Opening soon on UAE's Jebel Jais: Pop-up hotel, mountain lodge

Saij Mountain Lodge is a protected and sustainably managed mountain resort


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 4:03 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 May 2022, 9:51 PM

Two hotels will open on the UAE’s highest peak, the Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. Earth Hotels Altitude is an eco-based “pop-up hotel concept” set to open on the mountain in the fourth quarter of 2022. It features 15 fully fitted accommodation units, an activation centre and a swimming pool.

The Saij Mountain Lodge, which is scheduled for a 2023 opening, is a “protected and sustainably managed mountain resort” featuring sustainable lodges made from natural materials.

This came as the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) announced its new approach to sustainability called Balanced Tourism.

Unveiled at the Arabian Travel Market 2022, the vision aligns with Ras Al Khaimah’s identity as a nature destination. With Balanced Tourism, the RAKTDA seeks to avoid issues surrounding ‘over tourism’ such as over development, crowding of heritage sites, and the spoiling of its unique natural environment.

Raki Phillips, chief executive officer at RAKTDA, said, “The need for good stewardship of our cultural heritage, environment, people and infrastructure has never been stronger, especially in post pandemic times. Balanced Tourism does exactly that as we become ever mindful of the economic, social and environmental impacts on tourism. Simply put, it’s time to move beyond just using less plastic to adopting an all-inclusive approach – from ensuring new projects such as hotels are developed at an organic pace to building new attractions with sustainability at their core.”

With Ras Al Khaimah boasting 64km of beaches, mangroves abundant with wildlife, terracotta deserts, wadis and mountains, the tourism board has applied a “mindful approach to new hotel developments”. Hospitality partners will ensure spacious venues, with “thoughtful, sustainable landscaping”, and maintaining a measured pipeline to avoid rapid, less well-planned expansion and overcrowding.


Under the Balanced Tourism platform, all upcoming attractions will be purpose built with sustainability standards and processes. Visitors can expect environmentally conscious development around the Jebel Jais as well as across the more than 20 new sustainable tourism initiatives being developed across the Emirate.

One example is the planned Scallop Ranch at Al Hamra Marine, a first of its kind attraction in the UAE that will support and enhance understanding of the marine ecosystem, with seagrass and sea cucumber species within the farm.

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