Tourism authority wins top accolade at Gulf Business Awards, with CEO shortlisted for Tourism & Hospitality Leader
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which regulates and develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, has been named the GCC’s Tourism & Hospitality Company of the Year at the prestigious Gulf Business Awards 2017.
Winning the highly-coveted Tourism & Hospitality Company of the Year award underlines a momentous year for RAKTDA, a 12-month period marked by steady monthly increases in visitor arrivals from key domestic, regional and international source markets, and continued expansion of the Authority’s diverse events calendar.
More recently, RAKTDA has also unveiled a slew of eye-catching tourism products that will continue to boost visitor arrivals in 2017 and beyond, including the soon-to-open world’s longest zip line and a multi-faceted Observation Deck on Jebel Jais – the UAE’s highest peak and the fulcrum of adventure tourism development in Ras Al Khaimah, which translates as ‘Top of the Tent’ in Arabic.
This year has also seen RAKTDA champion sustainable tourism via a landmark partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation for its International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development campaign. As part of those efforts, RAKTDA has commissioned a UNWTO mission to investigate current standards and policies relating to sustainability and to produce a report on how the destination can implement the best practices for a sustainable future across the global tourism landscape.
Collecting the accolade, RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar, who was also a shortlisted nominee for the individual Tourism & Hospitality Leader award, said being crowned Tourism & Hospitality Company of the Year recognised the hard work and dedication the RAKTDA team undertakes each day to improve the diverse tourism offering across the UAE’s northernmost emirate.
“As per the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, we have successfully repositioned the emirate as a unique beach-desert-mountain destination,” said Mattar. “By taking our promotional efforts to new source markets, and working hand-in-hand with our stakeholders and investors to develop new attractions which substantially improve our hospitality standards, we have enhanced the awareness and the reputation of the emirate.
“That work will continue with the December launch of the world’s longest zip line – our flagship adventure tourism product will serve as a beacon for Ras Al Khaimah around the world and be a true first in the UAE’s robust tourism sector.”
Managed by Motivate Publishing and overseen by an esteemed panel of judges, the Gulf Business Awards celebrate regional public and private sector leaders, captains of industry, and small to medium-sized enterprises which have made a significant contribution to the industry in which they operate. RAKTDA was named Tourism & Hospitality Company of the Year ahead of nominees such as Jumeriah Group, Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
“It is a tremendous achievement for Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority to claim its first Tourism & Hospitality Company of the Year accolade at this year’s Gulf Business Awards,” said Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner, Motivate Publishing. “For RAKTDA to emerge victorious from a category counting some of the region’s industry stalwarts highlights the true significance of its work this past year.”