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Tourist numbers in the Northern Emirates will likely never compete with those of their southern counterparts as Dubai annually sees an average of 10 million tourists. Those visiting Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain (UAQ) and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) tend to be from the neighboring GCC countries and the UAE itself.
Fujairah has long been a popular weekend getaway for those living in the busier emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With new luxury resorts popping up along its picturesque landscape, Fujairah is seeing a steady growth in visitors with the number of guests increasing by as much as 60% among 20 popular hotels. It now has five new luxury resorts in development that will accommodate up to 1,000 guests, hopefully to cater to a wider number of tourists, and will include major international names such as Fairmont, InterContinental, Ibis and Novotel.
Ras Al Khaimah is also benefitting from a rise in tourism as other international hotel groups make the emirate their largest target for expansion. With the driving force of RAK tourism coming from affordable luxury as opposed to business travel, new developments are underway to capitalize on this. While the emirate currently has nine beach and resort hotels, projects such as Al Marjan Island, Santorini Hotel, Hilton’s DoubleTree, and Rixos Bab Al Bahr Resort, an additional 1,500+ rooms will be open to tourists from around the world.
Finally, Umm Al Quwain recently invested Dh200M on a 4.5- meter pathway on the corniche to enable beachgoers to enjoy the surroundings without any hassles from vehicles. Additional projects are also underway to upgrade each tourist’s beach experience including additional parking facilities, and children’s play areas. And while UAQ is an emirate rich in natural beauty and UAE traditions such as falconry, camel racing, bird watching, and dhow building, its biggest tourist attraction is the Dreamland Aqua Park.
• Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism driving force is the affordable luxury
• With new luxury resorts, Fujairah visitors have increased by 60%
• Umm Al Quwain’s biggest tourist draw is Dreamland Aqua Park
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer