Ras Al Khaimah has a long tradition of being a center of hospitality, but it was not properly taken advantage of in terms of economic development until His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi resolved to polish this Emirate into a tourism jewel. As the state of the tourism industry stands in Ras Al Khaimah, this Arabian destination will have as many hotels and resorts as world-class spots such as Cannes and Ibiza by the year 2022. According to a market research study published in September 2019, the Destination Strategy formulated by RAK leadership, hoteliers can expect solid returns on investment thanks to various taxation and business incentives.
Before reviewing current and future developments within the RAK tourism sector, it helps to know that when Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived here in 1498, he learned that this part of the world had been continuously settled for thousands of years, and this can be explained by the benign geography of the region. Bedouin tribes, warriors, seafarers, and traders used to arrive in the Julfar settlements to find an abundance of permanent oasis camps where they could relax and escape the harsh conditions of the desert; this resulted in a business opportunity for the Julfar people who eventually specialized in providing hospitality. RAK is a place where pristine beaches are not far from high mountains and agricultural areas; unlike other Emirates, this is a region blessed with numerous water sources, fertile land, and moderate weather.
Sheikh Saud has essentially revived and modernized the historical tradition of RAK as a tourism destination, and he has done so with clear intentions of boosting economic development for the welfare of residents.
The Ras Al Khaimah Waterfront
With nearly 6,000 hotel rooms currently under development along the RAK beaches, there future of the tourism industry in this Emirate looks rosy. The RAK coastline already attracts many visitors from nearby Dubai because temperatures are milder and the swimming spots are more inviting. Tourists from India and Europe are also discovering the beaches of RAK because managers of all-inclusive waterfront resorts have been very competitive. If you wish to spend a luxurious beachfront vacation over the next couple of years, consider booking rooms in the RAK waterfront; you will likely find deep discounts and more perks offered in comparison to Dubai.
Even More Zip Line Courses
RAK is already known as the home of Jebel Jais Flight, an adventurous attraction that proudly holds the record of being the longest zip line in the world. Jebel Jais offers a more exciting version of the zip line experience offered in places such as Costa Rica, where tourists fly across the thick canopies of rain forests. In RAK, you not only fly faster but also higher as the mountainous desert landscape rushes past. In 2019, Jebel Jais unveiled seven new zip lines that are part of more adventurous course spanning about five kilometers. In the near future, this attraction will include a ropes and obstacle course for tourists who crave adventure and adrenaline during their vacation.
The New Grove Village Shopping Mall
As September 2019 came to an end, residents of RAK City waited anxiously for the grand opening of Grove Village in the Corniche Alqawasim district. His Highness and local officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, and initial reviews by shoppers were very positive. While Grove Village is not as impressive as the extravagant shopping malls of Dubai, it is perfect for the more laid-back atmosphere of RAK. Prior to the opening of this mall, the shopping experience in RAK was luxurious yet a bit fragmented; Grove Village brings together numerous upscale shops at prices that are more reasonable than Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Aside from shopping, visitors can now enjoy gourmet restaurants, trendy cafes, live music, games for children, and more.
To sum things up, tourism in RAK is developing at an adequate pace. Established attractions such as the Bedouin Oasis Camp in the Wadi Khadeja are doing a great job of introducing visitors to the ancient tradition of Arabian hospitality, and hoteliers are building amenities such as golf courses, spa retreats, all-inclusive resorts for families, and eco-tourism lodges in the desert. The future of tourism for the jewel of the United Arab Emirates is certainly looking bright.