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Ras Al Khaimah: The New Hot Spot For Destination Weddings

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is setting up itself step by step as one of the sought-after wedding destinations in the area. With its natural splendour, international-magnificence hospitality services, and exciting amusement sights, RAK offers the right backdrop for a memorable wedding.

In an interview, Benoy Kurien , Group CEO of Al Hamra , considered one of RAK’s leading hospitality and real estate organizations, mentioned future plans further to develop RAK right into a superior lifestyle and wedding spot.

Al Hamra’s goal is to distinguish itself from others. It provides luxury lodges, upscale neighbourhoods, retail, eating, entertainment, and outdoor adventures.

According to Kurien, Al Hamra’s various portfolio of hospitality, residential, and enjoyment attractions makes it an attractive alternative for couples planning a dream wedding,

The Growth of RAK As A Leading Tourism Destination

In recent years, RAK has experienced rapid growth as an international traveller vacation spot. The recent unveiling of the Wynn Resort , the vicinity’s first incorporated gaming resort with a casino, has sparked an excellent investor interest in the emirate.

The addition of luxury hospitality brands like the Waldorf Astoria and Ritz-Carlton has similarly made Ras Al Khaimah a destination of preference. Its strategic area among Europe and Asia has additionally helped improve tourism numbers.

To similarly boost the boom, Al Hamra has an extensive improvement pipeline of residential, hospitality and entertainment projects in the works. This consists of a waterfront residential project, branded houses, a seaside boardwalk, an exclusive beach membership and more. The goal is to provide unique lifestyle reports to draw vacationers from around the arena.

Targeting The Global Wedding Market

A key focus area for Al Hamra and RAK Tourism Development Authority is positioning RAK as a wedding destination of choice for domestic and international couples.

Al Hamra has already hosted several high-profile weddings, with complete buyouts of hotels for guests. The region’s first integrated resort, stunning beaches, and world-class hospitality make RAK well-suited for lavish weddings.

To attract the lucrative wedding market, Al Hamra provides training and certification programs for wedding planners. This covers local laws and streamlining legal paperwork. Additional incentives like complimentary services, discounts and waived permits further ease the process.

The tourism board also goes above and beyond to deliver bespoke experiences for weddings at Indian destinations. From police escorts to airport transfers to decorating venues elaborately, no ask is too big. This personalised service and flexibility help solidify RAK’s reputation as a wedding-friendly destination.

Settings For Picture-Perfect Weddings

Beyond hotels, Al Hamra highlights RAK’s diverse natural settings as ideal wedding venues to create memorable celebrations.

Options include:

  • Beach locations like Al Jazeera Al Hamra with stunning ocean views
  • Jais Viewing Deck Park for panoramic mountain vistas
  • Dhayah Fort for a historic Arabic setting
  • Sonara Camp Al Wadi for glamping under the stars
  • Date Farm for tropical oasis vibes
  • Suwaidi Pearls Farm for a unique pearling heritage site

The Emirate’s temperate winter climate between October to April further adds to the appeal for outdoor weddings. The tourism board also stated they are open to hosting weddings at offbeat locations based on the couple’s preferences.

World-Class Hospitality For Wedding Guests

RAK has over 8,000 hotel rooms and suites across brands like Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton, Anantara and W. Over 6,500 additional keys are slated to open in the next few years with upcoming properties from Sofitel, Wynn, Nobu and Marriott.

This expanded portfolio will offer wedding parties plenty of accommodation options and add to RAK’s credibility as a luxury wedding destination.

Couples can also find venues suitable for different wedding events like receptions, pre-wedding functions and post-wedding brunches across this diversified inventory. Hotels offer both outdoor and indoor spaces that can be dressed up based on the couple’s chosen theme.

The wide range caters to different budgets and guest lists to ensure all wedding needs can be fulfilled seamlessly.

Adventures, Leisure And Cultural Experiences

Beyond the wedding destination itself, RAK gives many activities for bride and groom guests. Adventure seekers can enjoy dune bashing, hiking, ziplining, skydiving, parasailing and watersports.

Cultural experiences like museum visits, historical past excursions, camel rides, falconry and cooking instructions provide a taste of local Emirati traditions. For families, there are subject matter parks, flora and fauna safaris and waterparks.

Couples may even curate private chartered excursions for his or her guests to enjoy RAK’s natural wonders, like the awe-inspiring Jebel Jais mountain. It also gives amusing activities for the newlyweds and their buddies.

Ideal Accessibility For The Indian Wedding Market

RAK’s proximity to India and connectivity through direct flights has also helped boost its popularity as a wedding destination for Indians.

In 2023, Indian visitor numbers to RAK grew by 22% to 140,000. Destination weddings contributed heavily to this influx. Currently, 14 flights operate weekly between India and RAK.

Leading carrier Indigo launched new daily flights from Mumbai and Delhi to RAK in 2022. Couples can conveniently opt for charter flights to ferry larger wedding groups. Indian carriers like SpiceJet and Air India also offer connections through UAE hubs like Dubai. So, Ras Al Khaimah’s wedding revenue surged by 103 per cent in 2023.

For couples and guests travelling from India, RAK offers the advantage of being merely a short 3 to 4-hour flight away. Its close cultural affinity to India also helps Indian weddings seamlessly recreate their elaborate setups on foreign shores.

Investing In RAK’s Tourism Future

As part of its 2030 Tourism Strategy, Ras Al Khaimah aims to attract 3 million annual visitors by focusing on key offerings like nature, leisure and adventure. Al Hamra and other major developers are aligned with this vision through their hospitality and real estate expansion plans. Sofitel Al Hamra Beach Resort is also set to open its doors to further solidify the destination’s position as a premier wedding destination.

Al Hamra’s 5-year strategy focuses on adding value through new lifestyle experiences, products and services. Their upcoming projects pipeline will further enhance RAK’s profile as an integrated tourism destination. Upcoming Al Hamra projects:

  • Waterfront residential project
  • Branded residences project
  • Beach boardwalk
  • Exclusive beach club in partnership with Rikas Hospitality

With these continuous investments in developing world-class infrastructure, RAK is slated to become a top player in the global wedding tourism space. The destination has several mega launches including Emaar Address Residences Phase 2 Al Marjan and Ellington Cala Del Mar. Its strong growth momentum also sets the stage for it to achieve its vision of becoming the Gulf’s leading sustainable tourism and commercial hub.

Conclusion

Ras Al Khaimah has firmly established itself as a fast-growing wedding destination. Its exquisite natural beauty, modern infrastructure and focus on attracting international weddings make it a strong contender in the global arena.

As Benoy Kurien summarized, Al Hamra and RAK’s development plans will focus on bringing ‘firsts and bests’ to create exceptional lifestyle experiences. RAK’s personalized service and emphasis on uniqueness also perfectly cater to the needs of couples planning their special day.

With its strategic location, connectivity to India, variety of activities and expanding hotel portfolio, RAK checks all the boxes for what makes a world-class wedding destination. Its future growth trajectory further cements its position to become a top wedding tourism hub globally.

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