29 Apr 2019
Bahrain is a rugged shard of land attached to Saudi Arabia by the sinew of the King Fahd Causeway. The protrusive hook of Khalifa Bin Salman port has drawn a huge influx of shipping from across the Northern Gulf. With its strong seafaring history, busy port and warm Gulf waters, it’s no wonder Bahraini society and tourism has become so ocean-centric. Yacht clubs, dive schools, powerboat operators and organisations like Sail Bahrain now draw in tourists, transforming this island into one of the world’s best venues for white-knuckle water sports.
Here’s a selection of our favourite water sports venues – they’ll soon have you strapped with an oxygen tank, following shoals of fish over coral reefs, or skimming through waves in X-Jetpacks, like jet-propelled dolphins.
Wind & Kite Surfing
You can hit the adrenaline button without the need for a petrol engine and wind and kite surfing show the way. Both offer a powerful cocktail of speed and aerial acrobatics (with practice) and are great ways to keep fit and be at one with the sea. Wind surfers can be launched from the coast of the Amwaj Islands or Busaiteen, but if you’re a beginner then are available at the Bahrain Yacht Club or Art Marine Marina. Alternatively, if you think kite surfing might be the sport for you, Skate Shack offer one-on-one lessons for up to six-eight hours – plenty of time for you to wrestle the kite into submission.
A hybrid between the raw power of nature and man-made machines is waterskiing and wakeboarding. Being pulled along at high-speed behind power boats, carving over the wash, flipping into the air before being unceremoniously dumped face-first into the Gulf. Companies like Bahrain Wake, founded by two avid wakeboarders, lead wakeboard inductions.
Jet-skiing and powerboating
Jet skiing is Bahrain’s favourite water sport – a chance to skim across the seas around the Amwaj Islands. Aspiring jet-skiers often flock to the Floating City in Amwaj, where they can zip through the man-made islands and lagoons, or the Marina Club. For those who like to up the throttle, you can get your engine roaring in a powerboat, bounding over the waves with your nose angled skyward. For novices who feel the need for speed, lessons are available from Bahrain Yacht Club.
Jetpacking and flyboarding
You’ll find that Bahrain’s coastal waters are a playground for cutting edge new powered watersports. Get to grips with the Jetovator, essentially a flying water bike, capable of launching its rider 40ft above the water; the X-Jetpack, which is an entirely new kind of ‘water-wings’, allowing its wearer to soar high over the ocean; or the Flyboard, a strap-in board that will have you bouncing, soaring and diving through waves like jet-propelled dolphins.
If you’re looking to avoid any big wipeouts, there’s more relaxed fun to be found with a variety of sailing courses run from Art Marine Marina. Qualified instructors will guide you out onto the shallow Gulf waters, amongst fleets of Cruisers, Hobies, Picos and Lasers. It’s a beautiful place for setting sail and a chance to share the coastal waters with the resident wildlife – sailors often talk of meeting turtles and occasional encounters with herds of dugongs. You’ll also find Bahrain Sailing Club close to Al Jasseyah Beach, which is one of Bahrain’s best-looking clubs, accompanied by a pristine promenade, harbour and beach.
Finally, for something a little more Hemmingway-esque there is deep sea, or game, fishing. The raw power of trying to land a fish equal to your own weight can involve several hours of drawing it in closer to the boat. With turquoise waters and beautiful sunshine even if it gets away you’re assured of a great day out.
Stay at one of our Jumeirah Royal Saray for easy access to the best adrenaline-fuelled water sports.