RAKTDA unveils sustainability strategy to make the emirate a leading green tourism hub

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Ras Al Khaimah
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Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced its comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Destination Strategy which aims to position the nature-based emirate as a regional leader in environmentally conscious tourist destinations by 2025.

The strategy draws out major steps for Ras Al Khaimah to secure long-term sustainability which will help the emirate to attain its tourism growth objectives and contribute directly to national and international climate change and environmental policy targets. 

The key principles for sustainable tourism in Ras Al Khaimah include: delivering authentic tourism experiences through preservation and conservation, taking an industry-wide focus that provides both economic productivity and sustainable development, improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens and residents with a community-based approach and setting environmental goals based minimizing the industry’s carbon footprint and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Raki Phillips
Raki Phillips

“The far-reaching effects of the pandemic brought into razor focus the need more so than ever to accelerate our environmental tourism agenda. However, instead of focusing only on one area, the environment, we broadened our approach to addressing all areas of sustainability ranging from cultural preservation, employee mental well-being to industry-wide protocols and carbon emission goals. With the theme ‘Rise Together’ at this year’s Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC), the time is right to signal to industry investors that sustainable considerations need to be top of mind for long-term investment and hospitality development in a destination.”

The new strategy is following RAKTDA’s earlier announcement of more than 20 new sustainable tourism initiatives across the emirate in partnership with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

As part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, RAKTDA works with EarthCheck, the global environmental experts, to co-create and implement sustainable practices that address key sustainability and climate change issues facing the tourism industry. 

The Authority also runs a scholarship program with the American University of Ras Al Khaimah focused on tourism-related educational programming. Further, in partnership with the Ras Al Khaimah Public Services Department, the Authority has launched the “Green Hotels Rating” 2021 initiative, which aims to achieve 100 percent integrated sustainability in all of Ras Al Khaimah’s hotels.

Further, the Authority has rolled out a high-impact investment initiative in partnership with Arton Capital, a leading government advisory company, to boost tourism and investment. The new initiative, SelectRAK, provides an array of benefits to investors including long-term residency based on criteria outlined by the government. 

Ras Al Khaimah was named the Gulf Tourism Capital for both 2020 and 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the emirate also became the first city in the world to secure the Bureau Veritas Safeguard Label and World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travel Stamp. The RAKTDA was also certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ in the Middle East in 2021, the first and only organization to be awarded this certification in Ras Al Khaimah.

Related: Saudi’s TDF join forces with Seera Group to develop 1st sustainable tourism project in Al Baha region