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A zipline across the sky

We didn't yell out ‘Geronimo’. But we came very close. For our last stop, before packing our bags and returning to the European winter, our guides revealed their well-kept secret. A hidden gem in the AlUla Channel: a gigantic zip line installed on the highest peak of one of the highest mountains of the valley.

Up there, the setting is quite different. The sand has given way to an extremely dark, almost black volcanic rock. The vehicles, although designed to take on the rugged roads, oscillating as we approach the site. At the edge of the chasm, a few tourists and two officials gather around a winch-like structure, from which elongated silhouettes scream out, spinning across the AlUla sky.

“Keeping the landscape untouched”

The initiative came from the RCU (Royal Commission for AlUla), which contacted The Warrior Group, a specialist of thrilling experiences based in Dubai, to come and install this massive zip line. Through a brief exchange with William, who is in charge of the installation, we learn that the main challenge was “not to disrupt the environment, and to keep the landscape as unchanged as possible”.

We understand why, as we savor the view from the top. As our adrenaline starts pumping, it becomes hard to follow the gibberish safety and positioning instructions through the instructors thick Welsh accent. We’re too busy thinking about the 40 seconds of gliding ahead. 3, 2, 1… Go! And, far too quickly, we arrive. One word: breathtaking.