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Surfless in Dubai? What to do to get your stoke on

Wes Van Zyl at the Surf Dubai Sunset Open © Quiksilver/Samantha Chambers



Travel Updates

Exploring the popularity of non-motorised watersports  in Dubai

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 February, 2018 - Some things in Dubai are plentiful. Sand, skyscrapers and wind come to mind while that endless pursuit of ours, waves, can be a scarcity. Fortunately other watersport activities in Dubai have rapidly expanded in recent years to counter the frustration of finding quality surf in the region. The throngs of visitors, expats and locals in Dubai have grown their get-wet options by looking to other activities.

If you can’t find a surf-able day in the shadow of the famous Burj Al Arab hotel at Umm Suqeim Beach, aka Sunset Beach, keep yourself stoked by dropping in on some of the nearby fully equiped facilities catering to boating, flyboarding, speedboating, parasailing and more.

Surrounded by so many man-made marvels it’s easy to forget that the best things in life are free. and the closest thrill to finding surf are those nature-powered endeavours. These crown jewel activities alongside surfing are stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and windsurfing

The shimmering aqua-blue waters of the Persian Gulf is made all the more appealing in Dubai with near-perfect weather. Summer is hot - making the sea the only place bearable besides the air-conditioned shopping malls. But in winter, it’s warm and not-too hot and perfect for exploring the sea.


The constant breeze makes the area a windsurfing haven with open fetches of sea and beach exposed to perfect sideshore breezes. Through windsurfing one can experience the adrenaline rush of non-motored acceleration across open water or simply cruise nearshore to check out the beach sites of one of the most unique confluences of saltwater and sand in the world.

There are also lots of groups in the area to help you do this. The cool thing about activity groups like SeaYou is that they promote several non-motorised activities - all their aquatic endeavours are either wind or people powered.

Those looking to get closer to the water and exercise their arms can always have a go at kayaking. Many who’ve rented equipment simply for the day have become so enamoured with the leisurely joy of paddling around at water level taking in the sights and sounds that they want it to become a permanent part of their lives. For these adventurers we recommend looking for kayaks for sale to maximise both their water time and budget.

If you become so smitten with Palm Beach you want to stay and become an expat, then do what many locals have done and check out the small, personal sailboats for sale. This is like the best of both worlds between windsurfing and kayaking. You have the stability and leisure of a Kayak, but you can give your arms a rest by tapping the free power of the wind.



To mark the rapid growth of these sports there’s an event that combines all three of the above mentioned non-motorised water activities, the SeaYou Watersport Challenge.

The popular event features a stand up paddle jam open to all brands and sizes, class R300 windsurfing and no-kill light tackle kayak fishing tournament. It’s held at Palm Beach. But beware, there are two “palms” in Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali and, yes, both are visible from space.

Palm Jebel Ali Dubai is becoming the epicentre in the growing Dubai watersports world. The view from the tip of Palm Beach development is unique. Both locals and visitors alike love to take in the breathtaking sights and sounds of Dubai's iconic skyline from the sea where the water is bustling with activities like windsurfing and stand up paddle board sessions.


The area’s Sofitel Watersport Center also keeps visitors busy with activities like sailing, kayaking and offers SUP tours around Palm Jumeirah, SUP Yoga, Dragon Boat tours (a sort of outrigger canoe), catamarans and more.

Remember, if you’re lucky enough to score a rare day at Sunset Beach, by all means drop everything and GO. But, in the likelihood that you’ll be staring at a flat, beautiful sea, take advantage of Dubai’s warm climate, beautiful sea and constant breeze and try something new.




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