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Our Correspondent

For the second consecutive year, Ras Al Khaimah has been named the Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021 at the fifth annual meeting of Tourism Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The emirate was commended for its identity as a sustainable tourist destination, and awarded the coveted title at a virtual meeting that discussed Gulf integration in the tourism sector.

Ras Al Khaimah means top of the tent and borders Oman’s exclave of Musandam. It is one of the most diverse emirates in the country, and hence the fastest-growing destination in the region. It offers world-class experiences and attractions that have catapulted it on to the global tourism map.

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The Gulf Tourism Capital award is also a testament to its early and sustained action to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it a safe destination for inbound tourism.

Ras Al Khaimah was the first city and emirate to receive both the prestigious ‘Safeguard Assurance’ Label from Bureau Veritas, a leader in testing and inspection services, and the Safe Travels Stamp from World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). It continues to build on its ‘safe destination’ status, offering complimentary COVID-19 PCR testing until the end of this year for international visitors staying in the emirate.

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Ras Al Khaimah has the world’s first Bear Grylls Explorer Camp to open with accommodation offerings as well as the highest restaurant in the UAE – 1484 by Puro; both are on Jebel Jais, the highest mountain peak in the UAE. Moreover, UNESCO World Heritage announced that four sites in Ras Al Khaimah – Julfar, Jazirah al-Hamra, Shimal and Dhayah – have been included on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites.

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The emirate plans to grow its tourism potential through a long-term investment strategy for developing Jebel Jais as a standalone destination. This will be achieved by introducing several nature-based sustainable projects on the mountain.