All Eyes on Ras Al Khaimah as Haitham Mattar, CEO of Tourism Development Authority, Visits London
All eyes are now on the northernmost Emirate of the UAE as Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah’s Tourism Development Authority, successfully concluded his visit to London to further promote the destination within the UK market.
From 21st–23rd February, Mr Mattar met with renowned UK media outlets, to discuss the recent growth of Ras Al Khaimah in the tourism, service and real estate sectors. As of January, Ras Al Khaimah was the fastest and only growing Emirate in the UAE, with an increase of 23.7% in hotel occupancy compared to 2015 figures.
Along with media outlets, Mr Mattar also met with leading tour operators and travel agents, including Thomas Cook, Cosmos and specialists to discuss why Ras Al Khaimah continues to grow as one of the world’s premier tourism destinations. In raising awareness of Ras Al Khaimah, Mr Mattar discussed the Emirate’s unique selling points, rich offerings and stunning surroundings. He also touched upon ongoing activities to keep Ras Al Khaimah on the rise, such as dynamic plans to expand the Emirate’s world-class hotel portfolio and development projects on Al Marjan Island.
With the UK being a significant source market for inbound tourism, Mr Mattar’s visit to London highlights Ras Al Khaimah’s focus on raising awareness of the Emirate among international markets.
His visit also resulted in the forging of strategic partnerships between Ras Al Khaimah, UK media and key travel industry professionals, which will help to secure positive, high-impact news coverage on the destination, enhance the Emirate’s economic growth and provide even more ways to attract travellers from around the world. “The UK is our second largest source market, with continued potential for growth. We have witnessed a 24% increase in visitor numbers in 2015 compared to previous years. This is testament to our unique offerings that are appealing to UK travellers”, said Mr Mattar. “I look forward to future visits and pursuing every opportunity to strengthen our alliances and strategic partnerships with some of the UK’s biggest names in the travel trade industry”.
In the coming months, fam trips with leading tour operators, such as Lotus Group, Trailfinders, Kenwood, The Holiday Place, Jetset, Destinology, Letsgo2 and Tropical Sky, will allow agents to learn even more about Ras Al Khaimah first-hand. In the meantime, Ras Al Khaimah’s London office, represented by PR MEDIACO, will continue to showcase everything the Emirate has to offer, with sales calls, training programs, webinars and a strong PR campaign, while promoting Ras Al Khaimah’s well-earned position as the best place to travel for authentic Arabian experiences and adventures.
About Ras Al Khaimah
One of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world, Ras Al Khaimah boasts a rich culture and long-standing history, dating back 5, 000 years, showcased by an array of archaeological sites and breathtaking natural vistas, from golden sand beaches, awe-inspiring terracotta dunes and a green belt of date palms to Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE.
To learn more about Ras Al Khaimah, visit us at: www.rasalkhaimahtourism.com.
About Haitham Mattar
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah TDA, was appointed in April 2015 to drive the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah by positioning the Emirate as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism.
With over 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management, Mattar has held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and most recently, Hilton Worldwide. As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Hilton Worldwide, he was managing a 240+ strong team across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia and he was responsible for 126 trading properties with a further 100 in the pipeline, sharpening his aptitude in hospitality, travel and tourism. Mattar’s cross-continent experience and valuable global insights allow him to effectively lead Ras Al Khaimah’s destination growth strategy, through capturing existing and emerging source market movements and global tourism trends. Under Mattar’s leadership, Ras Al Khaimah is achieving continued growth in visitor numbers and netting a growing share of the global outbound tourism market.
A Lebanese-born American citizen and arabic speaker, Mattar holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, USA, and a MBA in
Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK, having completed a thesis on the sustainability of tourism in Dubai.
About Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (TDA) was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. In order to achieve target growth of one million visitors by 2018, the authority aims to develop the Emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.
In order to achieve its goals, Ras Al Khaimah TDA has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the Emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry.