RAKTDA and RAK have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the boutique cruise tourism offering (Image: RAKTDA)
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and Ras Al Khaimah Ports (RAK) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the boutique cruise and water tourism offering in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
The agreement was signed by Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, and Clifford William Brand, CEO of RAK Ports, at the Cruise Workshop. Other attendees at the signing ceremony included general managers from the emirate’s leading hotels and destination management companies, as well as official representatives from RAK customs, immigration and ports authority.
As part of the agreement RAK Ports will finalise the transformation of its existing ferry terminal into a modern boutique cruise passenger terminal and develop marine transport infrastructure around it. RAK Ports will also facilitate water tourism operations by developing ferry and water bus passenger platforms, commence water bus services from RAK Creek to Al Hamra, Marjan and Mina Al Arab. It will also create a marine licencing authority for leisure Dhows, water buses carrying passengers in RAK territorial water.
“We are looking forward to this partnership with RAKTDA and we’re confident that it will play a key role in supporting RAK’s vision of growing the cruise tourism sector and realising their tourism strategy,” said Brand. “We have completed the development of the city’s first boutique cruise vessel passenger terminal, which will be able to accommodate multiple cruise ships docking simultaneously and have installed new security measures such as facial recognition CCTV, luggage and personal baggage X-Ray machines to ensure that passenger receive an impeccable service and enjoy a hassle-free experience.”
Meanwhile, RAKTDA will design visitor itineraries for arrivals during the 2018-2019 season to attract cruise passengers.
“As part of our Destination 2025 tourism strategy to attract three million visitors to RAK by the end of 2025, we identified the cruise segment as a key part of the strategy, and ever since we’ve been working on developing the infrastructure to promote our cruise tourism proposition,” said Mattar. “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.”
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