Ras al-Khaimah — one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the east side of the Persian Gulf, meaning 'Top of the Tent' — and Nepal can promote tourism jointly as they have lots to offer each other through more connectivity.
"RAK Airways has connected Kathmandu and Ras al-Khaimah with three weekly flights, currently," said chief executive of the airlines John Brayford.
"With the addition of a new aircraft, we are planning to add one more flight to Kathmandu making it a total of four flights a week soon," he said, adding that the airlines that aims at providing quality service is ready to package Nepal with other destinations with fantastic value for tourists.
RAK Airways — that takes care of passengers individually — will not only promote Ras al-Khaimah but also Nepal, he added.
"In coordination with RAK Airways, this month we have started new packages for inbound tourists to Ras al-Khaimah, in the first phase," said general manager of Blue Waves Travel and Tourism Alaeddin Zayed.
Next month, Blue Waves — a sister company of RAK Airways — is planning to prepare a package for Kathmandu targeting German and Russian expatriates based in Ras al-Khaimah, he added.
Nepal not only offers a world class golf experience similar to the Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras al-Khaimah but also a unique trekking experience, especially for the Germans and Russians, who are a majority among Ras al-Khaimah expatriates.
Germans are the fifth largest visitors to Nepal and the number of Russian tourists has also seen a continuous rise in recent years.
Like Nepal, Ras al-Khaimah offers guests world class service which is comparatively cheaper than in Dubai, which is 45 minutes drive from Ras al-Khaimah, according to Zayed. "But the company with complete service from helping with visa formalities to fun and city tours to desert safari is packaging Ras al-Khaimah with other destinations too."
"It is fast becoming a new destination on the tourist map," said corporate communications executive of RAK Airways Elizabeth Percy, adding that it is home to five-star hotels and beach resorts including Hilton, Rotana and Banyan Tree. Apart from Ice Land water park that offers leisure opportunity for both residents and visitors, there is Al Hamra Marina and Yacht Club and the newly established Rak Sailing Academy that offers both sport opportunities and fun sailing."Joint tourism promotion between Ras al-Khaimah and Kathmandu would benefit both the countries as they complement each other," said Percy, who is planning some FAM trips for scribes in UAE to Nepal soon.