Region's first via ferrata launches in RAK

Region's first commercial 'iron path' opens in the Jebel Jais mountain range

Huda Zowayed, Hamad Al Mazrouey and Haitham Mattar.
Huda Zowayed, Hamad Al Mazrouey and Haitham Mattar.

Ras Al Khaimah has officially launched the via ferrata facility in the Jais mountain range, after Hotelier was the first to report of the 'iron path' in March this year.

The new adventure tourism product – the region’s first commercial via ferrata (Iron Path) – was put to the test by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) CEO Haitham Mattar, and Emirati adventurers Huda Zowayed and Hamad Al Mazrouey.

Hotelier Middle East was the first to report on the authority’s plans of developing multiple tourism attraction spots on the Jebel Jais mountain range. One of them was the via ferrata, along with a five-star mountain-peak camp, observation decks and F&B outlets.

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Mattar said: “This product is a tribute to the country’s advancement over the past 45 years and in particular to its natural assets and its advancing tourism industry, which is a key pillar in the UAE’s economic diversification.”

“With RAKTDA currently developing Jebel Jais into an adventure and activity tourism hub, the rugged terrain already plays host to extreme climbing, hiking, driving and trekking enthusiasts. For the less adventurous, Ras Al Khaimah’s natural mountain beauty will soon be available to enjoy from observation decks that are being planned for the Jebel Jais peak,” he added.

The three-course Via Ferrata spans the rocky facades of Jebel Jais, which rises to 6,266 ft and is part of the Al Hajar mountain range.

Emirati adventurer Zowayed said: “I found the whole experience invigorating. This via ferrata means we don’t have to look outside of our home country for experiences to test our capabilities, grow our personal confidence and build resilience, which are just some of the benefits I have found from adventure travel.”

Ras Al Khaimah’s 470 metre-long via ferrata comprises three individual start and finish points, as well as three zip-lines measuring 165 ft, 195 ft and 985 ft to expand possibilities for various age and fitness capabilities.

“Already on the drawing board is the world’s longest zip-line and adventure park, which we are planning to launch in Q4 2017. We believe the via ferrata and our planned adventure tourism products will have strong appeal with both the domestic and overseas activity tourism and sports market. We are currently engaging source market trade partners who want to join hands with us in developing a niche sector which leverages Ras Al Khaimah’s spectacular Al Hajar mountain resources.”

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