As CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), Raki Phillips is tasked with growing the destination’s tourism infrastructure and sustainability investments. With a vision to position the Emirate as the ‘Destination of the Future’, Phillips aims to elevate Ras Al Khaimah’s tourism contribution from 5% to one-third of its economy, and drive over 3 million visitors to the destination by 2030.
Raki has led hotel and project developments across the Emirate, with the goal to drive industry performance and enhance the quality of life for all of Ras Al Khaimah’s residents. He namely secured the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ras Al Khaimah to date – the USD $3.9 billion deal with Wynn Resorts to develop a 1,500-plus-key integrated resort on Al Marjan Island.
Phillips is an award-winning industry veteran and a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in leading some of the world’s most renowned brands, including Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI), and Universal Studios Orlando. He also pioneered a game-changing online dessert concept – SugarMoo- in the Middle East, and led the design-centric eco-friendly hotel brand, Earth Hotels.
An American national and a fluent Arabic speaker, Phillips has a great understanding of the region having worked in the Middle East since 2005, and was recently recognized as one of Forbes Middle East’s Top 100 Travel & Tourism Leaders 2023, and as Businessperson of the Year by Arabian Business. In his previous role as Senior Partner and Senior Vice President of Development with International Hospitality Consulting Group (INHOCO),
Phillips developed hotel project pipelines exceeding $5 billion in assets and successfully negotiated multimillion-dollar hotel deals for global luxury brands in over 25 markets worldwide.
Phillips is a member of the Executive Board of RAK International Airport, the UAE Energy and Sustainability Summit Advisory Board, the Ministry of Culture UNESCO Committee in Abu Dhabi, World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) Board in UK, and the Pacific Asia Travel Association in Singapore. He holds a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, and a MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix in Orlando.