Ras Al Khaimah: Hotels in Ras Al Khaimah achieved 93 per cent occupancy in 2007, reflecting the rising popularity of the emirate as a tourism destination, tourism officials said.

The number of visitors to the emirate during the year was estimated around 500,000. Hilary McCormack, manager of RAK Tourism, said that the emirate plans to increase the number of hotel rooms from the current 1,400 to 7,500 in five years.

"The year 2007 was fantastic for Ras Al Khaimah as we enjoyed 40 per cent growth in tourist numbers and the hotels recorded 93 per cent occupancy levels throughout the year. We are now looking to have at least 20 new hotels, supplying around 7,500 rooms, by 2012 in line with our plans to attract 2.5 million visitors," she said.

McCormack said large hotel chains such as Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Rotana and Banyan Tree Resort are investing in projects in the emirate.

The projects are mainly located in developments like Al Marjan Island, which will have six hotels, and Mina Al Arab that will house nine. Other projects like RAK Financial City, RAK Convention Centre, Gateway City and Al Dana Island would also be home to a number of new hotels.