Media representatives to experience the World Longest zipliner at Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaima, 1st February 2018. Story: Bindu Rai/ Gulf News Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Ras Al Khaimah: The world’s longest zipline took flight in Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, on Thursday earning a Guinness World Record for stretching across a span of 2,832 metres above the rocky outcrop of UAE’s highest mountain range.

The launch of Jebel Jais Flight marked phase one of nearly a $6 million project that aims to create a zip line park, along with a new Via Ferrata experience, suspension bridges, helipads for mountain tours, a viewing deck and a restaurant, all of which is expected to be completed by March 2019. Via ferrata (Italian for ‘iron path’) is a protected climbing route found in the Alps and certain other locations.

Speaking with Gulf News, Guillermo Quesada, general manager of the zipline operator, Toroverde, spoke about the project’s expansion plans saying: “Ras Al Khaimah is an emirate that is looking to become the hub for adventure sports in the Middle East. We were flown down here last April to study the feasibility of such a project.

Ras Al Khaimah achieves Guinness World Record title for the World’s Longest Zipline.

“The first phase, which cost up to $2.5 million, was to create a two-cable zipline that would allow us to transport up to 250 people per day. The second phase will come into effect in June of this year, allowing us to double this capacity to 500 people per day.”

Speaking about the masterplan of Jebel Jais’ development, Quesada continued: “The masterplan will be similar to the zipline park we have in Puerto Rico — home to The Monster a 2,200 metre zipline — that comprises 13 cables to zip across along with walkways, transparent suspension bridges and more.”

Quesada said they were looking to create a “full day adventure for revellers, which will include a viewing deck, a restaurant, a VIP lounge and even helipads to allow people an aerial tour of the park.”

Nighttime zip line rides are also in the works, awaiting phase three.

“The whole project should cost an estimated $5-6 million, with completion set for March 2019,” he added.

The journey

A safety harness belt is used to secure those taking a ride on the zipline. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

The Jebel Jais Flight is split across two separate stretches offering adventurers an experience that hurtles them across a yawning abyss from a height of 1,680 metres at speeds up to 150km/h.

The first stretch is a 2,832-metre long cable ride where people are strapped into a harness, headfirst, and launched off a platform located at the very top of Jebel Jais. A second platform, which hangs suspended in the middle of the mountain range at 1,280 metres, offers a second adventure with participants hung from a pulley as they travel down 1km stretch to end 100 metres below.

The attraction has already received its official certification, which was received by His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, by Hoda Khachab, the official adjudicator from Guinness World Records.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of RAK Hospitality Holding, was the first to try out the zipline, said an official statement.

“This is a great achievement for Ras Al Khaimah’s international tourism ambitions,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, in a statement, which has spearheaded the project.

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The length of this world’s longest zipline is equivalent to over 28 football fields, nearly four times the height of Burj Khalifa.

Jorge Jorge, CEO of Toro Verde, said in a statement that the attraction would continue to draw people even in the summer months owing to its location which is 10 degrees cooler than the average UAE temperatures.

Rides, which are now open to the public, cost Dh650 per person, with the maximum weight capacity of 150kg, and the minimum capacity of 45kg. Participants must be over 120cm tall.

The Al Hajjar mountain range is already home to the Via Ferrata zip line adventure trail, which is scheduled to be reconstructed to become a part of the new zipline park masterplan.

Record-breaking zipline

Ras Al Khaimah has achieved a Guinness World Record title for the ‘World’s Longest Zipline’.

2,800 metres
Length of the zipline,
equivalent to 28 football fields

2,200 metres
length of the ‘The Monster’ zipline in Toro Verde’s adventure park in Puerto Rico

minimum height required to use the zipline

length of the world’s longest urban zipline at Dubai Marina

1,680 metres 
height at which a person will travel along the zipline

maximum speed at which a person will travel along the zipline

minimum weight required to use the zipline

maximum weight that the zipline can hold

Cost of taking a ride on the zipline

Source: RAK Tourism Authority ©Gulf News