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Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) and Fujairah are emerging out of the shadows of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to become popular tourist destinations among foreign visitors.
These two emirates are no longer mere weekend getaways for residents of other emirates. Their pristine beaches, marine sports and cheaper hotel rates are now attracting a number of overseas visitors.
RAK is expected to see its tourist number surge by 50 per cent this year, up from 1.24 million in 2013 to 1.9 million this year. Riding on the growing number of tourists, the hospitality industry in RAK is also on an overdrive. Reputed hotel chains are set to launch five new hotels in the emirate within this year which will lead to the available rooms jumping from the current figure of around 3,000 to 5,000.
The tourist authorities are eyeing 10,000 hotel rooms in the next five to six years. Most of the outstation tourists in RAK are from Germany, Russia, England and India. Along with the development of Marjan Island as an idyllic beach holiday destination, there are also plans to tap the potential of the Hajar Mountains.
Fujairah is a nature's paradise attracting hikers and water sports enthusiasts. Its improved connectivity to Dubai has seen its stock rise as a tourist destination.
The emirate, located in the eastern part of the country, has seen a rapid growth in its hospitality industry. According to the Fujairah Tourism & Antiquities Authority, the emirate currently has around 4,000 hotel rooms which are expected to reach 6,000 over the next five years.
Around 1.5 million tourists visited the emirate in 2013 which is likely to zoom to 1.7 million by the end of 2014. Fujairah's tourist attractions are also seeing increasing footfall from passengers of cruise ships that dock at the Fujairah Port.
• Hotel rooms in Fujairah expected to reach 6,000 in five years
• Ras Al Khaimah is set to attract 1.9m tourists by the end of 2014
• Top RAK tourists come from Germany, Russia, England and India
Click on Hotels boost tourism in Fujairah causing a steady rise in the number of tourists
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer