7 watersports to try in Dubai
There are plenty of ways to get active in Dubai but, in the summer, there are plenty more ways of grinding to a halt. Watersports are perhaps the ideal means of staying fit and staying cool (ish) at the same time. Here are seven you can try.
Where? Water Cooled Dubai, Jumeirah Beach & Jebel Ali
How much? AED250 for 30 minutes
This might need a little explanation. A Zapcat is a small, two-person cross between a powerboat and a jet-ski that is capable of reaching speeds around 80kmh. Being so light, the acceleration and cornering is thrilling, not least it can generate up to 3Gs in a tight turn. Available for 30 minute trips as well as group sessions and corporate days.
Where? Wild Wadi, Jumeirah
How much? AED235 adults, AED175 children under 110cm for day pass
Flowriding consists of taking a body or surfboard with no fins onto an artificial wave that is pumping sevens tons of water a second beneath you. The idea is to stay on as long as possible, with the most skilled riders able to perform all sorts of spins and tricks. Just watching other people's attempts from the queue can be half the fun. Lessons are also available, with Friday morning being the chosen time to watch the ‘pros.’
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Where? Sunset Beach
How much? Lessons from AED200 per hour
Perhaps the fastest growing sport in Dubai on this list, stand-up paddle boarding has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years. The calm seas around the Gulf make it an idea place to learn a sport that is great for core strength, balance and cardio – and provides a novel way to explore the coastline. There is no shortage of places offering lessons.
Contact: www.surfshopdubai.com, www.surfingdubai.com
Where? Al Mamzar
How much? AED300 for 30 minutes
We’re sure you’ll have seen the various YouTube videos flying around of people trying this water-powered jet pack, including hilarious fails to graceful human dolphins dipping in and out of the surf. With a board strapped to your feet and your arms in grips, you are propelled by jets of water high into the air, where you can hover around while someone grabs a photo. Memberships are also available for anyone not satisfied with one session at the link listed below.
Where? Maxoel Watersports, Rixos The Palm Jumeirah
How much? AED250 per person
A summer holiday staple, this is the most calming experience on the list as well as the least taxing on the body. Parasailing involves being harnessed to a small parachute, attached to a boat by a rope and being pulled along no matter what the wind’s doing. Enjoy views of the Palm and the Marina while cruising along, and if you really don’t want to, you don’t even need to get wet at all.
Where? Xtreme Wake, Dubai Marina
How much? AED550 for an hour’s session
As with wakeboarding, the sport involves having two feet strapped to a board while being pulled behind a speedboat. Again, anyone who’s snowboarded before should get the hang of it quite easily. The difference here is a slightly larger and more buoyant board. Wake surfing has previously been quite a hard sport to access but now with Xtreme wake as well as the lessons at the One & Only Royal Mirage, the opportunity is there.
Where? Atlantis Hotel, Palm Jumeirah
How much? AED255
The Atlantis is just one of many places in the UAE to get into snorkelling, but perhaps offers the most unique experience. The Ambassador lagoon allows you to snorkel in amongst over 65,000 sea creatures, including a slightly worrying hammerhead shark. For a more ocean-based experience, Al Boom Diving organise trips out to the Musandam peninsula, where it’s not uncommon to be in the presence of dolphins.