RAK Ruler hails tourism boom as he opens Jebel Jais adventure peak

Summit attraction has obstacles including rope swings, wobbly bridges and swinging loops

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Ras Al Khaimah has officially unveiled the Jais Sky Maze, an attraction that promises to offer adrenalin junkies a thrilling experience 10 metres above the ground.

It is the latest addition to the Jebel Jais Adventure Peak’s host of visitor draws.

The one-hour experience is on two levels and will be open to visitors of all ages to take to the sky and navigate through obstacles including rope swings, wobbly bridges, swinging loops and more.

The opening was announced at the unveiling ceremony of the Jais Adventure Peak, a collection of adventure attractions such as the Jebel Jais Flight, Jais Sky Tour, Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park and Jais Adventure Centre.

We hope that one day Ras al Khaimah is an outdoor adventurers' choice of destination throughout the world

The attractions will attract more tourists to the emirate, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, said at the ceremony.

“Tourism has helped to advance the emirate’s progress as the number of people visiting Ras Al Khaimah has more than doubled from 400,000 to over one million over the past seven years,” Sheikh Saud said.

He attributed the increase to careful planning, teamwork and the collective efforts of the authorities.

Officials from the RAK Tourism Development Authority said they hoped that the new attraction would be on the must-see list of visitors.

“The launch of the Jais Adventure Peak will not only add to the emirate’s diverse hospitality offering, but will also elevate the undeniable appeal of Jebel Jais,” chief executive Raki Phillips said.

“The Peak captures [the emirate’s] adventurous spirit through a series of adrenalin-pumping experiences that will leave a lasting impression on our guests and unforgettable memories."

Last October, the emirate was named the Gulf Tourism Capital by GCC tourism ministers at a meeting in Muscat.

RAK has created a niche for itself by developing outdoor adventures around Jebel Jais.

The emirate has become a popular staycation destination among UAE residents, with about 118,000 people visiting in August last year, a lean season in the country when families often travel out of the country.

In 2018, it became home to the world longest zipline, suspended 1,680 metres above sea level, on which riders travel at speeds close to 150kph.

The 2.83-kilometre Jebel Jais Flight zipline followed the success of RAK's Via Ferrata experience, which combines rock climbing with three smaller ziplines.

Jebel Jais Viewing Deck Park features seven platforms with 12 binoculars overlooking the Arabian Gulf and Hajar Mountain valleys, all from 1,250 metres above sea level.

The Jais Sky Tour is a self-guided aerial mountain tour, where visitors zip from one platform to another covering a distance of 5km on seven ziplines.

The experience also consists of a thrilling 15-metre walk across the UAE’s highest sky bridge, 1,250 metres above sea level.

Tour operators are hopeful the new addition will attract sport enthusiasts.

Lizzy Sahin, chief executive of the Challenging Adventure, a company that offers outdoor adventure activities in RAK, said she could not wait to try the new attractions.

"While we are not directly involved in the Jebal Jais project itself, we are firm supporters of the attraction it brings to the mountains," Ms Sahin said.

"The opening of the zipline has made the mountains more accessible and appeals to all residents and tourist of the UAE.

"This has always been an ultimate goal for us. We hope that one day Ras Al Khaimah is an outdoor adventurers’ choice of destination throughout the world.

"There is already so much more choice of things to do both independently and with registered outdoor companies, we look forward to being part of further development of the mountains in the future."

The UAE is developing several outdoor attractions to cater to a wider section of visitors.

Last week, Abu Dhabi opened its one million-square-metre Jubail Mangrove Park.

Open from 8am to 6.30pm daily, the park offers three new walkways. The longest is 2km and the shortest is 1km.

A casual stroll through the longest route takes between 35 and 40 minutes.