Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
Raki Phillips, CEO of RAK Tourism is intent on doubling down on adventure tourism - and it could pay off with the emirate hosting 3 million tourists by 2030. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Ras Al Khaimah is kitting up for a busy summer with an all-out push on adventure tourism, helped by the many mountain trails, valleys and more. All of which will propel the northern emirate to host three million tourists by 2030.

“It’s an aggressive target, but we’re balancing it out with attractions,” said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “We can feel the steady growth in terms of infrastructure - with the new resorts opening with the enhancement of our airport. All of that will contribute.”

Video: Clint Egbert | Editing: Sonia Shah | Reporting: Nivetha Dayanand

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism (RAK Tourism) is ditching the traditional tourism formulae with a single-minded focus on adventure tourism. “With the pandemic, we realized that people are looking for a different experience, something that’s very much related to nature,” said Phillips. “That’s when we shifted our focus towards sustainable attractions.”

In 2021, RAK Tourism channelled over Dh500 million investment in sustainable attractions. “We have so far opened quite a few of those attractions – the 1484 by Puro (the highest located restaurant in the UAE); Jebel Jais Flight (the longest zip line in the world); Jais Sledder (a toboggan ride), which is a wonderful experience that just opened a couple of months ago,” said Phillips. “We will continue to focus more on adventure tourism.”


Phillips said the shift is a big win. He said, “When you look at the average consumer, especially millennials, they are looking for a memorable experience and in RAK - with the 64-kilometre beachfront, 7,000 years of history and added adventure sports travellers can build on forever memory in Ras Al Khaimah.”

Ras Al Khaimah wants to build on this. The emirate has plans to ramp up with more attractions and bolster its tourism activities. Look out for the ‘Jais Swings’ from the top of Jebel Jais. Travellers can witness an ‘eco golf experience’ on top of the mountain where they get to hit eco biodegradable balls off the top. “We have just begun everything that we wanted to achieve,” said Phillips.

Stay on top

New mountain-side or mountain-top hotels include the Earth Hotels Altitude and 35 luxury lodges with Saij, A Mantis Collection Mountain Lodge. New beachside hotels include the Hampton by Hilton Al Marjan Island, the Mövenpick Resort also at Al Marjan Island, and the InterContinental Mina Al Arab.

“The upcoming summer is going to be busy for us - July and August tend to be our busiest months of the year,” the CEO added.

Go sustainable
In December last, RAK Tourism signed the sustainability pledge making it the first destination sustainable-certified destination in the region. “Our goal is by 2025 to be a sustainable destination from an economic and cultural perspective and move forward with a holistic approach to protect the environment,” said Raki Phillips.