What’s On profiles rock climbing in Dubai, including Rock Republic, Pharoah’s Club, Adventure Zone, Dorrell Sports and Talise Fitness.
If you’ve ever been seized by the impulse to scale a wall like Spider-Man, only for your survival instincts to intervene, rest assured that getting vertical in Dubai is a skill that has already been mastered by hundreds of casual climbers. Whether it’s outdoors, indoors, automatic belaying or rope-free, here’s a handy guide to get you hanging tough.
Hidden in the maze of Dubai Investment Park lies Rock Republic, the only dedicated bouldering centre in the UAE. Over the past year, bouldering – an urban-friendly style of rock climbing – has been catching on. Unlike traditional rope climbing, which requires lots of equipment and space, bouldering calls only for a vertical obstacle and the will to conquer it.
Bouldering is as much about balance and mental ability as it is about strength and stamina. Climbers are invited to tackle routes on low walls, denoted by coloured holds. Each route is graded by ability, so you can chart your progression as you scramble your way around the room.
Rock Republic provides the gear including climbing shoes, chalk and some much-needed guidance. If you’re lucky, Guida Verschut or Pete Aldwinkle, the owners of Rock Republic, will be there to give you some handy advice.
Climb until your forearms ache and your fingers feel like they’re going to break. Then rest for a few minutes on the crash mats, regain your composure, and do it all again.
Rock Republic, Dubai Investment Park 1, Dubai, Mon to Thur 5.30pm to 9.30pm, Fri and Sat 1pm to 8pm, Dhs80 per session or Dhs500 for ten sessions. Tel: (050) 1001370. Taxi: Dubai Investment Park, off the E77. facebook.com/rock.republic.dubai
At 13 metres high, this indoor climbing wall is one of the tallest in Dubai. There are two instructors on site everyday offering tuition for adults and children, and there’s also a small bouldering cave to perfect your style.
Pharoah’s Club, Wafi, Oud Metha, Dubai, daily noon to 7.30pm, Dhs75. Tel: (04) 3240000. Taxi: Wafi. wafi.com
This Al Wasl climbing centre has taken the ordinary climbing wall blueprints and torn them up. At Adventure Zone you’ll climb up dinosaur skeletons, castle facades and race your friends against the clock. There’s even a quizzical climbing wall where you need to answer a question correctly to proceed. Fail and you fall. Don’t worry too much about landing on your bottom though; these walls use an automatic belaying system – a magnetic braking method that eliminates the need for a human belayer.
Adventure Zone by Adventure HQ, The Galleria, Al Wasl Road, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 10am to midnight, Dhs90 (60-minute session), Dhs120 (90-minute session). Tel: (04) 3435110. Taxi: Next to Emirates NBD, Al Wasl Road. adventurehq.ae
The Wall is easily the highest outdoor climbing wall in the Middle East and features a purpose-built tower designed for everyone from beginners to adrenaline junkies. It comes complete with overhangs and lead routes with a variety from Grade 4 to Grade 7, set by Maksym Stienkovyi, the former world champion speed climber from Ukraine.
World Trade Centre Hotel Apartments, Building C, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 3pm to 11pm, Dhs50. Tel: (04) 3065061 Metro: World Trade Centre. dorellsports.com
This is a good introductory centre that offers a range of routes for beginners and intermediate levels on a 6.4m wall that’s equipped with small overhangs and bulges. The climbing area also includes three rock boulders as well as a traversing section, constructed to provide varying levels of difficulty.
Talise Fitness, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 9am to noon, 3pm to 6pm, Dhs70. Tel: (04) 3666821. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. jumeirah.com