If there is something better than Dubai’s endless kilometers of coastline, it is the steep blue waters. There are a huge variety of watersports available on the white sandy beaches.
Here you will be able to swim in happy tears, from charging the waters with a Jet-pack strapped to your back to some gentle fishing on the sunrise, surfing in the wave center, to shark safaris. And no, it doesn’t need a California-white smile beach buggy and a radical surfboard to join.
This isn’t the PK, this is Dubai. Just go with the flow. Here is the list of 15 watersports in Dubai, that you should try when you are in Dubai.
1. Banana Boat
Whoops, that’s not you slipping on a banana skin, that’s you and your bunch slides off a huge inflatable yellow while the sea is being zipped. Not for the faint-hearted, or those without much upper body strength.
The classic seaside activities see groups of 4 or more blowing a nana while a speedboat is driving through the waves. It can also be used in nearly every age group. Don’t like getting wet?
You better hold on tight then. AED210/15 minutes. Open daily 9am-8pm. Sky and Sea Adventures Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence (043999005).
Jump on an eight-person, 11 meters long yacht in Dubai Marina and sail out past the Palm Jumeirah for a morning of sun, sea, and hunting. Xclusive Yachts provide a two-man crew who will take care of the sailing.
Setting up rods and even baiting if you need. All you need to do is cast your line, wait for a nibble and reel in. Anything you catch on board you can cook, or take home for a fish supper. Time to brush up on your skills.
Starting from AED50/hour. Xclusive Yachts, Dubai Marina (044327233).
3. Jet Skiing
Having first become available to the public in 1972, jet skiing made waves in the personal watercraft world. Fast-forward almost 50 years and the positively ancient device is still going strong in Dubai.
You’ll hear the roar of the engine before you see the smiling skiers shooting across the coastline. Jumeirah Beach Residence, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, and La Mer all have rental companies operating on the shores so you’ll have plenty of choices.
Our pick is booking a 30 or 60 minutes tour with Shark Jet Ski Rental in Dubai Marina, it’s one of the best ways to see the soaring skyscrapers.
Starting from AED429/30 minutes and AED649/hour, Open daily, times vary. Shark Jet Rental, Dubai Marina (050759000).
This is one of the gentlest ways to become one with water and is perfect for solo rowers, couples and kids. All companies are obliged to provide life jackets, so falling out is not something to be feared.
While the UAE benefits from some truly stunning places to kayak (coming back to this later), The cruising through the calm seas of Palm, the Jumeirah in the background with the rising skyline, is something special. Join the Palm Dubai Resort & Spa on the Sofitel Tour and enjoy views and possibly seawater.
Starting from AED230/person, AED345/2 persons. Ages 8+ only. Open daily, times vary. Sofitel The Palm Dubai Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah (044206100).
Flyboarding has been built for fun by people to be one of the most futuristic waterborne inventions. Strap your feet up to the air and rise up, as jet nozzles push the water out with tremendous strength, sending you into the air for up to 15 meters.
With some practice, you’ll be able to glide gently above the water and if you keep trying you could be backflipping your way to a weekend of fun, James Bond style.
Starting from AED250/15 mins, AED350/30 mins). Open daily, Hydro Water Sports, Jumeirah Beach Residence (0545985353).
Hydro Water Sports continues to push technological and aquatic entertainment borders with the jetovator without being content with an inflatable raft and a wooden paddle.
It might sound like the American Telemarketing product in the 1960s, but ignore the cheesy name and you’ll find an appliance that’s as simple as bicycling.
Step onto the frame of metal, take the handles and slowly float over the sea, as the water jets fire at high speed. The trainers give briefings on safety, help the riders get used to jetovator and introduce tricks for people who take water as a duck takes to water.
Starting from AED250/15 mins, AED350/30 mins. Opens daily, 10:00 am till 5:00 pm. Hydro Water Sports, Jumeirah Beach Residence (0545985353).
Another water sport, another out of this world bit of kit. This time you’re hooked up to a jetpack to float across the waves. Water is swirling up and propels thrill-seekers into the air, legs hanging loosely.
When it comes to legs, it is important to keep them still. And you’re going to crack it, mastered.
From AED250/15 mins, AED350/30 mins. Opens daily, 10:00 am till 5:00 pm. Hydro Water Sports, Jumeirah Beach Residence (0545985353).
8. Kite Surfing
Based on Ness Nass beach in Jumeirah, Kite Zone Dubai is a team of professional instructors who teach private, single and group lessons for anyone looking to ride the skies (and bulk up those biceps).
It’s a mixture of surfing, wakeboarding, and paragliding and merges the best of all three. It’ll work your core tremendously while injecting tonnes of fun into your day at the beach. Strap your feet onto a board, anchor it to a kite and hold on as the wind pulls you along the surface.
From AED350 per hour, a private lesson, AED400 two hours, group lesson, AED250 30 mins, tandem lesson. Open daily, times vary. Kite Zone Dubai, Ness Nass, Jumeirah (0568154146).
See the Palm in a new way. All you have to do is book a large, flat board, stand up and pull your arms along. The most difficult part is to keep your balance as you paddle so that you can spend less time on the water if you have a lower center of gravity.
It’s a great workout and is suitable for the whole family so long as the little ones are adept at swimming. It’s best enjoyed on calmer waters found in between the Palm Jumeirah’s fronds.
From AED90/hour. Open daily, 7.30am-5pm. RIVA, Shoreline Building 8, Palm Jumeirah (043993333).
This involves strapping yourself into a harness with a parachute at one end and a rope on a boat on the other before rising into the air as the boat speeds off. It’s a serene way of taking in some stunning views, up to 200 meters above sea level.
Once back on the ground, or in the water, you can jump on board and take over the wheel to steer the boat as your companion soars in the sky. Arabia Horizons has an experienced team of instructors and guides to assist you in the adventure. One for those with a head for heights.
Starting from AED420 per person. Opens daily, opening time may vary. Arabia Horizons, Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah (042946060).
Fire up the speedboat and hold on as you zip across the sea with the Dubai skyline in the background. For even more adventurous experience, you can try out tricks, flips and getting some serious hang time. For the uninitiated, staying on your feet is something to be celebrated.
Starting from AED420/15 minutes. Open daily, from 9am-9pm. Sky and Sea Adventure, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, IBR (0507246184).
In Atlantis, the Palm there is an extensive arcade of retro games, VR simulation and games console center, and a wave rider is a brand new entertainment destination.
All you need to do is grab a board and head to Surf’s Up, an artificial wave machine where you can practice surfing all day, every day. It shoots out seven tonnes of water per second, making it perfect for body or knee-boarding.
Ladies night means free goes every Tuesday, too. From AED100 per person. Open daily from 10:00am-6:00pm. Wavehouse, Atlantis, The Palm (044262000).
13. Scuba Diving
Link up with the professional underwater explorers at A1 Boom and take part in classes at one of the six-dive centers. Each one provides daily PADI courses and diving in A1 Aqah, Musandam, Dubai Aquarium, Jebel Ali, Atlantis, The World, and Al Wasl Rd.
From getting used to the apparatus and familiarising yourself with hand instructions in a swimming pool, to eventually plunging into the deep blue, this is Dubai’s top school for learning.
Transport from Dubai to A1 Aqah and Musandam is available, as well as snorkeling and dhow trips, boat cruises, specialty courses, and water sports. A wide range of diving gear and equipment are also available.
Staring from AED1,890 PADI Open Water with eLearning Dubai dive. Courses times and dates may vary. The Aqua Centre, A1 Wasl Road, Jumeirah (043422993).
14. Shark Diving
Diving with sharks is one of the most adventurous experiences you may have during your time in Dubai, and now you can do it during a feeding frenzy. Visit The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, in The Dubai Mall, for one of the most fun, possibly slightly scary, yet awe-inspiring days out you could possibly have.
Put on an extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) style helmet and wetsuit before going into the ten million liter water world in a large metal cage. Then watch as divers swelling the food frenzy that does not go to your limbs.
From AED630. sun-wed 10 am – 11 pm, Thursday-Saturday 10 am – midnight. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (044485200).
15. Shark Submarine
Once you’ve finished playing James Bond, it’s time to play his villain. And the most panicky is a seafaring submarine with mechanical sharks.
But you don’t have to take the world to ride in a single mission, all you need to do is book a trip in a seabreacher with Water Adventure Dubai and hit open water.
You can book the sharks at Jumeirah Beach Resort, The Beach, Rixos The Palm and brand-new Kempinski Emerald Palace. They can reach speeds of 100kph and dive beneath the surface. Forget Dr. No, this is Dr. Yes.
From AED500 for 15 mins, AED800 for 30 mins. Water Adventure, various locations including Jumeirah Beach Residence and Palm Jumeirah (044537544).
Other Watersports Places in UAE
Snorkeling in Fujairah – Head out east, you can rent a snorkel there or bring your own and paddle out to the gorgeous rock poking the water more commonly known as Snoopy Island.
Get Directions: Sandy Beach Resort, Fujairah
Kayaking in Hatta – The hatta dam is surrounded by lofty peaks of Hajar mountain and blue waters are an absolute sight to behold. Get out on the water with a spot of kayaking, costing around AED60/day.
Get Directions: Hatta Kayak, Hatta Dam, Hatta
Surfing in Al Ain – It is located in the middle of the desert and close to the border of Oman, this is no mean feat. But the engineering marvel that is the park’s wave machine allows for supreme surfing during a wind or no wind and attracts a stellar cast of world’s best wave riders.
For arrangement contact: Wadi Adventure, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain (037818422).
Final Thoughts on Watersports in Dubai
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We hope you’ll enjoy your stay in Dubai. Feel to free to let us know which watersports you tried in Dubai and how was your experience.