Ras Al Khaimah: Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, has described the UAE as "an icon of prosperity and progress in the world," paying tribute to the "efforts of the Founding Fathers, the vision of the country's leadership and the determination of all Emiratis."
In an exclusive interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Sheikh Mohammed said Ras Al Khaimah said he has kept pace with the country's overall development journey to accomplish achievements in all fields.
"We are working tirelessly to carry out the directives of the H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, to enhance the development process, which is being witnessed in the emirate at various levels, as we ultimately aim to achieve the wellbeing of Emiratis," he said.
Talking about the UAE's development plan for the next 50 years, he said the country will be "exploring promising prospects, ensuring the provision of a world-class quality life for generations to come, preparing for the post-oil era, developing unique initiatives and translating them into an integrated work programme that contributes to achieving the UAE's national strategy."
Sheikh Mohammed, who became the Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah in 2010, also lauded the UAE's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that it "reflected the highest levels of professionalism."
"And Ras Al Khaimah has made tireless efforts, as it provided a distinguished healthcare system capable of efficiently dealing with the repercussions of this pandemic," he added.
He explained, "The healthcare sector in Ras Al Khaimah is witnessing continuous development and modernisation. It is on the top of the priorities for the Ras Al Khaimah Government to integrate and cooperate with the Ministry of Health and Prevention to provide high-quality medical services for patients in the emirate, according to the best international standards.
"Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the UAE is moving steadily in combatting and containing the pandemic, displaying a successful example that has been admired around the globe."
Tourism capital of GCC
Ras Al Khaimah was named the 2021 Gulf Tourism Capital at the fifth annual meeting of tourism ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in November.
According to the emirate's Tourism Development Authority, the emirate received 1.12 million visitors in 2019, a 4 per cent increase, compared to 2018.
The Authority also reported in November that during the Eid Al Adha break the emirate witnessed a 12.9 per cent growth in the Average Daily Rate (ADR), saying this increase was the highest in the last three years under normal (non-pandemic) travel circumstances.
Sheikh Mohammed said the GCC title "will strengthen the emirate's position on the international tourism map and will contribute to attracting larger numbers of tourists and visitors."
"Ras Al Khaimah has witnessed, in recent years, a large-scale transformation, especially in vital facilities and services, infrastructure, education and healthcare sectors," he said.
Asked about what he thought of the role played by the media sector in the UAE, the RAK Crown Prince affirmed that the media in the UAE is an important pillar of development and a true mirror that reflects the country's comprehensive progress.
He added that witnessing the media efforts in highlighting the country's achievements to the world and in promoting national identity amid current global challenges is a source of pride.