Ras Al Khaimah, the fourth largest emirate in the UAE, has a vision to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018, and hopes that India will play a major role in achieving this target.
If the recent past is any guide, the present Indian arrivals of about 38,000 are sure to shoot up.
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said in New Delhi, India, on April 12 that they were developing infrastructure so that the target can be reached.
There was a 35 percent increase in arrivals from India in the first quarter of 2017, and what is even more encouraging is that the length of stay has also shown a healthy increase.
On the thrust areas, the CEO and Director Shaji Thomas, said that weddings, honeymoons, and MICE traffic was set to increase.
Ras Al Khaimah already has an impressive portfolio of excellent 5-star hotels, at 4-star rates, and it is adding more so that room capacity may grow up from the approximate present of 5,000 to 10,000.
The proximity to Dubai and Sharjah is a great advantage, and the experience in Ras Al Khaimah is unique for travelers from India.
Adventure, beaches, sports events, and natural beauty are high on the focus areas, as is the Via Ferrata in the backdrop of Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the emirate at 6,266 feet and part of the Al Hajar range.
Camping, camel riding, traditional dances, natural springs, and spas are some of the other activities and attractions which may keep visitors engaged.
A boost to tourism is expected as the annual convention of the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India will be held in Ras Al Khaimah in September this year. An MOU for this was signed for this event where it is expected that some 300 delegates will attend, said the association’s president, Guldeep Sahni.
Mattar said that some iconic US properties, such as the Waldorf Astoria and Ritz Carlton, have hosted high-profile Indian weddings, and Ras Al Khaimah is hoping to tap into this US$40 billion wedding industry.