Skydiving. It’s on the bucket list of millions, if not billions, around the world. And Dubai is one of the top places in the world for jumping.
From a soaring 13,000 feet above Dubai Marina, hovering out over the Palm Jumeirah, divers are treated a unique perspective of one of the world’s most iconic destinations.
Team Time Out headed down to Skydive Dubai one morning, with the aim of both ticking numero uno off the bucket list, and doing something pretty bombastic with one of YouTube’s biggest stars. Roman Atwood, the known prankster, family man and universally loved internet superstar, was in town for the ITP Live Influencer Marketing Summit, and while he was around we were offered the chance to go and do something completely different with him.
So we put on our biggest pair of big boy pants, got our crew together and took a jaunt down to Dubai Marina.
Here’s the full video of our experience with Roman.
After weighing in (you have to be under 100kg to jump), we hand over our residency information and are then escorted over to go through the process of signing about four million waivers. After all, we are preparing to throw ourselves out of a plane, something that goes against every piece of survival instinct that we, as humans, have developed over hundreds of thousands of years.
The list of conditions one cannot be predisposed to is, to say the least, arm’s length. It’s a feat that takes its toll on your body, and you need to be physically and mentally prepared for it.
But that’s not, in any way, to put you off from doing this, dear reader. Quite the opposite, we say skydiving deserves its place at the top of the bucket list, especially here in Dubai.
Once you’re ready to jump, you get in your harness, strap up, meet your diving buddy (every rookie jumps with a professional tandem partner), and resist the urge to send one last “I love you message” to significant others, friends and family.
It’s nerve-wracking, that much is true. But once you get going the feelings of anxiety disappear pretty quickly. The flight up, gaining altitude at a rapid rate, is smooth, easy, and the team with you are adept at distracting you from the nerves and easing your mind at every turn.
That’s all good and well, but when the plane door opens and you’re stood 13,000 feet over the Palm Jumeirah, you face the sort of fear that’s almost immobilising – depending on your personality, of course. But it’s also out of your hands, at that point, because the instructor takes control of matters and sends you, face first, hurtling towards the earth at speeds which reach up to 200kph.
Give it five seconds, and you’ll instantly fall in love with it. The views are unbelievable, the rush you get is unbeatable, and there’s an almost ineffable feeling of having been brought to the most anxious state in which you’ve ever been, and then pushing yourself one step further. The release is immense.
After 60 seconds of adrenaline-pumping free fall, your shoot opens, things calm down a little, and you can literally sit, relax and enjoy the ride. Take in the view, find your apartment, look out for the city’s major landmarks or just gaze out to sea.
Just do what you can to take it all in, because before you know it, the ride is over, you’re back on solid earth, and you’ll be yearning night and day to give it another shot.
If we could have gone straight back up for a second jump, we would have bitten your hand off for it.
Dhs2,199 (Palm Jumeirah dive), Dhs1,699 (Desert Campus). Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.skydivedubai.ae (04 377 8888).