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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

A thrilling flight of fancy in Ras Al Khaimah

Construction of the world’s longest zipline is yet another reason to visit the emirate

Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - February 1st, 2018: People fly the world's longest zip line at Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. Thursday, February 1st, 2018 at Jebel Jasi, Ras Al Khaimah. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates - February 1st, 2018: People fly the world's longest zip line at Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. Thursday, February 1st, 2018 at Jebel Jasi, Ras Al Khaimah. Chris Whiteoak / The National

According to the most recent edition of the Guinness World Records, an annual publication that documents the tallest, fastest, strongest and biggest of just about anything you could imagine around the globe, the UAE now holds around 190 world records. Next year, that total will increase by at least one. In all probability, the total is likely to swell far more than that.

As The National reported, a new attraction in Ras Al Khaimah has been certified by Guinness World Records as “the longest zipline on the planet”. The attraction promises thrill-seekers a 2.83km “flight” from the side of Jebel Jais, this country’s highest peak. Those brave enough to take on the zipline - and there will be many, judging by the sheer volume of enquiries to the attraction over the weekend - can expect to reach speeds close to 150 kilometres per hour. The zipline beats the previous record holder, The Monster, in Puerto Rico by more than half a kilometre and achieves faster top speeds.

The unveiling of the attraction is part of a broader opening by the emirate as it looks to market itself as an adventure sports hub for the region. Ras Al Khaimah’s Tourism Development Authority plans to increase visitor numbers to one million in 2018. The zipline will undoubtedly prove a powerful tool in the emirate’s growing armoury of attractions and destinations.

If Dubai and Abu Dhabi often act as the twin magnetic forces that bring tourists to this country, visitors soon find that there is more to this country than bright lights, pristine beaches and shopping malls. From heritage festivals to halal tourism, from world-class museums to spectacular sporting events, such as this weekend's Red Bull Air Race, the visitor experience now available to tourists who visit these shores is varied and compelling.

While anyone who calls this country home is aware of the new openings and expanding portfolio of visitor attractions, we all have a role to play in telling the world what a special and welcoming country the UAE is.