Ras Al Khaimah is upping the ante in its quest to be the Middle East’s adventure tourism capital with a new observation deck close to the summit of Jebel Jais, which rises 1,934 metres above sea level.
Being developed by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Jebel Jais Observation Deck will feature a series of viewing platforms with views of the emirate’s Al Hajar Mountain range, which borders Oman.
The Jebel Jais Observation Deck will serve as a base camp for hikers and bikers. The facility, which will also feature a multi-purpose events arena, picnic areas, numerous walking paths and a dedicated food truck zone, is due to open to the public in October.
“The appeal will extend beyond the very active. The deck will let visitors take in stunning sea and mountain views, and the magnificent sunrises and sunsets which cast a dancing performance of light and shadow over the area every morning and evening. The Jebel Jais Observation Deck will also include a versatile events arena and a permanent area for food trucks serving members of the public and international guests who want to experience the fresh mountain air in temperatures that are traditionally around 10 degrees lower than the UAE average,” explained RAKTDA CEO Haitham Mattar, in a statement.
The deck, which will be lit by solar energy, has been designed by Naga and is being built on RAKTDA’s behalf by Botanical some 1,300 metres above sea level. With ground work already underway, Mattar revealed the site’s long-term sustainability has played a key role in its design and operational functionality.
“Having signed as a sponsor of the UNWTO’s International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development, sustainability is a key component of Ras Al Khaimah’s overall tourism proposition,” explained Mattar. “In addition to solar providing an obvious solution to lighting the facility, we have worked very hard to implement natural, locally-sourced materials into the site – we want the Jebel Jais Observation Deck to blend as seamlessly as possible into the mountain façade.”
As part of its Ras al Khaimah’s Vision 2019 tourism strategy, which aims to attract one million visitors by the end of next year, RAKTDA is investing in a range of adventure and wellness products which leverage the emirate’s natural assets.