Ras Al Khaimah's natural landscapes, adventure opportunities, accessible hospitality, and cultural experiences will continue to engage travellers, experts said
Dubai - Several UAE residents said that 'beach breaks' would be the type of trip that would appeal to them most in the next year
An overwhelming majority of domestic travellers across the UAE have expressed their desire to explore more of the country next year, with Ras Al Khaimah emerging as the top destination of their choice, followed by Fujairah and Dubai.
A recent survey by dnata Travel revealed that 91 per cent of domestic travellers are willing to visit various other emirates in 2021, with 55 per cent of residents picking Ras Al Khaimah as their first choice of destination.
Emily Jenkins, head of Retail and Product at dnata Travel, noted that with many countries not yet open for travel, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many local travellers now have an added incentive to seek a change of scenery closer to home, and go looking for hidden gems and attractions across the UAE.
"With Ras Al Khaimah offering 64km of beautiful, pristine beaches, an abundance of cultural experiences, as well as incredible outdoor adventure activities at Jebel Jais, the highest mountain peak in the UAE, it's not surprising that this emirate is leading the way as a destination that domestic travellers want to see more of this year," Jenkins said.
The survey also uncovered the most popular holiday type choices for UAE travellers, with 50 per cent of respondents claiming that 'beach breaks' would be the type of trip that would appeal to them most in the next year. This was followed closely by the need for an 'outdoor/adventure holiday' or an 'island escape', respectively.
Abdulla Al Abdouli, CEO of Marjan, said that the results of the survey underpin the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the fastest growing in the region, with more UAE residents looking to explore the emirate in the coming period.
"This will be a significant boost for tourism, especially as staycations gain even more traction," he said. "The positive sentiment of the domestic market will boost the emirate's tourism and hospitality sectors, as well as further contribute to strengthening the government's destination strategy. We offer a full spectrum of choices for tourists, and we look forward to welcoming more UAE residents to explore the amazing leisure, tourism and natural attractions that Ras Al Khaimah has to offer."
Raki Phillips, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), said that it is an extremely positive sign to see the emirate sitting atop the list of popular destinations for domestic travellers.
"The varied appeal of natural landscapes, adventure opportunities, accessible hospitality and cultural experiences has and continues to engage travellers," he said. "We look forward to welcoming guests to enjoy the varied offerings as we move into the cooler months of the year, and will continue to develop this with exciting new additions to our hospitality and tourism portfolio, encouraging domestic visitors to return."
"We're very confident about the future for Ras Al Khaimah, particularly Marjan Island," said David Allan, cluster general manager at the upcoming Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah on Marjan Island. "The Radisson Resort will be a great addition to the hotels already there and be the first internationally branded four star hotel on the island. The work of RAKTDA in promoting the emirate as the first choice for domestic staycations fills us with confidence moving forward."
Sanjay Khanna, CEO of Ras-Al-Khaimah International Airport, added that the emirate is the first destination in the world to be certified as 'safe' by Bureau Veritas and receive the WTTC safe travels stamp.
"The approval is a testament to the concerted efforts of Ras Al Khaimah's hospitality industry and tourism sector that have been focused on delivering the highest global safety standards during these challenging times," he said. "Ras Al Khaimah is proving to be one of the most in-demand destinations for regional visitors, with many residents and travellers arriving from across the UAE for short staycations and to explore the rugged outdoors and stunning mountain vistas that characterize the emirate."
He added that Ras Al Khaimah International Airport welcomes tourists into the emirate with flights from destinations that include Cairo, Islamabad, Jeddah, Lahore, Peshawar, Calicut, Katowice, Istanbul, Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Luxembourg, Prague, and Moscow. "With expansion in the pipeline, RAK Airport is in the process of adding many more cities to its current schedule, with connectivity to commence as soon as travel restrictions are relaxed."