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Sat 21 Feb 2015 10:07 AM

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RAK's annual tourism revenue tops AED1bn for first time

Latest figures from Tourism Development Authority also reveal that guest nights rose by 72% in 2014

RAK's annual tourism revenue tops AED1bn for first time

Tourism revenue in the Ras Al Khaimah exceeded AED1 billion ($272 million) for the first time in its history in 2014, according to the emirate's Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA).

The figures also showed that Ras Al Khaimah achieved 2.14 million guest nights last year, a 72 percent increase on its 2013 performance.

Significant source markets for Ras Al Khaimah in 2014 included the UAE, Germany, UK, Sweden, Russia, Italy, Switzerland and India, the authority said in a statement.

2014 also saw the opening of the 655-key Rixos Bab Al Bahr Resort, which is the only ultra-all-inclusive resort in the UAE, the 315-room Marjan Island Resort & Spa and the 484-key Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island as the emirate pushes eyes further growth in its tourism sector.

Commenting on these growth figures, Steven Rice, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: "2014 proved to be a historic year for Ras Al Khaimah tourism, with a number of important landmarks achieved. Our guest night growth in particular was especially strong and even exceeded our ambitious forecast at the start of 2014.

"Ras Al Khaimah is now proving to be a hit with both domestic holiday makers as well as the wider international community. Overall our natural assets of beach and nature combined with the great portfolio of world-class hotel brands present in the Emirate has given Ras Al Khaimah a really strong platform for further growth in 2015 and beyond."

Last year, Ras Al Khaimah said it was launching a new tourism branding, pitching the emirate as a “world-class leisure destination” and retreat from the “urban madness” of cities such as Dubai.

The emirate is looking to promote its unique landscape, with beaches, mountains and desert, as well as outdoor leisure activities and its rich history.

RAK TDA is considering building a mountain village and establishing activities such as mountain biking and zip-lining, to add to the myriad of new beach resorts already opening.

RAK has only been a tourist destination for a few years – the RAK Tourism Development Authority was established in 2011.

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