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Mon 14 May 2018 02:10 PM

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Ras Al Khaimah entities ink deal to develop cruise tourism sector

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and RAK Ports sign agreement to boost number of cruise visitors to the emirate

Ras Al Khaimah entities ink deal to develop cruise tourism sector

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and RAK Ports signed an agreement to develop the boutique cruise and water tourism proposition in Ras Al Khaimah.

Under the agreement, the two entities will work on multiple maritime projects including the transformation of the existing ferry terminal into a "modern and efficient boutique cruise passenger terminal".

RAKTDA will also design visitor itineraries for arrivals during the 2018-2019 season to attract leisure cruise passengers.

RAK Ports will also facilitate water tourism operations by developing state of the art ferry, abra and water bus passenger platforms, commence water bus service from RAK Creek to Al Hamra, Marjan, Mina Al Arab, and create a marine licensing authority for leisure dhows, water buses and abras, a statement said.

Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, said: “As part of our Destination 2025 tourism strategy to attract 3 million visitors to Ras al Khaimah by the end of 2025, we identified the cruise segment as a key part of the strategy, and ever since we’ve been working on developing the infrastructure to promote our cruise tourism proposition.

"In the last two years we have been focusing on the international diversification of our visitor source markets, from which we continue to see double digit growth, as we promote our offering to the three key leisure segments, including active adventurers, wellness seekers and cultural explorers."

He added: "Through this partnership with RAK Ports, we aim to attract boutique cruise vessels to RAK Port in 2018, opening up a unique proposition for cruise passengers."

Clifford William Brand, CEO of RAK Ports, said: "We have completed the development of the city’s first boutique cruise vessel passenger terminal, which will be able to accommodate multiple cruise ships docking simultaneously, and have installed new security measures such as facial recognition CCTV, luggage and personal baggage X-ray machines to ensure that passenger receive an impeccable service and enjoy a hassle-free experience.” 

The collaboration will also involve joint direct marketing efforts to promote Ras Al Khaimah as a destination and attract boutique cruise ship operators from across the world.

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