If blasting across the ocean, with a good chance of doing a somersault each time the boat hits the slightest wave, sounds like fun, you’ve come to the right place. As the name suggests, powerboats are no slowcoaches and pack considerable punch. For the uninitiated, powerboats tend to be lightweight, with a V-shaped hull that runs almost halfway under the boat. They handle like very agile jet skis, making for fantastic planning (that’s skimming the waves at up to 150mph to you and me). The good news for fans of the sport is that powerboating has roots in Dubai, with the X-Cat World Series race launched in Dubai back in the 1990s. Today, it’s a world series, heading to the likes of Africa and China, but with three events still held in the UAE.
Unless you’re thinking of taking up the sport on a serious note – in which case you’ll want to get qualified (contact Marine Concept, www.marine-charter-concept.com, for courses) – your best option to experience the thrill of powerboating is to sign up for a one-off ride, with several companies offering these. In Dubai, Dream Explorer let you charter a high-speed jet boat that can accommodate large groups and reach speeds of around 70km/h. Alternatively, The Yellow Boats offers a 30-minute thrill ride in a high-powered boat (yes, it’s yellow) as well as longer sightseeing tours starting at Dubai Marina and taking in sights including the Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab. The same company also operates in Abu Dhabi, where the 50-minute tour starts at the Emirates Palace and speeds off round the Corniche and Lulu Island. Dream Explorer: Dhs1,200 per hour (up to 12 people), valid for UAE residents only; Al Musalla Building, Mina Bazar, Bur Dubai, www.dreamexplorerdubai.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (04 354 4481). The Yellow Boats: Dubai thrill ride Dhs150 (adults); Abu Dhabi tour Dhs200 (adults), Dhs150 (kids); Marina Walk, opposite Spinney’s, Dubai; Emirates Palace Marina, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, www.theyellowboats.com (800 8044).
Arabia Horizons Whizz around the Palm Jumeirah with five friends in your own speedboat. We promise it’s the most fun you’ll have had in a long time (expect to get wet and windblown). Dhs1,400 for a two-hour trip for six people. Golden Business Center, Airport Road, Deira www.arabiahorizons.com (04 294 6060).
Marine Concept Offers powerboat lessons for beginners and professionals. Certificates are MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency of Great Britain) approved. Also offers fishing charters and boat and yacht hire. Charter Dhs750 per hour. Al Barsha Business Centre, Office 611, Al Barsha, www.marine-charter-concept.com (055 960 3030).