Ras Al Khaimah bolsters tourism top table, eyes rapid post-coronavirus rebound

Three senior appointments made following unveiling of long-term investment strategy to develop Jebel Jais as standalone destination

RAKTDA said all projects and builds will be developed in the most sustainable way possible in order not to disrupt the mountain ecosystem

Ras Al Khaimah has bolstered its senior tourism team as the emirate looks to build on the momentum of its post-coronavirus recovery campaign.

Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced three senior appointments hot off the heels of its unveiling of a long-term investment strategy to develop Jebel Jais as a standalone tourist destination.

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Communications professional, Alka Winter, joins as vice president, Destination Marketing & Communications, while Iyad Rasbey takes on the role of executive director, Destination Tourism Development, and Berlin-based Sputnik Floyd has been appointed the authority’s dedicated integrated agency.

“Following a period of unprecedented disruption to the travel and tourism sector, RAKTDA has emerged stronger than ever as a destination with world-class safety protocols in place and a strategic development plan for sustainable tourism growth.,” said Raki Phillips, CEO.

Raki Phillips, CEO at Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

“We are witnessing the green shoots of recovery in Ras Al Khaimah and to build on this momentum, these key appointments will further develop our relationships with our tourism and investment partners.”

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Winter joins RAKTDA from French hotel giant Accor where she was vice president global communications for the Middle East and Africa, a statement said, adding that Rasbey joined RAKTDA in 2018 and has since played a pivotal role in the execution of key projects implemented by the tourism development, MICE and events departments.

The authority also continues to build on its ‘safe destination’ status, having just announced a global destination first – complimentary Covid-19 PCR testing for all international visitors staying in Ras Al Khaimah for one night or more until the end of 2020.

The Jebel Jais strategy includes plans for a pop-up hotel concept, scheduled to open in the second half of 2021, which will introduce cliff side accommodation with mountain views, and the Jais Coaster, a summer toboggan/bobsled concept inspired by the Alps, which will open in Q2 2021.

According to the World Economic Forum Covid Action Platform, travel preferences and patterns have changed, leading to renewed interest in less crowded destinations such as Jebel Jais.

RAKTDA said all projects and builds will be developed in the most sustainable way possible in order not to disrupt the mountain ecosystem.

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As well as the pop-up hotel concept and the toboggan run, a Mountain Lodge, located next to the emirate’s renowned hiking trails will provide luxury accommodation when it opens in 2022.

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