Amira Sajwani

Top five high-octane activities for thrill-seekers in the UAE

To say that it’s been a challenging couple of years for travel and tourism would be an understatement. It’s difficult to think of an industry that’s been hit harder by the effects of the global pandemic.

After so many challenges, it’s fantastic to see the sector push forward with its post-Covid recovery. Many countries around the world continue to relax restrictions, while major airlines are reinstating routes and gradually returning to their pre-pandemic flight frequencies.

While many people have already seized the opportunity to resume international travel, some do not yet feel quite ready to board a plane again.

Ultimately, this is a personal decision and there is no right or wrong approach. Everyone should be free to choose what’s best for them and their families, and if in some cases that means avoiding air travel until a later date, that is completely understandable.

And let’s face it, if you live here in the UAE, you’d have to search long and hard to find a better place for a staycation.

If you’re a fan of luxury hotels, sun-kissed beaches and fine dining, the choice is endless. But what about those who are looking for adventure?

Well, look no further because I’ve compiled my top five attractions for thrill-seekers in the Emirates…

World’s longest zipline – Ras Al Khaimah

I’m going to start by recommending something that you can’t do anywhere else on earth. That’s because Jais Flight, located at Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, has been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest zipline.

Record or no record, the views you’ll experience as you soar from the UAE’s highest mountain will take your breath away.

And even if ziplining’s not your thing, there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied at Jebel Jais, from hiking and cycling to sightseeing and camping.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just a nature lover, I’d definitely recommend you take a trip to this area of outstanding natural beauty.

Kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling – Fujairah

As a lifelong paddle board and kayak fanatic, I’ve included Fujairah as a ‘must-visit’ destination on my list.

While there are countless activities to enjoy along the emirate’s pristine coastline, but I would personally recommend a trip to Snoopy Island.

The link above is to a full-day tour, which allows visitors to enjoy kayaks, stand-up paddle boards and snorkelling on one of the UAE’s most stunning beaches, with the majestic Al Hajar Mountains in the background. If you’re lucky, you might even see some turtles!

Skydiving – Dubai

Okay, so it’s not exactly off the beaten track, but if you want to take in unparalleled views of the Dubai skyline while experiencing a one-of-a-kind adrenaline rush (and you’re not afraid of heights), there’s no better option than taking the plunge at Skydive Dubai.

Anyone who isn’t quite ready to jump headfirst from a plane might prefer to experience weightlessness at the indoor skydiving centre or take a private flight over the city in a gyrocopter. There really is something to suit every taste.

Kite surfing – Umm Al Quwain

If you like the sea but you’re looking for something a bit more high-octane than snorkelling, I’d suggest trying your hand at kite surfing.

New to the activity? Then check out the introductory course via the link above, where an International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) instructor will teach you the basics on land before you take to the water.

It’s also the perfect excuse to make the journey up to Umm Al Quwain and enjoy some spectacular scenery on the way.

Dune bashing – Abu Dhabi

My fifth and final recommendation is a UAE staple because let’s face it, no list of Emirati adventures would be complete without dune bashing.

There are some amazing spots for this adrenaline-filled activity right across the country, but my personal favourite destination has to be Abu Dhabi’s spellbinding desert.

There are countless options available from various tour operators but if you’re looking for an experience that won’t break the bank, I’d suggest checking out the link above.

This desert safari experience includes a ride in a Toyota Land Cruiser as well as several other desert activities, such as camel riding and sandboarding.

Whichever activity you choose, I hope it gets your heart pumping and puts a huge smile on your face!

And don’t forget, there are so many other attractions to visit in the UAE. My list barely scratches the surface and I’m always on the lookout for my next adventure, so if you have any suggestions that I haven’t covered, let me know by tweeting @Amira_H_Sajwani.

Happy adventuring!