Ras Al Khaimah claims Gulf Tourism Capital 2021 title


For the second consecutive year, Ras Al Khaimah has been named the Gulf Tourism Capital.

The Emirate received the accolade during a virtual meeting of the Tourism Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Ras Al Khaimah was commended for being a sustainable and safe tourist destination.

The award also recognises the emirate's early and sustained action to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was the first city and Emirate in the world to receive both the prestigious ‘Safeguard Assurance’ Label from Bureau Veritas, a leader in testing and inspection services and the World Travel and Tourism Council Safe Travels Stamp.

Ras Al Khaimah continues to build on this status, offering complimentary COVID-19 PCR testing for international visitors until the end of the year.

The Emirate has also launched new attractions including the first Bear Grylls Explorer Camp to open with accommodation and the highest restaurant in the UAE, 1484 by Puro. Both are located on Jebel Jais, the highest mountain peak in the UAE 

In addition to this, UNESCO has announced that four sites in Ras Al Khaimah; Julfar, Jazirah al-Hamra, Shimal and Dhayah, have been included on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites.

Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: "We are delighted that the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has once again been recognised as the Gulf Tourism Capital by the esteemed tourism Ministers and senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is an especially welcome announcement in an unprecedented and immensely challenging year and is testament both to the resilience of our industry and our ongoing focus on innovation to bring visitors back."

The announcement follows impressive growth in the Ras Al Khaimah’s RevPAR and ADR across July and August this year, the only regional market to achieve this.

The Middle East Hotel Benchmark Survey Report, conducted by Ernest and Young across the hospitality sector, saw an ADR increase from July 2019 to July 2020 in the Emirate of over 70 per cent resulting in robust RevPAR growth of 13 per cent.

In August, a similar pattern emerged with an ADR increase of over 60 per cent from August 2019, leading to RevPAR growth of over 15 per cent.

The growth can be attributed to enhanced safety and hygiene measures as well as the dedicated Shortcation marketing campaign, which drove 15,000 room night bookings in 12 weeks.

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