Ras Al Khaimah

RAK targets 1 mn tourists by 2018

Ras Al Khaimah is targeting 1 million tourists by the end of 2018, revealed Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) on his recent visit to India.

Nisha Verma

Ras Al Khaimah recently organised roadshows in Delhi and Mumbai, India to meet and interact with travel trade in the country. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) while speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, revealed that India is a prominent market for them and they are expecting huge growth from the country.

“We have seen about 35 per cent growth in the first quarter of the year from the Indian market, and interestingly we have seen a 10 per cent growth in the length of the stay from Indians, which means that Indian travellers are finding more things to do in Ras Al Khaimah. Our target is to keep the travellers for more days and enjoy the destination. We are aiming to get 1 million visitors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018,” Mattar said.

In order to achieve that, they are developing new tourism products. “Ras Al Khaimah is a hidden gem and is very different from Dubai and its neighbouring emirates. We are more about natural assets and adventure. One can hike and zipline in the mountains, dive in the sea and can also do a desert safari, all in the same day. We also have five shopping malls and we are located only 45 minutes from Dubai. The biggest advantage is that RAK offers value for money, especially for families. 72 per cent of our business comes from families. We have beach front resorts, which are 5-star products under 4-star brands and pricing. We are a growing market for India, in terms of weddings as well. We have seen a growth of this segment from India into the destination with high profile weddings, where 300-450 people fly in from India to RAK. Another area we are focusing on is MICE. We also have beach concerts for young millennials,” he informed.

India is the fourth largest source market for RAK right now, while Germany is the first. Mattar realises the difference and says that their strategy is to put RAK in the itineraries of Indians travelling to Dubai. “The number of Indian travellers coming to Dubai is 1.6 million, and those coming to RAK is 37,000. We have seen a great appetite from Indian travellers for combination trips like Dubai-RAK or Abu Dhabi-RAK. For us, it’s a huge growth potential, because if we get even a small segment of those coming to Dubai, India would already be our biggest source market,” he revealed.

Mattar also signed an MoU with Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), for hosting OTOAI convention in Ras Al Khaimah, tentatively from September 12-14 in the emirate. More details about the convention will be revealed soon.

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