Iyad Rasbey, Vice president of Tourism development at Ras Al khaima Authority.


Ras Al Khaimah recently announced its new summer campaign titled ‘Get More’, which positions the emirate as an attractive summer destination for local, regional and international travelers, said Iyad Rasbey, vice-president Tourism Development at Ras Al Khaimah Authority. He disclosed this during an exclusive interview he accorded to The Times Kuwait last week.

Elaborating on the tourism drive, Rasbey added, “The campaign, which began in February and is scheduled to run till end of September 2023, brings to life the range of experiences and attractions that can be discovered in Ras Al Khaimah, from exciting mountain adventures in Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the United Arab Emirates, to ultra-luxury beach resorts. and historical sites dating back 7,000 years.

“‘Get More’ is our third consecutive summer campaign, following last year’s summer campaign titled ‘Rakation’, and our 2021 campaign titled ‘Wanasa’, which were hugely successful and helped us drive our highest ever inbound visitors that reached 1.3 million in 2022.”

Rasbey also confirmed that the emirate is currently in the process of doubling its hospitality portfolio with a pipeline of 21 properties adding 7,183 keys to its existing hotel inventory over the next few years. Upcoming hotel projects include Anantara Mina Al Arab with 174 rooms, suites and overwater villas in the style of a Maldivian resort, and Sofitel Al Hamra with an additional 300 keys — both of which are set to open later this year.

Other new hotel brands coming to Ras Al Khaimah include Nobu Hotels, Marriott and Le Méridien Marjan Island Resorts & Spas, which are set to open by 2026 with the addition of 350 rooms. There is also the highly anticipated 1,500-plus-key Wynn integrated resort on Marjan Island, which will attract a new segment of travelers when it opens in early 2027.

“We are also diversifying our portfolio with a sustainable stay in Jebel Jais to provide a mountain getaway experience. These include Cloud7 Camp Jebel Jais, a sustainable camping experience, and Saij, a Mantis Collection Mountain Lodge with 70 luxury lodges, for a peaceful mountain getaway set to launch in 2024. We also work closely with experts to promote accessible tourism and map the consumer journey from the eyes of the traveler with an assertive spirit.”

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Rasbey also indicated that the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has a proven track record in hosting prestigious international sporting events, as it hosted more than 50 events last year alone, including the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, which is the fastest half marathon in the world that has been run for 15 copies, in addition to the UAE Tour, The Arab Cycling Championship, the DP World Golf Championship and the Desert Warrior Challenge.

“For the first time ever in the Middle East, the WMF Mini Soccer World Cup will be held in Ras Al Khaimah between 26 October and 4 November, 2023. The emirate was named the host country for the tournament last year, after wins over strong contenders such as Manila and Budapest, cementing the destination’s reputation in organizing international sporting events, and as one of the most exciting and fastest growing destinations in the region.

The tournament will welcome thousands of spectators to discover the proud sporting legacy of Ras Al Khaimah, the famous Emirati hospitality, and exciting experiences outside the stadium — under the slogan ‘Home For Everyday Legends’.

“We also host the annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival, a non-profit community arts festival showcasing the work of local and emerging artists, which takes place in February at the historic site of Al Jazirah Al Hamra.

“Ras Al Khaimah currently holds a unique position as an emirate of nature — we chose this location because the diverse nature and terrain are the calling cards of Ras Al Khaimah, which sets us apart while perfectly complementing other destinations in the UAE and the wider GCC region.” The emirate’s picturesque mountains, pristine beaches, and rolling sand dunes are some of the reasons that prompted Time magazine to name Ras Al Khaimah in its list of the best places in the world for 2022, and CNN Travel ranked it as one of the best destinations to visit in 2023.

“The emirate is popular among a variety of visitors from all over the GCC countries in terms of nationality, age and interests because we have many different activities and places to explore.

Whether you are looking for adventure or culture, family fun or luxurious relaxation, Ras Al Khaimah really does have it all. We have a range of luxury hotels and resorts, many of which are located along the beautiful coastline and offer family villa accommodation options and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. Alternatively, Banan Beach, a luxury resort on Marjan Island, offers a cool beach getaway that features tents set around a central fire pit, private chalets, family attractions, and BBQ areas.

“In addition, Ras Al Khaimah has a number of attractions and activities that are popular with regional tourists, including bucket-list adventures on the UAE’s tallest mountain peak Jebel Jais — where temperatures are about 10 degrees below that at sea level. These attractions include Jais Flight, the world’s longest zip line. Jais Sky Tour, a series of six exhilarating 5km ziplines; and the Jais Sledder, the tallest sled in the area.

Jebel Jais is also home to the region’s first Bear Grylls Explorer Camp, where guests can master survival skills and try out outdoor activities like hiking and climbing – “In general, today’s traveler values variety and choice, and seeks new and fulfilling experiences in less-explored destinations. You can find all this and more in Ras Al Khaimah,” concluded Rasbi.

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