21 May 2020, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced a strategic partnership with Bureau Veritas Certification (Bureau Veritas) to launch the ‘Safeguard Assurance Program’ – an initiative to ensure that all operations within the hospitality sector resume safely and efficiently. The renowned world leader in testing, inspection and certification services will support the Authority in implementing stringent health, safety and hygiene measures across all Ras Al Khaimah hotels to mitigate any possible risks for employees and guests and provide complete peace of mind.
The partnership will see Bureau Veritas conduct an independent audit, with all costs covered by RAKTDA, under its “SafeGuard Assurance Program” for 45 hotels, as part of the RAK ‘Stay Safe’ Hotel campaign. The additional audit process serves to further validate the safety and hygiene measures and processes already put in place by the Authority in partnership with Government Authorities, and takes its ‘Stay Safe’ Hotel Certification to the next level.
Having operated in the field of risk management for more than two centuries, Bureau Veritas has developed its SafeGuard Assurance methodology in collaboration with experts in the field, ideally suited to organizations looking to restart their business efficiently.
The auditing process will involve sharing a checklist of measures to be implemented across the properties, an onsite inspection and an unannounced visit. Individual properties will be assessed on factors including: commitment to the program; respect for social distancing guidelines; compliance with hygienic practices and measures; as well as surveillance and management of any issues. To further emphasize the safety measures to guests, when all inspection criteria are met, Bureau Veritas will issue a physical label valid for six months and include the hospitality company on its publicly accessible website, dedicated to attested establishments.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, comments, “The Authority looks forward to working with Bureau Veritas, marking a first of its kind partnership between the entity and a tourism board in the region, as hotels in Ras Al Khaimah begin to welcome guests and visitors back. We have embarked on this partnership to support Ras Al Khaimah’s hospitality providers and assist them in protecting and building trust among their employees and clients to be able to restart their business efficiently. The aim of Bureau Veritas’s ‘SafeGuard Assurance Program’ is to ensure our partners adopt adequate health, safety and hygiene procedures and that they are effectively implemented, resulting in a certificate and compliance label to reassure guests.”
Marcel Hochar, Senior Vice President Middle East and Central Asia, at Bureau Veritas shares, ‘’For almost 200 years, Bureau Veritas’ mission has been to shape a world of trust. Adapting to the current sanitary crisis, we have developed the ‘’Safeguard’’ label designed to certify that appropriate safety standard, training and cleaning protocols are achieved to allow businesses in general and the hospitality sector in particular, to reopen with confidence. With this label, today we have the ability to address the new expectations of our society in terms of health and safety.
We are very honored to be partnering with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority in their proactive endeavor to make a difference for their employees and guests and demonstrate their readiness to receive them in a healthy and safe environment throughout the emirate.’’
Current hospitality standards and procedures being implemented across the Emirate include the testing of all hotel staff for COVID-19, provision of masks and gloves for all guests, allocation of separate entrances and exits for guests and staff, reduced capacity in public areas and restaurants, and mandatory thermal screening at all entrances on arrival. Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority’s inspectors will be undertaking daily spot checks to ensure the measures are being adhered to and will provide support from Government Authorities to help hoteliers enforce the protocols designed for guest wellbeing.