When you think of the UAE, you might conjure up images of endless red deserts or a skyline full of glass skyscrapers. Often the first thing that amazes people who visit the UAE for the first time, is the beautiful, crystal blue coastline. That’s right. The amazing beaches. And amazing beaches, mean amazing watersports.
Watersports are a part of life here in the UAE, and both locals and tourists love it. So whether you’re visiting the UAE or you live here and you’re looking for something different to do this winter, check out these amazing watersports.
Where can you do watersports in the UAE?
The UAE’s amazing coastline makes it easy to do watersports in nearly every emirate. But these are some of the most loved destinations:
- Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina, Corniche, Saadiyat Island
- Dubai: Dubai Marina, Jebel Ali
- Sharjah: Al Khan Beach
- Ajman: Al Zorah Beach, Ajman Beach
- Ras Al Khaimah: Marjan Island
- Fujairah: Snoopy Island, Shark Island, Dibba Rock
- Umm Al Quwain: Kite Beach, UAQ Marine Club
Have you ever felt like flying? Well this is probably the safest, and easiest way to do it. Flyboarding is a sport that lets you “fly” over water on a water-propelled flyboard. This board can shoot up in the air and won’t let you sink if you can’t keep your balance, and fall into the water. How does it work? Well, a hose pumps water at extreme force to two jets on the bottom of your board. This heavy force is what keeps you airborne. Kind of like a jetpack. If you’ve ever seen your favorite rappers do it in a music video, chances are – it was here in Dubai.
Jet skiing is a high speed water sport that’s not just fun, it’s also great for developing your balance and coordination skills and even your general fitness. A jetski is kind of like a scooter that you ride over the water. In smooth water, it’s a really relaxing experience – add some waves and you get a thrilling ride over the crests of the waves. The UAE’s waters are really calm in general, making it great for beginners and experts alike. If you’re on a short trip, we highly recommend jetskiing in the Dubai Marina. You get an unparalleled view of the city’s most famous sights, like Ain Dubai, Atlantis and more from the water. That’s why it’s undoubtedly one of the best watersports in Dubai.
3. Scuba Diving
Picture this: clear turquoise waves, gorgeous sunshine all year round, and the most colorful aquatic life. Sounds like a dream right? That’s what Scuba Diving in the UAE is like. The crystal blue waters make it perfect for underwater exploration. Some of the most beautiful spots include Snoopy Island or Dibba Rock in Fujairah, Red Buoy in Abu Dhabi or the Zainab Wreck in Dubai where you can explore an actual shipwreck.
In case the open water sounds too scary, Dubai even has you covered there. Meet Deep Dive Dubai – a 60.02m-deep pool which holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving. You can learn how to dive or explore a sunken city and take on underwater adventures. Need some actual marine life? Look no further than the Dubai Aquarium where you can join the residents on a little swim around.
One of the UAE’s most prized features, is its mangroves. Mangrove forests are one of nature’s best kept secrets. They may cover only 1% of the planet but are some of the most bio-diverse places on earth. Mangroves thrive in the salty waters where land meets sea – that’s what makes them so amazing, they can survive some really tough conditions.
The UAE has taken on some huge mangrove conservation projects. Because it protects the coastline and protects the natural wildlife and diversity of the UAE. And you can experience it right up close by kayaking through the mangroves. It’s one of the most relaxing and rewarding watersports in the UAE.
Some of the best places to go kayaking in the UAE are at Jubail Island or Eastern Mangroves in Abu Dhabi, Al Zorah Mangroves in Fujairah, Hatta, and the Ras Al Khaimah Mangroves.
5. Wakesurfing or Wakeboarding
Wakesports are some of the fastest growing interests in the UAE, and its easy to see why. The waters are especially calm and offer that “flat” surface needed to create a perfect wake. For the beginners, a wake is the “wave” created behind a boat. For wakesports – you’ll be riding on the wake either on a board similar to a snowboard, or a really short surfboard, or even some water skis.
Wakesports are popular especially in the winter when the temperatures drop but the water stays warm. If you’re a beginner, choosing the right wakesports service might be the most important thing to do – a great boat driver and coach can take you from 0 to great in just one session. Since we’re based in Dubai – our favorite providers are Watercooled in Jebel Ali, and Eywoa in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Dubai loves kitesurfing so much that there’s a whole beach named after it. Yup, we’re talking about Kite Beach. Amatuers, pros and everyone in between come to this beach on a windy day to try and make the most of the weather. For kitesurfing, your feet are attached to a board while you grip a handle attached to a parachute. You must then manoeuvre the parachute to catch the wind, increase speed and change direction. It can take some getting used to, but once you’re ready its one of the most fun things to do in the UAE.
The best places to try it out are at Kite Beach, or Nessnass Beach in Dubai, Kite Centre in Umm Al Quwain and Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
BONUS: If Kitesurfing sounds like too much effort but you still want to experience the feeling of the wind over the ocean – swap the board for just a parachute, and try parasailing. You will be pulled behind a boat on a parasail that lifts you high up in the air. You can just cruise and watch the views from up there.
So the next time you’re thinking of how to spend your weekends in the UAE – ditch the malls and try new watersports in the UAE. You’ll pick up an amazing new skill, make some great friends and best of all – it’s the most fun workout ever!