Ras Al Khaimah 2018 | TRANSPORT | COLUMN

TBY talks to Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, RAK Department of Civil Aviation & RAK International Airport, on the sector.

Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi

How can foreign investors get more involved in Ras Al Khaimah's airport and the aviation sector?

We have many opportunities for investors from ground handling, catering, duty free, and so on. The development of maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) would also be great for many operators in the area. In addition, we have facilities for training academies. There are also opportunities for added-value services for customers, such as meet-and-greet and transportation. We are currently managing these areas with the RAK Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA). We are dealing with foreign operators to bring charters to the airport. For an investor that wants to capture the growth of the Emirate and all the projects in the pipeline, it would be feasible to be based here.

What are the main challenges facing the aviation sector currently?

At the moment, in order to come to Ras Al Khaimah, visitors have to do it through the other Emirates, airlines, and carriers. However, if we are able to offer a door-to-door package, it would be possible to decrease prices. This would definitively have a large impact on the growth of tourism.