Hospitality veteran Phillips named CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

by | Jul 15, 2019 | News

Raki Phillips, the new head of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority

The company has tapped Raki Phillips, an award-winning hospitality veteran, to lead a new phase of tourism development for the Emirate.

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has named hospitality veteran Raki Phillips as its new CEO.

Phillips, who has won numerous accolades for his work within the hospitality industry, will lead a new phase of tourism development for the Emirate, which is known primarily for its world-class beaches.

There is a long list of renowned global brands Phillips has worked with, including Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Universal Studios Orlando and now he brings that expertise to the Emirate.

Phillips has also won much recognition for his work in the hospitality industry, and it seems like this is a win-win situation for all involved as Ras Al Khaimah accelerates its tourism efforts.

Delivering a destination strategy

One of Phillips’ primary duties will be delivering the authority’s newly announced Destination Strategy 2019 – 2021 which aims to entice 1.5 million visitors to the Emirate by 2021. Moving forward, that number is slated to accelerate to a benchmark of attracting 3 million visitors by 2025.

In this leadership endeavour, Phillips will be taking over from Haitham Mattar, who himself had a four-year stint at the helm of RAKTDA.

During his tenure, Mattar hit many impressive benchmarks, including reaching and exceeding a target of attracting 1 million visitors in the first three years.

He is also credited as initially repositioning Ras Al Khaimah as one of the fastest-growing destinations for tourism in the world.

“Mattar’s four years leading Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has resulted in a tourism strategy that has grown the reputation of Ras Al Khaimah internationally and put the Emirate firmly on the world map. I would like to thank Haitham for his leadership of the authority and for presiding over a phase of tourism and hospitality development that has seen exceptional levels of growth. With his groundwork, we are very well placed to move forward to the next phase of development in our thriving tourism industry under Raki Phillips, who I welcome to his new role,” said His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

RAKTDA’s past and present

It’s hard to imagine now, given where the Emirate’s tourism market is, but RAKTDA first launched its tourism strategy roughly three and a half years ago, in January of 2016.

The organization was one of the main factors in accelerating visitor growth there, working hard to increase visitor satisfaction and raising the contribution of the hospitality market to the Emirate’s GDP.

Some of the foundational strategies were introducing new tourism demand generators, one of which includes the world’s longest zip line as well as the Middle East’s first via ferrata. This move was crucial, positioning Ras Al Khaimah as the region’s main nature-based ecotourism adventure hub.

In his position as the new CEO, Phillips will supervise several exciting projects, including notable development projects on Jebel Jais. This includes multiple zip lines, adventure park hiking trails, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy and a luxury camp.

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