Longest zip line in the world coming to the UAE

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Ras al-Khaimah may not have all the immense, shiny, glass-and-steel spires of polished, tourist-ready Dubai, but as the UAE’s mountainous northern outpost it makes up for this with an abundance of rock.

The rugged Hajar Mountains, sweeping down to the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, are a well-known destination for thrill-seekers in the UAE looking to partake in rock-climbing, mountain biking and trekking. There are all sorts of companies that take groups of adults, children and families on adventure activities or camping trips. Team-building events amid the rocky terrain are also popular.

Full disclosure: We’ve only ever driven through the mountain range, on the way to hotels in Fujairah on the UAE’s east coast. But something just caught my eye that even I might be persuaded to try when it opens in December: the longest zip line in the world.

The zip line is set to be more than 28 soccer fields in length, with those experiencing the hair-raising journey expected to travel at speeds of between 90 to 130 kph. The cable itself will weigh in at seven tonnes and will consist of two lines, allowing friends and family to take part in the bucket list flight together.

Jebel Jais – the UAE’s tallest peak at 1,934 metres above sea level – will play host to the zip line. Its exact length is being kept a closely guarded secret until the multimillion-dollar adventure tourism project opens at the end of the year. Then it will be certified by Guinness World Records; the zip line is also expected to be named as the world’s highest.

I can see it now: me harnessed to the wire in a flying Superman position, the wind whistling past my ears, my cheeks sucked inwards against the acceleration … my eyes shut tight until the end.


Silent Saturday

Bloggers will know this should be ‘Silent Sunday’, but as Sunday is the first day of the working week in the United Arab Emirates, I’m posting one of my favourite photos a day early. I think the recent sandstorms in Dubai may have left sand on my brain – probably blew in through my ears – because I’m sticking with a desert theme. The Arabian Desert, from which the city of Dubai grew, is truly beautiful – some of it punctuated with shrubs and the odd tree, and some of it absolutely pristine.

The Big Boy and me, on top of a sand dune – you can just see the Hajar Mountains (Arabic for stone mountains), which mark the Dubai-Oman border, in the background.