A UAE watersport that goes deep
Considered one the region’s most reputable diving companies, Al Boom Diving is the perfect port of call for both novice and skilled scuba diving enthusiasts alike. As far as underwater sites go, Fujairah’s stunning turquoise shores and collection of natural attractions make it the most popular for UAE watersports that involve underwater gear. A superb weekend getaway, book a snorkelling trip along Fujairah’s East coast and explore the bright coral gardens of Dibba Rock and the famed depths of Martini Rock and Shark Island. Marvel at the emirate’s magnificent marine life with an all day dive departing from Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah. Al Boom Diving also provides several excursions off Dubai’s coast. Home to angelfish, stingrays, clown fish and barracudas, the reef sites of the renowned World Islands offer a glimpse into the underwater beauty of the Arabian Gulf. For those who dare, also available is a swim with the sharks at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Located in The Dubai Mall, the record-breaking aquarium boasts over 140 underwater species, including the world’s largest collection of sand tiger sharks. With the option to capture it all on film, submerge yourself in the aquarium’s tank for an unforgettably up close and personal view of these incredible creatures. Wave rider
Located in Al Ain, the second largest city in Abu Dhabi, Wadi Adventure sits at the base of Jebel Hafeet mountain and provides the unique contrast of a water park set against an arid desert backdrop. A fantastic selection of activities ranges from surfing in the wave-controlled pool and waterskiing at speeds of up to 45km/h, to braving the rapids along the world’s longest manmade white-water channels. It’s the perfect place for the family to indulge in a bit of outdoor UAE watersports fun and Wadi Adventure’s Ultimate Package for AED175 per person is just the ticket for thrill-seekers. Covering the all-day admission charge, visitors can take to the waters and try their hand at activities including kayaking and wakeboarding, before heading over to the AirPark to make the most of the resort’s 200-metre zip line, the giant swing attraction and a climbing wall. For those who prefer a slightly slower pace, Wadi Adventure also features a pristine private beach as well as a lovely family swimming pool and splash area for the little ones. Wadi Adventure is open throughout the week, advance bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.
It’s easy to see why flyboarding has become such a popular pastime and one of the most popular UAE watersports. Created by French jet-ski designer Franky Zapata, the exciting new sport has become a hit with high-profile fans the world over including Dubai’s own Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In flyboarding the feet are strapped to a small board, not too dissimilar to that of a wakeboard, which in turn is connected to a jet ski through a long pipe. It’s the jet ski that then provides the power to propel flyboarders up to 10 metres above the waves. With just a decent sense of balance required, and no previous experience needed, there’s really no reason not to give it a try. Once you’ve mastered the board, learn tricks including backflips and diving, for endless entertainment. Day & Night Dubai, located in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, offers flyboarding sessions with experienced instructors for a day out to remember.
While its generally considered to be a fitness fad that’s taken the world by storm of late, Stand Up Paddleboarding or SUP is actually a tradition that dates back thousands of years. Previously used by native cultures in Africa and the Pacific Isles for fishing and travel between smaller islands, today it’s a common site at public beaches and luxury resorts. The laid-back vibe, serene viewpoint and minimalist equipment all add to the sport’s attraction and thanks to the board’s generous size, Stand Up Paddleboarding is often integrated with several other trendy workouts, such as yoga and pilates. Visit Eden Beach Club at Rixos The Palm to try your hand at this new style of fusion fitness. Visitors can hire boards and paddle along the calm ocean waters of Palm Jumeriah at their leisure or opt for an al fresco workout with the resort’s SUP-FIT class that combines paddleboarding with a boot camp style workout.