Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, today said the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah will triple its visitors by 2030.
In a conversation at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Sheikh Saud said the target is expected to be achieved based on the emirate’s ambitious plans to grow in various industries, especially tourism.
In his talk in front of a massive gathering at the Summit, Sheikh Saud said the aspirations of Ras Al Khaimah were inspired by the visionary leadership of UAE, by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice and President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
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“God has bestowed us with a great leadership who transform dreams into reality,” Sheikh Saud said.
“Ras Al Khaimah Ras Al Khaimah enjoys a rich history from the mountains to the sea, green valleys to golden dunes. There is a lot of uniqueness within the emirate where we have the mountains, beach, parks all in a distance of 30 minutes. Tourism is our fastest growing industry. We have grown 50 per cent over four years. The emirate crossed 1 million visitors last year alone post-pandemic,” he added.
“We anticipate our visitor numbers to more than triple by 2030. That means we will double our hotel capacity by 2025. So we are very ambitious and very confident of delivering.
“We want to become an authentic destination and sustainability will be the heart of it all. We are blessed. Our tourists and residents get to enjoy what God gave us in this unique topography. We also have a great coastline. All this is spurring tourism.”
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On ambition and globalisation
The Ras Al Khaimah Ruler said ambition is the key to growth of an economy. “We have learnt from the history of our grandparents that small economies can become vital if they have the ambition. We are ambitious and we are growing.”
Addressing concerns about globalisation, Sheikh Saud said: “I am not worried about globalisation. Globalisation is like a diamond - the more polished it gets, the shinier it becomes. We want to think ahead. Our own people can create the environment fit to live in.”
He said beside tourism, Ras Al Khaimah is attracting other industries such as Information Technology (IT).
Sheikh Saud also said Ras Al Khaimah has a masterplan to create ‘outdoor comfort’.
“We have engaged top master-planners to address our vision,” he added.
Sheikh Saud said the UAE is like a big garden. “There are different beautiful flowers that grow in a garden. The seven emirates are like the flowers in the garden.”
Keys to success
Sheikh Saud also listed some key criteria for a nation’s success.
“The first and most important is our people. How to harness our people and organise them to make their dreams to come true. People will not listen to what we say but they watch what we do. So we as leaders need to do it right,” he said.
“Second is technology. It is vital for the governments to adopt technological and digital innovations. Thirdly, freedom and safety is critical to provide for people to feel safe in the environment they live. It is critical for them to prosper.”
Sheikh Saud added it is very important to have pragmatism. “It is what I call evidence-based policies. Another key criteria to a nation’s success is eliminating corruption. Sometimes a soldier shines and becomes a general. Sometimes a general does not deserve to have been a soldier.”
He added: “I want soldiers who set an example. When others call it a challenge, I want my soldiers to say it is an opportunity. When people call it a pain, I want my soldiers to say it is a gain. This is the team I want to have.”