Ras Al Khaimah sets sights on cruise growth

The architectural style of the exterior of the cruise terminal is in keeping with traditional Arabic design The architectural style of the exterior of the cruise terminal is in keeping with traditional Arabic design

Ras Al Khaimah has identified cruise tourism as a key pillar in the future development strategy of the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates, envisioned by the ruler His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qassami.

The 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, by early January 2018. 

The creek has been dredged this year to 7.5mtr to accommodate vessels on 860mtr of available quay wall and the UK Admiralty Charts will be updated accordingly to reflect the changes, noted Justin Wardle, port operations manager, Ras Al Khaimah Port.

The 1,000 sq mtr terminal building, is currently undergoing a full internal transformation from a previously functional passenger ferry terminal to a modern and efficient boutique cruise passenger terminal, with a planned opening of February 2018.

State-of-the-art security measures such as facial recognition CCTV, luggage and personal baggage X-Ray machines and metal detectors will be installed by December 2017.  Eight new E-gates and eight immigration officer desks will also be added the same month.

An extension to the current building has already started providing additional administration space for immigration and local security services, including its own police station. A concierge service, wifi and duty-free retail shopping will be available in the new terminal.

The architectural style of the exterior of the building is in keeping with traditional Arabic design, synonymous with many of the buildings located in the historical Old Town of Ras Al Khaimah – and in particular the Ras Al Khaimah Museum.

‘RAK Ports is working closely with RAK Tourism & Development Authority in partnership to ensure that we provide the passenger the right experience and shore excursion opportunities and programs will be developed and shared with cruise lines over the next few months,’ Wardle told Seatrade Cruise News.

Ras Al Khaimah with 64km of beach coastline plus desert and mountain landscapes is a new destination in the Arabian Gulf, located 45 minutes from Dubai. The emirate received 828,772 tourists last year and is on target to attract one million visitors annually by end of 2018.

Port and destination development will be discussed at the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum taking place in Dubai.

 

Posted 22 November 2017

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Mary Bond

Publisher/Editor in Chief Seatrade Cruise News & Seatrade Cruise Review

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