RAK sees boost in Q1 international arrivals

International visitors to the northern emirate increased by 11.3% during first quarter of the year compared to same period in 2016

Ras Al Khaimah is growing in popularity with international travellers.
Ras Al Khaimah is growing in popularity with international travellers.

Ras Al Khaimah has reaffirmed its position as the region’s fastest growing tourism destination for international travellers following increased year-on-year visitor numbers during the first quarter of 2017.

New figures reported by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2017 reveal that overall visitor arrivals to the emirate in Q1 grew by 8.3% year-on-year. With domestic tourism still the single largest contributor to Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism performance, the record arrivals in Q1 of this year were largely driven by growth from international source markets, which recorded an 11.3% year-on-year rise over the first three months of the year.

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar said: “This year has started extremely strong for Ras Al Khaimah and we attribute the significant year-on-year increase in international visitors to RAKTDA’s strategic overseas promotional activities. During the course of the last year we implemented a multi-faceted approach in our trade and consumer-led promotions which have yielded increases from all our core international markets and emerging destinations.”

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“We work very closely with a number of travel partners across various markets, and through their support we anticipate prolonged visitor growth as we edge closer to our one million visitor target by the end of 2018.”

During Q1, hotels across the emirate registered average occupancy of 75.5%, an increase of 6.2% over the same period last year. Similar results were posted across all key hotel performance indicators, with RevPAR increasing by 2.5% and room revenue swelling by 9.3%. Similarly the average length of stay increased to 3.9 days year-to-date, up from 3.6 during Q1 2016, an increase of 9.6%.

Ras Al Khaimah’s core international source markets continue to deliver increasing numbers of visitors. Russian arrivals increased 141% year-on-year in Q1, while the UK reported gains of 35%.

The successful launch of the region’s first commercial Via Ferrata and RAKTDA’s investment in developing further products to attract active adventurers remains a key focus throughout this year with further announcements expected in the coming weeks which will enhance the appeal of Ras Al Khaimah for both domestic and international travellers.

Other product developments in 2017 include the opening of the world’s longest zip line, which was announced last year, an observation deck and luxury mountain camp, as well as the launch of official cycling and hiking routes across the emirate, with a focus on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain peak.

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