Ras al Khaimah; new to tourism, old in heritage

By | Category: Travel destinations

one of the many forts in Ras al Khaimah shows the past…

A few years ago, Ras Al Khaimah was hardly known outside the Middle East. Now it is one of the fastest growing destinations. Being only 45 minutes away from Dubai it is luring travellers who might otherwise have gone there to visit a “new” destination instead. New it might be for the tourist, old it is in heritage being able to track mankind back 7,000 years.

Going somewhere your neighbour hasn’t visited provides bragging rights and there and tens of thousands of people who always are looking for that new destinations so they can say that they visited it before it became popular. From a standing start in 2011, the tourist authority has maged to persuade about a million of us to visit just this year!

This year the emirate has seen growth of 11.2% in international visitors in the first nine months of the year with almost 795,000 guests choosing to stay in Ras Al Khaimah for a total of 2.53 million guest nights.

UK visitors are the third largest contingent of visitors and 45,496 of us, (up 10.1% over the same period last year) went there until the end of September.

For such an ambitious destination it will surprise no reader that the emirate is planning on raising visitor numbers to three million in the next six years. As part of that they will announce more marketing pans soon.

…and the zipline shows the new

What attracts visitors to Ras al Khaimah? Natural benefits such as beaches, scenic mountains and year-round sunshine help attract visitors but the emirate has very actively pursued a policy of developing tourist offerings. This year it launched the Jebel Jais Flight- the world’s longest zipline on Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE but encouraged us to visit it by holding a virtual experience in London. There the augmented reality attraction gave adventure-seekers a chance to experience Jebel Jais Flight in the hope that it would encourage them to visit the destination.

For those not quite so adventurous there are 64.72km of hiking and mountain biking trails to be opened in the next two years. Or you can just enjoy the beaches and the heritage, that heritage including forts, ancient rural communities and a desert way of life.

That it has Dubai on its doorstep with all the airline connections that the city has around the world has -certainly helped attract more visitors. The way things are, that three million is going to be sooner rather than later.

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