A city well-known for its awe-inspiring engineering masterpiece, the Burj Khalifa, as well as shopping malls that take days to comb through, Dubai, the Gulf state of the United Arab Emirates, is brimming with glitz and glamour.
Unknown to many, Dubai also has a myriad of adrenaline-pumping activities for those who thrive on adrenaline. The range of activities to get your heart racing begin some 12,000 feet above the air to deep underwater. These are a few to get you started.
1. Diving with sharks
Image Credit: Strecosa
A mall is not just a mall in Dubai. The monolithic Dubai Mall houses a 10 million litres aquarium which features more than 300 sharks and rays. There are several ways to admire these aquatic creatures: you can dine at one of the dining establishments surrounding the aquarium, or get on board an aquarium tunnel to see the creatures up close.
The most exciting though is the shark dive at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, where divers can jump into the aquarium to swim alongside the magnificent creatures. Before the dive, participants will be given a strict briefing on what NOT to do, so as not to agitate the sharks. It is truly a surreal experience to be underwater with multiple species of sharks going about their day just an arms’ length away. This 20 minutes of your life is guaranteed to be unforgettable
2. Dirt bike / ATV ride in the desert
Image Credit: Martha de Jong-Lantink
If you enjoy motorsports, then Dubai has something unique for you. A 20-minute ride to the outskirts of Dubai will bring sweeping deserts into view – the site for some action. Tackle the sandy landscape with a motorised vehicle of your choice, whether it is a dirt bike, an auto-terrain vehicle or a 4X4. With a terrain that includes steep slopes, exhilarating huge jumps can be made.
3. The world’s fastest roller coaster
Image Credit: Rafael Oshiro
Dubai is a city with its eyes set on breaking records. It is the city with the largest suspended aquarium in the world (The Dubai Aquarium), the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa), and the biggest mall in the world (Dubai Mall). If that is not enough, they even have plans to build the world’s largest airport.
There’s one more to add to the list: Dubai claims ownership to the world’s fastest roller coaster ride. Formula Rossa is located in Ferrari world, an hour-plus drive from Dubai city.
This rollercoaster launches its riders into experiencing the incredible top speed of 239 km/h in less than 5 seconds. The rapid acceleration will threaten to peel the skin off your face, and there are no breaks to catch once the ride begins – the rest of the journey maintains at a high level of intensity. This one is a must-do for all the adrenaline junkies out there.
4. Snowboarding in the desert city
Image Credit: John Karwoski
During its hottest months, Dubai could reach up to a sweltering 49º C, but somehow in this wondrous city, snowboarding is still possible. Ski Dubai is located inside the Mall of the Emirates, where visitors have the chance to enjoy a pseudo-winter in one of the hottest cities in the world. Like I said, a mall is not just a mall in Dubai. Visitors can ski, snowboard and even say hi to snow penguins here.
5. Skydiving above Jumeirah Palm
There is no better place to skydive than in Dubai. Skydive Dubai is located right at the edge of the sea and features a magnificent view to take in while mid-air.
I took this amazing leap in Dubai, above the interesting formation of Jumeirah Palm, while the Burj Khalifa stares out in the distance. The moment the hatch opened while the plane is 12,000 feet above ground, I had a new perspective in life; the sprawling metropolis of Dubai seemed so tiny.
My skydiving instructor who was attached to me made a quick gesture to get into position and proceeded to push both of us out of the plane. The air gushed against my face as I descended, and the adrenaline rush for the first minute of freefall is a high that is hard to recreate in any other situation.
This list is just a small glimpse into the world of exciting adrenaline activities in Dubai. Hop on the next flight to Dubai, or start planning your trip to get your adrenaline fix!