Fitness gains in leaps and bounds…

Once every four years we have to cook the books on the earth’s orbit of the sun, fudging a cosmic average to keep our calendars honest. The upside is – we get an extra 24 hours in February to do with as we please, the con is that, it’s a little longer until March’s payday. This year we’ve decided to embrace the leap, put a spring in our step and hop into an exhilerating genre of exercise. This is the jump-off…

Cliff notes

The recently expanded Aquaventure waterpark now offers a truly astounding collection of “105 slides, attractions and experiences”. Within that theatre of thrill, you’ll find Immortal Falls – a place where you can (legally and safely) cliff dive, from an elevated plunge pad into the churning water below.

Atlantis Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, daily 9.15am to 6pm, from Dhs245 (resident). Tel: (0)4 426 0000.

Bear with us

The Bear Grylls Explorers Camp in Ras Al Khaimah, like the TV show hosted by its namesake, pits man (and woman) against wild. Just with less obligatory drinking of certain liquids. Here in the jagged foothills of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s tallest peak, aspiring pioneers can take on a variety of extended survival challenges and bushcraft workshops, or opt for single-activity adventures such as rock climbing or abseiling (from Dhs65). And there are few more life-affirming leaps than the ones made rappelling off a craggy, overhanging rock face with only a rope for safety and ‘a long way down’ for company.

Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah. Tel: (0)4 815 7333.

Your biggest fan

February blues got you wanting to leap into the emptiness of the void? iFly offers whistle-stop tours of its indoor skydiving tunnel (from Dhs149 for two ‘flights’) – which via the magic of an industrial fan allows you to float on a cushion of air, replicating the experience of leaving a plane through the emergency exit. To gaslight your nervous system yet further, you can also now hook up to a wireless VR unit which will project an immersive simulated freefall directly into your retinas.

City Centre Mirdif – level 1, Mirdif, Mon to Thu midday to 9pm, Fri to Sun midday to 11pm, from Dhs149.

X-ert yourself

Located just a few hops, kick-flips and jumps away from Kite Beach – XDubai has long been a half-pipe haven for the UAE’s skatewardly mobile. But they’ve recently expanded their offering to cater to parkour life. Traceurs can explore the Path of Discovery, challenging themselves on the parkour loop, scaling new heights at the 20-foot climbing tower, or conquering the bouldering area safely with soft-fall. 

XPark by Etisalat, Kite Beach, Mon to Fri 2.30pm to 9.30pm, Sat and Sun 8am to 9.30pm, Dhs75.

Bouncing off the walls

The self-declared ‘world’s first freestyle terrain park’, Bounce X is a 5,000 sqm attraction that takes the best bits from existing Bounce parks in Dubai, and connects them with other exciting elements. Inside you can stretch, flex, leap and clamber across floating obstacles, slacklines, balance beams, circular trampolines, and sky-high stepping stones with one-hour packages from Dhs90.

Festival City Mall, Sun to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (0)4 304 9333.

The sky’s the limit

The final boss of UAE leaping can be found at Skydive Dubai where, for a reassuringly healthy price tag of Dhs2,499, you can take part in a tandem tumble from 13,000 feet above Dubai’s shoreline (there’s also a desert descent too). That price is inclusive of a one-way airfare, limitless bragging rights and all-you-can-burn trips to the adrenaline buffet.

Al Seyahi St, Dubai Marina, daily 8.30am to 2.30pm, from Dhs2,499. Tel: (0)4 377 8888.

Images: Provided