Blessed with year round sunshine and miles of beautiful coast, Dubai is much more than urban sprawl and a shoppers’ paradise. Adventure lovers and thrill seekers alike will appreciate the cooler months from October to March when it’s possible to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities on the sand and sea.
From mountain biking the otherworldly Ras Al Khaimah and flyboarding in the crystal clear waters of the Arabian Gulf to sandboarding down the desert dunes, Dubai has plenty of activities to satisfy the active traveler.
With a number of kitesurfing clubs and schools located on the famous Kite Beach in Jumeirah, there’s no better place to try this up and coming water sport than Dubai. Professional instructors at the Kitesurf Club Dubai can help you catch your first wave in a beginners’ course lasting about 6-7 hours. Pro kitesurfers will enjoy the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf with remarkable views of the Burj Al Arab as a backdrop.
If the idea of free falling at 130 mph gets your heart racing with excitement, head to Skydive Dubai for the experience of a lifetime. You can cross skydiving off your bucket list as you conquer your fears on a tandem jump at an incredibly picturesque location over the Palm Jumeirah, a man made archipelago shaped like a palm tree. Highly qualified staff with over 10 years’ experience will ensure that you have a safe and unforgettable jump out of your first (and probably not last) plane.
Explore Dubai’s gorgeous coastline on a jet-ski with SeaRide Dubai as you zip through the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf past the iconic Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, and the Atlantis Hotel on their two hour Discovery Tour. Each jetski can accommodate up to two people and includes safe operating instructions.
Flyboarding is a relatively new sport to hit the shores of Dubai, but is already seeing a growing number of enthusiasts. A small wakeboard connected to a jetski with a pipe that pumps water into it; the pressure is controlled by the jetski, propelling the rider until he’s “flying” up to 10 meters above the sea. For a more advanced lesson, learn how to do backflips and other tricks at a 30-minute session with SeaRide Dubai. Even non-swimmers can give it a go in the shallow waters close to harbor, as the only skill you really need is balance.
Ride the waves in Dubai Marina while being towed by a powerboat courtesy of Xtreme Wake UAE. All equipment is provided along with expert coaching tips for perfecting your jumps and maneuvers. For an intensive learning experience or an adventure getaway, their camp in Ghantoot Marina is a fully immersive program.
Drive to the magnificent desert dunes on Dubai-Hatta road and try your hand at sandboarding, easy to pickup with Desert Rangers. After a brief overview, you’ll learn how to maintain your balance while gliding down the majestic dunes that’s a bit like snowboarding but easier. Don’t forget sunglasses to protect your eyes from the blowing sands and strong desert winds.
White Water Rafting
Take a day trip to Wadi Adventure, the region’s first (and longest) man-made whitewater rafting, surfing and kayaking facility in Al Ain. With three different classes of rapids to suit novice, intermediate and expert rafters, it’s the perfect spot for beginners and non-swimmers to try the sport in a safe haven with detailed guidance.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Being in the desert hasn’t stopped Dubai from making its own version of a winter wonderland. Ski Dubai is the city’s premier indoor ski resort spread over 242 k square feet with temperatures as low as 21° F, conveniently right in the Mall of the Emirates. Inside, you’ll find a 915 square foot tall mountain with 5 slopes of varying difficulty. Ski and snowboard lessons are available, and a snow park provides plenty of entertainment for children with sledding, ice slides, climbing towers, and an ice cave to explore. You can also interact with real live penguins housed in the resort which may just make it better than a real mountain town.
Join the city’s biggest biking enthusiasts by traversing the rocky terrain of Shawka in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Dubai is home to a number of mountain biking clubs of varying skill levels such as the advanced Hot Cog or KOM MTB for beginners. There are no registration costs and as long as you have all the gear (a five or six inch full suspension mountain bike, gloves, helmet, pump, repair kit, and hydration pack), all you need to do is show up at the designated riding club’s meeting point for a rip roaring good time.
If you’re looking to channel your Arabian side, a desert hack is an advanced horseback ride across the dunes conducted at least at a cantor pace. Typically two-hour tours, the Polo Club Dubai offers extraordinary sunrise or sunset hacks for experienced riders that must be booked in advance.
Dune Buggy Safari
Another unique way to see the desert, get your adrenaline fix by riding a dune buggy with Platinum Heritage. Learn how to navigate and steer over hilly terrain as you traverse the expansive sand dunes that seemingly stretch for miles. The buggies are fitted with a roll cage, bucket seats, and harness so they’re safe and easy to control.