KUWAIT: Representatives from Ras Al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Air Arabia held a media roundtable yesterday at Crowne Plaza Hotel to discuss opportunities to strengthen travel, tourism and trade ties with the emirate. During the visit, the delegation looked for opportunities to attract growing numbers of visitors from Kuwait to Ras Al-Khaimah. With increased flight connectivity through Air Arabia, the roadshow outlined the destination’s offerings, ease of travel and opportunities for future collaboration in a series of workshops, trade dinners and high-level meetings with the local travel and tourism industry.
Ras Al-Khaimah is just a 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and about 30 minutes from Sharjah. “It’s the perfect getaway for leisure, adventure and luxury travel. Visitors to Ras Al-Khaimah will enjoy idyllic sojourns on terracotta beaches and resorts, adventure activities including water sports, micro-lighting, mountain climbing, kayaking, as well as an eclectic selection of international gourmet experiences and world-class spas,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
Kuwait remains a core market for both tourism and investment as we begin to increasing awareness of Ras Al-Khaimah across the GCC. “With a focused new strategy targeting one million tourists by 2018, this roadshow is the first step on our journey to enhancing relationships, forging partnerships and building recognition for the destination,” added Matar.
According to him, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority witnessed a 20 percent rise in visitor numbers from Kuwait year-to-date compared to the same period in 2014. “This exclusive roadshow is the first step of an extensive marketing program to the country, with the aim of increasing awareness of the destination within the GCC through its partnership with Air Arabia and Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport,” he added.
Air Arabia operations
Hosam Raydan, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, noted that the continued strengthening of their route network is clear evidence of the significance they attach to serving their customers in Kuwait. “Looking ahead, we believe there is an enormous opportunity to meet demand for leisure and business travel between Kuwait and the northern United Arab Emirates, and we hope to add more routes and frequencies over the coming months and years,” he noted.
Kuwait is one of the first and most important destinations for Air Arabia. “Kuwait was one of the first five destinations when we commenced operations in October 2003. Currently we operate a total fleet of 43 new Airbus A320 aircraft, serving 115 routes from five hubs in the UAE, Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan. This year we launched 15 new destinations out of the 115. There are 30 direct flights a week to Kuwait by Air Arabia including 21 from Sharjah, four from Alexandria, and four from Amman. The fleet will reach 55 aircraft by the year 2017,” explained Raydan.
Tourism in Ras Al Khaimah
Matar also spoke about some of the touristic places in Ras Al Khaimah. “The most popular is the Jais mountain, which is 1900 meters high and the temperature there is lower by about 10 degrees. During winter there is even snow on top of it. Also Ras Al Khaimah is rich with historical locations that goes back to more than 7000 years. Furthermore it has a lot of beaches and has the longest tides that reaches 60 meters,” he pointed out.
Ras Al Khaimah witnessed 72 percent growth in family visits. “We have 5000 rooms in Ras Al Khaimah spread in different hotels. Also the five starts hotels have provide their services for the price of the four starts hotels. We aim to reach 3 million visitors and 10 thousand rooms within 10 years. We also focus currently on opening new markets in all of Turkey, India and Scandinavia,” stressed Marat.
Members of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Air Arabia met the Director of Government Affairs at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khaled Youssef Al-Manna and the Chairman of the Kuwait Travel and Tourism Agencies Association Khaled Mohammad Al-Hamad. The delegation discussed opportunities for potential partnership and outlined plans for future investment in the emirate’s tourism proposition and economic diversification through tourism by extending connectivity throughout the GCC.
By Nawara Fattahova