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6 of the craziest things to do in the UAE

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?

Skydiving over the Palm in Dubai

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.

Paragliding into Zighy Bay

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.

Sharks at Atlantis, The Palm

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.

Formula Rossa Rollercoaster

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.

Skiing in Dubai

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!

Burj Khalifa

Spencer Groves is Commercial Director at letsgo2.

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  1. Nice list. Of those, I think I’d only be brave enough for the paragliding and snowboarding… I was expecting dune bashing to be on this list, but after reading these 6 activities I guess it’s not quite up there in terms of craziness. Still, I’d add it to the list for people looking for adventures in the UAE!

  2. Fantastic list, I would love to do the Leap of faith at the Atlantis!! What fun! The indoor ski run looks interesting also, I have skied at a couple of snow domes before, but nothing at that scale!

  3. Great list, have done a couple & the ride at Ferrari World is something else.. Safety goggles are needed & sit as close to the front as possible, I found it difficult to keep my head still at the back, felt like I had whiplash the next day after sitting at the back!

  4. I’m not sure why number two is on the list since it’s in a different country!

    I used to love to ski at Ski Dubai. After a couple of hours I’d be cold but could take comfort from the fact I only had to walk outdoors to enjoy the desert heat again.

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