Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has appointed ISS Cruise Solutions as cruise tourism consultant as part of its destination 2019 tourism strategy to attract 1m visitors to the emirate by the end of 2018.
Haitham Mattar, ceo of RAKTDA commented, ‘we identified the cruise segment as a key part of the strategy, and ever since then we’ve been working on developing the infrastructure to promote our cruise tourism proposition.’
Mattar added, ‘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.’
Ras Al Khaimah boasts an abundance of natural assets such as 64km of pristine coastline, the highest mountains in the UAE, as well as diverse landscapes such as desert and springs.
‘Through our association with Inchcape Shipping Services, we aim to attract boutique cruise vessels to RAK Port in 2018, opening up a unique proposition for cruise passengers,’ said Mattar.
RAK port, located in the city centre, has already completed some major works and refurbishments and will be capable of handling luxury cruise ships of up to 214mtr in length overall, from February 2018.
Speaking of the consultancy win, Grant Holmes, vp ISS Global Cruise Solutions remarked, ‘This collaboration will give rise to a new cruise destination within the Arabian Gulf region, with a special focus on the luxury segment of cruising. We will work proactively with all stakeholders, including the Port Authority to assure that Ras Al Khaimah is the world’s first purpose built luxury cruise destination.’