Ras Al Khaimah aims to attract 820,000 tourists in 2016. Ras Al Khaimah aims to attract 820,000 tourists in 2016.

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA) has announced an increase of 23.7% in occupancy across the emirate’s hotels and resorts for January 2016.

Last year the emirate recorded a 6.8% increase in tourists over 2014, and aims to attract 820,000 tourists this year.

RAK TDA CEO Haitham Mattar said: “We recently reported our 2015 full year visitor figures which showed another year of growth and these results for January 2016 further demonstrate the strong position of the emirate.”

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“Under the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah; we are making good progress towards our Vision for 2018 of attracting 1 million visitors,” Mattar said.

He added: “We finished 2015 with some fantastic results and already have a lot to be proud of this year – of course the hard work remains and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with our public and private sector partners to deliver even better figures in the following months.”

Compared to January 2015, hotels in the emirate reported a 10.3% YoY increase in Rev PAR.

In addition, the emirate’s hotels reported occupancy rate of 62.2%, up by 23.7% when compared to January 2015.

Ras Al Khaimah’s top source markets when comparing January 2016 to the same month in 2015 were Germany, Russia, the UK, India and Finland.

Visitors from Germany increased by 167% compared to January 2015 while the emirate welcomed 30% and 153% more visitors from Russia and Finland respectively.

Mattar continued: “There are various factors that contribute to this growth, from our collaborative work with the hotel sector to efforts by the wider government instituations to promote Ras Al Khaimah as a leading destination for business and leisure travel on the global tourism stage, through our aggressive PR and marketing efforts and strategic alliances with partners in key and potential source markets.”

He also added that the events industry in particular has yielded well for the emirate. “Our work in the events sector has continued with an increasing number of events held in the emirate to entertain visitors. The growth from Russia is particularly positive, not only did the number of visitors increase but room nights were also up by 33.96% and ADR increased by 56.72%,” he concluded.