From extreme adventure sports to mildly daunting yet entertaining activities —there’s an abundance of adrenaline-pumping escapades to choose from in Dubai. And the best part is there’s always a trained instructor or guide to safely take you through these exhilarating experiences.
Explore Aqua Adventures
We first head to Crystal Clear Watersports at the Dubai Fishing Harbour to test the waters and experience Dubai’s first-ever clear kayaks and stand-up paddle boats. It’s an early weekend morning, and before the kayak enthusiasts line up at the Jumeirah 2 seaside, we take a quick round of the endless blue waters on a transparent kayak and admire the beautiful sunrise hues across the Dubai skyline.
As we row, the glittering sun rays create a magical path, gliding us softly to a peaceful spot where we can see the depths of the water from our crystal clear kayak—a perfect Instagram moment. Following our kayak experience, we meet Ahmed Almannai, owner of Crystal Clear Watersports, who tells us more about the specialised crystal clear concept water tours. He informs, “It’s a one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly initiative that uses no fuel or creates no waste in the water. We have the first-of-its-kind crystal boats in the world, along with fishing and recreational kayaks. The clear kayak concept became famous because of the food and flowers one can take in the middle of the sea for photo shoots.” The next stop on our water adventure excursion is the luxurious world of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, located on Dubai’s artificial archipelago. Once you cross the marvellous hotel interiors and reach the shoreline, look for Seawake Water Sports to enjoy an unforgettable range of marine sports activities.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a skilled water sports enthusiast; you will definitely find an activity to get your pulse racing. While Seawake Water Sports will have you spoilt for choice, if one activity is all you have time for, flyboarding is highly recommended. Here, a professional flyboard operator will help you defy gravity and soar 15 metres up in the air. Thrilling and very 007! Speaking about water sports, Mike Saad, head of growth and strategy at Seawake, tells us, “It’s our third year with the Waldorf Astoria Dubai; here, we have both motorised and non-motorised water activities for the guests. Some of the most popular ones are flyboarding, jet-ski, parasailing, boat rides, windsurfing, kayaking, and more.” At Seawake, one can spend hours in the water wrapped up in solo or group activities and then end the day with a soothing dip in the hotel pool with a cocktail in hand.
Aim For The Sky
After exploring the sea, how about conquering the skies? Next up on our itinerary is Sky Views to experience a bunch of action-packed adventures that need no particular skill—just a dash of courage and love for heights. Sky Views is the latest addition to the city’s everexpanding skyline and is a perfect spot to enjoy the panoramic views of Dubai. The towering 50-story twin structures developed by the Emaar group stand tall in the heart of Downtown Dubai, across from Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. At 220 meters off the ground, Sky Views features a glass-walled infinity-edge pool, an open-air terrace, and a restaurant, all of which enjoy exceptional views of the pulsating cityscape. Greeted by a minimalist interior and clutter-free ambience, a glass elevator takes you straight to the Sky View Observatory on levels 52 and 53, connected by a spiral staircase. At the height of 219 meters, the adventure starts as visitors walk on the 46-meter-long glass Sky Walk and get an aerial view of the city’s exceptional skyscraper-filled skyline. Taking this exciting experience a notch further, Sky Views allows you to go up to the next level and propel down from a Sky Slide enclosed in transparent glass.
The most invigorating experience, however, is the Edge Walk, where you can step onto the external perimeter of the building and walk hands-free (with a harness) on a ledge that encircles the top of the tower. And that’s how you conquer the skies Dubai-style. For an extreme sports lover, a trip to Dubai is incomplete without a visit to SkyDive Dubai. Visitors can expect a thrilling tandem skydive (with an instructor) free falling at 120 miles per hour at 13,000 feet above sea level. Every year thousands of skydivers come here for the heady rush that frees you from all inhibitions. As you forget the world around you and hurtle down towards the Palm Jumeirah, which stands out against the bright blue ocean, just for a second, you find yourself speechless and at utmost peace.
A truly memorable experience. Pablo Hernandez, Special Projects Coordinator at SkyDive Dubai, tells us that it’s been 12 years since the adventure company was launched by H.E. Nasser Al Neyadi with the blessing of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. He adds, “At the Palm Dropzone, skydiving enthusiasts and licensed skydivers from across the UAE visit throughout the year to experience the aerial thrill and the spectacular views of the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island by soaring at 13,000 ft with a qualified tandem instructor. We do more than 30,000 tandem jumps annually, and the busiest season is October to May. For a tandem jump, a group of skydivers usually goes up in a small plane with a trained instructor and a videographer, who jump with the individual. We ensure high safety for each skydiver, who gets to experience one minute of free fall and five minutes of parachute glide in the sky before they touch the earth again.
Walk On The Wild Side
Last on our adventure-filled itinerary is a taste of Dubai’s rugged and unspoilt naturesque escape—Hatta. Located high up in the Hajar Mountains and just one hour and 20 minutes drive from the city, the sprawling Wadi Hub at Hatta Resorts is close to the Oman border and very popular with adventure enthusiasts. The expansive eco-friendly destination offers an extensive array of activities that suit every taste and age group. From mountain biking and hiking trails to archery and zorbing, there’s a bouquet of activities designed to give visitors an unmatched experience under the open skies. As soon as the gates opened, we drove to the gorgeous blue Hatta Lake for a kayaking session near the Hatta Dam— highly recommended for those who wish to discover inner peace and calm. As we return to the Hatta Wadi Hub for more adventures, the experts from Go Gravity introduce us to the thrill of mobility with Rovers.
A ride on the powerful 4-wheel off-road electric scooters is an excellent option for those who are not keen to try mountain bikes. The batteryoperated e-scooters are a wise option to make your way through the rugged trails that take you to the Paragliding Strap, where you can float in the air hanging with the parachute and get a bird’s eye view from 500 ft above the ground. Let your inner child take over with activities like Mountain Carting as you roll down leisurely on a three-wheel cart or jump on a giant trampoline. Next, we try wall climbing on a specially constructed wall that has difficulty levels for different age groups and is ideal for beginners and expert climbers. At the Go Gravity Zorbing station, roll down a hill in a giant plastic ball or slide on a board to feel the rush.
One can also try Tube Sliding, where you zoom down the hillside on a tube with a partner to double the fun. While paintball experiences are common, try the gel ball gun at Hatta Hub and have a friendly outdoor battle. Also, don’t forget to test your archery and axe-throwing skills, which are conducted safely and securely under expert supervision. Finish an exciting day at Hatta with a hiking trip and soak in the gorgeous colours of the sunset views that are worth the climb. Come back and spend a pleasant evening in the air-conditioned domes at the Hatta Dome Park or hilltop Damani lodges that come with modern luxuries and can be booked in advance for a night stay. For a family or a group, there are also options to book a luxury RV in the mountainside Caravan Park, where you can see the sun set quietly over your adventurous evenings amidst nature.
ALSO READ: Dubai: Art’s New Address
RELATED: The City of Dreams – Where Adventure and Magical Memories Await!