Jan 12, 2017
If you are looking for the next holiday destination that will boost your adrenaline levels, Dubai should be one of the top spots on your list.
Beyond indulging in luxurious experiences, Dubai is also a playground for thrilling adventures and adrenaline-pumping action.
Whether it is motocross riding across 20m-high sand dunes or coming face to face with hammerhead sharks underwater, there is something here for the daredevil in every traveller.
There’s no better way to feel alive than to grab life by its horns, so throw your inhibitions aside and dive headfirst into Dubai’s extreme sports and activity scene. Here are nine of the city’s highlights.
Dirt bike your way across 20m-high sand dunes
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, dune bashing on a dirt bike across Dubai’s picturesque desert terrain is an experience that will leave you breathless.
Rev up your engines and accelerate the throttle to maximum as you ride across the desert plains and leave a dust storm trailing.
For non-riders, there is the 4-wheeled motocross alternative, which promises just as much heart-pumping action as its 2-wheeled counterpart.
There are plenty of dirt bike riding clubs that offer tailor-made courses based on your skills and experience. So fret not if you have never been on a bike in your life — you’ll learn the tricks of the trade in no time. There are even smaller bikes available for kids so you can take the whole family out for a race!
Skate down monster slopes
There’s nothing quite like cruising atop a longboard — that feeling of drifting effortlessly around bends and weaving gracefully across turns can be addictive.
Dubai’s longboard community might still be in its formative years but that does not stop hordes of avid longboarders from congregating by the hundreds every Friday morning at Mushrif Park. Here, you will find an eclectic mix of amateur and experienced riders showing off their skills and enjoying a skate through the scenic park.
If this doesn’t get your heart rate moving, then head down to Jebel Jeis — here is where you will find highly experienced longboarders, in groups of 10 to 15, whirring down slopes at speeds of up to 60km/h. This is definitely not recommended for the faint-hearted.
Be part of a world-class golf tournament
Who can forget the iconic moments in 2001 and 2004, when Tiger Woods swung golf balls off the Burj Al Arab’s helipad?
Since then, Dubai has been the playing field for one of the world’s biggest golf tournaments from the DP World Tour Championship to the Dubai Ladies Master.
Held annually at the Jumeirah Golf Estates, the DP World Tour Championship caps the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, and sees the world’s top 60 golfers – names like Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Stephen Gallacher, Danny Willett and Tiger Woods – battle it out on course for a chance to be crowned champion.
Golfing enthusiasts take this opportunity to watch their champions play and be a part of the exhilarating golfing action. There’s nothing quite like watching the action live as the anticipation in the air is enough of a thrill for spectators.
Ride your own submarine
If shooting across open waters at speeds of up to 100km/h is your kind of thing, then you’ve come to the right place.
Seabreacher — Dubai’s famed fleet of shark-shaped submarines — can submerge fully underwater, roll from side to side and jump up to 12 feet in the air. Somersault, dive and leap your way through Dubai Creek for an aquatic experience like no other.
Pilot a small carrier plane
There are extreme sports, and then there is microlighting, also known as ultralight aviation.
Like tiny versions of your typical passenger planes, microlight aircraft are frames with wings and tails, and an open-air “cockpit” (think: amped-up hang gliders).
Now, imagine cruising in one at 140km/h at 20,000 feet with nothing other than a safety harness and your eye goggles separating you and the sky and wind. This is definitely the ride of a lifetime for the thrill-seekers.
Soar above the city in a seaplane
You don’t get to ride in a seaplane every day, especially in Singapore. This ranks high in the list of exciting things to do in Dubai, an extraordinary experience that will be etched in memory.
Depending on the type of charter — Seawings offer three types: Seawings Jebel Ali Gold, Seawings Dubai Creek Gold and Seawing World Journey Gold — a 40-minute ride include soaring over Dubai’s world-famous monuments in your own private charter with thrilling take-offs and landings on water.
Cheer on your favourite stallion at the horseracing event of the year
Spread across 11 days with a prize money of over US$40 million, the Dubai World Cup sees top grade racing horses battle it out in a competition of speed and agility.
Bringing together the crème de la crème of racing horses and jockeys from around the world, it promises to be a nail-biting experience from start to end.
Swim alongside sharks
There is something quite surreal about swimming with a school of sharks as they cut speedily through the water on the prowl for their next meal.
Home to over 33,000 aquatic animals, the Dubai Aquarium allows you to get up close and personal with some of the finest and rarest marine animals around.
Here, thrill-seekers can go for a shark dive in their 10-million litre tank containing the largest collection of sand tiger sharks in the world. Don’t worry if you aren’t a certified diver — there are scuba helmets available to help you on your way. Shark dives are usually conducted with up to 4 divers per group — perfect for a family day out.
Set your heart racing at the world’s biggest amusement park
Just so the little ones don’t feel left out, head on down to IMG Worlds of Adventure — Dubai’s quintessential amusement park that’s bound to thrill both the young and the young at heart.
Occupying almost 1.5 million square feet, the world’s biggest indoor park offers rides like the hair-raising and multisensory Hulk Epsilon Base 3D ride and the exhilarating Forbidden Territory roller coaster ride.