World’s longest zip line opens in the UAE

Guinness World Records officials on Thursday certified the 2.83-kilometer zip line in Ras Al-Khaimah as the world’s longest. (Courtesy Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority)
Updated 01 February 2018
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World’s longest zip line opens in the UAE

RAS AL-KHAIMAH: The United Arab Emirates is claiming a new world record with the opening of the world’s longest zip line, measuring 2.83 kilometers in length.
Guinness World Records officials certified the zip line in Ras Al-Khaimah on Thursday, the same day the attraction opens to the public.
The Jebel Jais Flight takes thrill-seekers atop the country’s largest mountain peak, from a launch pad 1,680 meters (5,512 feet) above sea level. For nearly three minutes, riders are suspended above the mountain as they glide past rocky terrain.
It’s the latest effort by the smaller, lesser-known emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah to attract more tourists and expatriate visitors from neighboring emirates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which has two separate zip line attractions whizzing past some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
Watch a preview of the 2.83-kilometer ride:


ThePlace: Habala village, the sanctuary of flowers

Photo/Getty images
Updated 17 November 2018
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ThePlace: Habala village, the sanctuary of flowers

  • The valley is dotted with small huts that were once the villagers’ homes

Can abandoned places, with empty echoes of what were once people’s homes, be beautiful? The answer, at least in the case of the mountain village of Habala in Saudi Arabia, is a resounding yes. The haunting sense of history there adds to the sheer natural beauty of the place.
Habala is located at a one-hour drive from Abha. The village was established during the Ottoman Empire when the locals tried to flee the Turks.
With its mountain views and lush green vegetation, Habala is breathtakingly beautiful. The main village is located in a valley about 300 yards below the summit of the mountain that overlooks it, which rises 1.23 miles above sea level. At one time the village was only accessible by rope ladder, which is why its name is derived from “habal,” the Arabic word for rope. Nowadays it is a lot easier to reach, thanks to cable cars that carry visitors up to the valley.
The former residents of the village were known as the “flower men” because of their custom of wearing garlands of dried flowers and herbs in their hair, and modern-day visitors to Habala are greeted by men in the traditional dress of the villagers, including the flowers. Tourists can even buy floral crowns as souvenirs.
The valley is dotted with small huts that were once the villagers’ homes. In these huts you can sit and enjoy a cup of Qahwa — Arabic coffee — while enjoying the spectacular view. In winter, when fog often envelops the mountain, the village looks as though it is floating on a cloud. It is a sight not to be missed.