Ras Al Khaimah: The emirate will be introducing a new observation deck this October, close to the summit of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak at 1,934 metres (6,345 feet) above sea level.
Developed by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Jebel Jais Observation Deck will include a series of viewing platforms to experience bird life and flora and fauna of the emirate’s Al Hajar Mountain range, which borders Oman.
In addition to several viewing platforms, the deck will serve as a base camp for hikers and bikers looking to test themselves on the rugged mountain range. Visitors will be able to experience the fresh mountain air in temperatures that are traditionally around 10 degrees lower than the UAE average.
The facility will also feature a multi-purpose events arena, picnic areas, numerous walking paths and a dedicated food truck zone.
“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,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA.
The deck, which will be lit by solar energy, has been designed by Naga and is being built on RAKTDA’s behalf by Botanical around 1,300 metres above sea level.
With groundwork 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.
"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 facade.”
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 projects involving the emirate’s natural assets, with a key focus on Jebel Jais and the surrounding area.
The Jebel Jais Via Ferrata (Iron Path), which sees enthusiasts climb, trek and zipline almost 400 feet above sea level, already occupies second-place ranking on TripAdvisor of the emirate’s attractions — the first going to Jebel Jais as an attraction itself.