CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA)
Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, was appointed in May 2015 to drive the economic growth of Ras Al Khaimah by positioning the emirate as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism.
With more than 25 years of experience in global destination and hospitality management and marketing, Mattar has held senior roles with leading global brands including Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), and most recently Hilton Worldwide.
As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hilton Worldwide, he was managing a 240+ strong team across the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia, and responsible for 126 trading properties with a further 100 in the pipeline, sharpening his aptitude in hospitality, travel and tourism.
Mattar's cross-continent experience and valuable global insights have allowed him to effectively lead Ras Al Khaimah's destination growth strategy, through capturing existing and emerging source market movements and global tourism trends. Under Mattar's leadership, Ras Al Khaimah is achieving continued growth in visitor numbers and netting a growing share of the global outbound tourism market.
In 2017, Mattar was elected as Vice Chair of the UNWTO Board of Affiliate Members as well as being appointed as a member of the steering committee for the UNWTO 2017 International Year for Sustainable Development in Tourism.
A Lebanese-born American citizen and Arabic speaker, Mattar holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, USA, and a MBA in Marketing from the University of Liverpool, UK, having completed a thesis on the sustainability of tourism in Dubai.