Discussing RAK’s hospitality potential with Tatiana Veller, MD of Stirling Hospitality Advisors

Discussing RAK’s hospitality potential with Tatiana Veller, MD of Stirling Hospitality Advisors

Tatiana Veller, MD of Stirling Hospitality

Ras Al Khaimah’s hospitality sector is marked by its rich history and natural allure, offering an authentic Arabian experience. We find out more with Tatiana Veller, managing director of Stirling Hospitality Advisors.

What are the unique characteristics of the hospitality sector in RAK?

The hospitality sector in RAK is distinguished by its rich history and natural beauty, offering an authentic Arabian experience. Moreover, RAK aims to attract 3 million visitors by 2030, boasting pristine beaches, lush mangroves and Jebel Jais. Additionally, the USD 4 billion Wynn Al Marjan Island project aims to double hotel room inventory in 4 years, potentially tripling it by 2030. Furthermore, strategic initiatives aim to enhance nature, adventure, culture and MICE facilities, aligning with RAKTDA’s goal of premier destination status.

How do you foresee the future of the hotel sector in RAK?

Between 2024 and 2027, Ras Al Khaimah hotel keys are set to double, with nearly 7,000 additional keys. Moreover, discussions for another thousand keys are underway for opening by or before 2030. Furthermore, 88 percent of the 18 hotels in the pipeline are five-star properties, with the remaining in the three- and four-star categories. Additionally, this expansion will lead to 68 percent of RAK hotel inventory being five-star properties by 2027, with 69 percent in Al Marjan Island. Lastly, these additions not only meet the need but also align with RAK’s 2030 vision to triple visitors.

In your opinion, can RAK’s hospitality sector compete with the rest of the UAE?

RAK’s blend of natural beauty and culture sets the stage for ambitious hospitality goals, aiming for premier destination status by 2030. Furthermore, being the first emirate with integrated gaming facilities sets RAK apart. Lastly, capitalizing on strengths and focused development strategies can ensure RAK competes effectively in hospitality.

What are the key findings of your RAK Investment Pulse report? 

The majority (82 percent) of hotels in the pipeline are five-star properties, signaling RAK’s upscale hotel market expansion and improved image. Consequently, the proportion of luxury properties will rise to 68 percent by 2027. Additionally, hospitality proves to be a profitable asset class, with project IRR ranging from 12 percent to 15 percent and Equity IRR up to 20 percent. Moreover, RAK could comfortably accommodate over 10,000 additional keys by 2030, spanning all hotel categories. Furthermore, few projects are announced in the midscale to upscale segments, presenting untapped investment opportunities. Lastly, diversifying investments beyond hospitality into residential, retail and other sectors caters to RAK’s growing population and visitor influx.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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