Tag Archives: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

Pegasus Airlines launches flights from Istanbul to Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) welcomed Pegasus’ inaugural flights from Instanbul to Ras Al Khaimah on November 28. The flight departed from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) on November 27 at 9:50 pm and arrived at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RKT) at 3:20 am on November 28. The arrival of the first flight was celebrated with a water cannon salute for the aircraft and a special cake cutting ceremony attended by key figures in the aviation industry, including representatives from RAK Civil Aviation, RAK Airport, RAKTDA and Pegasus. H.E. Engr. Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, member of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah Executive Council shared, “We are proud to announce the new route between Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport and Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. RAK is a key player in the local aviation market, and this is just one of the many developments we have planned for the airport in the coming months and years.” Raki Philips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority commented, “The new route from Istanbul to Ras Al Khaimah is a fantastic achievement for the airport. It opens up our beautiful emirate to key markets in Turkey and beyond. The new route is just in time for one of our busiest seasons, as the weather cools down, tourists are able to take full advantage of Ras Al Khaimah’s many great outdoor assets, inclusive of the beaches and mountains.” Sanjay Khanna, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport added, “The new route from Istanbul to Ras Al Khaimah is a fantastic achievement for our airport and I cannot wait to see the …

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Sheikh Saud inaugurates World Travel & Tourism Council Forum 2019

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, delivered the keynote speech to open the inaugural World Travel & Tourism Council Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum 2019, held in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre. Sheikh Saud confirmed in his speech at the event, which attracted hundreds of C-level tourism and travel industry delegates from around the region and the world, that Ras Al Khaimah has had a unique journey, from communities of pearl fishermen, traders and mountain tribes to the prosperous, growing Emirate we see today. Sheikh Saud said, “To create sustainable development here in Ras Al Khaimah, we have been busy trying to build one of the most diverse economies in the region. Currently, no single sector of our economy makes up more than 30% of GDP. And in terms of tourism, we’ve witnessed huge growth – tripling our visitor numbers from under 400,000 to over 1 million in just seven years.”  The one-day World Travel & Tourism Council Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum 2019 brought together a select group of CEOs and regional travel and tourism leaders, along with Tourism Ministers and regional experts. Speakers included Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman and youngest Arab to summit Mount Everest; Paul Griffiths, the CEO of Dubai Airports; Raki Phillips, the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; Shaun Vorster, the Vice President of Expo 2020 Dubai; Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud; and Gloria Guevara, the President & CEO of WTTC and former Tourism Minister of Mexico.

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RAKTDA gears up to host region’s first WTTC MENA Leaders Forum

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is gearing up to host the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum 2019 next week. The forum will take place on October 2 at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah for the first time in the region and will bring together key industry leaders to discuss the core issues facing the region’s Travel & Tourism sector. The one-day programme is set to bring together government agencies, industry associations, CEOs and senior leaders of the top travel and tourism companies, experts, and media from across the region, in an effort to explore contemporary issues facing the sector and discuss growth opportunities to advance the regional agenda. Local and regional experts from the both public and private sectors will deliver keynotes and engage in topical panel discussions, including Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism, South Africa; Rusty Brainard, Chief Environmental Sustainability Officer, Red Sea Project; Shaun Vorster, Vice President, Expo 2020 Dubai, Alison Grinnell, CEO, RAK Hospitality Holding; and Raha Moharrak, Mountaineer & first Saudi Woman to Climb Seven Summits. Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of RAKTDA, said, “The opportunity to host this prestigious industry forum comes at a pivotal time as we aim to fuel a sustainable tourism-driven economic growth in Ras Al Khaimah, as guided by our current Destination Strategy 2019-2021. Tourism remains one of the key drivers of the Emirate’s continued growth in GDP and employment.”

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Ras Al Khaimah attempts to break two Guinness World Records

Ras Al Khaimah is preparing to welcome 2020 with a mesmerising fireworks display. For the first time, #RAKNYE2020 will feature pyro-drones that will create never-before-seen fireworks starting with the countdown to the beginning of the New Year and culminating with Ras Al Khaimah’s main landmarks being recreated in the sky accompanied by more fireworks. There will also be a special Japanese aerial shell fireworks display, another innovative experience. The two new experiences this year attempt to clinch two Guinness World Records. #RAKNYE2020 will be even more special this year with a range of celebrities – including top performers from the Arab world – set to put forth an awe-inspiring music performance. Details of the event and tickets sales will be revealed in October.  Families will be delighted with an added array of activities for young ones at three new locations dedicated to the public and families along the sea coast opposite Al Marjan Island. To drive the preparations for the event, various government entities in Ras Al Khaimah including Marjan, Ras Al Khaimah Police, Ras Al Khaimah Government Media Office, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Ras Al Khaimah Chamber of Commerce, Public Works, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, Al Hamra and others, are collaborating to organise another compelling celebration.

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World’s fastest marathon returns to Ras Al Khaimah in 2020

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority announced that the 14th edition of the hugely popular Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon will return to Al Marjan Island on February 21, 2020. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, the stunning Al Marjan Island will host the action-packed sporting event where participants will be treated to pristine views of white sandy beaches and the shimmering ocean along the running route. The popular half marathon will host a variety of race categories, including elite runners, club and recreational runners, people of determination and juniors. Additionally, Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is introducing a new relay race category for the first time; allowing two participants to take turns in completing the distance in a timed format. Families can also enjoy this event with a 1 KM Fun Run designed for children, allowing one parent to accompany the child at no extra cost. Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said, “The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon has remained a crowd favourite for more than a decade, with an astounding number of returning participants demonstrating the event’s stature and coveted success.” Abdullah Al Abdooli, CEO of Marjan said, “We are delighted to support Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, a world-class event that welcomes participants from across the globe, and further cements the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the region’s premier sporting, lifestyle, tourist and residential destinations.” Enrico Fili’, CEO of RCS Sports and Events said, “We are proud to support Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority for the first time and committed to delivering an unforgettable experience to the running community.”

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RAKTDA to host region’s first WTTC MENA Leaders Forum in October

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) will be hosting the inaugural World Travel & Tourism Council Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum on October 2, 2019 bringing together key industry leaders to discuss the core issues facing the region’s travel & tourism sector. The forum will be organised for the first time in the region and held at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Center, Ras Al Khaimah. Bringing together government agencies, industry associations, CEOs and senior leaders of the top travel and tourism companies, experts, and media from across the region, the WTTC Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum will delve into contemporary issues facing the sector and discuss growth opportunities to advance the regional agenda. The one-day forum will engage 150-200 leaders in keynotes and panel discussions focusing on key themes, including; challenges and investment opportunities; job creation and skill development; climate and environment action; and digital disruption. Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA said, “Tourism is one of Ras Al Khaimah’s most important economic sectors and is considered a key engine for continued GDP growth and job creation in the UAE. The opportunity to host this prestigious industry forum comes at a pivotal time as we aim to fuel a sustainable tourism-driven economic growth in Ras Al Khaimah, as guided by our current Destination Strategy 2019-2021.” Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “Through the Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum, we will bring together the region’s top travel leaders to discuss the pressing issues of the day, including investment trends, visa facilitation and climate action.”  

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Hospitality veteran Raki Phillips appointed as CEO of RAKTDA

Raki Phillips, an award-winning hospitality veteran, has been named as the new CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), with the authority saying that his appointment marks the commencement of a new phase of tourism development for the Emirate. Phillips, who has worked for some of the world’s most renowned global brands, including Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Universal Studios Orlando and who was named one of the ‘Top 20 Most Powerful Hoteliers,’ will be responsible for delivering the authority’s recently announced Destination Strategy 2019-2021, which aims to attract 1.5 million visitors to the Emirate by 2021 and 3 million by 2025. Phillips takes over the reins from Haitham Mattar, whose four-year tenure as CEO of RAKTDA is credited with repositioning Ras Al Khaimah to become one of the fastest growing destinations in the world and exceeding the target of one million visitors in the first three years. His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, thanked Mattar for his commitment to the role and for his efforts in positioning the Emirate as one of the world’s fastest-growing tourism destinations. RAKTDA’s first tourism strategy was launched in January 2016 and was responsible for accelerating visitor growth, increasing visitor satisfaction and raising the contribution of the tourist sector to the Emirate’s GDP. The strategy introduced new tourism demand generators, including the world’s longest zip line and the Middle East’s first via ferrata, both of which helped position Ras Al Khaimah as the region’s nature-based adventure hub. As the new CEO, Raki Phillips will supervise a number of key projects, with notable development projects on Jebel Jais including multiple zip lines, adventure park …

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

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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RAK hosts AITO Annual Conference

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

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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