Posted by Neil King
Ras Al Khaimah is planning a major expansion of its hotel sector as a means of boosting visitor numbers in the emirate, an expert has noted.
PKF The Consulting House observed that the various hotels currently under development in Ras Al Khaimah are vital if it is to achieve its target of over two million guest nights by 2012.
Adrian Jonklaas, a PKF senior consultant, told Gulf News that demand from business visitors is on the up thanks to the emirate's growing free zones, conventions and exhibitions.
He added: "RAK remains largely a leisure tourism market which complements the offer of Dubai by offering a cultural, eco and soft adventure [water, desert, mountain] experience to tourists. Europe remains the primary source market for RAK hotels though visitors from the GCC, Subcontinent and Asia are growing."
To meet the demand, the Banyan Tree Al Wadi desert resort and the Cove Rotana have both opened since the end of last year while the luxury Palace Hotel in Al Hamra is expected to open its doors to host the Global Arab Business Meeting at the end of September.
As Gulf News observed, those three hotels alone add almost another 1,000 hotel rooms, meaning that room supply has grown by 70 per cent to 2,651 rooms.