Ras Al Khaimah, the northernmost emirate in the UAE is hoping to get direct flights from the UK next winter.
Currently, visitors usually fly into Dubai International Airport, which is more than an hour by road from Ras Al Khaimah.
But the emirate has its own international airport and is in talks with UK operators about launching direct flights.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism, said the Middle East destination was likely to get charter flights from the UK before regular scheduled services.
“We are in talks with our partners to get direct flights from London,” he said at World Travel Market this week.
“We were talking with airlines before the pandemic, and now we are looking at flights launching potentially in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Realistically I think it would be charters first. We are talking to both airlines and operators; we are talking to everyone.”
Several UK operators – including TUI, Virgin Holidays and Mercury Holidays – plus online travel agents such as On the Beach and Expedia already sell packages to Ras Al Khaimah with flights via Dubai.
The UK is one of Ras Al Khaimah’s top three markets. When it was removed from the red travel list, it took 1,000 bookings in the first 48 hour, said Mr Phillips.
“There is huge interest in our destination,” he added.
Ras Al Khaimah has only 7,000 hotel rooms, but there are plans to open another 3,000 by 2025 and by 2030 it is aiming to attract three million tourists a year.
New hotels in the pipeline include a Radisson and an Intercontinental next month, and a Sofitel in 2022.