The UAE is well known for its ‘anything is possible’ attitude. Whether it’s building an indoor ski slope in the middle of the desert or the world’s tallest building, thanks to human ingenuity it’s possible to try almost any adventure sport imaginable in this man-made paradise. We’ve pulled together six of the best adrenaline-pumping activities to satisfy your inner daredevil in the UAE…
1. Skydive over The Palm, Dubai
This awe-inspiring island has to be viewed from above to appreciate it’s unique shape. What better way to marvel at this manmade masterpiece than with your own eyes whilst plummeting from 4000m out of a plane?
2. Paraglide into Zighy Bay
If you’ve ever wanted to feel just like James Bond does when he goes on holiday – this is the place for you! Forget taxi transfers – make an entrance by paragliding off the rugged cliffs of the Musandam Peninsula to get to the remote Six Senses resort in Oman.
3. Drop into a shark infested lagoon
Plunge almost vertically from a height of 27.5m, reaching speeds of up to 60mph, before ending up in shark infested waters. One of the tamer options listed here, as you’re actually separated from the man-eaters by a plastic acrylic tube, but tick it off the list for the bragging rights to having ‘done’ the Leap of Faith at Atlantis.
4. Ride the fastest rollercoaster in the world
Reach speeds of up to 150mph (in less than 5 seconds) on Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World, in Abu Dhabi. It’s so fast, you’re required to wear safety goggles. Literally leave your thoughts behind as you experience intense G-forces caused by the monster acceleration; this is as close as most of us are likely to get to driving an actual F1 racing car.
5. Go snowboarding in the desert
You might expect sandboarding to be a more likely Arabian pastime, but head to the Mall of the Emirates and you’ll find an indoor ski slope. Complete with ‘real’ snow and the world’s first indoor black run. There’s a chairlift to the top of the slope, and you can even enjoy a hot chocolate in a heated timber-clad chalet (inside what’s essentially a giant refrigerator, in a shopping mall, in the desert…). As paradoxical as it sounds, the skiing experience is surprisingly good. Not content with being the third-longest indoor slope in the world, Dubai is planning to build a 1.2km run within the next 5 years (that’s longer than some runs in the alps!), so Dubai’s ski scene is set to grow.
6. Base jump off the Burj Khalifa
The most dangerous activity on the list. There can’t be anything more hair-raising than standing on the top of the world’s tallest building, looking down, unharnessed. In 2014, Daredevils Vince Reffet and Fred Fugen made the world record by base jumping from the Burj Khalifa (the building Tom Cruise dangles from in Mission Impossible 4), before parachuting safely back to earth. Getting permission to do this yourself is not easy… but clearly it is possible!
Spencer Groves is Commercial Director at letsgo2.