• Alka Winter comes on board as Vice President, Destination Marketing & Communications

  • Iyad Rasbey has been promoted to Executive Director, Destination Tourism Development

  • Strategic digital communications specialist, Sputnik Floyd, has been appointed the authority’s integrated agency for brand development, campaign concepts and digital messaging

14 October 2020, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE:  Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is bolstering its communications and tourism development teams as it looks to build on the momentum of its post-COVID recovery campaign.


Having pioneered several world-leading tourism initiatives and ploughed investment into major projects to significantly expand Ras Al Khaimah’s destination offering in 2020, despite significant global challenges, the entity has made three senior appointments designed to accelerate its progress.

Highly experienced communications professional, Alka Winter, joins as Vice President, Destination Marketing & Communications, responsible for spearheading the authority’s multi-faceted communications strategy at a time when effective multi-channel messaging and storytelling is critical.

Iyad Rasbey takes on the role of Executive Director, Destination Tourism Development, based on his proven track record of successfully developing business from new and existing source markets in his previous position as RAKTDA’s Director of MICE and leveraging his more than two decades of tourism industry experience.

Following the successful execution of RAKTDA’s highly successful ‘Shortcation’ campaign this summer, which generated more than 15,000 room nights from UAE staycationers, the creative agency behind the initiative, Sputnik Floyd, has been appointed the authority’s dedicated integrated agency. The Berlin-based integrated communications specialist will use its brand development, campaign concepts and digital messaging expertise to further enhance the destination’s appeal and visibility.

“Following a period of unprecedented disruption to the travel and tourism sector, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has emerged stronger than ever as a destination with world-class safety protocols in place and a strategic development plan for sustainable tourism growth.,” said Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

“We are witnessing the green shoots of recovery in Ras Al Khaimah and to build on this momentum, these key appointments will further develop our relationships with our tourism and investment partners. I am delighted to welcome on board Alka, who understands the importance of engaging with our key audiences and has the expertise to tell our story to the world, while Iyad, who has already forged robust partnerships in Ras Al Khaimah’s major source markets, putting the emirate firmly on the global MICE map, will capitalize on this success to deliver additional tourism business to our destination. I’m also excited to develop our relationship with Sputnik Floyd and look forward to working with the team’s best-in-class creative talent to develop more groundbreaking campaigns. I am confident they will all play an integral role as we start a new chapter in our growth story,” 

A seasoned communications professional with a solid travel and tourism background and more than 18 years of strategic planning and delivery in senior roles spanning the Middle East and North America, Alka Winter has proven expertise in corporate communications, media relations, leadership positioning, reputation management and stakeholder communications. She joins RAKTDA from French hotel giant Accor where she was Vice President Global Communications for the Middle East and Africa.

Iyad Rasbey joined RAKTDA in 2018 and has since played a pivotal role in the execution of key projects implemented by the tourism development, MICE and events departments. A tourism sector expert who has worked for major global tour operators including TRAVCO, Alpha Tours and Kuoni and consulted for numerous tourism boards and committees for more than two decades, he has the industry know-how to lead the authority’s tourism development strategy.

Sputnik Floyd is a Berlin-headquartered agency offering a wide variety of services from strategy to brand development, campaign concepts to film production, with a focus is on strategic digital communication. As a “brand broadcaster”, the company will help RAKTDA to develop engaging communications that bring Ras Al Khaimah’s destination offering to life in new and creative ways. 

These appointments announcement come hot off the heels of RAKTDA unveiling its long-term investment strategy to develop Jebel Jais as a standalone destination by further diversifying its offering through several new sustainable projects. The Authority also continues to build on its ‘safe destination’ status, as certified by Bureau Veritas and the World Travel & Tourism Council, having just announced a global destination first – complimentary COVID-19 PCR testing for all international visitors staying in Ras Al Khaimah for one night or more until 31 December 2020.