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Representing a 14.8% increase on H1 2022, results place the Emirate firmly on track to achieve its growth targets. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) announced Friday that the Emirate welcomed 600,000 tourists during the first half of 2023, representing a 1.8 per cent increase on H1-2022. Tourism-related revenue also grew by 64.7 per cent, while occupancy and Average Daily Rate (ADR) saw an uplift of 33.2 per cent and 6.7 per cent.

RAKTDA said it is well on its way to achieve growth targets with its record-breaking H1-2023 visitor numbers, resulting in the highest tourism-related revenue for a half-year period.

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Raki Phillips, the CEO of RAKTDA, said the international tourism rebound accounts for over 52 per cent of all arrivals. The half-year figures also follow a strong June performance where the Emirate welcomed over 102,900 arrivals, representing a 39.6 per cent increase versus June 2022.

Phillips said, “2023 is shaping up to be the Emirate’s best year to date, with our first half results proving the efficacy of moving fast, staying relevant and just getting things done.” He added, “We must remain agile and continue to develop Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism offering and create diverse and inspiring experiences for all. We have big ambitions and are confident that we will exceed our targets for 2023”.

New hotels boost demand

The Emirate’s tourism board said it has also achieved a significant increase in demand for room nights with year-on-year growth of +33.6 per cent, following the addition of new hotel brands last year. MICE room nights’ revenue also reported an increase of 26 per cent vs. H1-2022, driven by international incentive groups.

Earlier this year, RAKTDA unveiled the design vision for the $3.9 billion Wynn Al Marjan Island (set to open early 2027). It also announced the addition of Earth Hotels, Le Meridien and Nobu Hotels to its portfolio, with plans to double the number of guest rooms over the coming years.

In H1-2023, Ras Al Khaimah saw a 300 per cent increase in wedding revenue, which is expected to grow into H2 with the launch of an all-new Wedding Certification Programme in September.

Increased connectivity

Qatar Airways will start daily flights to Ras Al Khaimah International Airport from November 1 this year. The authority has also signed a partnership with European tour operator FTI GROUP, which paved the way for the launch of twice-weekly flights from Munich to the Emirate from mid-October onwards.

It also received six calls from four luxury cruise liners and is set to welcome over 2,500 passengers and crew. Ras Al Khaimah has confirmed 14 luxury cruise calls for next season and expects to receive 20 by 2025-2026 and 50 by 2030-2031.