Emirate saw 600,000 visitors between January and June 2023, a total increase of 14.8 pc versus H1 2022.

It also reported highest-ever tourism-related revenue achieved for a half-year period. The H1 figures followed a strong performance in June when the Emirate welcomed over 102,900 visitors, representing a 39.6 pc increase versus June 2022.

The statement adds that following a series of strategic investments, partnerships and initiatives to boost tourism, RAKTDA has achieved Silver Certification to go on to become the first EarthCheck sustainability certified tourism board in the Middle East.


Raki Phillips

“2023 is shaping up to be the Emirate’s best year to date, with our first half results proving the efficacy of moving fast, staying relevant and just getting things done. It is essential we remain agile and continue to develop Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism offering and create diverse and inspiring experiences for all. We have big ambitions and are confident that we will exceed our targets for 2023,” says Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

Ras Al Khaimah has focused on the fast-growing MICE market in H1 as part of its diversification strategy, says RAKTDA. Indicating a push to attract international markets for incentive groups with longer stays versus local corporate groups that tend to only stay for a couple of nights, the destination saw a 26 pc increase in MICE rooms nights compared to the same period in 2022. The destination also hosted several major events between January and June 2023.

To bolster itself as a wedding destination, RAKTDA adopted Exotic Wedding Planning Conference (EWPC) as its platform to introduce an all-new Wedding Certification Programme that will enable seamless, quick, and easy wedding planning in Ras Al Khaimah.

The statement adds that in H1 2023, Ras Al Khaimah saw a 300 pc increase in revenue from weddings which is expected to continue to grow into H2 with the launch of the programme in September. Those certified through the new Wedding Certification Programme will benefit from added ease and flexibility in obtaining necessary licences, organising events, and gaining valuable business support from certified hotels via an e-portal.

In parallel, the Authority also announced a series of comprehensive incentive packages for couples, wedding planners, and certified venues, adds RAKTDA.

It says that tourism related revenue also grew by 64.7 pc, while occupancy and average daily rate (ADR) saw an uplift of 33.2 pc and 6.7 pc respectively. An increase in MICE room nights by 26 pc was noted over H1 2022 driven by international incentive groups.

RAKTDA recently announced new Qatar Airways daily flights to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, starting from November 1. Opening up one of the ‘largest global networks’ of over 150 destinations, the new flights will provide a tourism boost for the Emirate, says the statement.

Significantly strengthening air connectivity between Germany and the Emirate, RAKTDA says it has also inked a new partnership with European tour operator FTI Group, paving the way for the launch of twice-weekly flights from Munich to the Emirate from mid-October onwards.

The statement adds that Ras Al Khaimah received six calls by four luxury cruise liners in H1, including Florida-based Azamara Quest, one of the largest ships ever to arrive in the Emirate. It received both the yacht Emerald Azzurra and super mega-yacht The World the same day. RAKTDA says it has already confirmed 14 luxury cruise calls for next season and expects to welcome 20 by 2025/2026 and 50 by 2030/2031.

The statement adds that Ras Al Khaimah announced the addition of five new luxury resorts by 2026. With two new resorts set to open this year plus several other global names in the near future, the Emirate plans to double the number of keys over the coming years. This includes the largest-of-its-kind foreign direct investment, the USD 3.9 billion Wynn Al Marjan Island, adds the statement.

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