RAK prospers thanks to Dubai's booming popularity

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is reaping the rewards from a slew of investment off the back of continuing interest in Dubai.Hotel occupancy rates in Dubai are rising all the time, with RAK mopping up some of the increasing spillover and because of this, the emirate has been targeted as an up and coming area, the National reports.Rudi Jagersbacher, president of Hilton Worldwide, Middle East and Africa, stated individuals hoping to stop over in Dubai frequently find they cannot get a room for the night.Because of this, they are forced to seek out secondary locations and RAK has been able to use this to its advantage and attract people and investment. For example, Hilton has unveiled plans to add a further 600 rooms in RAK in 2013 - over half of these will be at the Waldorf Astoria.Indeed, hotels throughout the northern emirates have reported a boost in their occupancy rates as Dubai struggles to meet the demand it faces. During the first quarter of the year, there was a 14 per cent increase in the number of overnight stays in RAK.At the moment around 75 per cent of the emirate's visitors are made up of people from Germany and the UK and so businesses will be keen to continue to tap into this market.Salem Sultan Al Qasimi, the vice chairman of RAK Airways, said there are plenty of reasons to be excited, adding: "RAK is eager to tap into the tourism market and expand its wings. We are expanding the airport and because there is great potential for tourism coming to the UAE we want to take part in that growth."His views are echoed by Victor Louis, chief operating officer at RAK Tourism Development Authority, who is hoping 2013 will be a record-breaking year in terms of visitor numbers. He hopes the emirate is able to attract up to 1.2 million people over the course of the 12-month period.

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