Fancy exploring the sea on your own submarine?
If it looks like it belongs on the set of a Hollywood blockbuster, chances are it's one of our city’s newest water sports. In recent years, surfing and jet-skiing have made way for more awe-inspiring thrills, such as Flyboarding and submarine watercraft. This year, Atlantis The Palm's 17-hectare waterpark Aquaventure was voted the best in the Middle East and the fifth best in the world in the TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice Waterpark Awards. But it’s just one of the adrenaline-pumping ways to engage in aquatic fun in Dubai.
Ride Dubai’s best waterslides
Whether it's the hair-raising rides at Jumeriah's Wild Wadi waterpark or the state-of-the-art facilities at Atlantis The Palm's Aquaventure, plummeting to earth is an art-form in Dubai. The highlight of Wild Wadi has to be the Burj Surj, a six-seater in which the inflatable tube is dropped into a whirlpool before being sucked down into a tunnel slide. Meanwhile, Aquaventure's Leap of Faith zooms through a shark-infested aquarium. Stay at either Atlantis The Palm or one of the Jumeirah hotels in the city and access to Aquaventure and Wild Wadi is free.
AED285 entry at Wild Wadi; AED250 entry at Aquaventure for non-Jumeirah guests.
Drive Seabreacher, your own personal submarine
Jaws enthusiasts will get a kick out of this self-driven shark-like submarine capsule, which has the ability to go under water and glide on the surface at heart-stopping speeds of nearly 100kmh. The submersible personal watercraft imitates the movements of a dolphin and is able to roll. The best bit? Like most things in Dubai, it's air-conditioned. Try it at Rixos The Palm Dubai and get a private cabana, bucket of drinks, a burger, one-hour of paddleboarding and a Seabreacher experience when you book the Pro Surfer package for AED725 per person (minimum two people).
AED500 for 15 minutes, Rixos The Palm Dubai.
“Flyboard” with a jet pack
Thrill-seekers looking to adopt the powers of their favourite superheros need look no further than this gravity-defying water ride. It's a little like snowboarding, except you're propelled through the air, with two high-pressured water jets providing the lift. Bring a trusty videographer with you to capture all the action.
AED 300 for 20 minutes, Searide Dubai at Al Souq Harbour.
Soar through the air on Fly Fish
When it comes to water sports these days, it’s all about reaching new heights. Not unlike a magic carpet, this multi-person inflatable ride zips along behind a speedboat, flying up in the air as passengers hang on for dear life before the speed is reduced and they're dunked into the water. Warning: you will get wet. What more could you want from a water sport?
AED 150 for 15 minutes, Seawake, next to Le Méridien Mina Seyahi
Show your stuff on a wakeboard
A water sport that requires more skill than most, if you can surf, snowboard or skateboard, you'll be better placed than your average person. Both feet are strapped to a single board, which is then pulled behind a boat, with the rider surfing the small wake. Things get even more interesting when the boat turns sharp corners. Double points for those brave enough to try jumps, flips and tricks.
AED250 for 20 minutes, Wake Evolution at Riva Beach Club, Palm Jumeirah
Kitesurf with the locals
If there were any doubts about Dubai's love for kitesurfing, all you'd have to do is visit its namesake, Kitesurfing Beach. It's on this patch of sand that both amateurs and pros attempt their hand at this extreme sport, which requires riders to grip onto a handle that is attached to a parachute, which you're then able to manoeuvre to increase your speed and change direction. Not only is it a wild ride, it's also a great full-body workout.
AED350 an hour for a private lesson, Dukite, Jumeirah Beach Road