The UAE, with its sprawling deserts, stunning coastlines, historic neighborhoods, and futuristic cityscapes, is a treasure trove for the intrepid…
After a busy week in the city, you might want to head to the mountains for some outward-bounds activities. In the far north of the United Arab Emirates lie the highest summits in the country, the Jebel Jais mountains. The millennia-old peaks attract nature and adrenaline lovers from across the world. Whether you seek a leisurely walk in the wadis or camping in the wilds, the impressive range has something for everyone.
The mountains gain their inimitable beauty from their time-worn ruggedness, ancient forts, abandoned villages and inhabitants. It’s worth bearing in mind that although the mountains form breathtaking landscapes, they can be dangerous for unprepared or inexperienced hikers and climbers. Whilst Ras Al Khaimah is relatively temperate throughout the year; it’s been known to experience unexpected weather fronts, which can play havoc with even the best-laid plans. Hajar Mountain Adventures is making the mountains safely accessible with various training programmes and guided walks, hikes and canyoneering.
The Hajar Mountain Adventures team has put together some valuable tips to ensure that you, your family and your friends remain safe and in good health whilst spending time in the mountains. It’s important to remember that many parts of the mountains are inhospitable and only accessed by costly air rescue teams.
Never leave home without a plan, don’t hike alone and always inform someone where you are going.
Plan your route and allow yourself plenty of time to get to the mountains without rushing. The roads into the mountains are exciting hairpin bends and require cautious driving.
Bring your own car or hire a driver or taxi for the day.
If you are going on a Hajar Mountain Adventures guided hike, always remember to confirm your booking in advance. Consider the essential information they give you to ensure you are prepared.
There are various self-guided and professionally guided hiking trails in the mountains. Download the map of your hiking trail if you are going it alone. Remember that you’ll unlikely to get internet coverage in the mountains, so do not rely on in-phone navigation. It’s vitally important never to leave the mapped routes, so you don’t get lost. Here are some tips to ensure that you stay safe:
Ensure to always tell a family member or a friend where you are going and never go alone. It is always more fun if you have a hiking companion! They can raise the alarm in the event of an accident.
If there is an emergency, call 999 for Police and 998 for Ambulance.
It’s impossible to get altitude sickness in Ras Al Khaimah because the mountain is only 1,934 metres above sea level. The Jebel Jais mountains, whilst the highest in the UAE, are well within the 2,500-metre limits of safe altitude.
Before setting off on your hike, check the weather forecast for the day. It will likely be consistent, calm and pleasant; however, it’s well-known that the weather conditions in mountainous terrains can change quickly and without warning.
Remain adequately hydrated. Drink at least one litre of water each hour. Always take more than you think you will need. As a precaution, take some rehydration salts to drink to replace essential minerals.
Wear thin layers to maintain your optimal body temperature if the temperature rises or falls. It’s essential to wear appropriate footwear such as walking boots or trainers with a sturdy sole with good traction to help prevent you from slipping. Do NOT wear heels, open-toed sandals or flip-flops on your hike.
Carry a basic first-aid kit and ensure that you are familiar with the contents and how to use them.
The mountain’s flora and fauna is fragile so please respect the environment by practising the following RAKTDA rules:
Hajar Mountain Adventures are licensed operators. They offer various guided hikes, canyoneering and walking activities for hikers and intensive courses for those who want to make a career from outward-bounds activities in the mountains.
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has licensed Hajar Mountain Adventures; they strive to ensure a safe environment for every visitor. Do not use any companies that are not licensed by RAKTDA. If in doubt, ask to see their license.