Cruise tourism will continue to play a key role in the coming years. Over the past five years, cruise tourism within the Arabian Gulf has experienced explosive growth. As deployment continues to boom, destinations across the region have already made major investments in cruise terminal facilities to accommodate an expanding fleet of ships.
The re-energized focus on cruise tourism has also made its way to Ras Al Khaimah, where RAK Port is upgrading its existing passenger terminal. RAK Port has already completed some major works and refurbishments and will be capable of handling luxury cruise ships with a length up to 214 meters, starting from February 2018.
Shaji Thomas, director of Destination Tourism Development at the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), spoke about the new cruise terminal opening in February 2018. "We have a short term and long-term strategy, by 2018, we want to welcome a million tourists. In the long term, we want to welcome 2.9 million visitors by 2025. For this to happen, we have to bring in Mice and cruise tourists. There are five ports in RAK currently, and we have identified one port as part of our foray into cruise tourism."
Haitham Matter, CEO of RAKTDA said: “We aim to attract boutique cruise vessels to RAK Port in 2018, opening up a unique proposition for cruise passengers.”