Air Arabia, the first and largest Low Cost Carrier (LCC) in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, has become the official airline of the UAE’s northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah after signing a strategic partnership agreement on 2 February with Ras Al Khaimah’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

Air Arabia, established in October 2003, by investors from the UAE emirate of Sharjah and private equity investors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, is listed on the Dubai Financial Market. It currently flies to 90 destinations in MENA, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent from its three operating hubs in Sharjah in the UAE, Alexandria in Egypt, and Casablanca in Morocco.

The agreement makes Air Arabia the designated carrier of Ras Al Khaimah, operating services from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, and is expected to facilitate a significant increase in the number of destinations accessible to residents of Ras Al Khaimah. It will also promote Ras Al Khaimah as a tourist destination.

“As Ras Al Khaimah continues to position itself as an attractive tourist destination, we are confident that this partnership will help us achieve our long-term goals, benefiting from Air Arabia’s operational track record, impressive network and management expertise,” said Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman, DCA, Ras Al Khaimah.

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the less-resourceful seven emirates of the UAE along with Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Sharjah, that have little or no reserves of hydrocarbons. The oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi and commercial and business hub Dubai, own and operate the Etihad and Emirates airlines as the official carriers of the UAE.

The ambassador of the UAE in Sweden, Sheikha Najla Alqassimi, is a member of the royal family of Ras Al Khaimah. The UAE embassy in Stockholm is also responsible for Denmark, Finland and Norway.