Ras Al Khaimah is one of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates. The increasing footfalls in the country and the increase in the hotels and other amenities have made the tourism industry a very lucrative and profitable industry in the area. The local government of Ras Al Khaimah understands the importance of tourism, especially when the country is trying to diversify its economy. Very recently the Ras Al Khaimah's Tourism Development Authority or RAKTDA for short has announced the number of visitors in 2018 and also launched a strategy for tourism which will span for three years.
What makes RAK special?
Ras Al Khaimah is one of the budding contenders in tourism in the UAE. The authorities understood the importance of the travel and tourism sector long ago and gradually got ready to welcome a more significant number of tourists by building new airports and hotels in RAK. To make it a proper tourist destination, the government has started its work on an amusement park which will have a capacity of almost 15,000. The other plans include the construction for a snow-themed ice water park, hotels, golf course, an outdoor ski hill and finally Al Marjaan, which is an entirely manmade island which will cost an estimated Dh 3.6bn.
According to RAKTDA, the number of tourists in the year 2017 saw a substantial increase. Visitor arrival grew by 6.5% YoY, whereas the guest staying at least one night in RAK rose by almost 17%. The tourism industry also increased due to the strong performance of the hospitality industry in the area. The average occupancy rate saw an increase of almost 3.5% in 2017 and the average stay in RAK rose to 3.4 days.
One of the most prominent tourist attraction for RAK is the Jebel Jais, which is the tallest mountain in the UAE. This makes RAK perfect for outdoor sports-related activities. It has recently set up a Guinness world record for the longest zip line with the length of 2.83km which opened up in the month of February 2018. Even the wetlands of the Mina Al Arab also provide significant ecotourism potential. All in all, RAK provides leisure and retail options for all tourists that come to the place, making it a perfect place to set up a travel and tourism business in Ras Al Khaimah.
Things to Consider Before You Set up a Travel and Tourism Business in RAK
Ras Al Khaimah is all set to welcome an increased number of the visitor with a new attraction, which is the Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais. The announcement will bring in an increased amount of visitor footfall to this emirate.
Certain things need to be kept in mind while setting up a tourism business, such as:
1.Get the Appropriate Tourism License
To legally commence your tourism business in RAK, you first need to acquire the appropriate tourism license from the relevant government authority. There are three types of licenses which can be obtained under a travel company license, which are:
Inbound Travel Operator Activity License
Outbound Travel Operator License
You should pick the type of license which will suit your need and then carry out the business accordingly.
2.Focus on Adventure Tourism
The emirate has a varied range of topography ranging from dunes to mountains. This is the reason that the emirate is focusing more on adventure sports. The new tourism plan will now try to market Ras Al Khaimah as the adventure capital of the east. The emirate will also try to be more competitive with the other emirates with especially in the nature-based and adventure sports tourism.
3.Get a Decent Budget
Starting a travel agency not only needs expertise but also requires a specified budget so that the business can work unhindered. The company must also obtain the necessary documents from the relevant government organizations. They also must have a separate area of at least thirty sq. Meters of office space for each of the activity.
4.Decide Location to Operate
Location plays a significant role in deciding which kind of business needs to operate or which type of adventure sport needs to be carried on. It is not possible to allow zip lining in the dunes or allowing ecotourism in the mountains. The availability of hotels and other amenities from the hospitality industry are essential factors to decide the area of setting the business.
5.Know Your Market
Adventure sports cannot be pitched to older people. Such sports are usually followed by the younger generation. Knowing the market to which the pitching can be done allows the business to understand better the market and new and innovative ways to attract the customers.
Future of Tourism in RAK
The Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah and the Supreme Council Member, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Qasimi has said that the emirate has set a target of increasing the tourism contribution in GDP by at least 10% by the year 2025. There are talks of setting up hiking trails which would allow for better hiking and biking in the trails. The development of cruise tourism also plays a very major role in the development of tourism in RAK. The Ras Al Khaimah port has undergone renovation and can now hold a complete cruise ship. The renovation also includes a 1,000 sq. Meters' terminal building.
In the end, it would be safe to say that RAK is gradually turning up the heat, especially in the matter of international travel and tourism.
Setting up a tourism business may be a complex matter, and it is always recommended that before setting up a tourism business, you take the help of a management consultancy firm which will help you in legally and properly setting up your business. Commitbiz is one such firm which will help you in solving all your business related problems. For more details, contact us – we’d be happy to help.