Aimed at bolstering Ras Al Khaimah as a leading wedding destination, initiatives include a first-of-its-kind digital portal as a one-stop-shop for planners, including e-learning, access to unique venues, and exclusive incentive packages
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Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, 2 March 2023: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) introduces its all-new Wedding Certification Programme to enable seamless, quick, and easy wedding planning in the Emirate. Bolstering Ras Al Khaimah’s position as a world-class wedding destination, the new initiative was announced at the 11th edition of the Exotic Wedding Planning Conference (EWPC), currently taking place at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre with leading wedding and event planners from around the world in attendance.
As part of the programme, both domestic and internationally based wedding planners will have access to an e-learning platform that will be launched this spring as a one-stop-shop to seamlessly facilitate all aspects of a civil ceremony. Those certified through the programme will benefit from added ease and flexibility in obtaining necessary licenses, organising events, and gaining valuable business support from certified hotels via the portal. Planners will also gain a deeper understanding of the UAE’s civil marriage process, receive fast-tracked permits, and have access to a network of resources to help them confidently navigate through local regulations.
With the aim of enhancing awareness of the Emirate’s array of distinctive locations, certified wedding planners will also gain expert knowledge on a curated portfolio of unique venues that provide breath-taking backdrops for bespoke, picturesque celebrations – including Al Jazeera Al Hamra, Jais Viewing Deck Park, Dhayah Fort, Sonara Camp Al Wadi, Date Farm, and Suwaidi Pearls Farm.
In parallel, a series of comprehensive incentive packages will be available for couples, wedding planners, and certified venues. These will include complimentary services, discounted rates, and airport support for charter flights, while any specialised permits will be waived off to further ease procedures.
The initiatives follow the UAE’s recent introduction of a new federal law that regulates family matters for non-Muslim expats and travellers of mixed faith, enabling short civil ceremonies to now be hosted through Ras Al Khaimah’s courts. The ceremonies apply the principles of civil law in regulating the conditions and procedures for registering marriages. License applications will be easily accessed and submitted online through the Government of Ras Al Khaimah website, and applicants will be notified via email upon approval and a date will be confirmed for the ceremony.
“This is the start of an exciting new chapter in Ras Al Khaimah’s journey to becoming a leading destinations for weddings,” said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “Our new wedding certification programme will empower event organisers with a deeper understanding of local regulations to enable seamless, quick, and easy wedding planning in Ras Al Khaimah. Never before has a tourism destination introduced such ease and flexibility for wedding planners, and we are thrilled to be able to lead the industry with this initiative.”
Having welcomed 1.13 million visitors in 2022, and recognised by Time magazine as World’s Greatest Places of 2022 and CNN Travel’s best destinations to visit in 2023, Ras Al Khaimah is marking significant progress in establishing itself as a unique and attractive wedding destination. Ideally located between the East and the West, with close proximity to Europe, Asia and Africa, the Emirate is easily accessible via direct or in-direct short-haul flights for couples and their wedding parties.
The Emirate’s stunning natural backdrop and diverse topography spanning dream-like desertscapes, majestic mountain ranges, and64km of pristine white sandy beaches provide an array of distinctive settings for spectacular wedding celebrations. These arecomplemented by extraordinary hospitality, stunning event venues, and world-class entertainment experiences. An extensive world-class hotel portfolio, offering over 8,000 rooms and suites from global brands such as IHG, Movenpick, Hilton, Accor, Radisson, Rixos, Rotana, Ritz-Carlton, and several others – and plans to add another 6,533 keys in the pipeline from global hospitality brands such as Wynn, Nobu, Marriott, Sofitel, and Anantara – provides ample options for versatile wedding spaces and set-ups. An exciting array of leisure, adventure, and cultural experiences promises to further elevate any wedding itinerary, from sky tours and watersports, to desert drives and historical excursions, and even ziplining and camping.