Things to Do in Jebal Jais
The Jebel Jais mountain in Ras Al Khaimah is the tallest mountain in the UAE, standing a towering 2,000 metres tall. This rocky mountain, part of the Hajar mountain range, is a stunning weekend destination for residents and tourists alike, with many fun-filled activities scattered around the range. From viewing decks to ziplines, the mountain truly has it all. The mountain range is the best place to spend a fun, nature-filled weekend away from the hubbub of the city. If you are looking to visit the mountain, try and schedule your visit during the off-peak seasons, as this is a popular spot to visit during national holidays. As the mountain air is fresh and cool at the peak, so the mountain is a fun place to visit during the autumnal months.
Hiking up the mountain
There are a number of ways to get up to the mountain peak, including a paved road that climbs up the east face of the mountain. Those looking for a smooth drive can take the paved road up, and enjoy a picnic on the peak. For trekkers, however, the west face of the mountain is covered with trails that will take hikers around towering cliffs, and through local villages. The hike is a lovely travel through time as hikers can see what the country was like before the oil boom in the 1930s. A popular starting point is Wadi Ghalilah Dam, and the entire trek is about 15 kilometres to the top. Make sure you pack well for the trek, as it takes about 5 to 10 hours to reach the peak, depending on your fitness level.
Ensure that you pack enough water to stay hydrated as well. It is possible to take a car or a taxi to a parking lot near the wadi (another name for a dry riverbed); for those looking to use public transport, there is a bus from the Dubai International Airport’s Terminal One, leaving at 6:00 AM, where you reach Ras Al Khaimah by 8:00 AM. From the bus stop, it is a short taxi ride to the wadi. The trip starts at the parking lot, and there are signs that mark the beginning of the damn. The initial climb is quite steep, which zigzags from the wadi with a few farms on the left. Eventually, the climb levels out, and the climb is easier for two to three kilometres as the walk is along the ridge. The ridge eventually ends at a cliff, and at this point the climb becomes steeper, eventually terminating with a scramble up loose rocks for about 800 metres.
The path now becomes easier to follow, and the climb is straightforward. As you keep climbing up, you will make it to the top of the main ridge, where there is a large road. Turn left and continue along the paved road, and you will eventually reach a guard house. As this is a military area, the guards will let you through if you inform them, you’re climbing to the peak. Hike along the fence, and you will see Oman/UAE border markers. As the actual summit is on the Oman side of the border, your climb to the top will get you to the highest point in the UAE.
The climb can be done in about 5 hours, if you’re in good shape. However, make sure you plan an early journey, as it is dangerous to hike in the dark. The trail is mostly empty, with a few Emiratis working in the farms. As you pass the villages, feel free to walk in and speak with some of the locals. The calm village life is a world away from the bustle of city life. Getting back to the main city is relatively easier, and it’s possible to book a taxi to pick you up near the guard post; for those looking for more exercise can hike their way down.
Stunning views from the top
The mountain also offers a number of exotic views from the peak, and the views from the winding road are truly breath-taking. The viewing deck park on the mountain has seven viewing decks, with twelve binoculars that visitors can use to see the stunning valleys of the mountain. Guests can then grab some food from food trucks near the viewing deck; the entire park is lit by solar energy, and is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on weekdays, and is open till 11:00 PM on weekends. The drive alone is worth the trip, and the views of the valley below are stunning. Photographers will enjoy the trip the mountain peak, especially during the sunrise or the sunset.
Jebel Jais is filled with a number of activities apart from trekking up the mountain. The world’s longest zipline is also open for visitors to zip across the canyons, reaching speeds of over 120 kilometres per hour over 2.8 kilometres. The mountain also has an ice rink, allowing guests to ice skate 1,300 metres above sea level, adding even more thrills to a fun sport. The rink is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The Jebel Jais Sky Maze is another fun attraction, and is a self-guided rope course where guests navigate different obstacles that are 10 metres above the ground.
The maze is split into two levels; the first level is at a lower height and is suitable for children aged 6 years and above, the second level is 10 metres above ground, and the obstacles are more challenging. The challenges include rope swings, bridges, swinging loops, and more. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, the sky maze is the perfect place for family entertainment. The entire maze takes up to an hour to complete, and the Jebel Jais Adventure Centre also offers GoPros to rent, so guests can document their adventures in the air.
The mountain also offers a place for camping overnight, or even for barbecues with a stunning view. For camping trips, make sure you pack well for the trip, as there are no supermarkets near the mountain.
Before heading to the mountain, make sure you pack enough sunscreen if it’s a day trip, and pack warm clothes as temperatures will significantly drop while driving up to the mountain, especially after sunset. Sport shoes are ideal footwear while visiting the mountain, and are a requirement for many of the activities at Jebel Jais. The mountain is the place for a fun-filled weekend, or even for spending a calm, cool night underneath the stars.
This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. We take no liability for the accuracy of the information and cannot be held liable for any third-party claims or losses of any damages.
This disclaimer informs readers that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual. We take no liability for the accuracy of the information and cannot be held liable for any third-party claims or losses of any damages.Disclaimer
Discover the hidden niches of the world through the lens of a content curator. Monthly once. No BS.Join the List