International Hiking Association ‘Highlander’ Launches First GCC-Based Adventure On Ras Al Khaimah’s Jebel Jais Mountain Trails
Addition of HIGHLANDER’s specially designed two-and three-day hikes around Jebel Jais in November 2021 reinforces Ras Al Khaimah’s commitment to developing more nature-inspired adventures for its outdoor and adventure enthusiasts and fans
Ras Al Khaimah continues to make waves amongst the adventure and outdoor communities globally, with the Emirate set to host the first ever ‘HIGHLANDER’ hiking experience in the GCC this November. HIGHLANDER, the only certified international hiking association in the world, is widely renowned for its one-of-a-kind curated hiking experiences. Currently there are 20 thrilling, life-enhancing adventures taking place annually in 15 countries worldwide. Ras Al Khaimah will join the ranks of iconic locations such as Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Russia and Portugal, all of which have played host to HIGHLANDER hikes viewed as the most significant events to take place within the global hiking community.
The Emirate has long been committed to driving nature tourism making this partnership with HIGHLANDER all the more significant. HIGHLANDER’s vision and its global community’s ethos follow the principles of sustainable tourism through its ‘Leave No Trace’ Policy, which aligns closely with Ras Al Khaimah’s focus on environmental preservation. Running from Wadi Ghalilah to Shimal, the inaugural edition of the self-guided event will lead international visitors and local hikers along clearly flagged routes with more than half situated off-trail. Intrepid adventurers have two options based on experience and fitness levels: HIGHLANDER55 (55km hike over three days) and HIGHLANDER Experience (30km hike over two days) carrying everything they need for the trip to be self-sufficient. Both routes will challenge hikers physically across the iconic, rugged terrain of the Ras Al Khaimah mountain landscape as well as nourishing their appreciation for nature to soothe the mind, body and soul. Every hiker must be committed to nature preservation aiming to complete the hike leaving no trace of their journey apart from footprints and photos capturing the stunning mountain views.
Along HIGHLANDER55 and HIGHLANDER Experience routes, there are deadlines in place for each section of the hike but remember, endurance and resilience triumph over speed; it is not a race. At night, the hikers will rest and relax in their own tents swapping stories and photos from the day as they prepare themselves for the next leg of the journey. The hiking experiences also include sessions such as yoga, Leave No Trace Talks, travel talks and the chance to share local folklore, when at the camps. These talks will reinforce the nature-driven theme of the hiking, drawing awareness and appreciation of hikers towards the diverse natural landscape and the need to preserve it, as well as the rich culture of the Emirate.
Safety is paramount and the HIGHLANDER team will staff the route and checkpoints with marshals and medical first aid stations.
HIGHLANDER hikes take place all over the world sharing its vision to reinforce the importance of outdoor activities for mental and physical wellbeing and raise awareness of the importance of preserving and appreciating nature for future generations. It was brought to life first in Croatia in 2017 and has since grown into a leading hiking series, uniting those with a love for the great outdoors.
Raki Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: “Ras Al Khaimah is a firm favourite amongst the hiking community in the UAE and within that spirit, our partnership with internationally-recognised HIGHLANDER will only elevate our stunning mountain terrain to a global audience. This launch marks the latest in a series of new, sustainable and nature-focused experiences as we look for ways in which to immerse our guests in the natural beauty of our Emirate and protect its diverse surroundings for generations to enjoy for years to come. We cannot wait for everyone to enjoy this new adventure on Jebel Jais.”
Fadi Hachicho, Managing Director of HIGHLANDER UAE and Founder of Adventurati Outdoor, added: “Bringing the HIGHLANDER experience to Ras Al Khaimah is something we are immensely proud of as the rugged mountain terrain and the Emirates commitment to sustainable tourism aligns so well with the HIGHLANDER ethos. We are building the HIGHLANDER community internationally to embody the philosophy of “Take only pictures and leave only footprints” and see the addition of Ras Al Khaimah as the perfect new partner. We are already looking into the possibility of expanding the experience to two or even three times a year, each on a new trail; there is so much potential here in the Emirate.”
The hotly anticipated announcement was commemorated by a successful preview for the outdoor adventure community on Thursday 15th April to start building excitement for the inaugural HIGHLANDER adventure taking place on Jebel Jais in November 2021