Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority announces comprehensive sustainable tourism master plan
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced that it will develop a comprehensive sustainable tourism master plan, based on a detailed UNWTO assessment of current performance and future opportunity.
The government body that develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure said one of the major projects that will form part of the development roadmap will be a sustainable luxury camp on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain.
It said the luxury camp will offer spectacular mountain views and feature the latest technology to minimise energy use and conserve water.
A dedicated programme will also be used to minimise waste to protect the mountain range 2,000 metres above sea-level.
RAKTDA said it is currently in final negotiations with hotel operators and further announcements will follow.
Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “Ras Al Khaimah is one of the region’s fastest growing tourism destination and whilst we embrace this growth it’s fundamentally important that we retain a position of destination sustainability.
"The UNWTO is helping us shape our sustainable master plan which will focus on environmental, socio-cultural and economic aspects to position Ras Al Khaimah as the first sustainable tourism destination in the UAE.”
Ras Al Khaimah has also put in place a number of initiatives, including a waste management programme to reduce landfill waste by 75 percent by 2021 and set up a Renewable Energy Office in the emirate in late 2017.
Over the last few years, RAKTDA launched three new eco-friendly adventure based projects on Jebel Jais – positioning it as the nature adventure hub of the Middle East. These include the Gulf’s first commercial Via Ferrata (iron path) which features hiking and zip-line challenges, the viewing deck park and Jebel Jais Flight: the world’s longest zip-line which launched in February.
Similar projects are being planned across the emirate’s coastline, natural mangroves and throughout historical sites including the pearl farming village Jazirat Al Hamra and the recently restored Mohammad Bin Salem Mosque.