The beauty of Ras Al Khaimah tourism drive

Ras Al Khaimah is promoting itself as an authentic and nature-oriented destination among German-speaking tourists and has found a novel route to do so by offering to host a Miss Germany 2009 Camp from January 28 to February 7. The finals will be held in Germany on February 14. « Our main focus is to raise the profile of Ras Al Khaimah as a destination within the UAE across German and German-speaking markets and by doing this we anticipate the numbers of visitors will rise, » said Hilary McCormack, manager of RAK Tourism. « German tourists love nature and the Arabian culture and Ras Al Khaimah has a lot to offer. » McCormack said 40 per cent of RAK’s visitors came from German-speaking areas. There were 65,000 tourists in 2007 and she expects a consecutive 20 per cent growth rate in their number for 2008 and 2009. « Having Miss Germany here, who has visited Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE before, will give a boost to the already emerging tourism market that the emirate can offer, » said McCormack. « RAK Investment Authority (Rakia) and RAK Tourism learnt that Miss Germany Corporation were looking for a destination in the UAE that had something new like the Hamra Fort, » said McCormack. She said German-speaking companies are finding promising business opportunities in Ras Al Khaimah. There are 20 registered German companies that operate in in the emirate mainly in manufacturing, paints and boat interior design. More will be expected, » said Serge H Guillaume, Rakia Executive Director. Rakia also expects to attract companies from European countries such as Spain and Italy. « Such activities promote tourism, but this also gives opportunity for expanding business and industries, » said Guillaume. « The person who represents the Miss Germany Corporation had been to Ras Al Khaimah a number of times. He knew the emirate and sold the idea to his colleagues in Germany and communications started between us and them. » Ralf Klemmer, director of Miss Germany Corporation, said they were excited and eager as « we are to enjoy the hospitality, warmth and the natural authentic beauty » of Ras Al Khaimah. « I came several times to RAK and realised this place has much authentic and natural potential and opportunities in promoting business and tourism, » said Ingo Dubinski, General Manager of Berlin-based Crown Production Company. The beauty camp in Ras Al Khaimah will have 23 participants that include Miss Germany 2008 Kim Voigt and 22 finalists that Miss Germany Corporation selects by organising 250 events across the country. « Beside the current Miss Germany, the other 22 ladies are selected from 16 districts, five regions and two companies’ winners, » said Ines Kuba, Miss Germany 1992. Beside the 23 ladies, the camp will have 37 staff of doctors, security and major TV stations to cover the camp for German media. The Miss Germany Camp takes place in a different country as a preparation for the competition in Germany. It was done in Egypt, Spain, but this time in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE where German-speaking people will get to know about this place in the media specially it has nature, sun with authenticity, » added Kuba. « This is not my first time to RAK and the last time I was here was in August, » said Miss Germany 2008 Kim-Valerie Voigt. « We will be doing the whole camp in RAK prior to the finals. The event will be circulated in the German media where people from my country will get to know this place better. » The UAE is the second Arab country Voigt visits after Egypt. Voigt, who is from the northern German city of Hanover, spent six months in a school in the state of Indiana in the US. She kept the door open for possibilities to work one day in the UAE, « but I have to finish my university studies, then I may study something in business management. I do not know yet. Let’s see, » she added. Rami Eljundi