Tag Archives: Haitham Mattar

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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World’s longest zip line in RAK by December

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar and Toro Verde CEO Jorge Jorge and COO Ricardo...

It’s good news for all adventure seekers from the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, as they’re set to launch the first phase of the longest zip line in the world at mountain Jebel Jais. This multi-million dollar ecotourism project is partnered by world’s leading zip line operator, Toro Verde. With the exact length of the zip line remaining a closely-guarded secret until the multi-million dollar adventure tourism product’s opening, the zip line will propel the UAE’s most northern emirate into the major leagues of global adventure tourism and cement Jebel Jais as the region’s leading active adventure tourism destination. With RAKTDA aiming to secure Guinness World Records status for the world’s longest and highest zip line, Toro Verde UAE, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico based Magno Genesis Holding Group, has been appointed to construct and operate the attraction. The zip line will be open to all ages, providing participants meet required minimum weight of 35kg and maximum weight of 150kg, and a minimum height of 120cm. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA stated at the press conference that this move is to complement Ras al khaimah’s contribution to the overall tourism industry in the UAE. RAK is promoted more as adventure or wellness tourism destination. Toro Verde currently holds the Guinness record for the longest zip line in the world and RAK will be positioning itself as number one by the first week in December. He further went on to state that this will be a destination which could attract both commercial and non- commercial activities. “Building on the success of last year’s launch of the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata adventure product, the new zip line represents Ras Al Khaimah’s …

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RAK’s tourist count continues to grow

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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has revealed Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels have reported a 10 per cent year-on-year increase in international guest arrivals during the first six months of the year. Also, the average hotel occupancy in H1 saw a 4.7 per cent year-on-year increase in comparison to the corresponding six-month period in 2016, jumping to 72.7 per cent. With RAK targeting 900,000 visitor arrivals during 2017, it has already recorded 390,499 guest arrivals between January and June, which is a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent in comparison to H1 arrivals last year. Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, says, “While our excellent H1 results highlight continued year-on-year growth in Ras Al Khaimah’s visitor numbers, it is the Ramadan and June results that are particularly promising,” said Mattar. “Our best-ever figures during these typically lower periods of occupancy are a direct result of strategic initiatives and promotional activities undertaken in domestic and international source markets.” The successful Ramadan and June figures follow RAKTDA launching a dedicated summer campaign called ‘Feel Free this Summer’ in April to leverage the emirate as an ideal summer holiday destination on the global platform.

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225-key AVANI Resort Al Marjan Island to open doors in 2019

AVANI Al Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah Resort - Crowngate Groundbreaking... (640x427)

Global real estate developer Crowngate International makes a foray into the hospitality business with its highly anticipated $50 million project, the 225-key AVANI Resort on Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah. Set to be fully operational in Q3 2019, the AVANI managed resort will address the rapidly increasing demand for hotels in the affordable luxury category and is the first 4-star project on aspiring tourist haven Al Marjan Island. The launch ceremony was on held on location on May 21, 2017, and was attended by Abdullah Rashed Al Abdooli, Managing Director of Al Marjan Island LLC, and Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. The resort will rise from an impressive beach-front plot on View Island – seen as the heart of the man-made Al Marjan Island, an archipelago which extends 4.5 kilometres into the sea and is a key area of growth. With white sandy beaches as well as spectacular views of the neighboring islands and the Ras Al Khaimah coastline, the resort is set to appeal to local, regional and international leisure travelers. In addition to premium facilities such as two pools, spa, gym, and kids’ club, the resort will host upscale all day dining and poolside restaurants, and offer meeting and event spaces with a 200-people capacity. Recently, Crowngate International also announced that MINOR Hotels will manage the property under their luxury AVANI brand.

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RAK Tourism’s 6th international office opens in Riyadh

RAKTDA

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has expanded its presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the opening of a new representation office in the country’s capital, Riyadh. Marking its sixth international representation office, the Riyadh opening will support the tourism body’s promotional activities and trade partnerships to penetrate the Kingdom’s high potential outbound market. A team of dedicated trade promotion, MICE and business development staff will manage various in-market promotions and initiatives to drive further awareness of Ras Al Khaimah as a multi-faceted business and leisure destination to Saudi travellers. The move comes as Saudi Arabia produces more hotel guests to the emirate than ever before. According to recent RAKTDA data, tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia increased by 71.28 per cent year-to-date, with further growth expected during the course of 2017. Commenting on the new office opening, RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar said: “This market on our door-step is extremely important to us. The UAE has long been a favourite destination for Saudi tourists and our new our new representative office will further cement our promotional presence in the Kingdom. Through this representation we will build upon current travel trade partnerships, explore further opportunities and continually position Ras Al Khaimah as a year-round destination through targeted campaigns.” RAKTDA’s policy of positioning the emirate as more than a sun, sea and sand destination, driven by the implementation of the Destination Ras Al Khaimah 2019 strategy, has resulted in attracting 820,772 visitors in 2016, placing it in a strong position to achieve its target of one million visitors by the end of 2018.

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231% growth in Polish arrivals to Ras Al Khaimah

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According to Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, there was an increase of 231 per cent in visitor arrivals from Poland in comparison to 2015. The guest nights had also increased by 290 per cent from the previous year with an increased revenue of 273 per cent and an increase in the average length of stay by 17.64 per cent. In an effort to further strengthen the Polish relationship and increase the number of visitors to the emirate, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, welcomed H.E Robert Rostek, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Ras Al Khaimah. H.E Robert Rostek was greeted by RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar to discuss future projects and tourism initiatives that will help boost tourism to the emirate and support the tourism authority’s vision in attracting one million visitors by 2019. “Through its efforts to increase visitor numbers from both established source markets and emerging ones, RAKTDA is constantly looking at ways to create strategic initiatives, promotional activities and partnerships,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA. Last year RAKTDA partnered with the pan-European tour operator TUI to bring two new charter flights – operated by Enter Air – from Poland to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. The new service followed a new co-marketing agreement between RAKTDA and TUI, which was signed in August 2016. RAKTDA’s Vision 2019 includes a roadmap for innovative hospitality concepts which take advantage of the emirate’s unique natural assets, including pristine coastline, stunning mountain ranges, hot springs and expansive desert.  

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157% rise in Polish visitors to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and plans, initiates and drives its domestic and overseas promotions, welcomed two new charter flights from Poland to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. Operated by Enter Air, the two new charter flights have been added by the pan-European tour operator TUI, following the new co-marketing agreement with Ras Al Khaimah TDA which was signed in August. According to CEO RAK Tourism Development Authority Haitham Mattar, the visitor numbers from Poland have increased by 157% to date.

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