The tallest observation deck in the UAE is set to open in Ras Al Khaimah in October this year.
A project being developed by Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the observation deck will be lit using solar power and is being constructed close to the summit of Jebel Jais.
Rising 1,934m above sea level, Jebel Jais is the UAE’s highest peak.
According to RAKTDA, in addition to offering a series of viewing platforms for visitors, the facility will serve as a base camp for hikers and bikers looking to test themselves on the rugged mountain range.
It will also feature a multi-purpose events arena, picnic areas, numerous walking paths, and a dedicated food truck zone,
The project is reportedly part of Ras Al Khaimah’s goal of becoming the region’s premier destination for adventure tourism.
Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA, commented: “The appeal will extend beyond the very active. The deck will let visitors take in stunning sea and mountain views, and magnificent sunrises and sunsets.
“The Jebel Jais Observation Deck will also include a versatile events arena and a permanent area for food trucks, serving members of the public and international guests who want to experience the fresh mountain air in temperatures that are traditionally around 10° lower than the UAE average.”
Designed by Naga, the observation deck is being developed for RAKTDA by Botanical, at a height of around 1,300m above sea level.
Mattar noted that long-term sustainability has played a key role in its design and operational functionality.
He said: “Having signed as a sponsor of the UN World Tourism Organisation'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 façade.”
The emirate aims to attract one million visitors by the end of 2018, as part of its Vision 2019 tourism strategy. In line with this, RAKTDA is investing in several adventure and wellness projects involving the emirate’s natural assets, with a key focus on Jebel Jais and the surrounding area.