Cruising is one of the fastest growing sectors for the Emirate, with a 5.4% annual passenger growth rate from 2009 to 2019. One of RAKTDA's main aims is to attract three million tourists a year by 2030, among them, cruise passengers.
Ready for cruise ships
‘We are ready to receive the world’s most elite cruise ships and showcase our beautiful nature Emirate to this growing segment of travellers,’ said Iyad Rasbey, executive director, destination tourism development & meetings, incentive, conference and event (MICE) at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
‘We’ve seen first-hand the significance of cruises to the destination’s overall tourism eco-system. We also recognize that water transportation is becoming increasingly important in terms of connectivity and will support our aviation strategy in bringing tourists directly to Ras Al Khaimah.’
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and RAK Ports have worked on earlier projects to encourage cruise tourism, including the transformation of Ras Al Khaimah’s old ferry terminal into a cruise passenger terminal and the marine transport infrastructure around it.
RAKTDA has invested in designing bespoke itineraries for international cruise passenger.
Cruise ship infrastructure
Ras Al Khaimah can accommodate cruise ships of up to 214mtr in length docking simultaneously, and aims to attract 50 cruise calls each season and some 10,000 passengers within the next few years.
Its facilities are currently suited to luxury, discovery and expedition cruise vessels supporting the Emirate's pledge to expand its travel and tourism sector sustainably, with emphasis placed on the experience ashore, excursions and ports of call.
The destination is home to 7,000 years of history, traditions and culture, features pristine beaches, mangroves, sand dunes and is home to the Hajjar mountains, which includes the UAE’s highest mountain peak Jebel Jais.
The destination was the first city in the world to secure the Bureau Veritas Safeguard Label and World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travel Stamp.
Rasbey said of Zaiton Consultancy, ‘With its wealth of experience and recognition within the cruise industry, Zaiton Consultancy is the perfect partner to take our strategy to the next stage. We look forward to working with the team to boost cruise tourism in the Emirate and attract new audiences from across the world.’
Jasem Zaiton, executive director of Zaiton Consultancy based in Dubai added, ‘It is a huge honour to work with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and RAK Ports to develop and market the Emirate’s growing cruise proposition.
‘With an initial strategy based around smaller passenger ships before moving our focus to mainstream cruise liners, we will bring our global expertise to market Ras Al Khaimah’s truly unique offering and one-of-a-kind experiences to cruise passengers around the world.’