Home to the most developed hiking trail network in the UAE of 80km on Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah is excited to announce that HIGHLANDER – the region’s ultimate hiking challenge – is confirmed to make a welcome return to the Emirate on February 2-4, 2024.
Drawing hundreds of participants from around the world when it was last staged in November 2022, the adventure challenge offers hikers and adventure lovers the chance to physically test themselves on the Emirate’s spectacular trails while exploring the Hajar Mountains’ impressive rockscapes, rugged canyons and famous wadis.
Like previous years, HIGHLANDER Ras Al Khaimah 2024 will comprise of two distinct formats: HIGHLANDER Pegasus is a 40km backpacking challenge named after the constellation seen in the northern sky and the winged horse of Greek mythology.
The event, which will be staged over three days from 2 – 4 February, will test the mettle of hikers while offering a unique opportunity to take in the natural wonders of Ras Al Khaimah’s stunning mountain topography.
Meanwhile, HIGHLANDER Orion takes its name from the prominent constellation that is located on the celestial equator and is visible throughout the world.
This 25km trek will traverse the Hajar Mountain range over two days (3 – 4 February) and offer participants the chance to explore this famous and rugged location while taking in the stunning panoramic views of the valleys below.
The two HIGHLANDER formats will cross several old settlements and active farms that not only highlight the history and diversity of Ras Al Khaimah, but also showcase how communities have lived and worked in this rocky region for centuries.
Known as a hiker’s paradise, the Emirate offers the ideal setting for this outdoor activity that is fast becoming a must-do for people of all ages and abilities.
The terrain provides the perfect training ground for explorers, enthusiasts, and novice hikers alike with more than 80km of trails connecting the various zones of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain.
With the safety of hikers paramount, organisers have confirmed that there will be numerous HIGHLANDER checkpoints across both routes supported by marshals and medical first aid stations.
The decision to shift HIGHLANDER 2024 from November to February means that participants will experience the stunning natural beauty of Jebel Jais following the winter rains, with wildflowers a-plenty and grass blanketing the mountain range.
Aligned to Ras Al Khaimah’s vision to become a regional sustainable tourism leader by 2025 and underscored by its ‘Balanced Tourism’ strategy, HIGHLANDER is keen to create awareness on the importance of preserving and protecting nature while encouraging participants to enjoy the great outdoors and minimise their impact on the environment.
Participants will also be offered educational sessions on ecology and sustainability to highlight the importance of protecting the Emirate’s natural environment and taking home only memories and stunning photographs.
These talks will reinforce the nature-driven aspect of 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.
Fadi Hachicho, Managing Director of HIGHLANDER UAE and Founder of Adventurati Outdoor, said: “We are excited to host the 3rd edition of HIGHLANDER in Ras Al Khaimah.
For us, HIGHLANDER is not just an adventure sport event, it is an opportunity to showcase the majestic Hajar Mountains to a global audience of adventure lovers and hiking enthusiasts. HIGHLANDER has helped put Ras Al Khaimah on the global adventure map.
For 2024, we are also expanding our collaboration with international adventure clubs across Europe as well as partnering up with several DMCs to offer HIGHLANDER participants a more convenient travel experience. There is so much to explore in Ras Al Khaimah on and off trail.”
Registrations for HIGHLANDER 2024 are now open at https://www.highlanderadventure.com/en-us/ras-al-khaimah. Participants can take advantage of the group registration for 2, 3 or 4 participants to avail group discounts, which is valid for HIGHLANDER Pegasus format.
Participants who complete the full trail will receive a HIGHLANDER finisher badge and certificate, ID, Bib number, map and access to an exclusive finish point celebration.
Interested in taking on the Highlander challenge? Use the following code to avail 15% discount for individual registrations valid for both formats HIGHLANDER Pegasus and HIGHLANDER Orion. The code: HLRAK2024.