The biggest adrenaline kicks in Dubai and beyond this spring
1 BloKarting A hybrid of karting and windsurfing, BloKarting is the most fun you can have on four wheels without an engine. If the wind is right, you can run along at up to 30kph on these nifty little contraptions. Dhs125 (20 minutes), Dhs275 (one hour). Lessons take place at Meydan, Nad Al Sheba. To book, contact Dreamdays, www.dreamdays.ae (800 2080).
2 Dirt biking Rent a bike and go it alone or sign up for a tour with an experienced guide, ranging from half a day to a four-day adventure in remote areas across the UAE and Oman. Just getting started? Beginner off-road lessons are available for Dhs700 for two hours. Dhs550 half day rental, guided tours from Dhs1,050 for a half day. Emirates Bike Tours, various locations (050 466 9615).
3 Karting The Dubai Autodrome’s rental karts can reach speeds of about 55kph – not fast by road car standards, but when you’re a mere 15cm from the tarmac it will take your breath away. A 15-minute session will get you about 12 laps of this outdoor circuit, which features 17 corners, plus chicanes and even a tunnel/bridge setup to test your mettle. Dhs110 for 15 minutes, plus Dhs10 annual registration. Dubai Autodrome, MotorCity, www.dubaiautodrome.com (04 367 8744).
4 Dune buggying The adrenaline of storming through the sand dunes on a high-powered buggy is unrivalled. Day-long excursions from Dubai are available, meaning within an hour of leaving the city you can be strapped in and on your way. From Dhs375 for 30 minutes. Arabia Horizons, www.arabiahorizons.com (04 294 6060).
5 Quad biking This one has a rep for attracting crazier personalities. Most operators offer the choice of a sunset excursion, when the landscape takes on an almost magical setting. Dhs400 for an hour of quad biking per person with transport, Dhs550 including dinner, with Desert Rangers, www.desertrangers.net (04 357 2200).
6 BMXing There’s a popular BMX track in the sprawling 51-hectare Za’abeel Park. The bikes are surprisingly inexpensive, starting at just Dhs1,400 from specialists Wolfi’s Bike Shop. If you don’t want to invest, the store also rents mountain bikes. Bike rental from Dhs100 a day. Wolfi’s Bike Shop, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 339 4453).
7 Sandboarding Put your balance and boarding skills to the test with a day on the dunes. Shooting down the slopes at high speed is worth the inevitable mouthful of sand when you face-plant at the bottom – and prepare to work your quads as you trudge back to the top. From Dhs250 per person. Desert Rangers, pick-up from various locations (04 357 2200).
8 Skydiving Freefall over the Palm Jumeirah from nearly 4,000m (about half the average cruising altitude of an aeroplane), after leaping from one of SkyDive Dubai’s aircraft. After 60 seconds or so, the parachute is popped for a relatively relaxing descent. Dhs1,750 per person for tandem jump, including videographer. SkyDive Dubai, Dubai Marina (050 153 3222).
9 Indoor skydiving If you haven’t got the cash for a real skydive, or can’t pluck up the courage (wuss!), iFly is the next best thing – floating in a wind tunnel suspended by a 200kph blast of air. Daredevils will enjoy the instructor’s final trick of the lesson: carrying you right to the top of the 10m-high tunnel, then dive-bombing you back down. Dhs195 for a group beginner session. Mirdif City Centre, www.iflyme.com (04 231 6292).
10 High-altitude training Favoured by endurance athletes, high-altitude – or ‘hypoxic’ – training offers a tough, breathless workout, even if you’re only walking. It’s designed to help individuals shed body fat, increase muscle mass, improve fitness levels, lower blood pressure and improve stamina. Dhs4,500 for 12 sessions, Dhs5,000 for 15 sessions, Dhs6,000 for 20 sessions. The Quay Healthclub, Madinat Jumeirah (04 406 8534).
11 Paintballing There’s nothing like a little mock combat, especially if you’ve got scores to settle with your colleagues or friends. However, there are rules to the game – while you might fancy yourself as Arnie, remember those paintballs hurt at close range. Packages from Dhs75 for 100 paintballs. Pursuit Games, Oud Metha, www.paintballdubai.com (04 324 4755).
12 Mountain biking Experienced bikers with the right equipment are advised to find out where Hot-Cog’s members are heading for the weekend. The group, led by Andy Whitaker, take on rough-and-ready terrain around the emirate most Fridays. Beginners should call Absolute Adventure, which runs day trips in Dibba. Hot-Cog membership free. Search for ‘hot-cog-mtb’ on Facebook or call Andy (056 170 8087). Absolute Adventure trips from Dhs350 per person (050 625 9165).
13 Snowboarding Ski Dubai’s slope is the closest you’ll get to Whistler in the desert. If you’re already a pro, test the jumps, rails and boxes (be careful!). Those who want to learn can pay for lessons, which will take you from sitting to standing in an hour. Dhs180 for a two-hour slope pass; Dhs150 for a one-hour Discovery Lesson. Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates (800 386).
14 Climbing Anyone interested in taking full advantage of Dorell’s The Wall needs to take eight hour-long lessons to be able to climb casually. Having taken the course, climbers can also go on Dorell’s climbing excursions, which take place intermittently, with locations determined according to demand. Dhs650 for eight lessons. The Wall, opposite Ibis Hotel, Dubai World Trade Centre (04 306 5061).
15 Dune bashing Join a desert safari to experience the thrills of dune bashing: tummy-turning swerves, side-skidding and sand-scuffling before the 4x4 vehicle you’re travelling in is dangled nose-first down a vertical slope. Dhs295 per person. Desert Rangers (04 357 2233).
16 Hiking Want to climb a wadi on foot and get buns of steel? Hiking is a great way to explore the rugged landscape in locations such as the Hajar Mountains (and it’s possibly the only legit excuse you’ll have to wear boots in the UAE). From Dhs350 per person for a half-day trip. Absolute Adventure, www.adventure.ae (04 345 9900).
17 F1 passenger ride If you’ve got the cash, hop into a specially converted two-seater Formula 1 car – one of only a handful in the world – and pelt around Yas Island’s race track at speeds of up to 300kph. Brace yourself to feel forces of up to 5G, and try not to smack your head on the seat in front during the insanely powerful braking. Dhs11,500 per person. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi (800 927).
18 Caving in Oman Worried you won’t fit into small spaces? Caving doesn’t always mean wedging yourself through narrow cracks. In fact, Oman is home to cave passages that better resemble highways than corridors. Try a visit to Hoti Cave, east of Al Hamra, which has an underwater lake, or if you’re feeling really daring, try a cave diving trip. From Dhs1,144 per car to Hoti Cave. Sun and Sand Tours, www.sunandsandtours.com (+968 99 373 928).
19 Ferrari World’s Formula Rossa The fastest rollercoaster on the planet fires you out of the starting gate at 240kph: you’ll get to experience a G-force of 4.8, squishing you into your seat and squeezing the air from your lungs. Yes, you will dribble, but we guarantee you’ll disembark with a grin on your face (with relief that you’re still alive). Park admission Dhs225 (adults), Dhs165 (kids under 1.6m tall). Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com (02 496 8001).
20 Shooting Load the cartridge, slot it into place, take aim and squeeze the trigger. To live out your cinematic fantasies, all you need is a passport (not because you’re leaving the country, but because you’re handling real guns). Dhs185 for a 25-round lesson, Dhs100 for 25 rounds with a .22-calibre gun. Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. Emirates Road, Sharjah (06 548 7777).