If you are planning to visit the UAE on your next holiday, don’t take the normal route to Dubai. Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the fourth largest UAE emirate, flexes its muscles to be the country’s next tourist haven.
The project, which began a decade ago with the establishment of the Tourism Development Authority (TDA), seems to be taking shape.
A longtime goal of RAK was to establish itself as a world-class destination for business travel and leisure. The target was to record 1 million visitors per year by the end of 2018. This, they achieved.
But they haven’t stopped there. The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) just announced that they had invested a total of $136 million in more than 20 new sustainable tourism projects.
The main reason for this investment is to attract over 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2021 and 3 million by 2025.
The Most Covid-Free Emirate
With Covid-19 still ravaging many countries’ health systems, tourists have had a desire for social distance.
This means they won’t be attracted to crowded beaches and busy cities. They are more into personal space that allows them to connect with nature. Ras Al Khaimah saw this as the perfect opportunity to strengthen its tourism sector.
In April 2020, the government introduced a Tourism Incentive and Stimulus package. Plus, the emirate got certified as the world’s first safe destination from the Bureau Veritas and the World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC).
As a result, the emirate got classified as Covid 19-safe. This included 46 of its hotels and the world’s longest zipline on Jebel mountain peak.
The emirate has also partnered with EarthCheck who is the global environmental expert. The goal of this connection is to strengthen RAK’s sustainable tourism practice. These include:
- Increased recycling
- Decrease in energy
- Decrease in water and energy consumption in hotels
- Tourist sites clean-ups
- Reduced food wastage
New Tourist Attraction Initiatives in RAK
This new project announced by the emirate will take place in many destinations, including the Jebel Jais, the country’s tallest peak and the main attraction site.
The 20 projects spread across three categories are as follows:
The two projects in this category are the mega-beachfront developed by Marjan. This project will see the construction of a marine district, swimming pool, inflatable aqua park, and outdoor gym.
The second project will take place in the Scallop ranch. The ranch, located in Al Hamra marine, will offer activities like live cooking, scallop diving, cultural activities, and kids’ experiences.
This category takes 75% of the whole project. It includes the earth hotels altitude, Saij, A mantis collection mountain lodge, Jais Yard, Jais wings, Wadi Track, and the Cloud7 Camp Jebel Jais.
Because Ras Al Khaimah has been recognized as an outdoor destination, it’s set to host the big event, Highlander Experience, in November 2021. It is the perfect event for hikers who would love to face a new challenge.
The last segment of the project will work on the desert and land. This includes Cloud 7 Camp AlSawan, the flying Arch @ Mannar Mall, and the Luminaze.
While these new projects are yet to start, the emirate has projects already underway to keep its tourist attraction progressing.
Some of the ongoing projects are:
- Sky room
- Jais Eco-Golf
- Wingsuit Diving platform
- Bear Grylls Explorers Camp
- The Jais Sledder
- The UAE’s highest restaurant, 1484 by Puro.
Initiatives such as these will undoubtedly push Ras Al Khaimah far in the tourism sector. They have also set the bar for the other emirates to follow suit.