Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 78

places to

watch
1. The palatial Waldorf
Astoria Ras Al Khaimah,
set to open this year.
2. A peek inside a
guestroom at one of the
Banyan Tree Al Wadi
villas.
3. A rendering of
the upcoming 700-room
Bab al Bahr Beach
Resort.

1

2
3

Ras al Khaimah

> The big travel news in the United Arab
Emirates isn’t Dubai’s return to financial health or Abu Dhabi’s ongoing
cultural expansion. Rather, all eyes are now turning to the far lesser
known—but rising in prominence—emirate of Ras al-Khaimah (RAK),
about 60 minutes from Dubai.
Led by government decree, RAK has set an ambitious goal of both
boosting tourist arrivals to 1.3 million this year and the number of local
hotel rooms to 10,000 by 2016. To do so, the Persian Gulf-front emirate
launched the government-backed Ras al-Khaimah Hospitality Group in
late 2011, charged with strengthening RAK’s hotel holdings on behalf of its
ruling family.
According to statistics from Lodging Econometrics, RAK will have to
build fast if they want to reach that 10,000-room goal in just three years.
Right now, there are only 2,000 hotel rooms in all of RAK, with roughly
three projects with 735 rooms under development. Nine more properties
with 4,262 rooms are currently in the pipeline, including the grandly sized
Waldorf Astoria, set to open this year in the upscale area of Al Hamra.
With interiors by HBA, the Arabian-themed, palace-like hotel will feature
346 rooms, 10 restaurants and bars, and a 1,200-foot-long private beach.
There’s good reason to be optimistic about the hospitality future of
RAK, which includes dramatic (and development-ready) mountain,
desert, and seafront locations. For one thing, exciting tourism numbers
have surged from a mere 87,000 in 2000 to 1 million in 2012. And unlike
Fujairah (another of the UAE’s more remote emirates) RAK is just 45
minutes from Dubai’s massive airport, and already well known to
UAE residents. “Ras Al Khaimah has already established itself as one of
the region’s top family destinations, and [now] industry and government
are working together to promote it globally, attracting niche segments like
adventure tourists, cultural tourists, and MICE,” says Carlos Khneisser,
Hilton Worldwide’s vice president of development for the Middle East.
Most crucially, at a time when Dubai hotels are among the most
expensive in the world, RAK is positioning itself as a premium location,
but at a more wallet-friendly price. While there are certainly luxury hotels
in RAK like that upcoming Waldorf Astoria opening in May, and the

078

January/February 2013 hospitalitydesign.com

Banyan Tree Al Wadi, which is now being upgraded, RAK hotels average
less than $150 per night, according to Hala Matar Choufany, managing
director of HVS Dubai. “They are clearly different types of markets, but
RAK has always benefited from a spillover from Dubai,” Choufany says.
“And while it’s popular with locals, RAK generally lures foreigners—
Europeans and Russians.”
In the near term, InterContinental is developing both Crowne Plaza
and InterContinental properties in RAK, while Hilton has launched a $27
million renovation and rebranding of the existing Al Hamra Golf & Beach
Resort. Turkish operator Rixos, meanwhile, has signed a deal with RAK
Hospitality to manage the upcoming Bab al Bahr Beach resort. It’s a 700room Gulf-front giant that will open this year on, what else but a Dubaistyle manmade island.
With money and vision clearly behind it, RAK has a bright prognosis.
But Choufany says that future is far from guaranteed. With so many
European travelers, RAK remains a mostly seasonal destination with little
of Dubai’s corporate clientele to fill rooms during the off-season. And with
Dubai’s hotels beginning to feel some resistance to those surging prices,
any decline in Dubai rates could make RAK’s much-touted affordability
less of an attraction. “If Dubai prices slide,” she says, “it could be more
difficult to lure the price-sensitive market to RAK and be able to keep
them there.”


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - January/February 2013

Hospitality Design - January/February 2013
Contents
Online TOC
From the Editor
From the Show Director
People
People
Sketchbook
Interview: Jay Pecotte
5 Questions for Harry Apostolides
Profile: Dirk Wynants
Trends: Door Handles
Furniture
Lighting
Textiles
Places to Watch
Mama Shelter Marseille
L’and Vineyards Hotel
The Fish Shack
Hotel Topazz
Ad Index
Back Space
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Intro
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Hospitality Design - January/February 2013
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 1
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 2
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 3
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 4
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 5
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 6
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 7
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 8
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 9
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 10
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 11
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 12
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 13
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 14
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Contents
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 16
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 17
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 18
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Online TOC
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 20
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 21
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 23
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 24
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 25
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 26
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 27
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - From the Show Director
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 29
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - People
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 31
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 32
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 33
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - People
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 35
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 36
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 37
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 38
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 39
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 40
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Sketchbook
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 42
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 43
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 44
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 45
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 46
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Interview: Jay Pecotte
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 48
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 49
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 5 Questions for Harry Apostolides
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 51
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 52
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 53
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 54
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Profile: Dirk Wynants
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 56
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Trends: Door Handles
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 58
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Furniture
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 60
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 61
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 62
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Lighting
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 64
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 65
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 66
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Textiles
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 68
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 69
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 70
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Places to Watch
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 72
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 73
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 74
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 75
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 76
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 77
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 78
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 79
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 80
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 81
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 82
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 83
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Mama Shelter Marseille
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 85
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 86
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 87
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - L’and Vineyards Hotel
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 89
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 90
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 91
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - The Fish Shack
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 93
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 94
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 95
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Hotel Topazz
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 97
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 98
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 99
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 100
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 101
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 102
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Ad Index
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/hd/201805
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