1 Al Zorah Mangroves
For those who fancy themselves as bird watchers, the Al Zorah Mangroves in Ajman is right up your, erm, creek. An inland creek that extends over 2 sq km of rich wetland, there are around 58 different species of birds inhabiting the ecosystem among trees that grow up to ten metres in length. Even better, explorers can kayak through the mangroves by night.
Dhs190 (day or night), Dhs220 (full moon tour). Timings vary. Al Zorah Marina 1, Ajman, www.questforadventure.net (058 567 0730).
2 Hatta Kayak
The Hatta Dam looks like it could have been taken straight from a postcard. It’s surrounded by the lofty peaks of the Hajar Mountains and the blue waters are an absolute sight to behold. Get out on the water with a spot of kayaking, costing just Dhs60, or alternatively you can venture out on a pedal boat (Dhs120) or a donut boat (Dhs150) if you’re with mates.
From Dhs60. Timings vary. Hatta Kayak, Hatta Dam, Hatta, www.hattakayak.com (056 616 2111).
3 Louvre Abu Dhabi
You can now experience this beautiful museum in a whole new way. Watersports company Seahawk run one-hour kayak tours around the impressive piece of architecture every weekend and several night tours during the full moon period, too. It’s a great activity whether you’ve got visitors in town, or you just fancy doing something different.
Dhs126. Fri-Sat 10am-5.30pm. Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, www.seahawk.ae.
4 Ras Al Khaimah Mangroves
Looking to explore Ras Al Khaimah? Head to the centre of the emirate and get paddling along its mangroves. Teeming with wildlife including a variety of birds (including flamingos) and marine life, take a three-hour kayaking tour from the city to experience nature in all its beauty.
Dhs295, Dhs185 (kids ages three-11). Timings vary. Mangroves, Ras Al Khaimah, www.wow-rak.com (07 244 8097).
5 Snoopy Island
Imagine if you could see all the marine life swimming below while kayaking? You could imagine, or you could visit Dibba to try out a see-through kayak experience to Snoopy Island off the coast of Fujairah. Paddle your way from Sandy Beach all the way to the island, and even make a few pit stops along the way to dive in and snorkel with all the fish.
Dhs299. Timings vary. Dibba Fujairah, Sandy Beach Hotel and Resorts, www.fujairah.platinumlist.net (09 244 5555).
6 The Eastern Mangroves
Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove National Park takes up about 43 square miles of the city’s landscape, and if you head along to the Eastern Mangroves Promenade you’ll find plenty of places to rent a kayak. Noukhada Adventure Company offers tours throughout the day including at sunrise and at sunset, or you can simply hire a single or double kayak for an hour or two and head off and explore this gorgeous area by yourself.
From Dhs57.14. Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Salam Street, www.noukhada.ae (02 406 1462).
7 Wadi Adventure
If you like your water sports with a bit of adrenaline thrown in, you’ll be in your element at Wadi Adventure. It is home to a 1.7km white-water kayaking channel, which also happens to be the world’s longest (this is the UAE after all, so we don’t do things by halves). The centre also provides kayaking lessons.
Dhs65 (adult entry), from Dhs75 (kayaking). Open daily 11am-7pm. Al Ain (03 781 8422).