The arrival of summer doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. The UAE has plenty of water-based adventures and activities to help you stay cool and keep boredom at bay.
Kayaking in the Eastern Mangroves
While most people think ‘desert’ when they think of the UAE’s landscapes, Abu Dhabi has a fascinating coastal ecosystem that boasts lush mangrove forests. The best way to explore these is by kayak, early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is at its lowest. As you paddle through the mangroves, look out for all manner of wildlife, from exotic birds and tropical fish to sea turtles and even dugongs.
Surfing at Wadi Adventure
Set against the rugged mountain backdrop of Jebel Hafeet, Wadi Adventure is an activity centre in Al Ain that offers everything from kayaking to white water rafting. The centre even boasts its own dedicated Wave Pool for surfing, and the artificial breakers can reach heights of up to 3 metres. Lessons are available.
Discovering underwater life at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Explore the world beneath the waves with a visit to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Located in The Dubai Mall, it’s home to more than 140 species, including penguins, otters, sharks, manta rays and the formidable King Croc. If admiring the animals from behind the glass isn’t quite enough, you can also go underwater yourself with a special shark diving encounter.
Touring the emirates with The Yellow Boats
Feel the breeze and admire the city skyline from the water when you book a guided tour with The Yellow Boats. You’ll see the best of Dubai or Abu Dhabi from the safety of a Ribcraft rigid inflatable boat with experienced skippers, enjoying a unique perspective of the emirate’s most exciting attractions and landmarks. Depending on the tour you choose, you could see Dubai Marina, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or Abu Dhabi Corniche from the water.
Kitesurfing through the waves
Despite the rising mercury, Dubai’s dedicated community of kitesurfers still manages to get out onto the water even during the summer months (in fact, August can be one of the best months for consistent winds). Once you are out at sea, the temperatures are cooler and kitesurfing is the perfect way to keep fit on the water (as long as you avoid the midday sun, when the heat is at its most intense). The sport of kitesurfing continues to grow in popularity in the UAE, with Dubai’s famous Kite Beach a magnet for enthusiasts, who continue to roll out their kites and strap themselves onto their boards no matter the weather.
Making a splash at Laguna Waterpark
The newest addition to the UAE’s impressive water parks scene is Laguna Beach, a brand new family-friendly attraction, set in Dubai’s La Mer. There’s something for everyone in the family, from five thrilling rides and a wave machine for surfers, to a children’s zone and a lazy river. If you’re looking to relax after all that activity, Laguna Waterpark has its own pool, direct beach access and plenty of cabanas.
Diving and snorkelling in the Arabian Gulf
There’s no better way to escape the summer sun than to head under the sea. Fortunately, the UAE is home to some thriving and vibrant sites for snorkelling and diving, particularly in Fujairah. The emirate’s most famous site is Snoopy Island, where swimmers can encounter everything from manta rays and sea turtles to reef sharks. And with the recent announcement that Fujairah will soon become home to the world’s biggest man-made coral garden, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with the Arabian Gulf.