What’s On lists the best skateparks in Dubai, both indoor and outdoor, like The Zoo in Al Quoz, Rage at Dubai Mall, an open spot at Business Bay and Abu Dhabi options.
A new indoor skatepark has opened in Dubai with the support with iconic fashion brand DC Shoes.
The Zoo, claiming to be the largest of its kind in the Emirate, flung open its doors in July and has already begun pulling in the ‘ollies’ and the kickflipping kids keen to test out the variety of ramps and grinding poles.
Launched by Ignite Xtreme and powered by the American clothing line, the fully air-conditioned warehouse spot in Al Quoz welcomes boarders, scooter riders and skaters to take on the half-pipes, drop-in ramps and runs. Expert staff are on hand to help teach you some odd tricks, too.
The Zoo Skatepark, Warehouse 1, Al Manara Street, next to Surf Shop Dubai. Tel: (04) 338 6126. Daily 1pm to 7pm, midday to 8pm on weekends. From Dhs30. facebook.com/thezooskatepark
WHERE ELSE CAN YOU GET YOUR SKATES ON…?
Rage Bowl, at Dubai Mall
Located above RAGE in The Dubai Mall the Rage Bowl is the original air-conditioned space offering indoor skating for novices and professionals. The much adored bowl is high enough to perform ollies, kickflips, and aerial grabs while also being low enough for beginners to learn to drop in. It’s also staffed by professional skateboarding instructors who are happy to assist.
Rage shop, The Dubai Mall, Tel: (04) 4341549. Metro: The Dubai Mall (Burj Khalifa). rage-shop.com
Skate Biladi – Tashkeel
Back in 2012, Tashkeel, a hub for creatives and artists in Dubai, held the first Skate Biladi event constructing a huge skateboard ramp in its gardens. The unique skate park design was created as both a functional space for skateboarding and an art installation celebrating the curves of Arabic calligraphy. The ramp is open to all and is accessible throughout the year. The much-loved Canopi Bowl is also located at Tashkeel and is built around natural obstacles such as trees and shrubbery creating a cool and sheltered place to skate.
Tashkeel, behind Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba. Tel: (04) 3363313. Taxi: Nad Al Sheba. tashkeel.org
Adventure HQ, Abu Dhabi
Adventure HQ opened a new shop in Abu Dhabi a few months ago, complete with an Adventure Zone offering indoor activities such as rock climbing, trampolining and skateboarding. The wooden skate park is huge, and while they don’t officially give lessons, if it’s quiet the team will happily give you tips to help you on your way. Helmet, knee and elbow pads are supplied to novices, as are the boards, so you’ll look the part even if you’re not quite Tony Hawk.
Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur and Fri 10am to midnight, Dhs50. Tel: (02) 4456995. Taxi: Dalma Mall. adventurehq.com
Tucked away behind Business Bay’s ‘Bay Avenue’ shopping area, a new park was opened in early 2014 comprising plenty of green space, a jogging track, two children’s playgrounds, gymnasium areas, two retail kiosks and, most importantly a skate park, complete with small-ish ramps, poles and track to practice your floor skills.
Al Mamzar Park
This secluded park sits on a headland at the mouth of Khor al-Mamzar near Sharjah. There are plenty of open spaces with barbecues, opening on to white beaches. And in the middle of it, an outdoor 12-foot concrete half pipe that is known for an ‘include all’ atmosphere, where non-skaters watch the gnarlier folk take on the ramps.
Al-Mamzar Creek, Deira, Dubai. Taxi: Al Mamzar Park
Back in Al Quoz, the March-launched Sk8 Factory boasts plenty of options for all a variety of skills and experience, including a three-foot mini spine ramp and replicated street set up with steps and grinding rails. Pushing the boundaries is recommended, too, with a foam pit beyond one of the ramps helping ensure a soft landing.
The Sk8 Factory, Warehouse 2, Street 14C, Al Quoz 4. Daily from 10am. From Dhs40. facebook.com/sk8factorydubai
OR YOU COULD TRY SOMETHING A LITTLE OFFBEAT
‘Blocker’, ‘jammer’, ‘whip’. These are just a handful of the intimidating words you will come across shortly after dipping a toe (or wheel) into roller derby. But don’t be put off, says Sue Mercer, aka Rolla Moll, the president of the all-girl Abu Dhabi Roller Derby, which is on the lookout for new recruits. She’s out to prove this once-niche sport – now being considered for the 2020 Olympic Games – is a fast route to fun and fitness.
What’s the aim of the game? Both teams skate in the same direction around an oval track. One player from each team of five is the jammer. The remaining eight players, called blockers, make up the pack. The goal is for each team to get their jammer through the pack while at the same time block the opposing team’s jammer.
How do you score points? Every time the jammer laps a member of the opposing pack they score a point.
Are there rules or is it a case of anything goes? Sometimes it can feel like being in a washing machine with a bag of cats on wheels, but there are actually lots of rules and a lot of strategy going on. A lot of people think you can elbow your opponents out of your way, but you’re only allowed to hit with your torso, so you need a lot of balance and agility.
Do you need to be ultra-fit? We’re taking on girls who aren’t, but obviously we’re working on building up fitness week on week.
What skills do you need? Apart from being fit, you need a strong core and a good amount of flexibility. Also, the ability to read the game, so that you can predict what people are going to be doing and position yourself well.
What kit do you need? Skates, kneepads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet. We’re really safety conscious, because there is a lot of falling over.
What’s your signature move? Probably a fast hockey stop. When I’m skating I can stop almost instantly using both feet, and change direction.
Tel: (05) 62179372. facebook.com/abudhabirollerderby