x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

RAK push to develop tourism facilities

Ras al Khaimah authorities are instructed to speed up work on all tourism and building projects as the emirate prepares to cope with an expected 2.5m tourists a year by 2012.

Ras al Khaimah authorities have been instructed to speed up work on all tourism and building projects as the emirate gears up to cope with an expected 2.5 million tourists a year by 2012. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras al Khaimah, said officials needed to double their efforts to put the necessary incentives in place to meet the emirate's goal. The state news agency, WAM, reported that he also called for faster processing of transactions for investors wanting to start up businesses.

The emirate currently has tourism projects worth about US$5 billion (Dh18.3bn) under way, including hotels and a new airport. An Dh800m amusement park is expected to attract 15,000 visitors a year when completed. The first phase, due to open next May, will be a snow-themed Ice Land Water Park. Other plans include redeveloping the Hajjar Mountains, with hotels, a golf course and an outdoor ski hill; Noor City, a Dh3.6bn island near the Kuwaiti Street Corniche; and the man-made island, Al Marjan.

However, power shortages have been delaying development and have prevented the opening of the newly completed Safeer Mall. Earlier this month, Sheikh Saud said a gas-fired station would be built to ensure future supplies. mchung@thenational.ae