Jan-Oct YTD UK visitor arrivals up 27% on last year


Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, announced an increase of 27% in UK visitor arrivals between January and October 2016, versus the same period last year.


With a strong presence this week at the World Travel Market exhibition in London, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority demonstrated its commitment to the UK market and continued confidence that the emirate has an even stronger value proposition for UK travellers – in spite of the socio economic circumstances reported following the Brexit announcement.


The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority delegation organised a full schedule of media and trade activities at World Travel Market, the UK’s leading international travel and tourism trade fair, from 7th- 9th November. The UK continues to be an important source market which currently ranks as the second key international source market for Ras Al Khaimah, after Germany.


“The UAE is one of Brits’ favourite destinations, and Ras Al Khaimah has been gaining popularity, as the emirate is located only 45 minutes away from Dubai International airport, and offers beautiful nature and culture based activities. Our tour operator partners here in the UK have reported that Ras Al Khaimah is now their second most popular emirate for holiday bookings, after Dubai,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.


Mr. Mattar conducted a busy schedule of media interviews and trade meetings during the 3 day World Travel Market, alongside 15 co-exhibitors comprised of key industry stakeholders, hotels and attractions in Ras Al Khaimah. Commenting on the potential for increased visitor numbers from the UK post-Brexit, he remarked: “Value for money is more important than ever. People will continue to travel and are looking for great value – affordable luxury. Ras Al Khaimah is ideally positioned for what the UK traveller now seeks - good affordable beach and winter sun holidays in a safe destination. By continuing to offer value for money, winter sun, ultra all inclusive and 5 star hotels at 4 start prices, in an accessible, safe, and conveniently located destination – we have a compelling offering.


Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority used the World Travel Market platform to showcase the destination’s offering beyond the traditional sun and beach holidays. Tapping into the potential of the global adventure tourism industry, Ras Al Khaimah TDA launched the Via Ferrata climbing path and zipline attraction in Jebel Jais – the highest mountain in the UAE. The product is first of several adventure tourism products planned for the mountains in Ras Al Khaimah – including an adventure park, viewing decks, luxury camp and the longest zipline in the world to open in Q4 2017.


“Ras Al Khaimah’s 64 kilometres of pristine beaches, world class hotels and range of heritage and adventure attractions are geared towards families, active adventurers, cultural explorers and wellness seekers from all over the world. We can offer these visitor segments adventure through the mountain activities, 7000 years of historic sights, as well as other unique features like hot springs and access to untouched nature. We are seeing an increased interest in authentic cultural experiences and Ras Al Khaimah is a true gateway to accessible Arabia.”


RAKTDA’s destination pavilion at World Travel Market drew wide support from stakeholders and partners including Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, Doubletree Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, The Cove Rotana Resort, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts, Al Hamra Golf Club, Desert Gate Tourism, Iceland Waterpark, Seawings, Royal Brunei Airlines, SNTTA Emir Tours, RAK Airport, RAK Chamber and Department of Antiquities & Museums.


The World Travel Market this year featured 5000 exhibitors from 182 countries offering them an opportunity to meet more than 50,000 buyers and global travel professionals.


RAKTDA has strategic partnerships and co-marketing agreements in place with a number of major tour operators, airlines and travel agencies in the UK, including Thomas Cook, Royal Brunei Airlines, Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways driving this year’s growth.