What’s On has a guide to watersports in Dubai. Find out about lessons and hiring for wakeboarding, surfing, diving, Jet Skiing and more.
It covers 72 per cent of the planet’s surface, it influences climate and weather patterns, but we think the ocean is best for adrenaline-fuelled watersports adventures. Here’s your guide to getting out on the blue stuff in Dubai.
When it comes to wakeboarding in Dubai, four things matter most: Calm waters, excellent drivers, and a super fly boat with a killer sound system. Here are four of the best…
Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 6am to 6pm, Dhs550 per hour. Tel: (055) 5103739. Metro: Dubai Marina. searidersuae.com
Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Jebel Ali, daily 9am to 6pm, Dhs250 (20 minutes). Tel: (04) 8876771. Taxi: Jebel Ali Golf Resort. watercooleddubai.com
Ghantoot Marina. Tel: (056) 3423012. Taxi: Golden Tulip, Ghantoot, extremewakeuae.com
Cable wakeboarding at Al Forsan
Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Abu Dhabi, May: Sun to Thur 3pm to 10pm, Fri and Sat 10.30am to 10pm, Dhs140 (one hour), Dhs190 (two hours), Dhs300 (all day). Tel: (02) 5568555. alforsan.com
**Read a complete guide to wakeboarding in Dubai
A popular hobby in the UAE, this gentle watersport is good for your abs – and your peace of mind.
Riva Beach Club, The Palm, Dubai, Dhs85 (one hour), Dhs125 (SUP girls class). Tel: (050) 4819335. Taxi: The Palm, Shoreline Residences 8. ignitesurface.com
Surf House Dubai
Sunset Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Dhs75 (one hour), Dhs200 (all day). Tel: (04) 3211309. Taxi: Next to Umm Suqeim Park. surfingdubai.com
Eden Beach Club, Rixos The Palm, Dubai, Wed and Fri 9am, Dhs75. Tel: (055) 2771477. Taxi: The Palm, east crescent. facebook.com/OceanmanUAE
**Read a complete guide to stand-up paddleboarding in Dubai
Everyone is authorised by law to have a licence to ride so chances of renting in Dubai are slim. If you feel the need for speed, play it safe, stay out of Dubai and follow the rules. Here are a few nearby hidden gems.
Ghantoot Marina, daily 9am to 5.30pm, Dhs300 (30 minutes). Tel: (052) 9838959. Taxi: Golden Tulip Hotel. jetskidubai.com
Adventure Leisure Tourism
Al Mamzar Beach Park, Sharjah, daily 9am to 5pm. Tel: (055) 7940652. Taxi: Mamzar Beach Park slipway. jetskiindubai.com
**Read a guide to jet skiing in Dubai
There is an ever-growing surfing scene in Dubai, despite the surf being eroded by development. You can still grab lessons along the water, though. Here are two top spots.
Surf School Arabia
Al Khan Beach near the Dubai-Sharjah border. surfschooluae.com
Surf House Dubai
Sunset Beach. surfingdubai.com
**Read a guide to surfing in Dubai
A relatively new sport on the waves, you need a fair bit of practice flying from dryland, but the thrill is worth it in the end.
Dukite, The Souq, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Umm Sequim, Dubai, daily 10am to 7pm, Dhs350 (one hour). Tel: (052) 8961718. Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Al Urouba Street. facebook.com/dukite
**Read more about kitesurfing in Dubai
Strap onto a jet powered hovercraft and perform barrel rolls and back flips above the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. The acrobatics are powered by flyboards, which use a Jetski’s propulsion system to rocket Iron Man wannabes 30 feet into the air. The device was unveiled in 2011 and Dubai adrenaline seekers have been hooked ever since. A 30-minute session costs Dhs300.
Have you ever gazed into the glass panels at an aquarium and longed to dive with the sharks and exotic fish? Here’s how to do it.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, daily 6.45pm, Dhs950. Tel: (04) 4260000. Taxi: Atlantis The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com
The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dhs675 (certified divers). Tel: (04) 4485200. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. thedubaiaquarium.com
Aquaventure, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, daily every 30 minutes, 11am to noon and 1pm to 4pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 4260000. Taxi: Atlantis The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com
**Read more about scuba diving in Dubai
WHITE WATER RAFTING
At the base of Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, Wadi Adventure is a waterpark with a difference.
Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dhs100 (entrance fee) plus an additional Dhs100 for kayaking and white water rafting, Dhs150 for a surfing lesson. Tel: (03) 781842. wadiadventure.ae
**Read more about Wadi Adventure
A close rival to kitesurfing in the speed stakes, windsurfing enjoyed a global boom in the 1980s when it became an Olympic sport. Beginners will have no problem sailing on a wide board in a light wind, but the fun really starts when you begin planing in stronger winds.
Watercooled, Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai, daily 9.30am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 8876771. Taxi: Jebel Ali Golf Resort. watercooleddubai.com
By taking standing out of the equation, kneeboarding is one of the easier tow sports, yet one of the most fun because you’re so close to the water. Just as you start to get cocky, you’ll face-plant without warning and come up spluttering, but happy.
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai. Tel: (04) 3993333. Taxi: Le Méridien Mina Seyahi. lemeridien-minaseyahi.com
Moored some 20-odd metres out to sea in front of The Beach, JBR, Wibit has been attracting hundreds of excitable adventurers on a daily basis since it first appeared. In short, it’s an adventure playground on the high seas. And it’s brilliant.
**Read more about Wibit in Dubai