Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has proudly announced its record-breaking performance in the first six months of the year, achieving its highest ever half-year arrival numbers. The emirate welcomed a staggering 600,000 visitors between January and June 2023, showcasing a remarkable increase of 14.8% compared to the same period in 2022. This outstanding growth in tourist arrivals also marked the highest ever tourism-related revenue achieved for a half-year period.
The impressive achievements of Ras Al Khaimah in the first half of 2023 can be attributed to a series of strategic investments, partnerships, and initiatives aimed at boosting tourism in the region. The authority’s efforts have reinforced the emirate’s position as a destination of the future, and these results set a promising path for continued growth throughout 2023 and beyond.
Key Achievements in the First Half of 2023:
- International Tourism Rebound: International tourism rebounded strongly, accounting for over 52% of all visitor arrivals to Ras Al Khaimah during the first half of the year.
- Sustainable Tourism Leadership: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority achieved Silver Certification, becoming the first EarthCheck certified tourism board in the Middle East. The emirate is now a step closer to becoming a regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025.
- Enhanced Aviation Strategy: A strategic partnership with Qatar Airways was established, leveraging the airline’s extensive global network of over 150 countries to provide direct access to Ras Al Khaimah.
- Partnership with FTI GROUP: A collaboration with FTI GROUP, a leading outbound tour operator in Europe, was formed to drive inbound traffic from Germany, one of the top five visitor source markets for the emirate.
- Mega Tourism Investment Project: The vision for the USD $3.9 billion Wynn Al Marjan Island, the largest foreign direct tourism investment project, was unveiled, set to open in early 2027.
- Increased Demand and Hotel Expansion: The addition of new hotel brands and the expansion of the emirate’s hotel portfolio contributed to a significant increase in room nights and hotel revenue.
- Booming Cruise Sector: Ras Al Khaimah received six calls by four luxury cruise liners in the first half of the year, indicating a promising future for its burgeoning cruise sector.
- Thriving MICE Market: The destination experienced a 26% increase in MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) room nights compared to the same period in 2022.
- Weddings and Events Growth: The emirate established itself as an attractive wedding destination, witnessing a 300% increase in wedding revenue during the first half of the year.
- CEO Recognition: Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, was named one of Forbes Middle East’s Top 100 Travel & Tourism Leaders and Businessperson of the Year by Arabian Business.
The record-breaking half-year figures followed a strong June performance, with an impressive 39.6% increase in visitor arrivals compared to June 2022. Tourism-related revenue also soared by 64.7%, further affirming Ras Al Khaimah’s position as a leading tourism destination.
The authority remains committed to its vision of becoming a regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025. To achieve this goal, the Sustainable Tourism Strategy Implementation Plan – Responsible RAK – was created in partnership with Earth Check, ensuring responsible practices in the tourism sector.
Additionally, Ras Al Khaimah aims to enhance its global connectivity by partnering with major airlines, paving the way for significant progress against its vision. The destination is set to welcome more cruise calls and continues to expand its hotel portfolio, doubling the number of guest rooms over the coming years.
With a dynamic tourism landscape, strategic vision, and ambitious plans, Ras Al Khaimah is well on its way to surpassing its targets for 2023 and maintaining its status as a prominent global tourist destination.