Sheikh Saud delivers keynote speech to inaugural World Travel & Tourism Council Forum 2019

2 October 2019

‘Ras Al Khaimah is on a unique journey, taking big ideas and turning them into reality,’ Emirate’s Ruler tells audience

WTTC Forum attracts C-level delegates from MENA and the World

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, today delivered the keynote speech to open the inaugural World Travel & Tourism Council Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum 2019, held in partnership with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Center.

Sheikh Saud confirmed in his speech at the event, which attracted hundreds of C-level tourism and travel industry delegates from around the region and the world, that Ras Al Khaimah has had a unique journey, from communities of pearl fishermen, traders and mountain tribes to the prosperous, growing Emirate we see today.

The Ras Al Khaimah Ruler also pointed to a bright future for Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE as a whole, as he detailed the constant pursuit of improvement fueling ongoing development.

Sheikh Saud said:

“The Founding Fathers of the UAE used their vision, sheer grit and determination to build this great country from dialogue and diplomacy.

In Ras Al Khaimah, we are on a unique journey to success. And we are learning how to take our big ideas and turn them into reality.

We want to create an Emirate that is thriving sustainably, both economically and socially, for the benefit not just of all those who live here, but for the entire UAE.

To create sustainable development here in Ras Al Khaimah, we have been busy trying to build one of the most diverse economies in the region. Currently, no single sector of our economy makes up more than 30% of GDP. And in terms of tourism, we’ve witnessed huge growth – tripling our visitor numbers from under 400,000 to over 1 million in just 7 years.

We take a holistic approach to development and seek to create the ideal ecosystem for success. From our heavy industry, ports and quarries … to our economic free zones, manufacturing and tourism industry – all these sectors are linked by common denominators – strong governance, an independent judiciary and a robust legal framework.


In terms of tourism, Ras Al Khaimah has developed a comprehensive strategy. To remain on the path to success, we have endeavored to put systems and structures in place that are tailored to the needs of the investor and delivers results for them and for us. In addition, our development strategy is informed by credible data and backed by stable governance and strong institutions.”

The one-day World Travel & Tourism Council Middle East & North Africa Leaders Forum 2019 brought together a select group of CEOs and regional travel and tourism leaders, along with Tourism Ministers and regional experts. It was devised to provide a platform for leaders to discuss the key issues facing the region’s travel and tourism sector and it involved panel discussions on topics such as ‘Leading By Example’ and ‘Skills For The Future’.

Speakers included Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman and youngest Arab to summit Mount Everest; Paul Griffiths, the CEO of Dubai Airports; Raki Phillips, the CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority; Shaun Vorster, the Vice President of Expo 2020 Dubai; Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud; and Gloria Guevara, the President & CEO of WTTC and former Tourism Minister of Mexico.

To watch the full keynote video click here.

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