Tag Archives: Haitham Mattar

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

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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 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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Ras Al Khaimah TDA commits to accessible tourism code of conduct

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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority strengthened its commitment to deliver ‘Tourism For All’ by signing the Accessible Tourism Code of Good Conduct,  during its annual UAE World Tourism Day conference. Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority,  said, “Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has strengthened its commitment to deliver Tourism For All by signing the Accessible Tourism Code of Good Conduct. This code was developed by the European Network of Accessible Tourism (ENAT) – represented today by one of our keynote speakers Ivor Ambrose. Over the next three years, we will commence the journey to honour our commitment to this code by establishing accessible tourism products and practices in the emirate.” The half-day UAE World Tourism Day Conference, held at the Al Marjan Island Convention Centre, saw keynote addresses from HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and His Excellency Mohammad Al Muhairi, Undersecretary to UAE Minister of Economy who spoke about the important contribution of tourism to Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. As well as discussing issues and developments within accessible tourism and matters that strengthen Ras al Khaimah’s and the UAE’s tourism propositions, the conference addressed the key needs of family and elderly travellers, aligning with UNWTO’s World Tourism Day which was marked earlier this week – under the theme ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility.’ “We are supporting the development of our MICE profile with the creation of an events calendar for the destination which we anticipate will act as a spur to attract additional meetings, convention, incentives and exhibition business,” he concluded.  

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23% increase in Indian visitors to Ras Al Khaimah

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Ras Al Khaimah has recorded a 23 per cent increase in visitors from India during the first six months of 2016 compared to the corresponding January-June period last year, according to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). The positive growth trend during 2016 ranks India as the third largest international source market for the UAE’s most northern emirate – up from fourth last year. Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA stated that their new brand positioning emphasises Ras Al Khaimah’s natural assets, luxurious indulgence, range of activities for different types of travellers and authentic Arabian heritage and culture – their diverse destination pillars resonate well with Indian travellers.  In-line with the emirate’s international promotional strategy, RAKTDA recently attended July’s MICE India and Luxury Travel Congress (MILT) in Mumbai, the latest stop in a series of roadshows and familiarisation trips with Indian travel trade partners in the first six months of 2016. The promotional programme in India has targeted the country’s swelling MICE and luxury market, which has witnessed tremendous growth in outbound corporate travel in recent years as more and more corporates recognise the importance of MICE activities as a key driver to engage internal and external customers. With RAKTDA projecting further growth from the Indian source market as part of its target to attract one million visitors to the emirate by the end of 2018, Mattar highlighted the emirate’s close proximity to Dubai – a long-standing destination of choice for Indian tourists – has proven a key factor in making Ras Al Khaimah an attractive destination.

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Ras Al Khaimah partners with TUI

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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has entered into a cooperative marketing agreement with German tour operator TUI. The RAKTDA-TUI partnership will initially focus on the fourth quarter of 2016, with the cooperation extending to consumer and travel trade communication via the TUI media and distribution portals. The two entities will also activate joint marketing activities across leading German travel agencies. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah TDA, stated that Germany remains a key source market for Ras Al Khaimah and this prestigious partnership with TUI will further strengthen their distribution base and highlight their distinctive product offering to potential German visitors. The cooperation will raise awareness of Ras Al Khaimah as a premier leisure destination by leveraging their core product pillars of genuine Arabian experiences, heritage, great beach resorts, adventure tourism and diverse natural landscapes. With RAKTDA aiming to attract a total of one million visitors per year by the end of 2018, Mahpar Azarpira, Head of TUI’s Partner Marketing, believes the RAKTDA-TUI partnership will contribute significantly to the emirate’s tourism objectives.    

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Ras Al Khaimah sees 37% rise in Indian visitors

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Ras Al Khaimah has recorded a growth of 37 per cent in visitor arrivals from India during the period of January to April 2016, a remarkable surge over the same period last year, according to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA).  The positive figures indicate that 2016 is witnessing a strong start from India, the fourth largest international inbound market for Ras Al Khaimah. In line with the current tourism development strategy, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority recently conducted roadshows and one-on-one interactions with Indian travel trade partners to educate them about the tourist offerings of the emirate. Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah TDA, said, “As part of our tourism strategy to attract 1 million visitors to Ras Al Khaimah by the end of 2018, we place great importance on diversifying our source markets and creating sustainable tourism growth. Our recent trade missions and industry partnerships in India are a key part of our strategy, and have resulted in a positive increase in visitor arrivals from India. We recently launched our new brand positioning which emphasises Ras Al Khaimah’s natural assets, luxurious indulgence, range of activities for different types of travellers, and authentic Arabian heritage and culture. We are very hopeful that visitors from India will continue to grow as more leisure and business travellers discover the emirate’s unique offerings.” Furthermore, in the first quarter of 2016, Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels reported an occupancy rate of 71 per cent, up by 18 per cent over Q1 2015. Coupled with a 9.2 per cent year-on-year increase in Rev PAR, this demonstrates the highest growth across the GCC region.

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