WANDERLUSTSeven adventure sports you need to try in Dubai

From sandsurfing to flyboarding, Dubai knows how to get pulses racing

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Dubai offers a long list of activities for adrenaline junkies, from skydiving above The Palm to ziplining at 1,700 feet. We’ve picked seven daredevil feats to try on your next visit. If you dare...

 

Dive with sharks

Swimming with sharks is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – getting up close and personal with these graceful predators is electrifying. At the Dubai Aquarium you don’t have to be a certified diver to swim with its Sand Tiger Sharks - the largest school in the world. Anyone over the age of 10 can dive in the aquarium’s 10 million-litre tank after an introductory course with Al Boom diving. Once that’s out of the way, you’ll be accompanied by a Dive Master and Dive Instructor, as you head down to meet these incredible creatures face to face. Book well ahead as demand is high and there are only three group dives a day, with a maximum of four people on each. 

Experience shark diving in Dubai at: Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Couple snorkeling in the ocean  

Slide at a Waterpark

Dubai’s Wild Wadi Waterpark at Jumeirah Beach Hotel takes family thrills to a new level. Of the 30 water rides and attractions, some more than others are designed to get your pulse racing. From the metre-high waves of Flood River, to the tornados of Tantrum Alley, the spiralling pans of the Burj Surj and the 32m drop of the Jumeirah Sceirah ride, there’s something for everyone. The biggest thrill of all is reserved for the Wipeout Flowrider, one of only four such rides in the world. Here, seven tonnes of water per second creates a powerful artificial wave – perfect for body- and kneeboarding.

Ride the waves at Wild Wadi Waterpark

Man on a water slide

 

Surf on sand

Catch some air on the slopes of Dubai’s vertiginous sand dunes with a session of sandboarding - or sand surfing. One of Dubai’s most thrilling adventure sports, it’s the perfect fix for those in search of high-octane activities. Book a slot and you’ll be chauffeured in a 4X4 across the undulating desert plains to a prime sandboarding spot, where you can really get your adrenaline fix. Experienced snowboarders and daredevils can of course stand up, feet strapped onto the board, but it can also be done sitting or lying down for those who want an easier ride. And if you want to relax after your sandboarding experience, then combine it with a desert safari tour, where you can rest and recover in well-appointed tents with barbecued kebabs as the sun dips below the horizon.

Experience sandboarding in Dubai with: Ocean Air Travels 

Lady on the dune

 

Hit the pistes

If you really can’t do without a snowy mountain for your downhill thrills then you can find one at Ski Dubai. This vast indoor ski centre, the first in the Middle East, offers a winter wonderland all year round with 3000sqm of powder to ski and snowboard on. With equipment hire including boots and helmets, and runs for all skill levels, take to the slopes with your family, or perhaps just brush up on your technique with a private lesson. And for those who want to just play in the snow, the Snow Park offers rides and play areas including a bobsled, snow bumpers, a tubing run and ice cave.

Experience snowboarding in Dubai at: Ski Dubai

 

Ride a Zipline

The highest mountain in the UAE, Jebel Jais lies just north of Dubai at Ras Al Khaimah. The peak is studded with ‘via ferrata’, a series of climbing routes fitted with steel cables to which you can attach yourself for safety. Scramble and climb your way up through the rugged terrain with a professional instructor. It’s a thrill to climb, but if you want quicker progress then try out the world’s longest zipline, suspended at 1,680m between two mountains. Set off along this 2.8km ride, hurtling at speeds of up to 150kph and trust us, your pulse will race. Just remember to enjoy the view of the peak and the winding Hajar mountain roads below as you zip along.

Experience ziplining in Dubai at: Via Ferrata at Jebel Jais, Ras al Khaimah

 

Skydive over The Palm

Very little beats leaping out of a plane at 13,000ft for a pure adrenaline rush, but it’s even better if you can do it over the beautiful branches of The Palm Jumeirah. Freefalling at 120mph, either solo or in tandem with an experienced instructor is a unique way to see the beautiful Arabian Gulf and the Dubai shoreline including the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Float on the thermals like a bird, then launch your parachute and float gently back to earth. Expect to want to go again the minute your feet touch the ground. In the meantime, you’ll get a video of your skydiving experience to relive with your friends and family.

Experience skydiving in Dubai at: Sky Dive Dubai  

 

Fly on water

You could hire a paddle board or surfboard to splash about on the glittering waters of the Arabian Gulf, but if you’re looking for speed and excitement then put on a jetpack. Flyboarding is an intense watersport experience involving a jet turbine that propels you on a connected board at speeds of up to 40kph through the air and back down underwater. However, despite how it sounds, it’s surprisingly easy to master. More experienced board sports enthusiasts can also try Hoverboarding – essentially surfing on a jet-propelled skateboard that can climb up to 5m.

Experience flyboarding at: Searide Dubai

Man flyboarding

 

 

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