Take your visiting family or friends out for a day of adventure with the help of our expert's guide...
If your visitors are the sort who sit agitatedly twitching in the plane seat, performing DVT exercises and glancing at the rolling waves below in anticipation, then Dubai will not disappoint.
For the outdoor excitement that really put Dubai on the map, stick them on a quad bike and send them into the desert. Offered by plenty of tour operators around the city, you can’t go wrong with Arabian Desert Tours (Dhs50 per 15 minutes on the bike. Call 04 268 2880). There are plenty of sports here that you’d never be able to do or afford back from whence you came. Get your jodhpurs on at Dubai Polo Academy (050 887 9847) and reclaim the sport from exclusivity at only Dhs500 for a group lesson. They even do camel polo out there. Or sort them out a crash course (preferably sans crash) in kitesurfing, one of Dubai’s most popular extreme sports. Choose an instructor from the Dubai Kite Club (www.dubaikiteclub.com) and help your mates fling themselves across the water via the ‘power zone’.
If your dad prefers feeling grass underfoot, there are also a number of celebrity-designed links among the vast number of golf courses around the city. Give the (Ernie) Els Golf Club a try (04 425 1010, Dubai Sports City), or The Montgomerie (04 390 5600, Emirates Hills).
There are a huge number of hikes to get those adventure-seeking uni mates moving. And if you studied marine biology together, head out for the Lima to Aqabacoastal trek up to glimpse dolphins and stingrays frolicking cliff-side, with Absolute Adventure (04 345 9900/ www.adventure.ae). This operator can also organise mountain biking through the country’s uplands and outdoor climbing in the hills of Dibba.
But if that hasn’t quite satisfied them, a motocross through the deserts of Hatta is unmissable for anyone on the hunt for adventure. Bluebanana.com can organise a two-hour lesson with a regular entrant in the UAE Desert Challenge or, if they’re hankering to explore what lies beneath, give Al Boom a call (04 342 2993) and drag your unsuspecting guest along for a PADI course in scuba in the waters around Fujairah. They’ll be crawling back on to that flight.
‘I’d take my mates mountain biking in Dibba for a day – if I can drag them away from the bars and clubs! The company I go with also do kayaking, which could be cool too. It’s called Absolute Adventure (www.adventure.ae), run by a great bloke called Paul who knows his stuff.’ Daniel Wood, Australian sports fanatic
Imagine a buggy, with a massive fan attached, strapped to a parachute. Then imagine sitting in one as it hurtles over the Ras Al Khaimah desert, spotting foxes and haranguing beachcombers. Call Jazirah Aviation Club on 07 244 5316 for a peaceful swoop over the sands in a powered parachute.