Mounting Interest In Ras al-Khaimah

Innovative approach to harnessing the appeal of UAE’s tallest mountain

Standing at nearly 2,000m Jebel Jais is the highest mountain in the UAE, and has stood as part of the Hajar mountain range for over 70 million years. While the scenery may be spectacular and ancient, it has just been launched as a brand new adventure product. Part of the emirate’s Vision 2019 Destination Tourism strategy, the inventive approach has been overseen by Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) which is now working with industry stakeholders to develop experience packages to also cover accommodation and travel.

The key innovation that makes this possible is the installation of the region’s first commercial Via Ferrata – a permanent mountain iron-wire course which allows adventureseekers to climb and explore the landscape in an organised and marketable way. “The world-class Via Ferrata is the first in a range of mountain, activity and adventure products we are developing specifically for nature and adventure seekers,” said Haitham Mattar, (CEO, RAKTDA) “Already on the drawing board is the world’s longest zipline and adventure park, which we are planning to launch in Q4 2017. We believe the Via Ferrata and our planned adventure tour i sm products will have strong appeal with both the domestic and overseas activity tourism and sports market and we are currently engaging source market trade partners who want to join hands with us in developing a niche sector which leverages Ras al- Khaimah’s spectacular m o u n t a i n t e r r a i n resources,” Mattar continued.


Aiming to appeal to adventure tourists of all ages and abilities, the three-course Via Ferrata spans the rocky facades of Jebel Jais where the average climate is 10 degrees Celsius below mean Gulf temperatures, yet just 45 minutes from Ras al- Khaimah’s growing stock of beachfront resorts – and the two will be interlinked by inclusive transfers. As part of RAKTDA’s strategy to capitalise on the inherent history, geology and authentic Arabian culture of Ras al-Khaimah, the prospect of ascending an unspoilt mountain range will likely draw a new generation of adventureseekers to the region.