Ras Al Khaimah was recently named the ‘Gulf Tourism Capital’ by tourism ministers and senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit (GIOHIS) in partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority on Sunday announced that the emirate will host ‘GIOHIS 2020’ at Al Hamra International Exhibition and Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah on 23rd and 24th November 2020.
The Summit is expected to attract 300-350 senior executives from the hospitality sector and at least fifty groups which invest in hospitality real estate including hotel owners and developers.
Ras Al Khaimah was recently named the “Gulf Tourism Capital” by tourism ministers and senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The emirate also recently received an ‘A’ rating by the globally recognised Fitch Ratings, for the tenth consecutive year, achieved through prudent management and a diversified economy. The emirate is considered the Arabian Gulf’s most diverse destination and will be hosting many of the region’s high-profile trade and business events, and the GIOHIS is one of numerous events coming to the Emirate in 2020.
Raki Philips, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, commented, “GIOHIS has become the leading investment event in the region built around hospitality real estate investors and those groups who work with them - hotel brands, consultants and advisors, the online travel agents, companies active in the sharing economy, lenders, designers and law firms. We are pleased to welcome all these groups to an emirate truly dedicated to serving them, globally recognised by Fitch Rating for its stable outlook, driven by a high GDP per capita and robust fiscal outlook.” Simon Allison, CEO of hotel owners’ network HOFTEL which runs GIOHIS, said, “We are delighted to be holding the Summit in the excellent and proven facilities in Ras Al Khaimah and will bring together senior executives from hotel owners, operators and other service providers for two days of serious debate and discussions about the topics of most relevance to the hospitality sector. The rise of the Ras Al Khaimah tourist industry in recent years is a remarkable phenomenon and we are delighted that RAK TDA will offer our delegates a range of options for experiencing it.” In a major year for inbound tourism into the UAE, with Expo 2020 taking place in Dubai, GIOHIS will scale new heights. Covering the entire Indian Ocean region, stretching from East Africa through the Indian Ocean Islands and the Gulf, to South East Asia and Australia, the summit follows the routes traced by the trading dhows in the days of the Arabian-inspired trading networks around the region.
Ras Al Khaimah was named as the ‘Gulf Tourism Capital’ during the Gulf Cooperation Council’s ministers meeting in Muscat.
The meeting was attended by a UAE delegation led by Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Advisor to the Minister of Economy for Tourism Affairs, on behalf of Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy.
Al Mansouri stated that Ras Al Khaimah’s selection as the capital of Gulf tourism highlights the UAE’s leading stature as a popular tourism destination, noting that the previous years have witnessed ongoing growth in the number of tourists visiting the country from around the world, and praising the decision of GCC tourism ministers and officials.
He added that the UAE, upon the directives of its leadership, has prioritised the tourism sector, due to its role in driving sustainable development and supporting the post-oil economy while pointing out that all emirates have increased their numbers of touristic facilities and provide advanced and innovative tourism services.
Presenting the key tourism achievements, Al Muhairi said that in 2018, the number of hotel guests visiting the UAE reached 25.6 million, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to 2017. These guests spent a total of 80.4 million hotel nights, an increase of 3 percent over 2017.
The country has 1,117 hotel establishments with an average 173.4 hotel rooms each and an average occupancy rate 73.5 percent while international visitors made up 83 percent of hotel guests, compared to 17 percent for local guests, he added.
He also said that the report of the World Tourism and Travel Council in 2019 revealed that the tourism sector made up 11.1 per cent of the UAE’s GDP in 2018, amounting to Dhs164.7 billion. This contribution is expected to rise by three percent in 2019, and tourism provided 9.6 percent of total jobs in 2018, corresponding to around 611,500 positions. This percentage is expected to rise by 2.8 percent in 2019, he further added.
In 2018, visitor spending amounted to Dhs136.8 billion, or 8.6 percent of the country’s total exports. This figure is expected to increase by 4.1 per cent in 2019. Total investments in the country in 2018 amounted to Dhs26.4 billion, or 8.1 per cent of the total.