All eyes are on Ras Al Khaimah as the nature-focused emirate goes into overdrive building hotels, opening new flight routes and signing development deals. All of which has resulted in the northern emirate’s best-ever visitor numbers.
For the first half of the 2023, RAK recorded 598,079 arrivals, 310,886 of which were international. That is a 14.8 percent boost year-on-year for Ras Al Khaimah.
Russia makes up almost one third of the emirate’s international source markets, accounting for 30.3 percent (that’s 94,089) visits. That eclipses tourists from UK, Germany and India combined.
A similar trend can be seen in Dubai.
Tourism revenues are also record-breaking so far this year, up 30.6 percent on 2022 to reach AED701.2 million.
Average daily rates are down seven percent YOY at AED533.5 for a roomm but a 25.5 percent increase in occupancy levels of 72.1 percent helped the emirate stay ahead.
Looking at other revenue drivers, in H1, Ras Al Khaimah saw a 300 percent increase in revenue from weddings, which is expected to continue to grow into H2.
Hotel development spike in RAK
Another key driver of the northern emirate’s rising visitor numbers is the continued expansion of its hotel portfolio. Ras Al Khaimah announced the addition of Nobu Al Marjan Island (300 keys) in 2026, Westin Resort (257 keys) in 2024, Le Méridien Al Marjan Island Resort (350 keys) and Earth Shore Al Marjan Island (265 keys) in 2025. With Anantara Mina Al Arab (174 keys) and Sofitel Al Hamra (300 keys) 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.
“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,” said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “It’s 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”.
12 new hotels opening in Ras Al Khaimah soon: From Wynn Resorts to Earth Hotels
Market analysts say the upcoming Wynn Al Marjan Island will have its own ‘Wynn Effect’ in the emirate.
In March, investment management specialists Colliers published a report on the future of tourism in Ras Al Khaimah and says Wynn Al Marjan Island Resort could bring 5.5m tourists to RAK by 2030, smashing the target number of three million.
In April, the first pictures of the upcoming Wynn Al Marjan Island resort were released. The US$3.9 billion integrated resort will be home to the UAE’s first confirmed casino when it opens in 2027.
Wynn Al Marjan Island will comprise 1,500 keys, including rooms, suites and villas, along with two dozen restaurants, a spa, an events centre, and a threatre for “unique production shows.” Wynn states the resort is designed for longer visits and “day trips” from those across the six other emirates. With this in mind, there will be nightly laser and light shows, much like in Las Vegas.
Source: Hotelier Middle East