The British affair with Ras Al Khaimah

By | Category: Travel destinations

the zipline at Jebel Jais © Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Cevelopment Authority

That the emirate, Ras Al Khaimah, claims an 18% increase for the first quarter of the year in British visitors is no great surprise. After all, up until a few years ago many British people hadn’t even heard of the destination.

Then some aggressive marketing by the tourism authority and some investment in headline getting attractions – the longest zipline in the world – began to put it on the holiday map and Brits began to holiday there. Hotel occupancy rates were as high as 79.4% in the quarter so it just as well that more hotels in the pipeline because Ras Al Khaimah could have run out of availability in the not distant future without new rooms becoming available. 4,500 rooms will be added by the end of 2020 including the 5 star Anantara Resort at Mina Al Arab; the 5 star Avani Resort at Al Marjan Island; the 4 star Marriott Rak Beach at Al Ma’areedh; the 4-star Park Inn Rezidor at Al Marjan Island and the 4-star Rayhan Rotana at Khuzam.  Al Marjan Island is also anticipated to have 15 hotels by 2025.

Attractions and a range of hotels certainly attract visitors but it is customer service that should win. And the emirate is aware of this and has introduced a feature that should please every visitor. One hotel has already introduced a scheme where you check out of the hotel and check-in for your flight without even leaving the hotel. Your bags are transported to the airport and you just turn up at passport control without all that hassle of airport check-ins and lugging baggage around. Other hotels will enter the scheme later this year.

The zipline has attracted so many that developments are already under way.  There will be two new cables which will increase the capacity of the Jebel Jais Flight to 400 people per day or around 200,000 per year.  In addition, night time ziplining will commence this summer, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a different experience whereby Jebel Jais is 10 degrees cooler than sea level.

Later this year, Ras Al Khaimah will host the Grand Final of the European Tour Challenge Tour season at the end of October, marking a significant milestone for golf in the UAE.  This joins other major sporting events in the destination calendar including the RAK Half Marathon in February which saw hotel bookings from participants increase by 35% year on year, and the RAK stage of the international Dubai Tour cycling race which was in its second successful year in 2018.  

If things go to plan, visitor numbers will top a million in 2018

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