Tag Archives: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

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 to host PATA Annual Summit 2020

Mario-Hardy1

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has announced hosting the PATA Annual Summit from May 15-18, 2020, organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The four-day event will bring together international thought leaders, industry shapers and senior decision-makers who are professionally engaged with the Asia Pacific region. The summit embraces a global forum for enhancing the sustainable growth, value and quality of tourism and includes a one-day conference, the PATA Annual General Meeting and the PATA Youth Symposium that allows students and young tourism professionals an opportunity to engage with senior industry leaders. As part of the event programme, PATA in partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will also once again organise the UNWTO/PATA Leaders Debate which brings together senior executives from both the public and private sector to address thought-provoking issues currently affecting the industry. Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “Ras Al Khaimah has committed to supporting cultural, natural heritage and environmental preservation across the Emirate, activities which are aligned with PATA’s mission in acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. That is why we are honoured to be working with RAKTDA in bringing together our public and private sector members and partners to discuss the challenges and issues faced by our industry.” Commenting on the announcement, Haitham Mattar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “We look forward to hosting the PATA Annual Summit 2020 in Ras Al Khaimah and introducing the destination to key international industry leaders and delegates from the travel and hospitality sector in the Asia Pacific region. Strengthening the Emirate’s MiCE offer by showcasing our world class …

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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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RAK focuses on concierge training for hospitality partners

RAKTDA hosts Concierge Training Programme

Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels and resorts, in line with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)’s mission to develop the emirate as a world class tourism destination, have engaged their concierge teams in a two-day extensive training programme to  enhance the quality of services provided by hotels across the northern emirate. Organised by RAKTDA, the Concierge Training Programme welcomed more than 20 participants to Hilton Garden Inn, Ras Al Khaimah. Led by Prof I.S. Mirza, Director Principal, Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education, the training included insights on the UAE’s culture and history, traditions, customer service skills, as well as key tourist attractions and projects in the region’s fastest growing tourism destination. Commenting on the course, Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, said, “The emirate’s hotels are key partners in RAKTDA’s drive to help enhance our guests’ experience when they visit Ras Al Khaimah and these workshops strengthen our offering. Earlier this year we conducted a Visitors Satisfaction Survey which was extremely encouraging and a strong indicator of the success RAKTDA and our partners have had with positioning Ras Al Khaimah as an all-round destination. We want to make sure we continue offering our visitors the best experience and this can only be achieved by working together with our hotel and industry partners.” The survey, carried out by Nielsen on behalf of RAKTDA, polled a sample of visitors through face-to-face exit or intercept interviews following their stay across a cross section of the emirate’s hotels. The results found that 85.5 per cent of those asked were satisfied with their trip to Ras Al Khaimah. The northern-most emirate welcomed 390,499 between January and June 2017, registering an average occupancy of 72.7 per cent …

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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 Destination Dawn beach festival on Oct 6

2. Ras Al Khaimah - Destination Dawn

Destination Dawn, the 12-hour beach festival on Ras Al Khaimah’s Al Marjan Island, will return to the emirate on October 6, 2017. The biannual festival, organised by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), saw more than 2,000 party-goers descending on Al Marjan Island in May. The pristine beaches of Al Marjan Island – Ras Al Khaimah’s coral-shaped archipelago – will again be transformed into a festival hangout with food trucks, beverages and chill-out zones, Destination Dawn ticket holders can choose to either camp at the festival, reach the party via free shuttle buses from Dubai, or book a staycation in one of the island’s luxury hotels. with headliners R3HAB, one of Holland’s hottest music exports, Dutch duo Bassjackers, and Russian trio Swanky Tunes. Kicking off at 5 pm on October 6, revelers can dance all night until 5am on Saturday. Ticket holders can bring their own tents and camp on the beach, making the festival a truly unique experience. Tickets for the over 18’s only event will be on sale from beginning September through www.destinationdawn.com, Virgin Tickets, and Platinum List.

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RAK Tourism Development Authority CEO to represent ME at UNWTO

RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar spoke at a UNWTO round table on Sustainable Urban Tourism in Madrid

The CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), Haitham Mattar, has been appointed as the Middle East representative for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation affiliate members board. Mattar has also been named a full-time advisory board member of the Global Thinkers Forum (GTF), an international platform that brings together a diverse network of thought leaders to share their vision for the future, create meaningful conversations around them and effect positive change in the world. “While I am personally humbled by these dual board member appointments, my strategic objective now is to leverage them to raise the profile of Ras Al Khaimah and highlight our sustainable tourism work and progress initiatives that we are championing to influence global audiences. These board appointments will increase our collective capacity to underline our tremendous destination performance across all tourism and hospitality products, as well as highlight the abundant investment and partnership opportunities available in the emirate,” he added.

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