On the face of it, building a 36-kilometre road might not seem like the most ground-breaking story. But when you take into account that this particular road runs through the highest mountains in the United Arab Emirates, it becomes a different story altogether.
The road runs from the city of Ras Al-Khaimah to UAE’s highest peak, Jabal Jais, on the border with Oman. The altitudes of up to 1,910 meters, perilous chasms, temperatures as low as -3°C are familiar conditions for experienced mountaineers, but not for construction workers. However, that hasn’t prevented contractor GMC, supported by FAMCO, the authorised Volvo dealer in UAE, from rising to the challenge.
GMC specifically wanted Volvo’s help as its products are built on the foundations of quality and safety, backed by 24/7 aftermarket support from dealer FAMCO – key factors when it comes to operating in remote locations and harsh conditions. In response, FAMCO mobilised 45 units, including excavators, articulated haulers and wheel loaders, to help facilitate this revolutionary government-funded project. The road has taken eight years to complete with no major casualties reported. In that time, over 5.5 million cubic meters of earth have been shifted in order to pave the way – quite literally – for the mountaintop road.
It is hoped that the road will greatly benefit the tourism sector. There are already plans to build a hotel, cable car, paragliding launch ramp, golf course and a ski slope.