Emirates News Agency – Jebel Jais is a leading destination that takes the tourism sector in Ras Al Khaimah to new heights

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Preserving the natural flora and fauna in the Hajar Mountains is an essential part of the emirate’s preparations to launch new tourist attractions on the highest mountain peak in the Emirates.

An integrated plan to enhance the emirate’s position as the capital of tourism in the region, based on preserving the natural environment, providing a unique experience and offering new options in the field of adventure tourism.

Ras Al Khaimah, on the 1st of July / WAM / There are many natural destinations that embody the tourism ambitions of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, but there is nothing that reflects them better and deeper than Jebel Jais – the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates, with a height of about 2 km and a charming view of the mountain range stone. Today, thanks to the growing interest in the development of the tourism sector, this majestic mountain has become a leading destination that reflects the unlimited tourism aspirations of the Emirate in every sense of the word.

Jebel Jais is a cornerstone of the new tourism model based on adventures, sustainability and eco-friendly tourism in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, and its height as the highest mountain peak in the UAE symbolizes the vast horizons that the new tourism strategy in the emirate aims to achieve.

The launch of this new direction for the tourism sector in Ras Al Khaimah is an embodiment of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, which encourages benefiting from the huge tourism potential and the diverse natural resources in the emirate. The plan is based on exploiting the captivating natural beauty of Ras Al Khaimah, with its picturesque terrain and refreshing mountainous weather, with the aim of providing a unique and different tourist experience from those in the region. Because temperatures on Jebel Jais are often 10 degrees below sea level, a clear goal was set in the plan, which is to create a tourist center that attracts visitors throughout the year, even during the summer months when there is less possibility of outdoor activities in the UAE.

Sustainability, which is one of the top priorities of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, is a mainstay in the tourism strategy, and it includes all the continuous development of renewable energy sources and recycling plans aimed at protecting the environment of the Emirate. This trend is translated through continuous work to enhance the care and attention to local plants at the top Jebel Jais and its surrounding areas, and the commitment to follow this policy to be a main criterion for the development of public areas on the mountain.

One of the most important aspects of this trend is the accurate documentation of the local plant species in Jebel Jais, with the aim of establishing a database that contributes to the preservation of plant diversity, in addition to providing comprehensive information to nature lovers who visit the mountain. To this end, the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah relies on the expertise of Dr. Marina Tsaliki, a botanical research specialist at the Aesthetic Agriculture Foundation of the Ras Al Khaimah Public Services Department, who is charged with identifying the types of wild plants in Jebel Jais, and providing the necessary recommendations on how to preserve, benefit and use them For the benefit of the emirate community.

Dr. Tsaliki explains: When I started my work in Jebel Jais, I first documented the plants I found, then mapped them in full, and concluded that the mountain contains more than 100 species of plants, which embodies a living proof of the extent of the plant diversity in Jebel Jais. I also discovered that some types of plants specific to the Jebel Jais environment, such as tulips and iris flowers, do not grow in other regions in the UAE, and I found a great abundance in herbal, aromatic and medicinal plants, and I am currently continuing my research in other mountainous areas of the region in order to show the extent of the uniqueness and diversity of plants and animals that are She lives in the mountainous environment of the emirate.

The plant research specialist touched on plants and shrubs with medicinal properties that she documented, and how to benefit from them in the pharmaceutical fields, where she currently intends to evaluate these uses. Dr. Tsaliki also reviewed the famous wild types of fruit trees that she discovered on the mountain, stressing that these types are completely different from those that are grown for consumption.

She added that the “wild fig” grows on the mountain, but it differs from the fig we know, as it is not intended for human consumption, and constitutes food for animals, insects and wasps that pollinate them, so this type of fig represents an important component of the mountain’s ecosystem. We also have the “Arabian Almond” that is exclusively in this place in the United Arab Emirates, and it is currently subject to careful laboratory analyzes to verify its chemical composition, and although most of the plants in Jebel Jais are not a food source for humans, many of them have important medicinal uses. This is what I am currently studying.

By opening the Jebel Jais destination and promoting it among new categories of tourists, the vision is based on developing the tourism sector in the emirate, and making it a new and unique destination for adventurers, nature lovers, mountain walks, and outdoor activities enthusiasts. Therefore, the first decisions to upgrade the sector were to establish the zipline, not only for the purpose of experiment, but to make it distinctive and to be the longest of its kind in the world, and to be one of the distinguished additions capable of meeting the aspirations of adventure seekers and thrill seekers from all over the world.

To achieve the necessary growth and development in this vital sector, it was necessary to construct a road according to the highest international standards, which was not an easy task. Until 2013, the only way to climb the mountain was on foot or by using a helicopter. In order to facilitate access to the mountain and further development, a modern road was required to allow visitors to reach the summit easily and efficiently. The construction of this road was not an easy task, given the density of the slopes and the ruggedness of the mountainous area, which posed great challenges to all those involved in the implementation of the project.

Thanks to the tireless efforts made by all the partners involved in the implementation of the project in cooperation with the Ras Al Khaimah Public Services Department, which is supervising the conduct of operations, today Jebel Jais has a high-quality road that allows visitors and adventurers to reach its summit with ease. Due to the large volume of work and its distinction, the Department of Public Services in Ras Al Khaimah is currently nominated to register a new record in the “Guinness” Book of World Records, through the construction of side walls on the road, which is likely to be the longest of its kind in the world. In addition to its array of pioneering engineering achievements, Jebel Jais Road is well known in the global automotive media for offering one of the best driving experiences in the world.

His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Mohammed Al Hammadi, Director General of the Public Services Department in Ras Al Khaimah, stressed that constructing a 36-kilometre mountain road was not an easy task, but rather a task full of challenges and difficulties, but we were able to accomplish it.

Today, we are reaping the fruits of our work in completing this vital project. He pointed out that the department succeeded in constructing a unique mountain asphalt road with international specifications, with 9 huge stone retaining walls.

He explained that the road slope at an angle ranging from 2% to 6% makes it ideal for cycling enthusiasts, as there are about 20 rest areas that offer enchanting panoramic views of the slopes of the majestic Al Hajar Mountains.

Al Hammadi pointed out that the road leading to Jebel Jais is one of the most important and costly projects in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, and it was completed within a short period of time compared to projects of this type, which paved the way for the establishment of many important and attractive tourism projects and destinations under the guidance and support of the owner. His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

At a time when road development was nearing completion, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority explored the possibility of creating a zip-line that would represent a new tourist attraction in the emirate. After extensive searches, in 2017, the authority signed a partnership agreement with Toro Verde, the world’s leading zip lining company, responsible for operating the zipline “The Monster” located in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, which was then the longest zipline. Under this agreement, the company’s experts headed to Ras Al Khaimah to manage and operate the Jebel Jais Flight, a project that has resulted in significant engineering achievements, such as the glass platform and the suspended aerial landing area.

The efforts of the Ras Al Khaimah Public Services Department and the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority resulted in setting a Guinness World Record for the longest zipline in the world, with a length of 2.83 km. With the unique experience experienced by adventurers at a speed of up to 150 km over the plains, valleys and scenic mountain views, the Jebel Jais Flight experience has become a favorite destination for adventure enthusiasts, and has gained the attention of various international media, which made it a preferred option for all.

The partnership that resulted in the launch of “Jebel Jais Flight” is a practical example that reflects Ras Al Khaimah’s plan to encourage more international companies to join joint development projects with local authorities, and attract foreign expertise and investments, which is a very important aspect of the emirate’s vision and plans for economic development. . The construction of the zip-line marked the beginning of a new phase for Jebel Jais, making it a new and distinctive tourist destination, after which the development of more landmarks and other facilities that were added to form a comprehensive adventure center began.

In this context, Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “The launch of Jebel Jais Flight has cemented Ras Al Khaimah’s position on the global map as a leading adventure destination. This experience is only one aspect of the many activities and options that we offer, as the emirate enjoys a captivating natural diversity, and embraces a wide range of outdoor activities, which has allowed it to consolidate its position by providing distinguished activities such as mountain hiking, cycling, climbing, and trips to Mountaintops, kayaking, and all this is done with the help of adventure tour operators that provide certified capabilities and extensive experience in these areas.

Phillips added: We were keen to enhance the attractiveness of Jebel Jais by launching the “Jais Adventure Summit”, which allows everyone to undertake a series of wonderful adventure activities in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. This covers Jebel Jais Flight and Jais Hanging Tour, which includes seven zip-lines and a 15-meter suspension bridge, the highest in the UAE; Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, which includes the world’s first Bear Grylls-branded accommodation camp; A viewing deck with 7 platforms offering sweeping, open views of the majestic Hajar Mountains, as well as Jais’ Hanging Labyrinth, the obstacle course filled with two levels of ropes, bridges, swings and more.

Despite the circumstances that the world has faced since the beginning of 2020, the Jais Adventure Summit continued to receive visitors, who numbered more than 65,000 visitors, seeking adventure until April 2021, and all activities and facilities on Jais Gypsum today are committed to implementing all procedures and measures related to sterilization and health preservation. and safety.

Regarding the emirate’s plans for the future, Raki Phillips said: We have ambitious plans for the coming years, as we seek to raise the profile of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah by establishing more adventure facilities to attract thrill seekers from all over the world. We recently announced an investment plan worth half a billion dirhams to develop sustainable tourism projects in the emirate, which confirms our commitment to advancing tourism development and increasing the confidence of international investors and operators in the future of tourism in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

It is expected that the increase in the number of adventurers and tourists who love nature and the environment will contribute to the increase in the number of visitors to Ras Al Khaimah in general, and thus contribute to the growth of the emirate’s economy. The partnership agreements that were concluded to create new destinations and facilities in the field of adventure tourism also attract private investments and contribute a great role to the emirate’s efforts to consolidate its position and fame as a distinguished destination for adventures in the region.

When His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi developed the idea of ​​developing Jebel Jais, no one could have imagined how the dream of developing this previously inaccessible region could transform a remote mountainous region located in the north of the United Arab Emirates into a distinguished center for tourism. and adventures. Today, with the realization of the dream, all members of the community in the UAE and visitors alike feel proud of the completion of this project and the opportunity for all of them to enjoy watching these beautiful landscapes and charming mountain views.


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