Adventure tourism remains key pillar of RAK's strategy
Jebel Jais is a destination that has become synonymous with thrill seekers, experts said.
Ras Al Khaimah will soon welcome another addition to its adventure tourism portfolio, with the announcement of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais, which is set to open its doors in the first quarter of 2020.
The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) entered into an agreement with Bear Grylls Survival Academy (BGSA) to establish and operate the academy, at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM 2019).
A brainchild of Bear Grylls, the academy offers thrill seekers an opportunity to learn his extreme survival techniques at 20 locations around the world. The Bear Grylls Survival Academy on Jebel Jais will offer participants a wide selection of courses suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels. The courses include half-day (five to six hours), 24 and 48-hour courses designed for families and adults; team building activities for corporates; and instructor courses for outdoor enthusiasts, where participants will be exposed to practical and extreme survival techniques necessary to survive some of the toughest terrain in the wilderness.
Haitham Mattar, chief executive officer of RAKTDA, told Khaleej Times that adventure tourism has always been a key pillar of the emirate's tourism startegy. "The renewed strategy that we kicked off earlier this year also focused heavily on adventure tourism. We have been working on positioning Ras Al Khaimah as the adventure capital of the Middle East."
Jebel Jais, he added, has become a brand name - one synonymous with thrill seekers. "There are several key attractions that have helped to generate interest in the emirate's offerings. These include the Via Ferrata and the Jebel Jais zipline, which is currently the longest zipline in the world. We have several more offerings in the pipeline that will continue to tempt visitors from the GCC and the rest of the world."
Paul Gardiner, managing director of Bear Grylls Survival Academy, said: "As the UAE's highest mountain with its breathtaking views and adrenaline-packed activities, Jebel Jais is the perfect choice of destination to expand our presence in the region. Attracting thrill seekers from around the world, Jebel Jais is truly the nature adventure hub of the Middle East. We look forward to welcoming Ras Al Khaimah's visitors at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy for a new memorable and thrilling experience."
In recent years, Ras Al Khaimah has shown a strong potential to become a sustainable and competitive tourism destination in the region. As defined in its Destination Strategy 2019-2021, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority will continue to prioritise sustainable nature-based adventure experiences with ambitious goal to secure 1.5 million visitors by 2021 and three million visitors by 2025.