With access to relatively gentle waters all year round, kayaking is a burgeoning sport that’s captured the imagination of the UAE’s fun-seekers. With regularly organised trips, great scenic spots and no lack of fellow enthusiasts, kayaking can get you into shape in a fun and friendly way. There are essentially three kinds of kayaks; the closed deck, the ‘sit-on-top’ and the inflatable. Most people usually think of the closed deck models when they think of a kayak, where only the rider’s upper body is exposed, but the open ‘sit-on-top’ models are most common in the UAE and neighbouring regions. The inflatable models combine elements of the two; they are essentially open decks but with air chambers surrounding the boat, the paddler seated below the level of the deck. Closed deck kayaks are used for white water kayaking, while open models are for sea/ocean kayaking. The sport uses a lot of upper body muscles, so it’s great for anyone looking to gain strength in that area. Single capacity kayaks range from around Dhs2,500 to Dhs4,000. For anyone interested in the sport, the Noukhada Adventure Company offers regular tours of the Abu Dhabi’s mangroves, the Corniche and the northern emirates. They also organise trips in Muscat. Noukhada Adventure Company, Al Qurm, Abu Dhabi, www.noukhada.ae (02 650 3600).
Abu Dhabi Ocean Warriors
Abu Dhabi’s very own surf-ski kayak club with around 40 members taking part in daily and weekly paddles. Meet every Friday morning at 7am at ADIMSC. Head to their Facebook page for more information. Marina Mall Sailing Club, Corniche Road, Ras Al Akhdar, adowsurfski.wordpress.com.
Al Boom Diving
Dhs100 single kayak (one hour), Dhs150 double kayak (one hour). Open daily 9am-5pm. Al Aqah, Fujairah, www.alboomdiving.com (09 204 4925).
Body & Soul Recreation Club With a lovely outdoor setting you can have a fun-filled afternoon of kayaking or other watersports activities all year long. Dhs25-75. Al Raha Beach Hotel, www.danathotels.com (02 508 0555).
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah You can paddle across to the Palm from the Hilton at Dubai’s JBR. But how does kayaking differ from canoeing? The kayaker’s sitting position and the number of paddle blades. So there. Dhs100 for a single kayak for one hour. Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, The Walk, JBR (04 399 1111 /050 724 6184).
Noukhada Adventure Company Dhs300 per person for a beginner’s sea kayak tour (four hours). Kayaking annual membership costs Dhs3,000-3,500. Open Sat-Thu 8.30am-5.30pm. Meena Street, Abu Dhabi, www.noukhada.ae (02 558 1889 / 050 721 8928).
Sandy Beach Dive Centre This popular dive centre offer twin and single kayaks. Dhs70 twin kayak (45 minutes), Dhs40 single kayak (45 minutes). Sandy Beach Hotel & Resort, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah, www.sandybm.com (09 244 5050).