Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is flourishing with newfound benefits from the rise of international hotel groups that are making the emirate their latest target for expansion.
The emirate has experienced an increase of tourists from their top five source markets including the UAE and Germany followed by Russia, England and India. A total of 330,048 people visited the emirate in the first half of the year, generating approximately $118.7 million.
“The driving force behind RAK’s tourism confidence is affordable luxury,” says Steven Rice, Chief Executive Officer of RAK TDA.
Based on Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority the average ADR of all upscale and luxury properties is $140.83 while the average daily, at beach hotels and resorts, the average daily rate touched $168.58, bringing in total revenues of $103.8MILLION.
In the city, hotel occupancy reached 64.11% per cent and the average daily rate was $69.85, generating revenue of $14.9m.
According to STR (Smith Travel Research) report for the month of June, the average daily room rate for RAK increased by $36.93 in comparison to Abu Dhabi for June.
RAK hospitality market is performing extremely well considering an increase in room inventory of 40% plus. With the addition of four five star luxury properties in Marjan Island and Al Hamra area in the last nine months, the revenue numbers almost doubled and international as well as local visitors are finding more luxury options that are in line with other emirate hotels now is RAK.
With little business travel reaching the emirate, most RAK hotels generate the lion’s share of funds from leisure travelers. Steven Rice adds that “The emirate’s diverse nature and unspoiled beaches are one of its main selling points, especially for tourists looking for a good time. The RAK government set up Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (Ras Al Khaimah TDA) in 2011 as part of its effort to shore up tourism. It had also targeted to invest $500 million in tourism development projects.”
As a result of the government’s strategic focus on developing the emirate’s tourism sector, RAK has attracted investments from major international brands and saw three new hotel openings on Al Marjan Island in the first quarter of 2014.
The hotel openings on Al Marjan Island are the 655-key Rixos Bab Al Bahr Resort, which is the largest all-inclusive resort of this magnitude in the UAE; the 315-room Marjan Island Resort & Spa; the 484-key DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island. The 265-room Santorini Hotel, a part of The Bin Majid Group, is scheduled to open by 2015. The 346-room Ras Al Khaimah Waldorf Astoria, which was the Hilton luxury brand’s first in the UAE, is already up and running.
According to credit rating agency analysts, the tourism sector is maintained by its economy and RAK seems to be heading in the right direction with a bright outlook ahead.
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