Ras Al Khaimah has continued to outperform the wider UAE and regional tourism markets, according to real estate consultancy firm CBRE.
Its latest Ras Al Khaimah MarketView report noted that the emirate’s hospitality market soared last year by recording a 10.9 percent increase in full year visitor arrivals and a 9.8 percent growth in the average occupancy rate, taking the annual occupancy to 71 percent.
According to the report, the emirate’s hospitality market maintained positive growth into the final quarter of 2016, recording an average occupancy rate of over 73 percent during the final three months of the year.
The emirate’s overall performance has remained strong, with hotels posting growth across the key RevPAR metric, led by the positive occupancy growth, after a 4 percent decline in average daily rates during the same period.
According to figures from RAKTDA, the emirate’s tourism authority, visitor numbers have also risen during the year, with guest arrivals increasing from around 740,000 in 2015, to reach close to 821,000 during 2016.
The UAE remains the main source of demand for Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism industry but there has also been strong annual growth in visitors amongst key international source markets. This includes UK, India, Germany and Russia, CBRE said.
Mat Green, head of research & consulting UAE, CBRE Middle East, said: “Ras Al Khaimah’s real estate market is set to see substantial transformation over the next five years including large scale projects such as Emaar’s first major foray into the emirate, with a planned mixed-use scheme on Al Marjan Island.
“Hotel group InterContinental and RAK Properties have also announced the revival of a 350 key resort property at the Mina Al Arab development and with the delivery of multiple new resort properties in the pipeline and 1,000 new keys expected to be delivered during 2017 and 2018, 2019 onwards will see a major market shift.”
The report also showed that average residential rental rates are starting to edge towards stabilisation, with just a minor 1 percent decline recorded during the last quarter, taking the full year drop to around 5 percent.
“In terms of the residential market in Ras Al Khaimah, performance has remained fairly steady during the final quarter of 2016, with only a very slight rental deflation noted across the emirate’s masterplan communities,” added Green.
Dubai-based developer Emaar has announced plans to expand into Ras Al Khaimah’s real estate market, with a two million square metre development on Al Marjan Island. The first phase of the project will include a five-star luxury hotel, serviced residences and retail facilities.