Take the plunge with Dubai’s wet (and sometimes wild) water experiences
It might be known for its desert, but Dubai is the ultimate holiday for those who love the water. From adrenaline-powered fly boarding to deep sea diving expeditions to a leisurely sail through the Arabian Gulf, there will be a memorable water experience or two for couples who like to share aquatic adventure.
The world’s largest man-made island is also home to Atlantis The Palm’s water park, Aqua venture. While the high-speed water slides and wave pool keep kids-at-heart happy, it’s the immersive underwater experiences that set this water park apart from the rest. Don a bubble helmet, and sink to the bottom of Aqua venture’s Shark Lagoon tank for a stroll among-st tropical fish, manta rays and, yes, sharks.
Rather keep your head above water? Try your hand at feeding the park’s school of friendly cow nose rays. The petting pool lets you feed the curious rays by hand while standing thigh-deep in the salt water pool.
Stand-Up Paddle boarding
Tried-and-tested by the city’s fitness stars, stand-up paddleboarding is Dubai’s new favourite watersport. Sunset Beach is one of the most popular spots to do it, thanks to its calm waters and easy access to board rentals (not to mention the great coffee from Surf House Dubai). A quick ten-minute tutorial is all beginners need to get out on to the water and start paddling. Get ready to sweat, with the cardio-heavy movements burning about 350 calories per hour at a casual pace. Fancy something a little more relaxing? Book in for a SUP sunrise yoga class and get your zen on in tree pose, floating in front of the Burj Al Arab.
Al Boom diving
Experienced divers will jump at the chance to explore Dubai’s coasts and meet the region’s unique mix of marine life face-to-face. Al Boom Diving, offers accompanied diving packages for those with their licenses, as well as lessons and log-book hours for water babies looking to perfect their skills, equipment provided. They offer dive adventures to the World Islands around 4km off the Dubai coast, home to angel fish, grouper, clown fish, sting rays, barracudas, and a turtle or two.
Thrill-seekers can get their kicks at sea in Ghantoot (15 minutes out of town), where Dubai’s latest toys are getting hearts racing. Fly boarding, also known as water jet-packing, sees adventure lovers fitted into a small board and strapped to a specially-made backpack that sucks up seawater, before spitting it back out, propelling the rider into the air. Fly board UAE promises that even beginners will be able to man oeuvre themselves around the marina – just be prepared to make a splash crash-landing the first few attempts.
At the end of luxe Al Qasr resort’s rustic wooden jetty, and accessible by tuk-tuk, sits fine-dining restaurant Pierchic. While the table-to-ceiling windows offer views of the Arabian Gulf waters, it’s the terrace seating that really impresses, delivering an unbeatable panorama of the nearby Burj Al Arab, Al Qasr lagoons and palm tree-lined shoreline, while diners enjoy a fresh and shellfish-heavy seafood menu.
Private Yacht Tour
Take on the high seas in style and climb aboard a privately chartered yacht for an afternoon of sailing. Your own crew will stop by Dubai’s best-known seaside sights, with the Burj Al Arab, Dubai Marina, and The Palm Jumeirah topping the must-see list. Or, they will create an itinerary tailored to your interests. Lunch is provided on request, with the on-board cook whipping up a barbecue feast. Drop anchor in the depths of the Arabian Gulf for a spot of swimming in warmer waters, or throw out a line to reel in a few hammour fish.
If you are looking for premium yacht charter, Dubai’s own Boat Cruise Dubai is always ready to set sail for you.