Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak, is about to get a new observation deck close to its summit.
The mountain in Ras Al Khaimah, which rises 1,934 metres above sea level, is a favourite destination with hikers and bikers and these huge viewing platforms are hoped to make it the Middle East’s adventure tourism capital.
Due to be ready in October, the deck will give visitors the chance to look out over some pretty stunning vistas and observe the bird life, flora and fauna of the emirate’s Al Hajar Mountain range, which borders Oman.
As well as being a lofty look-out spot, the Jebel Jais Observation Deck will become a base camp for those looking to explore the rugged ranges, as well as a spot for picnics, event arena and a dedicated food truck zone. The peak is usually about 10c cooler than the rest of the UAE and only a two-hour drive from Dubai, so once the deck is finished, it’s going to be an ideal destination for road trips, especially as a new road going up the mountain opened earlier this year.
Solar power will be used to light up the decks at night, and the whole design will “blend as seamlessly as possible into the mountain façade,”says Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.
He adds: “For some time, the emirate has been popular with inveterate hikers tempted by the rocky pathways which skirt ancient villages in the mountain ranges; these pathways are also increasingly used by independent organisers of group tours.
“Jebel Jais has also attracted motorists wanting to drive the newly extended road, which snakes up towards the mountain’s summit. We have also had tremendous success with the Gulf’s only commercial Via Ferrata since it opened last year – the Jebel Jais Observation Deck builds on the emirate’s growing outdoor product portfolio and adventure tourism credentials.”
The Jebel Jais Via Ferrata (Iron Path) sees the adrenalin-hungry climb, trek and zipline almost 400 feet (121 metres) above sea level.
For more information about Jebel Jais, go to jebeljais.ae