- Surajit Mahanty takes home title of ‘Best Thought for the Peak” and AED100,000 grand prize
- Winner’s vision for next iconic tourism attraction on Jebel Jais is “Jebel Jais Cliff Walk”
- Top six candidates battled it out in a final round of elevator pitches to judging panel top industry officials
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has announced the winner of Think for the Peak, its innovative competition to conceptualize the Emirate’s next iconic adventure attraction on Jebel Jais. Surajit Mahanty beat applicants from across Ras Al Khaimah and the wider UAE– to take home the AED 100,000 grand prize and chance to potentially be part of the Emirate’s future product offering.
Launched in October last year, the Think for the Peak competition welcomed almost 500 proposals that brought to life the applicants’ vision of what the UAE’s highest mountain peak should include next. Submissions were received in the form of paintings, sketches, photography and digital imaging.
An internal committee of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority shortlisted the top 25 entries who had best adhered to the brief – a design that would enhance the touristic appeal of the landmark whilst highlighting the local culture and heritage in a sustainable manner. Another prerequisite was that the concept had to include highly visual elements that would drive visitors to share their experiences on social media. Following long and detailed deliberation, the judging panel – comprising some of the top leaders in the travel & tourism, real estate and hospitality industries – agreed upon the six best proposals who were then invited to re-present their ideas during an elevator pitch workshop earlier this week.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, shares, “It has been an eye-opening experience to hear from residents across the UAE on what they want to see from potential Jebel Jais based attractions. We were delighted with the influx of creativity from across a diverse age range and professional pool of candidates.” He goes on to add: “Ras Al Khaimah’s standing as the fastest growing tourism destination within the region has clearly served as inspiration for the nominees, underscored by the high quality of proposals received. We hope to be able to use this exercise as inspiration for further attractions on Jebel Jais, reflecting the voices of the nation and their hopes for the much-loved destination”.
The judging panel comprised of leaders of Tourism, Culture, Investment and Development authorities headed by Raki Phillips, supported by Abdulla Al Abdouli, CEO of Marjan, Alison Grinnell CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Hospitality, Christopher Hewett Vice President of Al Hamra Group, and Radek Strejcek, Managing Director of Holiday Moments, one of the reflect One of the largest tour and travel partners to the Tourism Development Authority.
Surajit Mahanty, Winner of the Think for the Peak competition shares, “It is a great honour for my design to be selected as the best thought for the Think for the Peak. What I particularly liked about the competition is being given the free reign creatively to develop my concept, which was inspired by the unique offerings of Ras Al Khaimah and designed to drive more visitors to this exciting Emirate, in particularly Jebel Jais, the outdoor adventure hub of the region. I hope that my idea will come to fruition in the future and join the world-renowned Jebel Jais Flight to bring even more visitors to the UAE’s highest peak.”