The 2018 RAK Half Marathon is the largest running event in the seventh of seven United Arab Emirates. The presence of His Royal Highness, Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi and Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, was not an accident. His Royal HIghess gave out the elite awards, took a break and was there to give out all the awards for the local runners as well. Mr. Mattar was everywhere this past weekend, extoling the virtues of RAK as an adventure sports destination.
Why is an event like this important for RAK? Running brings affluent travelers, with families. While most marathons have seen their fields increase but the runners shorten their stays, events like the RAK half marathon see runners bring their families, stay in a reasonably priced, all inclusive resort on a nice warm, relaxed beach and enjoy the post race time.
This gem is still unknown by most Americans, yet a flight on the Emirates airways, which are quite reasonable (we flew coach and the food was good, space was good and entertainment great), and ability to get around was quite easy. RAK, like the other Arab Emirates, know that travel and tourism is a great thing for them.
So, next February 2019, consider setting your PB for the half marathon in Ras Al Khaimeh and then, working on your tan for a week!