The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has signed a management agreement with RAK National Hotels (“RAKNH”), an owner of hotels and resorts in Ras Al Khaimah, a subsidiary of RAK Hospitality Holding (“RAKHH”), and Al Hamra Real Estate Development (“AHRED”), marking its entry into the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The brand will manage The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach and The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert, growing the brand’s footprint in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to five by 2017.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK National Hotels and Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International signed the agreement, closing the ceremony Mr.Kyriakidis said, “We are proud to partner with RAK Hospitality Holding and RAK National Hotels and look forward to introducing The Ritz-Carlton to Ras Al Khaimah.
Herve Humler, President and C.O.O., The Ritz-Carlton conveyed his thanks to the ruler of the Emirate and said, “ We have seen an increasing appetite amongst travelers for immersive escapes in emerging destinations and our Ras Al Khaimah properties will offer travelers – both regional and international – the chance to enjoy the unique landscape, indigenous customs in tranquil environments. The locale, which represents the culture and traditions of the indigenous community will transport visitors to an off-the-beaten track journey for that truly authentic experience.”
The management agreement, which goes into effect on December 15th, will see the beach property close for comprehensive renovations, whilst the desert property will remain open and operate as a partner hotel – Al Wadi Desert, Ras Al Khaimah, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel. Both properties following the renovations are scheduled to be re-launched in 2017 under The Ritz-Carlton stewardship.
The renovations include total refurbishment of the Al Hamra beach property a 32 all-villa luxury resort, and upgrading the Al Wadi property, a 101 all-villa desert escape. The two new additions to The Ritz-Carlton portfolio are enclaves of bespoke Arabian-style villas that stretch along a private shore of white sand and the vast undulating expanse of the desert respectively.
Ras Al Khaimah, with its verdant landscape surrounded by the Al Hajar Mountains on one side and the Arabian Gulf on the other, is known for its natural beauty and relaxed pace of life. In contrast to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, the emirate is seen as an escape for local, regional and international visitors, seeking un-spoilt nature and unique experiences. Blessed with miles of pristine shoreline and a rugged backdrop, the emirate offers visitors a sense of solitude, respite and tranquility.