UAE is slowly becoming a top attraction in water sports & water activities for sea lovers even though it is a vast Arabian Desert. With its vast coastline, calm waters of the Arabian Sea, and excellent beach facilities, UAE has something to offer for every age group.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will find a wide variety of adventures to choose from. Residents or tourists – each one should try these sports at least once in their lifetime.

For all the adventure addicts out there, here are some of the top water sports and water activities in Dubai and UAE that will surely make your trip even more memorable :

1. Banana Boat Ride

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A banana boat is an unpowered inflatable banana shaped boat that is intended to be towed by a speedboat. A banana boat can seat up to 12 people, and you can hop on from the shores and hang on for a scenic and enjoyable ride.In no time you will be zooming across the crystal clear sea waters of Dubai.

Strap on the life jackets and get ready to smile, laugh and enjoy the ride. Hang on tight and try not to fall from the boat’s unforeseen sudden speeds while Indulging in the breathtaking views of the Arabian coastline.

Location to try out this sport : Eastern Mangroves – Abu Dhabi, Zero Gravity – Dubai, Cornich Rd – Abu Dhabi

2. Kayaking

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Kayaking is a water sport that involves paddling using a double-bladed oar and a small boat known as a kayak.It is a popular pastime for outdoor lovers. If you wish to explore mother nature from a new perspective, kayaking is the ideal water sport for you.Think of it as cycling, but on water!Those who enjoy kayaking may agree that there’s nothing better than paddling through rivers, lakes or seas, surrounded by water and wildlife which will help you develop an even deeper love for the activity and for nature. To some people, kayaking is an opportunity to bond with loved ones and create lasting memories in new locations.

It’s a relaxing experience as you gleefully paddle across your favourite location and appreciate the soothing tranquility of the scenery. Also it is an excellent exercise if you are looking for a high energy workout with low impact and a good way to increase your cardiovascular fitness.

The UAE is a hub for some of the most exquisite spots for kayaking. Below are some locations to help you discover all of the incredible sea destinations you can paddle through :

  • Eastern Mangroves | Abu Dhabi
  • Dukes the Palm, Dubai
  • Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah
  • Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
  • Marina, Dubai

3.  Jetski

There’s nothing more fun on a hot summer day than hitting the water on a jet ski.Being one of the most popular adventure water sports in the world, Jet Ski does not need much of an introduction. It is now widely accepted as a sporting activity for amateurs and veterans alike, thanks to the advent of quality professional Jet Ski services in the UAE .

They move through water in a similar way to how rockets move through space.The entire experience leaves you excited and triumphant which in turn will brighten and change your perspective on how you look at things.It is truly a stress buster

And now it’s time to go out for a spin on one! We’ve also rounded up some of our top rated locations to go jet skiing this summer:

  • Burj Al Arab – Dubai
  • Mina Seyahi – Dubai
  • Palm Jumeirah – Dubai
  • Al Bateen Beach – Abu Dhabi
  • Marjan Island – Ras Al Khaimah

4.  Flyboarding

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Water sports have evolved greatly over the last decade, and people who have access to the ocean love to enjoy the thrill of flyboarding. Dubai is a top destination for water sports and activities, and if there’s a craze making waves in the world and one aqua activity that’s tearing up the surf in the city is Flyboarding which is also the perfect escape from your mundane everyday life

Looking at the board, you’d think it was something straight out of a science fiction film. A Flyboard enables the rider to use water pressure to ‘fly’ above the sea. The science behind it all is surprisingly simple. The rider wears a life jacket and a helmet for safety, and stands strapped into a board, much like a small wakeboard, which is connected to a jet-ski with a 10m pipe, which pumps water into the board. The jet-ski engine supplies the power to pump the water and into the board, and that’s what propels it upwards. The instructor will be on the jet-ski controlling the pressure.

Location : Dukes the Palm

5.  Jet Pack

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The JetPack shares the same principle as the Flyboard except that the engine is dorsal. This machine allows you to take off several meters high giving you the impression of flying. Your arms steer your direction by pointing at the Jetpack.

It is not a muscle based sport, and requires little to no strength to operate. It is about forward motion, being calm and relaxed with a gentle grip. A few of the trade offs are that the pack is a little more restricting, being that you are strapped into the pack and to your seat like a roller coaster ride. If you are claustrophobic or a little more nervous, it may be a little more intimidating, and your biggest challenge will be relaxing enough to listen and learn.

Think of it more as controlling a machine that you are strapped into and moving forward at higher speeds, whereas the board feels more like surfing around freely but is a bit more tippy.

Location : Dukes the Palm

6.  Jetovator

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The Jetovator is like a water-jetpack, except you ride it like a motorcycle. The JETOVATOR allows the rider to experience the thrill of flying with the ease of riding a bike. It is developed to push you forward, as well as take you up to 30 feet in the air and 10 feet below the water.

The Jetovator is the first flying bike powered by water. This new device will require some time to adapt but once you understand the principle the instructor will help you learn new techniques such as right and left movement by making waves but also side flips.

Location : Dukes the Palm

7.  Stand up paddle boarding

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Paddle boarding is a popular watersport best performed in the open ocean.Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a newer derivative of paddle boarding that has only been around for the past decade. This sport is becoming more and more popular each year. Unlike surfing, you can practice this sport in a lake or river in addition to the ocean.

It’s like a combination of surfing and kayaking. Yet, you do not need waves to paddle board as you would with surfing. In fact, calm, flat water is better if you’re a beginner.

People use their arms while lying, kneeling or standing on a paddle board or surfboard to swim and propel forward.Stand up paddle boarding works your core, improves your cardio fitness and challenges your balance and flexibility.

It doesn’t matter what your age or fitness level is – anyone can try paddle boarding. This workout can help improve your overall fitness level no matter where you were at to start with.

Location to try out this sport : Dukes The Palm – Dubai , Zero Gravity – Dubai

8.  Fly Fish Ride

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A more exhilarating version of the banana boat ride, Fly Fish is quite likely the most exciting and spectacular activity of Adventure Sports. It is like riding a wild horse over the water.You will be towed by a speedboat while riding a flat inflated tube that will fly high, shake or move sideways against the wind – just like a fish flying over the water!

The professional team will provide you with safety jackets and brief you about safety before the ride. After the briefing, you get to experience the thrill of the ride as you fly through the waves. Expect sudden bursts of speed and occasional swerves by the fly fish giving you an adrenaline-filled adventure.

Location – Zero Gravity Dubai

9.  Donut Boat Ride

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Donut Boat Ride is one of the emerging water activities in Dubai. The concept is pretty similar to that of a banana boat except this one is shaped like a donut towed by a speedboat with a capacity of 2 or 3 people only. 

This ride is more on the relieving side as it provides a greater sense of safety with less chances of falling into the water while riding.

Depending on your age and unique ride preferences, your donut boat will give you an exhilarating ride, twisting and rotating you in the middle of the sea.

Location : Zero Gravity – Dubai, Al Hisn Corniche Rd – Abudhabi

10.  Fishing Tour

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Deep-sea fishing trips in Dubai are very popular these days. You can sail across the Persian Gulf, spend quality time and have some real fishing experience making your trip fun and pleasurable. Fish species such as kingfish, queenfish, Dourado (dolphin), long tail tuna, giant trevally, bonito, Spanish mackerel, cobia and barracudas can be found in specific areas of the sea.

These trips require a minimum of 4 hours and can take up to 8 passengers. A  professional captain, specialist skipper and a fishing guide will join you on the boat for assistance to find out the best fishing sites and areas. A fully equipped boat with necessary fishing gear, high-quality bait and safety equipment will be provided. The fishing crews will also give you a  marvelous local insight into the rich culture of the area and its surrounding waters. 

So jump on an exceptional fishing boat to investigate the Arabian Gulf’s profound waters and experience the delight and excitement of catching a fishing at its finest!

Location :  Dubai Marina, Al Bateen Beach – Abu Dhabi

11. Sightseeing Boat Tours

See Dubai as you have never seen it before – from the water!. 

You will be able to see modern Dubai from the seaside and feel all the grandeur of this Arab city by visiting the elite areas of ​​Dubai Marina with impressive buildings and a beautiful waterfront. Admire the luxury yachts at the port and the whimsical fountains of the Dubai Mall.These tours are guaranteed to leave you in awe of Dubai’s enchanting islands, amazing architecture and beaches.

Location : Dubai Marina, Dubai Mall

12.  Parasailing Experience

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Parasailing is a recreational activity that involves an individual towed by a boat while connected to a canopy wing specially designed. This canopy wing is called a parasail wing. The harness links the pilot securely to the parasail, which is attached to the boat. The boat then zooms off, carrying the wing or parascender and individual into the air.

It rises with the speed of the boat and floats in the sky giving you panoramic views of the entire city of Dubai. 

You can experience an adrenaline rush as the parachute takes off the water surface but once settled in the air you will feel like an eagle soaring in the skies!

Parasailing is a  very peaceful experience. You climb through the air at a steady, gradual pace and feels like you are floating. 

Location : Corniche Rd-Abu Dhabi , Al Aqah Beach Resort – Fujairah, Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah, Zero Gravity – Dubai

13.  Wakeboard Experience

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If you are done with water skiing in Dubai and looking for a tougher challenge, then try out Wakeboarding. It is a combination of water skiing, surfing, and snowboarding. A wakeboard is similar to a skateboard on which the rider is fastened to a board which in turn will be towed by a motorboat. 

At first, the most important thing to learn is which foot should be the leading one. Once you figure that out it’s time to try to stand up on the board. When you are first trying to stand up on a wakeboard, put about 60% of your weight on your front foot and stay close to the board.

Wakeboarding is one of the best watersports in Dubai as you can indulge in stunts and other acrobatics on a wakeboard.

Whether you are a professional or a beginner enthusiast, wakeboarding in Dubai is a must-try. This sport can be experienced on all the days of the year subjected to weather conditions.

Location : Jumeirah Beach – Dubai

14.  Knee Boarding

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Kneeboarding is a water board sport that blends the characteristics of surfing, water skiing, and wakeboarding.

In a typical situation, the kneeboarder kneels on the specially-created surfboard with grooves for the knees.The board has an adjustable strap that allows the rider to strap themselves over their thighs. The rider then hangs onto a tow-rope. The forward motion is provided by the towing boat.

The advantages of kneeboarding compared to other tow-sports such as wakeboarding are that it is easier to learn and the fall-off impact is much reduced owing to the fact that the rider is closer to the water surface.

Location : Jumeirah Beach – Dubai

15.  Visit a Water Park

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Waterparks appeal to families who want quality recreation time in an extremely safe environment. After all, waterparks are the safest place to have fun in the water compared to oceans, rivers, lakes and even swimming pools. Thus, parents can feel confident about going to a waterpark with their kids. For families who want a safe place to play in the water that’s also really convenient, then, waterparks are the perfect answer.

They include massive slides, wave pools and even smaller rides with children in mind. From an Arabian-themed water park to Legoland, everyone is bound to have a great time! A trip to a waterpark should be a mandatory summer event for every family. 

Even if you have a pool or a lake in your backyard, the fun of a waterpark simply can’t be matched anywhere else.

Here are the best 5 water parks in Dubai and the UAE :

  • Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park
  • Wild Wadi Water Park
  • Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
  • Laguna Water Park
  • Legoland Water Park

We hope you enjoyed this guide. Do check out our page at Activity Gate for more such fun filled adventures!