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Ras Al Khaimah
January 2024
Ras Al Khaimah sets new records with 1.22 million tourists visiting the emirate in 2023
In 2023, Ras Al Khaimah saw an 8% increase in visitors compared to 2022 and a 24% increase in the number of international tourists.
This success is attributed to several key factors. In 2023, the emirate was the first in the Middle East to be awarded EarthCheck Silver certification for sustainable tourism, expanded its air connectivity, and hosted several major global events.

The UAE's greenest emirate has achieved a historically high level of tourist arrivals. In 2023, 1.22 million tourists visited Ras Al Khaimah, up 8% on last year's figures. The overall increase in international visitors was 24 per cent.
These record figures are the result of a number of strategic measures taken by the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah's Tourism Development Department, including investing in tourism infrastructure, supporting the hospitality sector and building a sustainable ecosystem. Ras Al Khaimah continues to strengthen its position as the tourism destination of the future.

Key achievements for the emirate in 2023
Increase in tourist traffic: 24% increase in the number of international travellers. Hosting 2,200 events in 30 countries, including roadshows, exhibitions and media events.

Successful MICE events: Strengthening the Emirate's position as a business tourism centre is evidenced by a 23% increase in revenue from MICE events and a 103% increase in weddings.

Sustainability Recognition: The Emirate became the first destination in the Middle East to be awarded Silver certification by EarthCheck's Sustainable Destinations (a global leader in assessing and certifying sustainable destinations).

Recognition in global rankings: The Emirate was ranked among the top destinations to visit in 2023 by CNN Travel; among the best places to visit in Asia in 2024 by Condé Nast Traveler; and in Forbes' "Why Visit Ras Al Khaimah Now".

Strategic partnerships: The Emirate has begun working with the Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN Group) to jointly conduct marketing and promotional activities and increase visitor numbers to both Ras Al Khaimah and Musandam.

Tourism Infrastructure Development: The opening of Anantara Mina Al Arab Resort and the reopening of the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah after a global renovation.

Large-scale events: Hosting several large-scale events including the World Minor Football Championship (WMF) 2023, World Golf Championship - DP World, RAK Half Marathon, Global Citizen Forum, Arab Aviation Summit, Exotic Wedding Planning Conference (EWPC).

Record-breaking events: The 2024 New Year's Eve fireworks display entered the Guinness Book of World Records in two categories and attracted more than 65,000 spectators.

Best Place to Work: For the third consecutive time, the Emirate was certified as a Great Place to Work and ranked fourth in the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council's Best workplaces in the public sector in 2023.

Commenting on the emirate's achievements in 2023, RakyPhillips, Head of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Department, emphasised: "It has been a remarkable year that has laid the foundation for Ras Al Khaimah's sustained growth and development. Despite the global challenges affecting our industry, we continued to be flexible and resilient. From investing in tourism infrastructure and organising world-class events to creating a sustainable and accessible environment, we have worked hard to make our destination attractive to visitors and locals alike. Ras Al Khaimah is well on its way to thriving and cementing its role as the destination of the future."
Growth in tourist traffic

As a result of the strategic measures taken by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Department to promote the emirate in the global market, significant results have been achieved in 2023. Tourist traffic to the emirate increased by 8%, reaching a record high of 1.22 million. The number of international tourists increased by 24%. In addition to this, hotel occupancy rates rose to 74 per cent, up 12 per cent on the previous year.

Given Ras Al Khaimah's geographical neighbourhood with the Sultanate of Oman, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Department and the Oman Tourism Development Company signed a Memorandum of Partnership to develop joint tourism activities in both countries. The cooperation agreement aims to enhance Ras Al Khaimah and Musandam's status as leading global tourism destinations in the Middle East and provides travellers with the opportunity to visit both regions in one trip.

Improving the emirate's accessibility
Expanding air connectivity to Ras Al Khaimah plays a key role in attracting more travellers. A new daily Qatar Airways flight to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport from Doha started on 1 November 2023. Passengers travelling to or departing from Ras Al Khaimah can now take advantage of connecting flights to 160 destinations via Hamad International Airport in Doha.

IndiGo's direct flight from Hyderabad (along with its existing direct flight from Mumbai) has also significantly increased the flow of travellers to Ras Al Khaimah. India is currently one of the key markets for Ras Al Khaimah, especially for wedding and corporate tourism.
In addition, in the first half of 2023, the port of Ras Al Khaimah received four luxury cruise liners and another 14 are expected to arrive this year. It is expected to increase the number of passenger ship visits to 20 by 2026 and 50 by 2031.

Developing responsible tourism
In 2023, Ras Al Khaimah became the first emirate in the Middle East to be awarded EarthCheck Silver certification in sustainable tourism. The certification process was based on EarthCheck's scientific standards for conducting research and involved rigorous monitoring, benchmarking and auditing across 10 sustainability indicators including energy and water consumption, waste management, carbon footprint analysis and local community engagement. To promote sustainability within the emirate, Ras Al Khaimah's Tourism Development Department has launched its own certification programme for tourism partners. It is called Responsible Ras Al Khaimah. To date, more than 20 hotels, attractions and tour operators in the emirate have already been recognised with this certification.
The emirate has achieved outstanding results in three important areas: reducing energy consumption by 23 per cent, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent and reducing waste by 61 per cent.

Expansion of the room stock
The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is successfully consolidating its status as an attractive tourist destination through the expansion of its hotel network.
Several new hotel projects have been announced in the emirate in 2023. Coming soon to Ras Al Khaimah will be: Nobu, Le Méridien, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Hilton on Al Marjan Island, as well as Nikki Beach in the Mina Al Arab neighbourhood. The total number of rooms in these hotels will exceed 1,800.

Anantara Mina Al Arab Resort (174 rooms) opened its doors on 2 January 2024. The resort impresses with the splendour of its Maldivian-style water villas with private beaches and views of an ecological reserve surrounded by mangroves.

In addition, the legendary Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah reopened after a major renovation. The hotel offers a total of 203 rooms, including 54 suites. During the renovation work, nine restaurants and bars, a spa and wellness centre, and an extensive outdoor space for private events were upgraded.
A number of hotels expected to open in Ras Al Khaimah in the near term include Westin Resort (257 rooms), Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort (292 rooms), Rove Al Marjan Island (441 rooms), Rotana Mangrove (258 rooms) and Saij, A Mantis Collection Mountain Lodge (70 rooms).

In 2027, Al Marjan Island will be home to the UAE's first super resort with a gambling zone, which claims to be a hospitality giant - Wynn Al Marjan Island Resort (1,500 rooms). It will feature 24 restaurants, shops, spas, a shopping centre and conference facilities. This project will cost US$3.9 billion.
International hub for business and cultural events
Ras Al Khaimah continues to strengthen its position as an international venue for social, business and corporate events. In 2023, the emirate saw a 23 per cent increase in MICE event revenue and a 103 per cent increase in wedding revenue.

The emirate has also hosted several major events including the Arab Aviation Summit, Global Citizen Forum, DP World Tour Golf Championship, RAK Half Marathon. The Emirate confirmed its attractiveness for major sporting events by hosting the WMF World Cup in November 2023.

This was the first time an event of this scale was held in the Middle East. Thirty-two teams from around the world participated in the tournament, with more than 30,000 fans in the stands.
In 2024, Ras Al Khaimah added to its collection of impressive achievements in high-tech fireworks.

On New Year's Eve, a pyrotechnic show was staged along the 4.5 kilometers coastline between the man-made Al Marjan Archipelago and the Al Hamra area, which amazed everyone in attendance with its sheer scale. The show entered the Guinness Book of Records in two categories at once: the longest line of fireworks on water (5.8 kilometers) and the longest line of fireworks in the sky (2 kilometers).

Source: https://travelvesti.ru/news/ras-el-khajma-ustanavlivaet-novye-rekordy-v-2023-godu-emirat-posetilo-1-22-milliona-turistov.html
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