Abu Dhabi Week explores the capital for all its high-octane water sport events
It’s hot. Really hot. And for most, the thought of being out in the sun during the midday heat is crazy – let alone attempting some sort of physical activity. But there are many residents of the capital who would disagree. Abu Dhabi offers an array of activities that will keep active, outdoors and of course, looking and feeling cool.
Rock the boat
So you want to be around water, whether you’re on a boat, in a kayak or buzzing along on a powerboat. But you just can’t make up your mind, right? Watercooled UAE will help you fix that aquatic craving with the plethora of water-based sports.
Located at the Hiltonia Beach Club and Yas Island, Watercooled UAE is in an ideal spot to introduce you to plenty of water sports. The question is, what exactly can you do? Well, just about everything you could want. Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and even powerboat training for qualification is available. And that’s just for starters. Wakeboarding, kite surfing and ZAPCAT – a two-person boat with lighting acceleration – are also available for those craving for a high-speed cooling.
Watercooled UAE offer a variety of classes from individual lessons to group classes, all of which cater to all experience levels.
Contact: 02 639 5997
Wake me up
Arguably one of the most adrenalin-fuelled water sports is Wakeboarding. A Speedboat blistering across the water pulling you over rippling wakes, as you carve and switch your board in style – all at a hair-drying pace. But speedboats and wakeboards come at a price, something not all of us can afford. So we suggest making your way over to Al Forsan International Sports Resort for a cheaper, but just as electrifying experience.
No boat, no problem. As stated by the World Wakeboarding Association, Al Forsan offers “one of the most amazing cable facilities in the world,” so only the cable option is favoured here! Al Forsan was the first to introduce the water cable park system in the UAE. It is a huge overhead cable, which pulls you along the purpose-built Pro and Beginner lakes. You’ll travel between 29kph to 38kph depending on your level of experience, on your chosen board; the facility offer more than just wakeboards too, like wake skate, knee boards, mono ski or water ski.
AED 190 will get you a board, wetsuit, lifejacket and one hour on the wire.
Contact: 02 556 8555
Those travelling along the Sheikh Khalifa Highway (from Yas Island to Saadiyat Island) may be familiar with the sight of people being launched upwards from the sea, water blasting from their feet as they twist, turn, dip and dive in the air. Welcome to Flyboarding.
So what is it? Imagine a wakeboard or snowboard attached to your feet. This is then connected to a 50ft tube fixed to a Jet Ski. The rider of the Jet Ski (your instructor) controls the throttle, propelling water through the tube and shooting out the bottom of the board. The power and the thrust keep you in the air or underwater at a controlled speed.
This is an activity, which is bound to keep you cool – temperature wise. As far as looking cool, you may not look like a pro straight off, but after great instruction from the team at Flyboard UAE, you’ll soon be catching the eye of passers by.
From AED 300 for a 30-minute session. AED 500 for one hour.
Here’s one for those looking for more than a one-off rush. Kite surfing takes time to learn, but after completing your course, you’ll be hooked for life. This sport offers extreme pace, a great physical workout when you get comfortable, you can catch some serious air!
Kitepro Abu Dhabi is a company worth talking to if you fancy taking up this sport. Expert teacher Sameh Elsaghir offers some of the best coaching available in the capital with over ten years experience – safety is at the forefront his training. Your feet are strapped to a board similar to a wakeboard with a special harness that fits on your torso, allowing you to connect with your kite – the engine of your trip. Yas Island, where the lessons take place, sees perfect wind strengths for all levels of experience.
A variety of lesson packages are available from AED 350 for a single one-hour session, to a ten-lesson package for AED 3,200.
Contact: 050 544 1494
Worth mentioning is the capital’s incredible Yas Waterworld and Al Ain’s Wadi Adventure. Both serve up plenty of keep cool activities that will keep you and the family entertained for hours.
Yas Waterworld, apart from the great slides and rides, also offers Flowboarding. With the Rush Rider (a small wave for learners) and the main barrel for those ready for something a little more intense, you can either kneel or stand on your board. The wave size can be controlled and expert staff will teach you how to conquer this gnarly wave!
Wadi Adventure in Al Ain is extremely popular for its giant wave pool and whitewater rafting facility. The speed of the water is controlled, offering levels that will help newcomers learn and keep the pros on their toes. Great for learners with its small rolling waves, and three-metre waves for seasoned surfers, this wave pool is idyllic. Did we mention it is the largest of its kind in the world?
Yas Waterworld: www.yaswaterwolrd.com
Wadi Adventure: 03 781 8422