World’s long­est zip line in RAK

Ad­ven­ture seek­ers are in for some real thrill as Ras Al Khaimah Tourism De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity is all set to launch the first phase of the world’s long­est zip line at moun­tain Jebel Jais this De­cem­ber. Haitham Mat­tar, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Devel­op­men

Travel Talk - Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - TT BU­REAU

Q What was the rea­son be­hind start­ing the world’s long­est zip line in Ras Al Khaimah?

Jebel Jais has long been a favoured des­ti­na­tion for trav­ellers and vis­i­tors to Ras Al Khaimah, who par­take in a num­ber of ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties, or to en­joy the views from the UAE’s tallest peak. Build­ing on the suc­cess of last year’s launch of the Jebel Jais Via Fer­rata ad­ven­ture prod­uct, the new zip line rep­re­sents Ras Al Khaimah’s most sig­nif­i­cant tourism prod­uct open­ing since Al Mar­jan Is­land, our coral-shaped leisure tourism ar­chi­pel­ago.

As part of our wider tourism strat­egy, and in line with our goal of at­tract­ing one mil­lion vis­i­tors to the emi­rate by the end of 2018, RAKTDA is in­vest­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts and at­trac­tion tourism stake­hold­ers who will add value and ap­peal for a greater num­ber of trav­ellers to Ras Al Khaimah. We be­lieve the world’s long­est zip line, which will in­stantly be­come a bucket list at­trac­tion, will add con­sid­er­able ap­peal to the des­ti­na­tion.

Q What im­por­tance does this zip line hold for tourism in Ras Al Khaimah and how long will it take to de­velop?

The zip line is a key prod­uct launch for Ras Al Khaimah and will en­hance its unique moun­tain-beach-desert of­fer­ing. Once we achieve the Guin­ness World Record as the long­est and high­est zip line, it will form a very suc­cess­ful tool in strength­en­ing the aware­ness of the des­ti­na­tion glob­ally. In terms of in­creased vis­i­tors, dur­ing its ini­tial open­ing, the zip line will be able to ac­com­mo­date around 250 peo­ple a day, that’s 100,000 a year and will fur­ther stim­u­late vis­i­tor num­bers to the emi­rate.

The ini­tial phases of the project have al­ready been com­pleted ear­lier this year, this in­volved fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies, de­sign and mas­ter-plan­ning, ex­ten­sive sur­veys, soil tests, land plan­ning and con­struc­tion sim­u­la­tions. Con­struc­tion be­gan last month, and will take ap­prox­i­mately 3.5 months and is sched­uled to be com­plete ready for a De­cem­ber open­ing.

Q What is your tar­get au­di­ence for this tourism prod­uct?

A key tar­get mar­ket for the zip line will be ac­tive ad­ven­tur­ers and those look­ing to ful­fil bucket lists. How­ever, it is not a niche prod­uct and we will be pro­mot­ing it across core and emerg­ing mar­kets for vis­i­tors of all ages. The only re­stric­tions are that par­tic­i­pants must meet the min­i­mum and max­i­mum weights of 35 kg and 150 kg, and be more than 120 m tall.

Q What can RAK of­fer to tourists other than those seek­ing ad­ven­ture?

Since launch­ing Ras Al Khaimah’s Des­ti­na­tion 2019 strat­egy, RAKTDA has worked with key stake­hold­ers and in­vestors to de­velop the emi­rate as an all-round des­ti­na­tion for all trav­eller in­ter­ests within a sus­tain­able growth strat­egy, and an added value for tourism in the UAE. In ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing fan­tas­tic value for money, RAKTDA has fo­cused on pro­mot­ing our amaz­ing nat­u­ral land­scapes. We of­fer di­verse and ex­cit­ing

new prod­ucts, in ad­di­tion to the world’s long­est zip line, com­ing on­line later this year and we are op­ti­mistic of con­tin­ued growth from all key mar­kets for the re­main­der of the year and be­yond. In line with our Af­fil­i­ate Mem­ber­ship of the UNWTO and the UN’s Year of Sus­tain­able Tourism for De­vel­op­ment, RAKTDA has in­sti­gated var­i­ous ini­tia­tives to max­imise the eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fit from tourism.

HaithamH ith Mat­tarM tt

CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (RAKTDA)

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