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Benchmark in RAK’s Tourism Sector
Hilton Worldwide is helping to position Ras Al Khaimah as one of the Middle East’s leading travel destinations. In 2001, Hilton became the first international hotel group to enter RAK when it opened the 227-room Hilton Ras Al Khaimah in the city centre overlooking the creek. Now Hilton has six hotels in the emirate and has carved out a niche for itself as the emirate’s leading hotel group.
Hilton’s current flagship property in RAK is the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, set on a spectacular 1.5-km private beach just five minutes from the city centre. With 324 rooms and suites and 151 beach villas, the resort offers visitors a wealth of luxurious amenities, including 13 restaurants and bars, six temperature-controlled swimming pools, a wide range of facilities for children, a Precor fitness centre, and a 2,000-sq-m spa with nine treatment rooms.
Waldorf Astoria opening in 2013
In the first quarter of 2013, the Hilton group will open a stunning new property that will set new standards in the UAE’s hotel sector: the iconic Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. The Waldorf Astoria brand is synonymous with timeless luxury and sophistication, and guests at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah can expect a truly memorable experience thanks to the highest level of service and comfort provided in spectacular and tranquil surroundings. The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah will draw discerning visitors from throughout the UAE, including the sizeable local expatriate community, as well as top-level executives and leisure travellers from the Gulf region, Europe and beyond.
Hilton also chose RAK as the location of its first DoubleTree property in the UAE. The DoubleTree Ras Al Khaimah opened last year and has already earned a reputation as a top choice for families and long-stay guests. The hotel offers spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, some with kitchenettes, as well as a rooftop swimming pool next to the convivial TreeTop bar and a Fitness floor housing a 24-hour Precor Fitness Centre.
New DoubleTree on idyllic Marjan Island
Hilton will also open a second DoubleTree by Hilton property on RAK’s idyllic Marjan Island, a 2.7-million-sq-m offshore development set to include luxury waterfront homes, floating villas, resorts, sports facilities and numerous beaches. In addition, by the end of 2012, Hilton will add the Al Hamra Fort Hotel and Beach Resort to its RAK properties after the resort has been completely upgraded to meet Hilton’s standards.
RAK has long been a preferred destination for European travellers who choose the emirate for its natural beauty, tranquillity, beautiful white-sand beaches and unique cultural attractions. RAK’s number of visitors from Sweden, Denmark and Finland grew especially strongly last year, while Eastern Europe also emerged as an important source market in 2011. This year, Hilton hotels in RAK are reporting significant growth in visitors from Germany and Russia as well as a noticeable increase in weekend travellers from elsewhere in the UAE.
Hilton Worldwide, with the most solidly established international hotel presence in RAK, has positioned itself as the preferred choice for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) travel segment, and now Hilton hotels and resorts in RAK have expanded their facilities to handle larger groups. Each Hilton property in RAK has its own unique character and meeting facilities, and all can be booked through the Hilton.com website. Those who book such events can earn points through Hilton’s Honours Event Bonus programme.
RAK top choice for MICE visitors
Thanks to its unique attractions, RAK is strengthening its reputation as a preferred destination for MICE travel in the UAE, particularly for companies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which can take advantage of the fact that their executives can drive to RAK instead of fly. More and more international companies from throughout the Gulf region, particularly in the pharmaceuticals sector, are choosing RAK as the location for their annual meetings, incentives, staff outings and more, and Hilton is the leader in serving this expanding travel segment.
More choices for air connections
New air connections to RAK are expected to boost tourism to the emirate even more. RAK Airways, the national airline, now offers flights between Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and Jeddah, Kozhikode, Bangladesh, Cairo, Doha and Bangkok, in addition to daily charter flights between RAK and Germany.
RAK’s total visitor numbers are steadily increasing as the local hospitality industry and the government join forces to promote the emirate’s tourism attractions internationally. RAK has everything it takes to become a leading destination for family travel, adventure tourism, cultural visits, weekend breaks and the MICE travel segment, and Hilton is ready to offer visitors to RAK a winning combination of added value, luxury, unique charm and top-quality personalised service. Hilton is playing a key role in developing RAK’s high-potential tourism industry.