The emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi instantly spring to mind when the United Arab Emirates is mentioned. Ras Al-Khaimah, the third-largest emirate in the Arabian Peninsula, is fiercely vying with places like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bali, Italy, Portugal, and even neighbouring Dubai for a piece of what consulting firm KPMG pegs as India's enormous $50 billion wedding market.
The statistics that the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) provided to Business Today serve as proof of this. In 2021, a total of 44 Indian marriages were held at various Ras Al-Khaimah star-category hotels. Additionally, 32 of these weddings have already occurred in the emirate in just the first half of 2022.
Ras Al-Khaimah is one of the most sought-after destinations perfectly suited for unique weddings and honeymoon escapes, exclaimed Iyad Rasbey, executive director of destination tourism development & MICE for RAKTDA, in a recent interview with Business Today. Its natural topography, world-class hospitality brands, and seamless infrastructure make it one of the most sought-after destinations.Couples can take use of our varied topography to enjoy their dream weddings at beach sites at some of the emirate's top hotels and resorts.
Additionally, patterns show that Indian families are increasingly using the emirate's distinctive cultural and mountain sites to organise such family gatherings. These include the historic Al Jazeera Al Hamra and Dhayah Fort, which are included in UNESCO's potential list of Global Heritage Sites, as well as the vast open expanses atop Jebel Jais, the tallest mountain in the area. The locales that provide a breathtakingly romantic natural or animal backdrop have grown in popularity as wedding venues.
The RAKTDA has reported its best visitor counts since the Covid-19 epidemic, indicating visitor arrival numbers consistent with foot traffic prior to the pandemic during the first half of 2022. The emirate welcomed 5.21 lakh tourists between January and June 2022, a total rise of more than 21% compared to the same period in 2021, demonstrating the remarkable first-half performance.
India continues to be one of Ras Al-top Khaimah's five source markets.
Additionally, for the past few years, Indian airlines SpiceJet and Air India have offered direct flights to Ras Al-Khaimah. The nation's largest airline, IndiGo, added the emirate to its route network as the 100th location in September, launching a direct trip from Mumbai.
When asked how much it typically cost to plan a wedding in the emirate, Rasbey responded that while there were many variables to consider, wedding planners and hotels provided a range of wedding packages to fit various price ranges.