The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah received the first chartered flight carrying 166 tourists from Europe last evening, marking the beginning of a new chapter in its booming tourism industry.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft of Travel Service touched down at the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport at 4.30 pm carrying tourists from Prague after having a stopover at Budapest.
The tourists were welcomed at the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport by Sheikh Salem bin Sultan.
Al Qasimi, Chairman of RAK Civil Aviation. The flight comprised of tourists from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
Sheikh Salem said that RAK Airport will receive weekly chartered flights on every Wednesday from Europe for the next six months. “The commencement of charter flights to Ras Al Khaimah would boost the tourism industry in a big way”, he said.
“The Government of Ras Al Khaimah is making earnest efforts to increase its tourism infrastructure and provide world- class tourism.
facilities in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah”, he said. “The pristine beaches of RAK, its majestic mountains and heritage sites will turn out to be of great interest to the tourists”, he added.
The tourists will be staying in RAK for one week at the Al Hamra Fort Hotel and at other hotels in the emirate. The charter was arranged in
coordination with Exim Tours of Prague and Kartago Tours from Hungary.
The influx of foreign tourists is expected to shore up the tourism sector of the emirate which is already on a growth overdrive with plans to triple the number of hotel rooms in the near future. Around 25 new hotel projects are under various stages of implementation and the completion of several mega tourism projects like the Al Hamra Village, Mina Al Arab, Al Marjan Island and the Saraya Islands will provide a quantum leap in the number of hotel rooms and leisure facilities available in RAK.
Jan Lalkens, Acting General Manager of RAK International Airport, said that steps were being taken to increase the terminal capacity and enhance the infrastructure facilities at RAK Airport to cope up with the expected rise in passenger numbers following the launch of RAK
Airways scheduled for the first quarter of 2007.
“We are also expecting more charter flights in the coming months and several other airlines are going to start operations from RAK Airport”, he added.