So, after accidentally managing to pile on quite a few pounds between my multiple visitors and trips at the backend of last year I promised that this year wouldn’t be filled with brunch after brunch EVERY weekend. As much as I love a brunch, my waistline clearly doesn’t and so I wanted to get out and take part in more outdoor activities, particularly while we have such glorious weather over here.
Below is a little roundup of my top 5 to-do’s this winter!
1. Al Qudra Cycle Track: Not for the faint-hearted, this 50km cycle track through the desert is pretty tough at times. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery is beautiful, but firstly, 50km… that’s a long-ass way and secondly there are quite a few, seemingly innocuous inclines which as you approach seem to magically turn into full on mahoosive hills which made my legs literally want to fall off and die. But I can tell you right now the sense of achievement when you finish is immense, plus you can totally justify eating a whole pizza after all the calories you’ll have burned. If you don’t have a bike (who has a bike in Dubai?) then contact http://www.trekbikes.ae/rentals/ who can arrange the hire for you. Be sure to book in advance though as it gets super busy on the weekend. I’d also advise going early before it gets too searing hot. Oh and padded shorts are a MUST.
2. Via Ferrata: literally translated this means “iron path” in Italian and is a climbing route typically found in and around the Alps, consisting of steel cables affixed to the rocks. My in-laws are avid climbers and normally plan their summer holidays around via ferrata locations, so I knew what it was and was super excited when I heard they’d recently opened a route on Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain. Just past Ras Al Khaimah its easy enough to get to. The small groups of a maximum of 7 are accompanied by 2-3 professional instructors along the route. It takes between 2-4 hours depending on the groups level of fitness and at its highest point reaches 120km with some awesome views. There are also 3 ziplines along the way, one of which is 300m long! There are a few hairy patches but otherwise I just found it really exhilarating and would highly recommend it for a fun day out. For more information and to book visit: https://jebeljais.ae/via-ferrata/
3. Stand Up Paddleboard: Why has it taken me so long to try this!?! Its pretty tricky to start with and the board is super wobbly (it probably didn’t help that I was the worlds most hungover person on my first attempt) but once you get the hang of how to balance it really isn’t too bad at all. I am no pro, but it’s fairly intuitive to pick up the basics. It’s a lovely way to get out on the water, super chilled and an all round good work out. If you are starting out for the first time visit Ignite Surface at Riva Beach, as the water is really calm and its a great spot for a beer and a chill out afterwards. For more information visit: http://ignitesurface.com/rentals/
4. The Palm Crescent Cycle route: I knew the Palm Cresent was fairly long but didn’t realise it was a whopping 12km. That means if you hire a bike at one end and cycle the entire length you are forced to go back and complete a pretty impressive 24km route. We did this before hitting up The Waldorf for a Privilee day so went about 10am and parked up at the Byky station at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. Its easy enough to register at the machines, release your bike and get moving. You ride along the boardwalk for most of the way except for a bridge either end where you need to go up on the road. It’s a really pleasant ride and you only really need to negotiate tourists as you approach the Atlantis. Word of warning, don’t do what I did and wear a bikini under a playsuit… it is not comfortable in the slightest. And if you have padded shorts I would advise you wear them, the seats are made of concrete. Find the Byky locations here: http://www.bykystations.com/en/dubai/locations/
5. Jet Skiing: I’ve jetskiied on holiday a couple of times but never done it in Dubai until recently, mainly because they seem to charge an arm and a leg for it over here. I was lucky enough however to spot a deal on Cobone so decided it would be a fun Friday morning activity. We hired the jet ski’s from a place in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour and along with an instructor rode past the Burj Al Arab, along JBR and then round the whole Palm and back again. It was fantastic fun and perfect for some awesome #MyDubai photos. Where are mine you may ask?? Well the husbands waterproof phone turned out to be, well, um, not waterproof. Ooops! Even though I bought the vouchers through Cobone, they were for a company called Aone Yachts who were really great and said that next time we wanted to go they could do us a good deal. SO I’d recommend calling them and doing a bit of haggling! http://www.aoneyachtcharter.com/
Well I hope that gives you all some ideas of different things to do while the weather is so nice! And if you have any questions at all on any of them just drop me a line!