RAS AL KHAIMAH has achieved a Guinness World Records title with its latest adventure tourism product — ‘Jebel Jais Flight: The World’s Longest Zipline’. The official certification was handed over on Thursday to Sheikh 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. Sheikh Ahmad Bin Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi was the first to trial the new zipline, following the official certification by Guinness World Records.
“This is a great achievement for Ras Al Khaimah’s international tourism ambitions,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. “We are now receiving our largest-ever number of visitor arrivals and are confident that Jebel Jais Flight: The world’s longest zipline, will earn the UAE’s emirate of Ras Al Khaimah considerable recognition on the local, regional and global stage and propel the destination into the major leagues of global adventure tourism. The Jebel Jais Flight will become Ras Al Khaimah’s flagship tourism product and will cement Jebel Jais as the adventure tourism hub of the Middle East. We are expecting to see an increasing number of adventure tourists coming from across the globe to try this bucket list experience.”
The world’s longest zipline, measuring 2.83 kilometers — the equivalent to over 28 soccer fields, and spanning the chasm of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s largest mountain peak at over 1,680 meters above sea level, opened to the public on Thursday (Feb. 1), and is expected to achieve a strong following among thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies from across the world, who are interested in extreme adventure activities.
The Ras Al Khaimah zipline is being operated by Toroverde Ras Al Khaimah, the world’s most experienced zipline managers.
“Toro Verde brings to Ras Al Khaimah immense zipline management experience earned through previous projects in Central and South America, including Toroverde Puerto Rico – the ‘Monster’ which, at 2.2 km previously held the zipline record now claimed by this ambitious emirate,” said Ricardo Lizano, COO of Toro Verde.
Delivery of the zipline, which features a steel cable weighing more than six tons and is suspended 1,680 meters above sea level, has been in the planning phase for over a year. The process involved extensive feasibility studies, master-planning, comprehensive surveys, soil tests and construction simulations. Maintaining sustainable environmental practices within all construction acts, strong anchor holes were drilled into the rugged Hajar Mountains that alone took over six months.
Thrill-seekers will be suspended above the mountain as they prepare to take the flight headfirst in a ‘superman’ style position. The experience will see participants fitted with a special suit and equipment for the adventure, with the longest flight itself taking approximately two to three minutes. Once completed, guests will finish the bucket list flight on a suspended landing platform — unique in the world — where they will be transferred to a second line, measuring in at 1 km, to complete their journey back to the ground.
“It actually comprises two main zipline cables, allowing friends and family members to experience and race together, adding to the fun and competitiveness of the facility. Zipline pilots will experience a flight like never before while being secure and safe. While the time and speed they complete the flight in is dependent on weight and weather conditions, the whole experience is expected to last around two to three minutes, with top speeds reaching between 120 and 150km per hour. We anticipate the attraction accommodating a rider every five minutes on the two zip lines, equating to approximately 200 people per day, and around 100,000 per year,” explained Jorge Jorge, CEO of Toro Verde RAK.
“We also believe given its location in Jebel Jais, which is traditionally 10 degrees cooler than average UAE temperatures, we can operate during the summer months,” added Jorge.
Talal Omar, country manager for Guinness World Records MENA, said “We have witnessed countless achievements in the Middle East, and as the global authority on record-breaking we are always proud to be a part of such great feats every day. Today’s event highlights an extraordinary attraction that now puts Ras Al Khaimah with UAE as a global primary destination.”
There are no age restrictions on ‘pilots’ but the requirements are a maximum weight of (150 kg) and minimum weight of (45 kg) for ‘fliers’ who must be at least 120 cm tall. The price is AED650 per rider.
The launch of the world’s longest zipline is another milestone in Ras Al Khaimah’s campaign to transform the emirate into the region’s adventure and activity tourism hub. With the emirate benefitting from diverse landscape — including the Hajar Mountains and Jebel Jais — it has already built a following amongst walkers, hikers and cyclists with the campaign taking a leap forward in 2016 with the opening of the highly successful Jebel Jais Via Ferrata (Iron Path), hiking, climbing and ziplining product.