Nestled at the northernmost fringe of the United Arab Emirates rests Ras Al Khaimah, home to more than 2,000 continuous years of human habitation. Led by the work of RAK Ruler Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, Ras Al Khaimah has made a continued push toward building its economy around the exciting and adventurous tourism industry that has already brought forth so many visitors.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic derailing major tourism plans, including global sporting events, Ras Al Khaimah continues to build toward life after COVID-19, and this is particularly notable due to the most recent extension performed at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport. As one of the fastest-growing hubs for aviation in the entire UAE, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport will be expanding to include eight flights every week to new cities in Kazakhstan including Aktau, Aktobe, Atyrau, Almaty, Karaganda, Nur Sultan, Oral, and finally Shymkent.
Expanding the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport was first announced by SCAT Airlines and their newly minted partnership. The goal of the expansion is, in their words, to provide easy access to more ‘unique tourist offerings’ while also furthering the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as a destination in its own right. This announcement was made alongside relaxing COVID restrictions throughout the region. According to Menilbekov Madiyar, an ambassador of Kazakhstan, SCAT Airlines is expecting ‘significant two-way passenger traffic’ as the world slowly but steadily adapts to the new normal following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Welcome to the Thrilling World of Ras Al Khaimah
Raki Phillips leads the way at Ras AL Khaimah Tourism and Development Authority, and it is through his words that optimism is growing throughout the region for more tourism in the coming years. An emirate lacking the traditional oil reserves of the other members of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah has enjoyed a continued push from the head of government on down toward an expanded tourism sector.
Ras Al Khaimah is looking to cement its place in the extreme and adventurous sporting world by hosting the 2023 World Athletics Half Marathon Championship. RAK is hoping that this new ‘global event’ will bring newcomers from all over the planet to see and explore Ras Al Khaimah. This comes by way of continued focus on sports and outdoor adventure, continuing a tradition that is only becoming more set in stone as time goes by.
Outside of the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships, Ras Al Khaimah has also put together plans for more significant outdoor events in the coming years. Aside from the aforementioned Road Running Championships, RAK is in the hunt for major sporting events including the Spartan Desert Warrior, the Tough Mudder, and finally the European Golf Challenge.
Even though tourism and outdoor adventure are the largest points of focus for the Tourism Development Authority, there are other areas that RAK is emboldening its efforts. Diversification of tourism efforts will continue with particular attention being paid toward Jebel Jais as a stand-alone destination for outdoor enthusiasts and traditional tourists alike.