Tag Archives: Haitham Mattar

Netherlands’ largest travel trade and consumer fair to present RAK as host destination

RAKTDA x Vakantiebeurs 2020_Main Photo

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) signed an agreement to present Ras Al Khaimah as the ‘host destination’ at Vakantiebeurs 2020, the largest travel trade and consumer fair in Utrecht, Netherlands. Vakantiebeurs gathers tourism authorities, travel agencies and cultural associations from around the world for an opportunity to introduce their travel destinations and tourism products to consumers and fellow trade partners. Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “With a unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits, Ras Al Khaimah has a great appeal to holidaymakers from all over Europe. We have seen a significant growth in visitor numbers from Europe over the last couple of years, and therefore, the region continues to be a key focus for our tourism promotion strategy in a bid to attract 1.5 million visitors by 2021. We look forward to our participation as the host destination at Vakantiebeurs 2020 as it supports our promotional efforts in Europe to ultimately drive further tourism growth in Ras Al Khaimah.” Ras Al Khaimah’s attractiveness amongst international tourists continues to be strong – accounting for 62% of overall visitors in 2018 – attributable to its 7,000 years of fascinating history, authentic Arabian culture and heritage, high-profile adventure attractions, magnificent natural landscapes, and exclusive luxury and wellness experiences. In a steadfast commitment to strengthen Ras Al Khaimah’s popularity in European markets, RAKTDA continues to participate in key European travel trade exhibitions.

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Ras Al Khaimah attracts over one million tourists in 2018

Haitham(2)

Exceeding its target of attracting 1 million visitors by 2018, Ras Al Khaimah reported 1,072,066 visitors from domestic and key international markets during the year. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) reported a 10 per cent growth in visitors compared to 2017, led by the UAE domestic market which continues to generate 38 per cent of overall visitors. Germany continues to be the leading international source market with 83,605 visitors, followed by Russia, with 83,531 visitors – up by a significant 17 per cent on 2017. The third largest source market was the UK, with 63,054 visitors, up 11.5 per cent; India was fourth with 62,325 visitors, up 22 per cent; rounding out the top five was Kazakhstan with 27,168 visitors, a growth of 28 per cent. One of Ras Al Khaimah’s key milestones in 2018 was the launch of Jebel Jais Flight – the world’s longest zipline, which has welcomed over 25,000 flyers since opening 12 months ago. This put Ras Al Khaimah on the map, breaking the world record and strengthening the emirate’s credentials as the fastest growing adventure tourism destination in the region. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “2018 has been another remarkable year for the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in terms of achievements and milestones accomplished, primarily exceeding our target of 1 million visitors. With the current robust visitor demand, solid regional and international partnerships in place and iconic product launches over the past few years, Ras Al Khaimah is on a mission to further assert its position as the fastest growing tourism destination in the region, whilst promoting our emirate’s breadth of offerings to regional and international target markets”. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority …

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Ras Al Khaimah to drive visitor growth from Central and Eastern Europe

Haitham(2)

In line with its new Destination Strategy 2019-21 and long-term objectives of strengthening the emirate’s presence in key international markets, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced the opening of its first international representative office in Prague, Czech Republic to manage and oversee the authority’s activities in Central and Eastern Europe. The new office will play a vital role in promoting the destination and driving further growth in the number of visitors travelling to Ras Al Khaimah. In 2018, visitor numbers from the Czech Republic and Hungary were up by 18.4 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively compared to the previous year. Announcing the opening of the new office, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “Our Destination Strategy 2019-21 aims to attract 1.5 million visitors to the emirate by 2021. We believe that by providing a compelling proposition and establishing dedicated presence in our key international target markets, we will be able to promote the destination and its diverse offering driving growth in visitor numbers. Central and Eastern European countries are amongst the fastest growing markets for us and frequently rank in our top ten source markets for visitors. The new representative office in Prague will support our promotional activities, trade partnerships and help us develop the region’s high potential outbound market.” Adding to RAKTDA international representation offices in UK, Germany, Russia and Nordics, the Prague office will support RAKTDA’s initiatives to drive further awareness of the emirate as a multi-faceted leisure destination to Central and East European travellers.

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Ras Al Khaimah attracts more European destinations

New Direct Flight- Wroclaw to RAK- 2

Launched by Enter Air, a charter airline of reputed tour operator TUI Poland landed its inaugural direct flight carrying 185 passengers from Wroclaw to Ras Al Khaimah. The new route will be served once a week every Sunday, providing Polish travellers a direct and more accessible access to Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah’s attractiveness as a destination for international travellers continues to be strong, accounting for 62% of overall visitors in the first three quarters of 2018. As part of its Destination 2019 strategy, RAKTDA has significantly increased its promotions in Europe showcasing the diversity of the destination to core audiences in key markets. Commenting on the launch of the new route, Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, RAKTDA, said, “Over the last few years, Poland has become one of the strongest international tourism source markets to RAK, and therefore this step is an important strategic development that will further facilitate the successful bilateral ties between both the countries. Moreover, this new addition expands the network of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport even further, reflecting the strong global confidence in the Emirate’s travel and tourism industry. Europe is a key market for the Emirate, and we are confident that this new route will be extremely successful in increasing visitor arrivals to the Emirate even further.

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Enter Air charters to Ras Al Khaimah

New Direct Flight- Wroclaw to RAK- 2

Launched by Enter Air, a charter airline of reputed tour operator TUI Poland landed its inaugural direct flight carrying 185 passengers from Wroclaw to Ras Al Khaimah. The new route will be served once a week every Sunday, providing Polish travellers a direct and more accessible access to Ras Al Khaimah. Ras Al Khaimah’s attractiveness as a destination for international travellers continues to be strong, accounting for 62% of overall visitors in the first three quarters of 2018. As part of its Destination 2019 strategy, RAKTDA has significantly increased its promotions in Europe showcasing the diversity of the destination to core audiences in key markets. Ras Al Khaimah International Airport now welcomes direct charter and scheduled services from various global destinations including Cairo, Islamabad, Jeddah, Lahore, Peshawar, Calicut, Katowice, Poznan, Warsaw, Luxemburg, Prague and Moscow in addition to Wroclaw. Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, RAKTDA said, “Over the last few years, Poland has become one of the strongest international tourism source markets to RAK, and therefore this step is an important strategic development that will further facilitate the successful bilateral ties between both countries. Moreover, this new addition expands the network of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport even further, reflecting the strong global confidence in the emirate’s travel and tourism industry. Europe is a key market for the emirate, and we are very confident that this new route will be extremely successful in increasing visitor arrivals to the emirate even further.”

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RAK hosts AITO Annual Conference

ICONS of Rugby 2018

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) recently hosted the UK’s “Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)” annual conference. The conference welcomed 120 of the UK’s top specialist travel companies to the UAE’s northern Emirate and introduced them to the destination with its diverse and spectacular offering. The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) is an umbrella organisation that represents Britain’s best independent tour operators. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “The United Kingdom has held its position as one of the top four key source markets for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism over the past few years and continues to show huge potential for further growth. In the first ten months of 2018, Ras al Khaimah saw visitors from the UK increase by 11 per cent over the previous year. RAKTDA aims to increase the number of the UK visitors in 2019 by 20 per cent through increased marketing and trade partnerships.” Derek Moore, Chairman, AITO, commented, “We’re thrilled to have been invited by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourist Development Authority (RAKTDA). It has been particularly exciting for AITO members to visit such a fascinating destination that is on the cusp of change in terms of tourism.” Gemma Antrobus, Chair – AITO Specialist Travel Agents, commented, “This is a destination with enormous potential for AITO Specialist Travel Agents, who are always on the lookout for somewhere a little different from the mainstream. It offers the perfect balance of beach, activity, history and culture, providing the variety that many of our discerning clients seek and that AITO agents enjoy selling!”

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RAK targets Nordic tourists at MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki

RAK image

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) increased its focus on the Nordic markets with its first appearance at the MATKA Travel Fair in Helsinki held from January 18-21. Featuring more than 80 countries and 900 exhibitors, the fair gave RAKTDA the opportunity to introduce the diversity of the destination to the attending trade and public in the region. Ras Al Khaimah was the only Middle East destination to be featured in the show and the exhibit brought to life the authentic and nature-based Arabian experience on offer for Nordic holidaymakers. Four co-exhibitors joined the Ras Al Khaimah stand, namely, Knight Tours, Royal Gulf Tourism, Hilton Hotels Ras Al Khaimah, and Dubai Parks and Resorts to showcase experiences and accommodation options. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “The Nordics is a very important region for us and we have seen significant growth in visitor numbers from the region over the last couple of years. We believe our unique combination of authentic Arabian hospitality, pristine beaches and outdoor adventure pursuits has great appeal to holidaymakers in the Nordics and the MATKA Travel Fair is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the diversity Ras Al Khaimah has to offer.”

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RAK hosts 67th annual German travel association convention

DRV Jahrestagung 2017 Foto copyright DRV

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) hosted the 67th Annual Convention of the German Travel Association (DRV) at Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah. The three-day convention welcomed 630 German travel trade professionals. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, highlighted the importance of hosting the event in Ras Al Khaimah and RAKTDA’s efforts in showcasing the destination to the emirate’s emerging markets. CEOs and senior executives from tour operators, travel agencies and service providers of all sizes, as well as representatives from airlines, cruise lines and insurance companies attended RAKTDA-organised tours, destination workshops and events highlighting the emirate’s latest tourism developments, future plans and unique attractions. A discussion panel during the opening ceremony of DRV focused on Ras Al Khaimah as an emerging tourism destination. The panel was moderated by Dr. Carl Naughton and led by key executives from the travel and airline industries including Volker Greiner, Vice President – North & Central Europe, Emirates; Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA; Ralph Schiller, Group Managing Director, FTI Group; Thomas Bosl, Managing Director, RTK and Stefanie Berk, Managing Director – Central and Eastern Europe, Thomas Cook.

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Adventure tourism in RAK attracts millennials

1. RAKTDA - WTM 2017

The adventure tourism product portfolio of Ras Al Khaimah, now established as one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the Middle East, is shaping up as a millennials’ magnet. Addressing a panel debate in London on the travel patterns of affluent millennials, Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), said the emirate was hitting the mark with the much sought-after segment. “Ras Al Khaimah has what it takes when it comes to ticking millennial boxes,” said Mattar. “They want authenticity and the emirate has it in spades; they want meaningful, off-the-radar experiences and the ability to connect with culture, which again we excel in; and they have a desire to soak up natural sights, which is a key pillar of our offering.” Mattar revealed millennials are now a prime target for the emirate, which boasts of an ancient heritage and myriad landscapes from desert to stunning coastline, and the rocky crags of the Hajar mountains with its natural springs and the UAE’s highest peak Jebel Jais, now ranked as the emirate’s number one attraction.

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RAK targets 900,000 visitors for 2017

3. RAK Q3 Visitor Numbers - Haitham Mattar

Ras Al Khaimah is edging closer to its 900,000 visitor target for 2017 after producing record arrivals in the first nine months of this year – the January to September 2017 international arrivals reveal nine per cent growth in the same period in 2016. The latest figures released by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops and regulates the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, show nine-month growth in key categories including arrivals, hotel occupancy, guest nights and length of stay. Visitor arrivals over the period reached 631,617, guest nights grew 12.4 per cent, occupancy rose 1.3 per cent to 69.2 per cent, while length of stay came in at 3.55 days – a growth of nine per cent. “While growth in all KPIs was satisfying, we are particularly pleased with the extended length of stay which we attribute to development of our events calendar and products, such as the highly successful Via Ferrata around Jebel Jais in the Hajar Mountains. As the first regional product of its type, the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata has done much to established the emirate as a credible leisure activity and adventure destination,” explained Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA.

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