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Ras Al Khaimah visitor numbers up 37%

Ras Al Khaimah visitor numbers up 37%

Double-digit growth in visitor numbers reported in the northern emirate, as Ras Al Khaimah aims to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018.


  • Visitor numbers in Ras Al Khaimah rose by 37% in September, while a surge in summer tourism saw a 22.3% uplift in the number of guest nights spent at hotels
  • Yearly tourist numbers have increased by 10.4% in the first nine months of 2016, underlining the emirate’s growing reputation as a premium holiday destination
  • 25,000 new units are needed to meet the growing demand for holiday accommodation

Ras Al Khaimah experienced an “unprecedented” surge in tourist numbers during the summer months – and the positive uptick in tourism continued in September, too.

The number of visitors arriving at hotels in the emirate in 2016 collectively is up 10.4% when compared to the first nine months of last year.

But Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) experienced a significant influx of visitors during the summer months, a time of year that traditionally experiences a dip in activity on account of the extreme temperatures. Official figures published by the RAK Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA) show that hotel occupancies rose by 15.95% between June and August compared with the same period in 2015, while the number of guest night stays increased by 22.3% during this time.

This surge then continued into September. The number of tourists arriving to RAK was up 37% over the same month last year.

“The emirate saw an unprecedented increase in our hotel occupancy rates, which is testament to our various roadshows and promotional campaigns throughout the year,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAK TDA.

“RAK’s expanding hotel proposition experienced significant increases during the first three quarters of 2016, with hotel occupancy averaging 70.5%, marking a 13.6% on last year. RevPAR (revenue per annual room) grew by 8.5% over the same period, with room revenue increasing by 12.3%.”

While the domestic tourism market remains strong, rising visitor numbers from key markets around the world further underline RAK’s growing appeal as an exclusive holiday destination. Visitor numbers from the UK rose by 28.6% between January and September, while there were also 53% and 22% rises in tourists originating from Germany and India respectively.

In early October Mr Mattar spoke of the need for more property investment into RAK in order for accommodation supply to keep up with growing visitor demand. Around three million visitors each year are predicted to travel to RAK by 2025, with around 25,000 new units needed in order to meet this new demand.


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