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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 7 March 2021

RAK Weekenders cancelled but hotel occupancy rates unaffected by Covid-19 restrictions

RAK Weekenders events will no longer feature live performances from musicians and DJs

A major music event in Ras Al Khaimah will be reorganised because of Covid-19 restrictions, although hotel occupancy rates are unaffected by recent rules.

On Wednesday, the emirate's tourism authority brought in measures to help reduce infection rates, including the suspension of concerts for four weeks.

RAK Weekenders, a music festival billed as an Ibiza-style party at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort, was scheduled to kick off at the weekend and be held over three consecutive weekends.

Some of the country’s leading DJs and musicians were lined up to play at the resort for guests on all-inclusive packages, but organisers told The National the event will be rescheduled.

“The hotel will be strictly following the guidelines laid out by the authorities to ensure that guests have a safe and comfortable stay with us,” a hotel representative said.

“Obviously there will be no music but we will be offering extra food and beverage packages to make up for that to guests.”

The representative said refunds could be discussed on an individual basis.

Despite the ban on live music events, hotel occupancy has not been capped in the emirate – a move seen as a lifeline for the tourism industry

Authorities did, however, announce that beaches and pools in hotels be restricted to 50 per cent capacity.

Other restrictions announced on Wednesday included:

  • Restaurants and cafes are required to maintain a two-metre distance between tables, where no more than four people are allowed to sit together, unless they belong to the same family
  • Public beaches and parks' capacity set at 70 per cent
  • Restricting social gatherings, such as weddings, to just 10 guests while funerals can have 20
  • Maintaining a physical distance of two metres from others at all times
  • Fitness centres and gyms limited to 50 per cent capacity

The announcement was made on Twitter by police in the emirate, who confirmed to The National that hotel occupancy levels would not be affected by the restrictions.

This is in contrast to Dubai and Abu Dhabi where hotel occupancy was cut to 70 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, by authorities at the start of the month.

The widespread restrictions are a direct response to a rise in the number of cases of Covid-19 in the UAE.

While tourism worldwide was hit by the pandemic, Ras Al Khaimah was among the emirates to benefit most from an increase in staycations by UAE residents.

The emirate’s Tourism Development Authority said that Ras Al Khaimah recorded a 12.9 per cent growth in the Average Daily Rate, during the Eid Al Adha break last year.

This was the highest number in the past three years, despite the pandemic.

Updated: February 11, 2021 06:55 PM

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