World’s longest zip line to open in Ras Al Khaimah
The world’s longest and highest zip line is set to open on the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, in December.
The exact length of the zip line is being kept a closely-guarded secret until the multi-million dollar adventure tourism product’s opening, but Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is hoping it will propel the UAE’s most northern emirate into the major leagues of global adventure tourism and cement Jebel Jais as the region’s leading active adventure tourism destination.
RAKTDA has partnered with Toro Verde, the world’s leading zip line operator, to develop its latest active adventure tourism product, which is due to break the current Guinness world record zip line of 2,200 metres held by ‘The Monster’ in Puerto Rico, a site also developed and operated by Toro Verde. The Ras Al Khaimah zip line will also be a case study for eco-tourism, using solar energy and locally-sourced natural materials, ensuring visitors enjoy the natural experience in the emirate’s mountain landscape.
Speaking at a press conference to launch Ras Al Khaimah’s flagship tourism product, Haitham Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA, which develops the emirate’s tourism infrastructure, regulates its hospitality sector and initiates its domestic and overseas promotions, revealed the currently unnamed zip line will be longer than 28 soccer pitches in length.
“Building on the success of last year’s launch of the Jebel Jais Via Ferrata adventure product, the new zip line represents Ras Al Khaimah’s most significant tourism product opening since Al Marjan Island, our coral-shaped leisure tourism archipelago,” he said.
“This key product launch will further enhance Ras Al Khaimah’s unique mountain-beach-desert offering as the emirate moves towards its goal of attracting one million visitors next year, under the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.”
With RAKTDA aiming to secure Guinness World Records status for the world’s longest and highest zip line, Toro Verde UAE, a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico-based Magno Genesis Holding Group, has been appointed to construct and operate the attraction.
Jorge Jorge, CEO of Toro Verde Ras Al Khaimah, said: “Jebel Jais’ dramatic and beautiful landscape offers an iconic backdrop for what will be a bucket list experience for people all around the world. The mountains also provide a strong and very challenging base for construction and through our experience and the expertise of our team, we are already making good progress.”
Ricardo Lizano, COO of Toro Verde Ras Al Khaimah, added: “Opening within the heart of the UAE’s highest and most iconic natural mountain range, the Jebel Jais zip line experience will consist of two lines, allowing friends and family to take part in the flight together. On arrival at the Welcome Centre, which features a lounge, restaurant, lockers, equipment storage and offices, participants will be given a pre-briefing and then escorted to the launch platform and fitted with a special suit and equipment for this adventure.”
The zip line will be open to all ages, providing participants meet required minimum weight of 35kg and maximum weight of 150kg, and a minimum height of 120cm.
Expecting to attract a high-end clientele, a dedicated VIP Lounge and Welcome Centre will provide an enhanced experience. In addition to private parking and the option to fast track their zip line flight, a helicopter transfer will be available, flying guests from the Ras Al Khaimah’s coastline, taking in the views of the dramatic Al Hajar Mountains from above.
“This zip line will be like no other experience out there,” added Mattar.
“Once harnessed to the zip line in a horizontal superhero position, participants will soar through the sky as if they’re a bird – it’s the closest you can get to the experience of flying.
“The flight will take them to a suspended landing platform where they will be transferred to a second line to complete their journey back to the ground.”
During the first phase of its operations, the zip line will be able to accommodate 250 people a day – or 100,000 in a year – explained Mattar.
“Nothing like this exists in the world – let alone this region – it is a true first for Ras Al Khaimah and adds another amazing attraction to the UAE’s diverse tourism portfolio,” he added.
In line with RAKTDA’s commitment to sustainability as a sponsor of the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, construction of the zip line and its supporting structures and facilities have been designed to have a positive impact on the environment.
Local expertise and materials have also been sourced where possible, with the addition of utilising environmentally-friendly resources in specific areas of the site, such as LED lighting and photovoltaic fabric materials, that will allow for the generation of clean energy for operations.
The zip line is due to open the first week of December and will be one of several eco-friendly products on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak, which is set to become the adventure tourism hub of the Middle East.
For more information about Jebel Jais and its active adventure tourism visit www.jebeljais.ae.