Ras Al Khaimah, the United Arab Emirates’ fourth largest emirate, has announced a total investment of over £96 million in its tourism sector.

It is hoped the cash will result in over 20 exciting sustainable tourism development initiatives as part of its aim to attract 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2021 and three million by 2025.

The latest announcement comes on the back of the emirate’s previous efforts as the region to introduce a Tourism Incentive & Stimulus Package in April last year followed by an emirate-wide certification as the first safe destination worldwide from Bureau Veritas and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

With the desire for social distance, tourists are no longer attracted to bustling cities and crowded beaches, seeking instead personal space and a closer connection to nature.

This change in direction will allow the spotlight to shine on Ras Al Khaimah, enabling it to step out from the shadow of its well-known neighbours, offering world-class hotels and infrastructure in a wild and unspoiled landscape of desert, beach and mountains.

Raki Phillips, chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), said: “It’s been an incredibly busy and proactive time at RAKTDA as the emirate evolves into a global destination of distinction.

“This multi-million investment plan further demonstrates our resolve and commitment to tourism, despite the global challenges faced this past year that continue to shake our industry today.

“These projects also align with our vision and strategy moving forward with our new brand identity, based on the destination’s natural topography – the sea, desert and of course, our spectacular mountains – as well as our desire to progress, grow and evolve in tune with tourism aspirations and needs.”

The emirate, currently the Gulf Tourism Capital for 2021, is the first destination in the world to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travels certification, and since October has been offering free Covid PCR tests to inbound travellers, the first in the world to do this.

Efforts such as these, with costs absorbed by the tourism board rather than passed on to visitors, has resulted in Ras Al Khaimah being classed as Covid-safe, including all 46 of its hotels and the world’s longest zipline on Jebel Jais mountain peak.

Find out about the new projects in Ras al Khaimah here.

Take a look below as Breaking Travel News catches up with Ras al Khaimah tourism chief Raki Phillips, during Arabian Travel Market: