Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, government entities, hotels and private sector industries have come together at the 2021 Global Citizen Forum to pledge collectively to deliver Ras Al Khaimah’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Strategy that will see it become the regional leader in environmentally conscious tourism by 2025.
Led by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Sustainable Tourism Policy Commitment marks a major milestone in the Emirate’s plan to secure its long-term sustainability and drive overall tourism growth. Signatories included Government departments and representatives from across the tourism, hospitality, hotel development and real estate sectors.
Providing a framework for action across a diverse program of activity, the guiding principles for all tourism stakeholders include: protecting and enhancing Ras Al Khaimah’s cultural and natural heritage through implementing sustainable management frameworks and embracing green construction principles; delivering new sustainable tourism developments and experiences which are high quality, authentic and complement Ras Al Khaimah’s natural environments; working with business, government and community partners to ensure economic returns from tourism investment and the development of human capital; regular measurement and benchmarking of key environmental, economic and cultural tourism indicators; working across the destination to minimise energy, water usage and waste generation; building improved tourism industry resilience; respecting and safeguarding local culture and communities.
Commenting on the signing, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “We have taken an important step towards a more sustainable future for Ras Al Khaimah. As government and tourism stakeholders collectively pledge to work together in order to establish Ras Al Khaimah as a regional leader in sustainable tourism by 2025, we are also signaling that environmental considerations are necessary for long term investment and hospitality development in a destination.”
He adds “The Global Citizen Forum in Ras Al Khaimah was the perfect platform to make a collective commitment to deliver a more sustainable and resilient future, not only for Ras Al Khaimah but also for future generations of global citizens.”
The signing took place as part of the sustainability stream at the Global Citizen Forum’s acclaimed annual summit, held at the Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre. The highly-anticipated event, themed ‘The Future in Motion’, welcomed some of the world’s leading minds including country leaders, ministers, philanthropists, activists, acclaimed artists and athletes, entrepreneurs and top-tier economists, with sustainability forming a key pillar of discussion.
Among the Government departments and partners signing the Commitment were: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ras Al Khaimah Environment Protection and Development Authority, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality Department, Department of Antiquities and Museums, Ras Al Khaimah Ports, Ras Al Khaimah Public Services Department, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, Ras Al Khaimah Government Media Office, Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, RAK properties, Al Hamra Real Estate Development, Marjan, The Ritz-Carlton properties in Ras Al Khaimah, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort, DoubleTree by Hilton Marjan, Suwaidi Pearls, The Warrior group, and Adventurati Outdoor.
The Sustainable Tourism Destination Strategy follows the Authority’s announcement earlier this year of over 20 new sustainable tourism initiatives across the Emirate marking an investment of half a billion dirhams in partnership with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These projects center on the Emirate’s new destination strategy that focuses on nature, leisure, adventure, accessibility and authenticity.
The fastest growing destination in the region, Ras Al Khaimah was named the Gulf Tourism Capital for both 2020 and 2021 by the Gulf Cooperation Council and set a global benchmark in becoming the first city in the world to secure the Bureau Veritas Safeguard Label and World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travel Stamp. In recognition of the number of progressive policies in place that promote employee well-being, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority was also certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ in the Middle East 2021, the first and only organization to be awarded this certification in Ras Al Khaimah.