Looking for an alternative hobby? Try one of these exciting activities.
The BMX community in the UAE may not be the biggest, but there are still places to get your biking fix. In the capital, the Abu Dhabi Skate Park on the Corniche at Markaziyah Park West is a great place to link up for other riders. Check out the Abu Dhabi Skaters Facebook group (www.facebook.com/abudhabiskaters) for more information. In Dubai, The Springs skatepark, just behind Choithrams in Springs 7, has plenty of rails, ramps and half pipes to tackle. For BMX equipment in Dubai, head to Ride Bike Shop in Al Quoz or Mirdif City Centre (www.ridebikeshop.com).
Quite possibly the ultimate adrenalin rush in Dubai. Travel up 50m high above the city before hurtling off a platform head first at the end of a bungee rope. If that doesn’t get your pulse racing, nothing will. Gravity Zone offers this extreme sport from its site at Power Play Football Center, with qualified instructors on hand to ensure a fun and safe jump.
Power Play Football Center, opposite Dubai Bowling Center, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.gravityzone.co (056 364 8778 / 056 274 5520).
There are plenty of places to take to the ice in Dubai, with a good place for beginners being Al Nasr Leisureland. This rink is less busy than some of the others, so good for those struggling to let go of the side. A busier, and bigger, option is Dubai Ice Rink in The Dubai Mall. This is an Olympic-sized rink and hosts a number of events, with lessons also available. A fun skating experience is offered by the Hyatt Regency Dubai, which has a disco night on Thursdays and Fridays between 7pm and 10pm.
Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha, www.alnasrll.com (04 337 1234); Dubai Ice Rink. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111); Hyatt Regency Dubai, Al Khaleej Road, Deira, www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com (04 209 6551).
Parkour is an activity that you can do almost anywhere. It involves traversing the local environment, usually urban, by running and jumping over obstacles in a variety of styles. The parkour scene is growing here, with UAE Parkour leading the way in popularising the activity. UAE Parkour teaches classes at Raha International School in Khalifa City A, Abu Dhabi.
www.uaeparkour.com (056 665 8641).
Head to Rage, with stores in The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Al Wadha Mall in Abu Dhabi for all things skateboarding. The stores offer a range of products that every skater needs, while at The Dubai Mall store you can take to the Rage Bowl for skate lessons with qualified instructors. Another option is The Sk8 Factory, an indoor venue in Al Quoz, which has quarter pipes, ramps and rails for BMXers, skateboarders and in-line skaters. For something more artistic, head to Tashkeel’s skate park, where the ramps are based on Arabic calligraphy.
Rage, www.rage-shop.com (04 434 1549); The Sk8 Factory, Street 14c, Al Quoz 4, www.facebook.com/sk8factorydubai (050 420 4363); Taskheel skatepark, next to Nad Al Sheba Health Centre, Nad Al Sheba 1, www.tashkeel.org (04 336 3313).
Skiing and Snowboarding
Ski Dubai, in Mall of the Emirates, is home to skiing and snowboarding in Dubai. As the world’s largest indoor ski park, you can expect a full size run for both skiing and snowboarding. If you’re new to the sport, or would like to brush up on your skills, there are lessons available with qualified instructors. Ski Dubai offers five different runs of varying difficulty to accommodate all levels. And it’s not just skiing and snowboarding to get the adrenalin pumping – hurtle down the slopes inside a zorb (a giant see-through inflatable ball), or fly up to 16 metres over the snow on the Snow Bullet zip line.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, www.skidxb.com (800 386).