This is a guest article by Neha Singh of DubaiWikia. Passionate about travel, Neha effortlessly blends her experiences with writing. She is a post-graduate in Mass Communications. She loves adventure travel and music.
Dubai’s extraordinary indoor theme park rides and other air-conditioned leisure attractions may be a bit distracting as this Middle Eastern gem – part of the United Arab Emirates – is also a true haven for daredevils and adventurists with a penchant for outdoor activities.
Yes, you can expect to indulge in a variety of outdoor adventures and of course, in all the forms imaginable across air, land and water. With this ultimate post on top outdoor adventures around Dubai, come pick your favorite activities from all three categories!
Activities Around Dubai – Contents
Popular Land Adventure Activities in Dubai
To try this adventure activity, venture away from Dubai’s sparkling sights and head straight to Hatta’s mountainous terrain, about 150 kilometers away. This not only gives you the chance to take in the rugged charm of the region but also test your physical boundaries along with the right balance of fun and excitement. Whether you’re a seasoned biker, beginner, or first-timer, the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail allows you to select a bike route that goes with your abilities.
If you didn’t imagine about horse riding in Dubai, then know that the city hosts the richest horse race in the world. So evidently, all types of riding abilities are welcome here! The best part is that you’ll get to experience this activity in the company of both a friendly, quality horse and an expert guide. Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, Emirates Equestrian Centre, and Jebel Ali Equestrian Club are some of the top places where you can enjoy horse riding in Dubai.
Cycling at Al Qudra
The right balance of adventure, fun, and fitness makes this a favorite of the aficionados of outdoor adventure. Located 30 minutes from Dubai’s cityscape, Al Qudra Cycling Track is tucked away in the desert region and stretches for about 86 kilometers, thus allowing the riders to experience the mindblowing beauty and tranquility of the desert landscape at a relaxed pace. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to catch a glimpse of the desert animals such as the Oryx. Moreover, there are resting areas complete with benches and shaded regions along the cycling trails.
For polo enthusiasts, Dubai has some amazing options by way of Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Desert Palm, and Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club. They all are equipped with high-end facilities and offer access to the finest breeds of horses. What’s more? Dubai is also the venue of the prestigious Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series with five tournaments.
If you’re a hardcore motorcar racing fan and want to drive one in Dubai, this is possible at Dubai Autodrome in Dubailand’s Motor City. Depending on your skills and preferences, you can look forward to participating in a variety of motorcar experiences, from F1, Ferrari GT, and Formula DXB experiences to Abath 595, Easy Drift, Hot Lap, and Clio Cup with Private Tuition.
A few miles off Dubai’s glamorous skyline lies the region’s compelling desert landscape. Despite being desolate and untouched, it comes with all possibilities to get your blood and adrenaline pumping like no other. And one of the best ways to experience all is with a fully guided, activity-packed desert safari tour in Dubai. A standard desert safari mostly includes the exhilarating ever 4X4 dune bash and camel ride, but you can choose to add more desert-exclusive activities depending on your preferences, such as dune buggy ride, quad biking, and sandboarding.
Important Things to Consider for Land Adventure Activities
- Wear comfortable clothing for all activities and complete your look with a comfy pair of shoes.
- You’ll need an international driving license for your motorcar racing experience at Dubai Autodrome.
- If you’ve heart-related diseases, hand/shoulder injuries, or have undergone any surgery in recent times, don’t attempt to participate in extreme activities as part of your desert safari.
- Be sure to abide by all safety instructions before you set out on any adventure activities.
- The most ideal to enjoy these activities are between November and March.
Popular Aerial Activities in Dubai
Hot Air Balloon Ride
This air-borne activity is unlike any other aerial experience on this list. This gives you the unique opportunity to experience unmatched fun and thrill enveloped in utmost beauty and serenity. After all, this will rise you about 1200 meters feet over the enchanting Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR). Glance into the desert wildlife and see the endless desert sands spread all over as you peacefully float in pace with the cool desert winds. This early morning activity may last from 45 minutes to 1 hour, but come prepared to spend at least three hours as part of this experience.
Jumping out of an aircraft from an exhilarating altitude of over 13,000 feet is an experience that could be imagined only by extreme daredevils. But this is beyond an adventure activity. With two locations to select from (Palm Drop Zone and Desert Campus Drop Zone), this is probably the only experience that offers complete justice for those who wish to admire the engineering marvel of the palm-tree-shaped island or the Arabian Desert in its true splendor. Whether it’s for fun, thrill, or sightseeing, it’s worth trying this activity in Dubai. You can choose to solo skydive or a tandem dive wherein you’ll be accompanied by an expert throughout.
Want to skip all wild actions as part of skydiving but still want to experience a sky-high viewing experience? A perfect alternative is to take a helicopter ride. It lets you admire Dubai’s super stunning architectural marvel from a standpoint of absolute awe and magic. So get ready to enjoy Dubai’s top delights such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Islands, World Island, Jumeirah, and Dubai Creek all from an unimaginable lookout point.
When you hear about a zipline adventure, it usually conjures up the images of mountains, rainforests, and sky bridges. While you can’t expect all of these in the desert city, Dubai has brought in a unique spin to this adventure activity, with XLine Dubai. The specialty is that it’s the fastest, steepest, and longest urban zipline in the world. With a whopping speed reaching up to 80 kilometers per hour, this one-kilometer-long zipline experience enables you to fly like a superhero (in a head-first, belly down) above the glamorous sights of Dubai Marina. There are two parallel lines, which means you can try this with your thrill-enthusiast spouse or companion.
This is one of Dubai’s outdoor adventures which you can try for a dose of insane fun and exhilaration. Feel your heart racing at super speed as this slingshot will reversely pull and throw you out into the air at a force up to 4G, with its speed going up to 120 kilometers in less than a second. Rightly so, this is the world’s fastest human slingshot. So be prepared to swiftly swing over the sand and water, with its location at exuberant Dubai’s Kite Beach. This can be enjoyed by any thrill-seeker from 16 years to 65 years; just make sure that your weight is between 45 kilograms and 90 kilograms and your height between 140 centimeters and 200 centimeters.
Important Things to Consider for Aerial Adventure Activities
- Don’t wear any loose-fitting dresses like skirts for your aerial adventure. Instead, wear appropriate clothing and pair it with the right fit, closed-toed shoes.
- Carry your ID proof such as a passport or Emirates ID for all the above activities.
- Avoid heavy meals prior to any aerial activity.
- You should be in good health to participate in all activities including Skydive, XLine Dubai, etc.
- Opt for tandem skydiving if you’re a first-timer.
- For a bigger ziplining thrill, you can head to Toroverde – Jebel Jais Adventure Park in Ras Al Khaimah where you can experience both the UAE’s highest mountain and the world’s longest zipline.
- While you can try these activities year-round, keep a watch on weather/wind conditions to ensure that it’s safe to try your preferred adventure activity.
Popular Water Activities In Dubai
Dubai’s location in Arabian Gulf makes it a popular fishing spot. You can opt for a deep-sea fishing cruise wherein an expert crew will be always on-hand to guide and help all through your fishing expedition. This comes with all fishing gear and gives you the opportunity to catch some unique and big fish species including kingfish, queenfish, barracuda, red snapper, shark, trevally, grouper, and bluefin tuna.
Stand Up Paddleboard
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity or water sport that is both thrilling and ensures a workout for your whole body, set out for a standup paddleboard (SUP) session along Dubai’s sparkling waters. The beauty of this aquatic adventure is that this is ideal for anyone regardless of their skill levels. Probably the only criteria are that you should know swimming and above 16 years. Apart from paddling your SUP board in a standing position, you’ll also be able to do it in a kneel-down or sitting position. Whether you wish to admire Dubai’s sights from a different perspective or want to relax your mind and body with a low-impact adventure, you should definitely go for a SUP session.
Part aerial and part water activity, this unique adventure enthralls you with the blockbuster views along Dubai’s exquisite coastline. Before the real adventure begins, your purpose-built vessel or speedboat will head you out into the middle of Dubai’s water, from where you’ll gently ascend to a height of about 400 feet and eventually fly above the water like a bird. This may last for just 15 minutes but assures you of an adventure of a lifetime. What’s more exciting is that you can try this activity with your friend, family, and even kids, with tandem or triple parasailing sessions.
If you’re crazy about intensive outdoor adventures, then this extreme water activity is a must-try during your Dubai holidays. This allows you to hit Dubai’s waters like a dolphin and even fly above the water like a superhero. You really don’t have to be a pro in order to give it a try. With expert guidance always by your side, you can get onto the water the moment your high-end Flyboard is attached to your feet. As your Flyboard is connected to a watercraft that is maneuvered by an expert instructor, you’ll have the flexibility to control the speed of this activity as per your skills and preferences.
Important Things to Consider for Water Adventure Activities
- Although most water activities may appear simple and require only minimal training, they demand from you immense stamina and concentration. So know your physical capabilities and limitation before you choose a water activity.
- Apply sunscreen lotion and wear sun-protective clothes for your water adventure.
- It’s mandatory to know swimming for the majority of water sports activities.
- No matter how difficult or easy your water activity is, be sure to abide by safety instructions and also wear safety gear provided by your service provider.
- The most ideal time to enjoy these activities is from November to March.
If you’re up for some adrenaline-fueled activities in Dubai, we hope that this exclusive list of land, air, and water-based outdoor adventures would prove helpful to you. So which of these activities would you like to try in Dubai? Let us know in the comment section below.