Surfing in Dubai: Meet the men behind The Surf House
According to local reports, more than 1,500 surfers and beach dwellers in Dubai have signed a petition to halt the expansion of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s marina at the much-loved Sunset Beach. Some residents are concerned that the project will narrow the beach for the public and reduce any potential swells for surfers – a huge blow for the growing community of surfers in Dubai.
Earlier this year, Good spoke with the Scott Chambers and Daniel Van Dooren, the men creating a surfing community right here in Dubai.
What is The Surf House? The Surf House is the centre of surfing and Standup Paddle (SUP) in Dubai. A one-stop shop for anything you need, surf-or SUP-related. It’s also a place for people to come and escape the busy and hectic lifestyle that Dubai can be at times.
Why did you feel the need to create it? There’s nothing else like it in Dubai. Surfing and paddle boarding is our passion and we have been trying to share the lifestyle surrounding both sports will all our members and clients. The Surf House is the best platform for us to help facilitate others living a water-based lifestyle.
How did you both get into surfing and what prompted you to make it a business? Scott: I actually started surfing in Dubai, because I wanted to do everything my elder brother did. After catching my first wave off the former Chicago Beach Village pier, I was hooked and surfing was the only thing I could think about. Having studied a degree in Surf Science and Technology, and growing up here on the beach, I wanted to show other people how much fun it was to ride waves and that yes, you could do that here in Dubai.
Dan: I learnt right here in Dubai when I was 12 years old. My peers got me into the sport and I’ve been hooked ever since.
What is the surf scene in Dubai like? Dubai has a great surfing and SUPing community. It’s a very tight community where everyone knows each other. It’s a fast growing collection of very passionate like-minded people that share a love of the ocean.
What are you hoping to achieve? We’d like to help as many people as possible to start living a healthier, active, and outdoor lifestyle. In particular, we aim to encourage more Emiratis to get involved and cultivate local talent in the water. We also keep a focus on the performance element, so we make sure to stock the best equipment to help clients reach their potential. We want to put Dubai on the map as a surf and SUP destination.
What services will be on offer?
– New and second-hand equipment to cater for the novice surfer/paddler through to the advanced.
– Specifically selected (for Dubai) equipment available for rent.
– A yoga/fitness studio available for hourly rental.
– Corporate day packages – SUPing, surfing, yoga, coffee and more.
– A membership package that involves storage of your equipment at The Surf House amongst other benefits.
– An exceptionally good cup of coffee.
Can children get involved? Absolutely. Surfing and stand-up paddle are for everyone! We encourage kids to start at an early age so that they grow into better, stronger and more knowledgeable beach users. It’s so important that kids learn to respect the ocean and the safety aspects.
Finally, what is your next move? We plan to carry on making The Surf House the ultimate beachside location. Dubai is our home and we put every ounce of ourselves into creating The Surf House. We’re looking forward to many years of spreading the ‘surfing/SUPing’ message and growing its community right here in the UAE.
** This article was first published in the May 2014 issue of Good.
The Surf House, Sunset Beach, Beach Road, Dubai. surfingdubai.com. facebook.com/surfhousedubai