|Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab
EmiratesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jul. 14, 2008 - DUBAI -- RAK Tourism, the organisation tasked to support, promote and attract tourism initiatives to Ras Al Khaimah, has announced that nearly two dozen 5-star hotels plus several more premium hotel and hotel apartment operators are poised to start operations in Ras Al Khaimah within the next five years, as the emirate continues to enjoy its unprecedented tourism boom.
The new hotels are expected to more than double the current supply of hotel rooms in Ras Al Khaimah, helping accommodate the projected 2.5 million tourists in the emirate by 2012.
From a current capacity of over 1,800 hotel rooms, the influx of new hotel developments -- including at least 20 internationally renowned 5-star hotels -- will deliver up to 3,700 new rooms by 2012. Moreover, RAK Tourism is bringing in a wide range of hotel brands with the aim of providing a diverse selection of speciality offerings and services to suit various tourist profiles.
"Hotel development has jumped to a new level in Ras Al Khaimah as tourism activities continue to attract domestic, regional and international tourists to the emirate. It is also part of our strategy to keep watch for unique and innovative hotel operators in a bid to diversify our portfolio of hotels in the emirate. There is still so much room for expansion in this sector and we are looking forward to establishing partnerships with more world-renowned hotel brands in the future," said Dr Khater Massaad, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA).
A key indicator of Ras Al Khaimah's promising tourism business climate is the exceptionally high occupancy rates with most of the major hotels exceeding 85 per cent. While the emirate is consolidating its reputation as a premier business tourism destination, particularly MICE (meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions) activities, leisure visitors continue to make up the majority of Ras Al Khaimah's hotel guests, further indicating the growing strength of the emirate to attract holiday tourists through its eclectic natural attractions, which include the imposing Al Hajjar Mountains, over 64 kilometres of pristine beaches and mystical desert plains all in proximity to each other.
The new 5-star hotels expected within the next few years will significantly beef up Ras Al Khaimah's formidable roster of 5-star hotels, which consists of the Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort, Al Hamra Village Townhouse & Golf Resort, Khatt Springs Hotel and Spa, Hilton Beach Resort & Spa, and Hilton Ras Al Khaimah -- collectively combining for nearly 1,000 5-star hotel rooms. Furthermore, Hilton will have another hotel due by December 2008, supplying an additional 325 top-class hotel rooms. On top of 5-star hotels, Ras Al Khaimah offers a premium selection of 4-star, 3-star and 2-star hotels and hotel apartments. "We already have an impressive line of reputed hotels operating in the emirate; we are now eyeing some exciting new names in the industry that have both a solid regional and global following. We are also seeing rapid market gains in developments such as the Al Marjan Island, Mina Al Arab and Saraya Islands; the momentum we have gathered will be vital in sustaining our efforts in further enhancing the tourism landscape of Ras Al Khaimah," said Manager of RAK Tourism Hilary McCormack.
The new hotel brands launching their flagship projects in Ras Al Khaimah include BanyanTree, which will operate two hotels, Jumeirah Group, Millennium Hotels, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Rotana Group, The Luxury Collection and the Coral Hotel International. Al Hamra Hotels Management, the proud owner of the widely popular hotel chain in the emirate, will also be developing new hotels and expanding its local operations.
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