A new observation deck is coming to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – and it’s not on a skyscraper.
The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is overlooked by many visitors to the UAE in favour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Yet “RAK”, which borders Oman, is the region’s fastest-growing tourism destination. More adventurous travellers come to see its breathtaking scenery and enjoy mountain air that is typically around 10°C cooler than average UAE temperatures.
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) is hoping to up the ante with the new Jebel Jais Observation Deck. Opening this October close to the summit of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak, it will sit 1,934 metres above sea level. A series of viewing platforms will allow adventurers to experience the beautiful vistas, bird life, flora and fauna of the Al Hajar Mountain range.
The observation deck will also include a base camp for hikers and bikers (as pictured below). The facility will feature an events arena, picnic areas, numerous walking paths and a food truck zone. Solar energy will be used to light this area, which will be 1,300 metres above sea level.
Stunning views and sustainability
“The appeal will extend beyond the very active,” notes Haitian Mattar, CEO of RAKTDA. “The deck will let visitors take in stunning sea and mountain views. The magnificent sunrises and sunsets cast a dancing performance of light and shadow over the area every morning and evening.”
“Sustainability is a key component of Ras Al Khaimah’s overall tourism proposition, continues Mattar. “In addition to solar providing an obvious solution to lighting the facility, we have worked very hard to implement natural, locally-sourced materials. We want the Jebel Jais Observation Deck to blend as seamlessly as possible into the mountain façade.”
Ras al Khaimah’s Vision 2019 tourism strategy 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 array of natural assets.
The Jebel Jais Observation Deck has been designed by Naga and is being built on RAKTDA’s behalf by Botanical. Ground work is already underway.
Images courtesy RAKTDA