The 2030 vision of Ras Al Khaimah’s Tourism Development Authority’s (RAKTDA) is to attract over 3 million visitors and increase the overall attractiveness of the emirate, making tourism one of the most important sectors and focus for Ras Al Khaimah’s (RAK) GDP growth. This paper looks at the emirate’s growing hospitality market, its resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and the announcement of the Wynn Al Marjan Island Resort.
In order to achieve the emirate’s target of attracting over 3 million visitors by 2030, a number of strategies have been implemented including financial stimulators, multimillion investments in Jebel Jais projects and the introduction of the region’s first integrated resort – Wynn Al Marjan Island. Looking ahead, RAK has already announced approximately 5,000 keys to open in the next 5 years, in addition to the 1,200 keys that will be offered by the Wynn resort following its opening in 2026.
The introduction of the Wynn Al Marjan Island is expected to bring multiple benefits including job creation, increased visitation and global image enhancement. The region’s first integrated resort may act as a gateway to further develop the emirate’s alternative tourist segment, inviting more investment in eco-concepts with themes of sustainability and conservation.
During the COVID-19 period, RAK was able to shift its focus to domestic tourism, thus minimising the impact of the pandemic on hospitality performance. In 2022, with the return of inbound tourism and growing competition from other destinations, occupancy was impacted and post-COVID-19 performance has yet to exceed pre-COVID figures. In 2022, the emirate saw a 16% increase in tourism arrivals compared to the previous year, bringing total arrivals to over 1.1 million. With aims to reach the 3 million target by 2030, the emirate leverages its diversified source markets, clear growth strategies and strong levels of investment.