While adrenaline-inducing activities might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think of ultra-luxe Dubai, the city has much to offer thrill-seekers thanks to miles of coastline that beckon you to the water and a skyscraper-adorned cityscape packed with urban adventures.
If you’re keen on spending more time in the outdoors getting your daredevil fix, these are the five heart-pumping activities to try in Dubai.
Adventure addicts will agree that there’s nothing quite like freefalling at 120 miles per hour over the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai’s manmade archipelago of islands shaped like a palm tree.
If it’s your inaugural plunge or you aren’t a licensed skydiver, head to Skydive Dubai for a tandem jump where you’ll be attached in a harness to an expert instructor.
Expect to spend the day getting safety instructions and honing technique. You’ll take away photos and a video of your skydive, thanks to camera flyers who capture all the fun.
Soar along the world’s longest urban zipline (all 3,000-plus feet of it) at 50 miles per hour at XLine Dubai Marina. Beginning more than 550 feet above Dubai Marina Mall, this epic exploit zooms you down to ground level through the urban jungle, affording spectacular views of the nearby skyscrapers from above. Choose to go solo or in tandem with a friend on the parallel zipline.
A popular local pastime, this extreme sport combines aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, paragliding and sailing. Throughout the week, local kitesurfers head to the aptly named Kite Beach on the Jumeirah coast to take lessons from one of Dubai’s many kitesurfing schools or to practice in the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf.
First-timers will take a hefty six-hour beginner course to learn how to ride. But don’t worry about lugging extra gear to the beach — the instructors provide all the necessary equipment for your training session.
For a more low-key adventure, stand-up paddle boarding lessons are also offered at accredited schools, such as DuKite in Umm Sequim Harbour.
Feel futuristic thrills as you levitate above the water on your Flyboard. Similar to wakeboarding behind a jetski, Flyboarding allows you to dive into the gulf and then be propelled up to 49 feet into the air, providing a prime opportunity to try some aerial acrobatics.
For your first experience, get instructions from the SeaRide Dubai experts, who work closely with Franky Zapata, the inventor of the Flyboard. These extreme sports gurus use only original Flyboards and pay special attention to safety, so you can focus on having the time of your life.
Skiing and Snowboarding
You may not expect to find snow in the desert, let alone extreme sports that take advantage of the fresh powder, but the city is in fact home to Ski Dubai, a state-of-the-art indoor ski resort located at Mall of the Emirates.
Spread over more than 240,000 square feet, the facility includes a 278-foot mountain, the world’s first indoor black diamond run and five slopes of varying difficulty. It accommodates everyone from beginners to experts.
Start your day with a ski or snowboard lesson, then enjoy an aerial alpine experience as you shoot up 52 feet above the slopes on the nearly 500-foot-long Snow Bullet zipline.