ADVENTURE SPORTS IN DUBAI (Updated 2020)
Dubai is home to a number of heart-stopping, blood-pumping adventures, from swimming with sharks to skydiving above the Palm. Whether you’re a citizen, a resident, or a tourist looking to enjoy their time in the Middle East, Dubai certainly is the place to visit to enjoy a weekend creating some unforgettable experiences. The desert that surrounds Dubai and the neighbouring Hajar mountains, too, provides a fantastic landscape to enjoy some fun sports activities, from dune-surfing to camel-riding and safaris. From glittering skyscrapers to sunsets on the sand, guests can find the perfect experience here in the UAE.
Adventures in the sky
Skydiving is one of the most popular items to have on a bucket list, and what better place to sky-dive than above the Palm in Jumeirah? The man-made island is in the shape of a large palm frond, and the view can be fully appreciated before you take a jump from a plane approximately 4,000 feet from the ground. The sky-dive allows you to take a jump and appreciate Dubai’s stunning landscape as you dive down. Inexperienced divers can take a tandem dive, which involves a minute of freefalling through the air, followed by a gentle descent down to the ground, giving you the chance to catch your breath and take in the city’s glittering sights.
The desert, too, offers chances to skydive, with the Desert Campus Drop Zone being located right outside the city. The added advantage to coming out to the desert drop zone is that it’s perfect for first-time jumpers, and the Dubai Skydive offers a school where people can take courses to become a professional skydiver. Another added advantage is that you can truly enjoy the views from the desert, with sand-dunes stretching across your line of sight, and the Dubai skyline glittering in the distance.
Want to experience the thrills of sky-diving without dealing with the heights? Indoor sky-diving, too, is available in Dubai, acting as a simulation of free fall conditions in a vertical wind tunnel. This sport is perfect for those looking to try a hand at sky-diving, or for youngsters who want to share in the thrill (sky-diving from above the Palm or the desert is for those above the age of eighteen). This type of sky-diving doesn’t involve natural elements, making it a perfect pit-stop for the children without adding any unnecessary risks.
Another fun activity that isn’t that heart-stopping is hiring a hot air balloon! Hot air balloon rides are usually organised in the desert, as the flat lands and calm winds are perfect conditions – being away from the city gives you the chance to appreciate a stunning landscape while in a hot air balloon 4,000 feet from the ground.
The glittering beaches of Dubai offer a range of water-related sports, from swimming in the ocean, to kayaking and snorkelling in deeper waters. One fun activity is to go swimming with the sharks and the fish, not in the ocean, but in the Aquarium in Dubai Mall. Containing the largest school of sand tiger sharks in the world, anyone can dive and swim with these majestic animals, accompanied by a dive master and dive instructor. With high demands, make sure you book ahead as only three group dives are allowed each day.
Another fun activity to do on the seas is flyboarding, which involves a jet turbine that propels you on a connected board, where you can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour through the air and back down to the water. Experienced flyboarders can try hoverboarding, which involves surfing on a jet-propelled skateboard that climbs up to five metres above the water.
Another fun activity is to go parasailing above the water – a parasail is a special parachute that is guided by a boat, allowing you to glide in the air above Dubai’s glittering waters, giving you a stunning view of the coastline of the city. The rush begins when climbing into the air, and plateaus when you’re gliding through the air.
Want to zip across the waters? Speed boats and jet skis are both fun ways of skimming at high speeds above the water – jet skis on Dubai waters are one of the best ways to take a tour along the coastline, and speed boats are a fun method of transport for the family to take you on a tour of the Dubai beachfront, and is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on the calm ocean waters. Tours can involve going through the top landmarks of the city, and is a great chance to get some stunning Instagram shots.
Deep-sea enthusiasts can enjoy going for a dive at Atlantis in the Palm, with the aquarium containing over 65,000 marine animals, with guests being given the chance to dive and get a closer look at the thriving, diverse marine life. Packages for diving beginners and experts alike are on offer, making it a must-visit for ocean-lovers everywhere.
Delights in the desert
The desert also offers a number of exciting adventures, from using vehicles to drive across the sand, to enjoying a windy night underneath the bright starry sky. One popular activity is desert quad biking, where guests can hop on quad bikes and drive up and down across the dunes. The wide tyres, powerful engine, and light body make it easy to manoeuvre, and is quite easy for beginners to drive. Quad biking is thrilling, and is a fun activity for locals and guests to the city.
There are other ways to enjoy the dunes without relying on vehicles, one of the most popular methods being sandboarding. The sand dunes provide great slopes and the sand has almost no friction, making it easy to strap a board on and slide down the dunes. Similar to snowboarding, sandboarding is a popular desert experience, and is fun for kids and adults alike, with smaller dunes providing easier challenges. The soft sand is perfect for tumbles as well, making it a low-risk, yet thrilling, activity.
One activity that is a must-do on any itinerary is the desert safari – those who come to Dubai for a visit, or even those who live in Dubai and want a fun weekend, book packages for desert safaris. These safaris will take you around the sand dunes of the desert, and the drive is a stomach-churning drive as you ride up and down the dunes. Guests can stop and sandboard down the dunes, and the guests are invited to go to a camp and enjoy traditional Emirati entertainment and cuisine once the sun sets, including kebabs, rounds of tea, and fun dances with fires around to keep you warm during the chilly desert nights.
Though Dubai is seen as a glittering hub of the modern world in the Middle East, the city is also home to a number of thrilling adventure sports and activities, from sky-diving to deep-sea snorkelling, and every sport in between.
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