The emirate sees a record-breaking quarter for tourism, a result boosted by the Nordics.
Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, located up the coast from Dubai, says it saw the highest hotel occupancy levels ever recorded during a quarter in Q1 2018 – and that this was pushed up by arrivals from Scandinavia.
From January to March, the area’s occupancy rates averaged 79.4%, up 4% on the same period in 2017.
Visitor numbers jumped 12%, mainly driven by international markets (+18), now making up 70% of total visitor arrivals. The average length of stay rose to 3.7 days.
The Nordic and UK markets were up 26% and 18%, respectively, while visitors from Poland increased 46% and Czech tourists by 34%.
The increases highlight the need for a larger room count in Ras Al Khaimah, and the emirate aims to raise its resort portfolio from just over 5,400 rooms to more than 10,000 by the end of 2020.
A total of 4,500 rooms will be added by the end of 2020, following the launch of a 5-star Anantara resort at Mina Al Arab; a 5-star Avani resort on Al Marjan Island; the 4-star Marriott Rak Beach at Al Ma’areedh; the 4-star Park Inn Rezidor on Al Marjan Island; and the 4-star Rayhan Rotana at Khuzam.
By 2025, Al Marjan Island is expected to be home to 15 hotels.
The emirate’s tourism authority is also focusing on the introduction of a luxury camp at Jebel Jais, home to the world’s longest zipline, and claims to be in the middle of talks with hotel operators and investors.
“We’ve had a strong start to the year, which is important as we look towards our goal of one million visitors by the end of 2018 and 2.9 million by 2025,” said Haitham Mattar, the tourism authority’s chief executive.