United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, considers tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Within the different categories of tourism, the fastest growing is adventure tourism. The UAE provides tourists umpteen opportunities to experience soft* adventures that are perfect for rejuvenation or recreation. It not only helps tourists enjoy a one-off adventurous experience it invariably is an impressive source of revenue for the nation.
Here we explore the various adventures offered in the UAE.
1. Pillion Ride on Race Car
Ever imagined sitting next to a race car driver, alongside in his car while he drives through the race track at 300 kph. It is indeed a rare opportunity but one that the UAE has on offer for all speed junkies. At the YAS island circuit, individuals can experience the roaring of race cars not from afar but sitting behind a race driver who takes you around the racetrack same as he would competing in a Grand Prix race. Not for the faint hearted both in terms of courage and spending prowess. A ride in the race car around the circuit costs AED 11,500.
2. Formula Rossa
The activity is for those who wish to refrain from individual acts of bravado and look for support from family and friends to explore their adventurous side. The Ferrari Rossa ride is one that unlike the F1 car accommodates multiple occupants so there is no shortage of encouragement and courage. The Ferrari Rossa touches speeds of 240 kph in 5 seconds taking you to heights of 52 metres before the dash down to the finish line. If Ferrari Rossa the fastest roller coaster in the world fails to satiate your adventurous soul, you can hop into a ride named ‘Flying Aces’ and scream your guts out as the highest roller coaster loop scales to 63 metres at a nerve wrecking 51 degree inclination at 120 kph, turns your world upside down.
3. Sky Diving
Push the limits. Experience the combination of a dream jump system alongside the world’s largest urban zip line to base jump from. Tear through the wind as the earth surface pulls you nearer at dizzying speeds. Your only hope is your parachute as you land amidst a beeline of skyscrapers. Definitely not for the weak hearted. Experience it here. (Video Dream Jump)
The Blokart design was developed in 1999 by inventor Paul “Guru” Beckett in Papamoa, NZ. A blokart is a land yacht, which means it uses the power of wind for movement. A basic model of a blokart consists of a set of wheels, a mast and sail. Introduced in the UAE in 2006, it is a must have experience for individuals looking to have some fun on wheels without the engines and the sound. It is an ideal carriage that can be used on a beach front or on any other flat surface. UAE has multiple avenues providing blokarting facilities.
5. Dune Buggying / Sand boarding / Quad Biking
Till date the best adventure when it comes to exploring the sand filled deserts is to take a ride on the dune buggy, a powerful off-road vehicle to confidently navigate the ups and downs through the desert terrain. If you are the biker kind, then the Quad bike is the best option to race through the sand dunes and feel the adrenaline rush. For all those not crazy about racing engines and throttling speeds, sand-boarding is the perfect option! Sand-boarding provides for a smooth slide through the desert dunes on a board to enjoy a calm and serene experience.
Falconry has been part of Emirati culture for centuries. In the early days falcons or hawks were caught and trained to help the Bedouin community of the UAE for hunting. Though no longer used for hunting, falconry has remained a favourite pastime for Emiratis who now share their passion with a worldwide audience. A favourite activity of H. H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, falconry can be experienced by individuals visiting UAE as they get trained on commanding the revered bird of prey. They can visit the Falcon and Heritage Sports Center to learn more about the bird or buy one as the center is the only place where the birds are sold.
There are scores of adventure activities one can participate in, to experience the thrill and adventure, the UAE has to offer. If you are someone who cannot withstand physical activity or the sun, transport yourself to the Burj Khalifa, board the eclectically fast elevator and reach the top of the landmark construction. What you will see here, standing at an height of 555 metres, is sure to be an adventure that transcends into a mesmerising experience that you can reminisce for years to come.
*As per the UNWTO report titled Global Adventure Tourism Report, adventure tourism can be classified into two categories Soft adventure and Hard Adventure differentiated on the basis of the primary activity undertaken for the adventure. Soft Adventures are archaeological expeditions, backpacking, bird watching, camping, canoeing, eco-tourism, educational programs, environment sustainability activities, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, kayaking, orienteering, rafting, research expeditions, safaris, scuba diving, snorkelling, skiing, snowboarding, surfing and volunteer tourism are some examples for soft adventures. Hard Adventures are physically straining activities such as caving, mountain-climbing, rocks or ice trekking.
Until next time,
The Big Boys Team