RAK tourism aquires Banyan Tree Al Wadi

Ras Al Khaimah Hotels and Tourism Development Authority announces the Government signing an agreement with Rakeen Development yesterday to take over the first exclusive desert resort in the UAE, Banyan Tree Al Wadi. According to the contract Rakeen Development, that is one of the region's most dynamic property developers, focusing on the creation of eco-friendly and architecturally unique properties, will hand over the ownership to the government of Ras Al Khaimah that has already set up an excellent project management team, being responsible for the comprehensive takeover process.

On the occasion of the official signing of the acquisition agreement a ceremony was held on 30th May 2011 at Banyan Tree Al Wadi;  attended by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah , Ho KwonPing - Executive Chairman and founder Banyan Tree Holdings Limited, Jim Stewart - Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Investment & Development Office - Government of Ras Al Khaimah, Victor A. Louis, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hotels & Tourism Investment & Development - Government of Ras Al Khaimah and Pascal Eppink -  General Manager -  Banyan Tree Al Wadi

Commented on the occasion H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah saying “With this wonderful partnership and our regional expertise, we believe that Banyan Tree Al Wadi will outgrow its potential, achieve new heights and grow to become the beacon of top-class quality service in this region. We aim to create an impact as a strategic player and increase our portfolio with a goal to attract world-class hotel corporations and investors to the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah that is with our robust economic growth and strong tourism expansion plan in the next few years.”

Officially launched on 17th April 2010 Ras Al Khaimah’s latest and most exclusive resort, Banyan Tree Al Wadi is located in the tranquil and eco-rich Wadi Khadeja resting amidst 100 hectares of private nature reserve home to indigenous plant and wildlife. The opulent resort is just a 45-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and a 20-minutes drive from the vibrant Ras Al Khaimah city centre. This oasis of indulgence is the first luxury desert resort in the UAE that offers an all-pool villa concept with pool villas designed to reflect outstanding modern luxury combined with Arabic artwork and antiques. Among other high level services the property offers 3,000 sqm of Asian-inspired hydrotherapy spa facilities with hammam and vitality pool, meetings and banqueting services, activity centre, kids’ club, Al Hamra Golf Club, a world-class falconry mews, horse and camel stables, as well as a private beach club.

The acquisition of Banyan Tree Al Wadi is part of the Emirate’s 10 years ambitious action plan which states that Ras Al Khaimah will plough $100’s of millions into hotels and tourism projects in a bid to quadruple its visitor count. Located at the north end of the coast of the Arabian Gulf the enthralling Emirate, whose GDP comprises 1.5 percent of the UAE’s economy, hopes to see tourism revenues account for 20 percent of its income by 2021 by positioning itself as a lower-cost destination to its ostentatious neighbour, Dubai.

“We are very proud to have Banyan Tree RAK join the Government’s portfolio. This is a really unique property that offers the highest standards of excellence to sophisticated clientele. As a boutique hotel it forms a part of a growing, high value added sector of the travel industry in which we intend to further expand our investments under the guidance and patronage of H.H. Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi - Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.” commented Victor Louis, Chief Operating Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Hotels and Tourism Development Authority.

Banyan Tree Holdings Limited currently has more than over 26 resorts and hotels, over 65 spas, 70 retail galleries and 3 golf courses in 23 countries including China, Indonesia, Korea, Maldives, Mexico, Seychelles and Thailand. Best known for their signature Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts, spas and galleries the company is spreading its wings to the Middle East, Central America, Europe and Africa.

“Banyan Tree Al Wadi is known as the first desert spa resort in Ras Al Khaimah to offer a private nature reserve within its grounds. Spanning over 130 hectares, of which 90 hectares are set aside for the dedicated nature reserve – home to local desert wildlife such as Arabian gazelles and oryxes. We chose Ras Al Khaimah for our Banyan Tree Middle East flagship property as this will drive our operation standards from a strong operations base, and will also set new benchmarks for other Banyan Tree Middle East properties in the pipeline for the group,” comments Ho Kwon Ping the Executive Chairman and founder Banyan Tree Holdings Limited.

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