RAK Ruler attends opening of Viewing Deck Park

RAS AL KHAIMAH, Ras al-Khaimah, the adventure Emirate, has further increased its appeal for day trippers, staycationers and holidaymakers with the opening of its new Viewing Deck Park, close to the summit of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain.

The opening was attended by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah , and other dignitaries who experienced everything the new viewing park has to offer.

It features seven viewing decks complete with twelve binoculars to enjoy superb vistas of the Arabian Gulf and the deep, rocky Al Hajar Mountain valleys all from 1,250 metres above sea level.

Visitors can also watch tourists take on the Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline and will soon be able to enjoy refreshments from the dedicated food truck zone.

The attraction will serve tourists and residents looking to enjoy the stunning mountain scenery, as well as hotel guests and day-trippers who are visiting Jebel Jais to experience the World’s Longest Zipline and Via Ferrata.

Open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 11pm on weekends, the 22,730-square metre park is expected to further increase the popularity of the spectacular Hajar Mountains.

“Thanks to the vision and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah, this key product launch will further enhance Ras al-Khaimah’s unique mountain-beach-desert offer and promote the emirate as an all-round tourist destination. We hope this park encourages more visitors to the area to enjoy our great outdoors,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras al-Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), which manages, regulates and promotes the emirate’s tourism industry.

“This attraction allows visitors to experience the awe-inspiring perspectives and the often-hidden bird life of the Hajar Mountain range, along with the other flora and fauna found in the area”. It will, we hope, engender a new respect for the wonderful natural surroundings of the emirate and indeed the UAE.”

“The park will appeal to everyone, not just the active adventure seeks on the mountain. It will let visitors take in magnificent sunrises and sunsets which we foresee being captured regularly on social media and enjoy the fresh mountain air in temperatures that are traditionally around 10 degrees lower than the UAE average,” added Mattar.

In addition to the viewing platforms, the park will have restroom facilities and on-site parking for 74 vehicles including handicapped spaces.

“Although open round-the-clock, we do envisage particularly heavy demand during weekends and holidays and we are therefore working on a traffic control plan to ensure everyone who wants to access the views is able to do so,” explained Mattar.

The park is also shaping up to be a case study in sustainable tourism. It is lit by solar energy with long-term sustainability playing a key role in its design and operations for which locally-sourced, natural materials have been used to ensure it blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings.

The park is seen as another key milestone for Ras al-Khaimah’s Vision 2019 Destination Tourism strategy, which aims to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018. RAKTDA has invested heavily in a range of adventure and wellness products which leverage the Emirate’s superb array of natural assets, with a key focus on Jebel Jais and the surrounding area. The Jebel Jais Via Ferrata (iron path), which opened over a year ago, has been met with outstanding success and anticipation, and last week the world’s longest zipline was officially launched.

The adventure tourism approach is building on Ras al-Khaimah’s established popularity with avid hikers and tour groups tempted by the rocky pathways which skirt ancient villages in the mountain ranges. It has also attracted road-trip enthusiasts since the opening of a newly extended road over a year ago which snakes up towards Jebel Jais, now the emirate’s top-rated attraction on Trip Advisor.

Source: Emirates News Agency