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Year-to-date visitor arrival growth of 10.4% stimulated by phenomenal growth during traditionally low summer season

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, has reported double-digit growth in visitor numbers for the first nine months of this year, largely stimulated by a significant growth during the traditionally low summer season.

Visitor arrivals to Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels increased by 10.4 per cent between January and September of this year when compared to the same nine-month period in 2015, a factor attributed to a phenomenal increase of visitors between June and August.

“Our year-to-date visitor numbers are extremely encouraging as we enter the busy last quarter of the year. With summer months usually a low season for Ras Al Khaimah, we have bucked that trend this year. The emirate saw an unprecedented increase in our hotel occupancy rates, which is testament to the various roadshows and promotional campaigns conducted by RAKTDA and our international partners throughout the year,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

Between June and August 2016, Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels reported an increased occupancy of 15.9 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. Guest nights during this same timeframe grew by 22.3 per cent, with RevPAR 14 per cent more than the previous year. The positive trend continued through September with visitor arrivals rising by 37 per cent on the same month last year.

Ras Al Khaimah’s expanding hotel proposition experienced significant increases during the first three quarters of 2016, with hotel occupancy averaging 70.5 per cent, marking a 13.6 per cent growth on last year. RevPAR grew by 8.5 per cent over the same period, with room revenue increasing by 12.3 per cent.

Despite anticipated downturn from the UK market following the BREXIT vote, an increase in tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom maintained its status as one of Ras Al Khaimah’s key source markets, behind only the UAE and Germany. Between January and September, visitors from the UK to the emirate increased by 28.6 per cent.

Other key markets also grew during the first nine months of 2016, with year-to-date increases recorded from Germany (53 per cent), India (22 per cent), and Russia (4.6 per cent). The latter of the two ranks fourth and fifth, respectively, in Ras Al Khaimah’s top five source markets.

Significant growth was recorded from markets such as Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Scandinavia. Poland represented 157 per cent year-on-year growth, with further increases expected following TUI’s launch of two new charter flights between Katowice, Warsaw and Ras Al Khaimah in October.

“Through strategic partnerships with tour operators across emerging markets, we have been able to stimulate increased visitors from new destinations to Ras Al Khaimah, which we will continue to support through various trade and promotional activities,” Mattar noted.

“Ras Al Khaimah is ideally positioned to welcome travellers from across all markets, with a number of airlines servicing the emirate through Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and Dubai International Airport, which is only 45 minutes away. The destination’s pristine 64km of beachfront, unique mountainous landscape and range of 5-star hotels and resorts at 4-star prices appeals. The emirate offers something for every traveller,” added Mattar.


RAKTDA’s international promotional push follows the launch of its first tourism strategy – Vision 2019 – earlier this year. With a target of attracting one million visitors by the end of 2018, the emirate’s refreshed brand and award-winning destination video are based on three pillars: Arabian heritage, adventure and activity, and luxury indulgence.


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