The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced its highest ever annual visitor numbers, with over 1.13 million overnight arrivals in 2022, a 15.6 per cent increase over 2021.

In December, the emirate welcomed its highest ever footfall in a single month, with over 128,000 visitor arrivals, a 23 per cent increase over December 2021.

Last year, there was also a 40 per cent increase in international visitors to Ras Al Khaimah, with key source markets being Kazakhstan, Russia, the UK, Germany and Czech Republic. Apart from increased air connectivity, its visitor numbers were bolstered by three luxury cruises that arrived in the emirate last year, bringing with it over 2,500 passengers and crew. Ras Al Khaimah aims to attract 50 cruise ship calls each season, and over 10,000 passengers within the next few years.

As for its hospitality sector, new hotels and resorts opened in 2022 raising the emirate’s inventory by 17 per cent to reach over 8,000 keys. The Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), Mövenpick and Radisson brands entered the destination for the first time opening of the Intercontinental Mina Al Arab, Mövenpick Resort Al Marjan Island and the Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island.

With 19 upcoming properties, from brands including Marriott, Millennium, Anantara and Sofitel, and 5,867 keys in the pipeline over the next few years, there will be a 70 per cent increase versus current inventory expected within the emirate over the next few years.

One of the biggest projects will be the addition of the multibillion-dollar integrated resort development with Wynn Resorts in 2026. The multipurpose integrated resort marks the largest-of-its-kind foreign direct investment in Ras Al Khaimah and will include over 1,000 rooms, shopping, meeting and convention facilities, spa, restaurants and lounges, and a gaming area too.

“Our success has been led by our agility and responsiveness – and the fact we think like a community, shaping our experiences to appeal to visitors and residents. With a determined focus on diversification, accessibility and sustainability, we are on track for even bigger things in 2023,” said Raki Phillips, CEO of RAKTDA.

Last year the emirate’s tourism authority also launched Balanced Tourism – its roadmap to becoming the regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025.