From sharks to skydives, there’s more than a few surprises beyond the usual Dubai attractions. Here’s our pick of offbeat Dubai activities on offer.

If you thought the best Dubai activities were limited to counting how many Lamborghinis you can spot, shopping like you’ve won the lottery, socialising with celebs on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, or taking camel selfies on a Dubai safari, think again. There is more.

Skydive over the Palm Jumeirah

Jump from 13,000ft and enjoy the adrenaline surge as you free fall at 120 miles per hour over the incredible landscape of Palm Jumeirah on a tandem skydive at Skydive Dubai. After a minute of free falling, you’ll soar above the city’s breathtaking skyline under an open parachute.

Zipline over the Dubai Fountain

Watching the Dubai Fountain from the sidelines is so old school. Experience views of the fountain and the Burj Khalifa from a more thrilling perspective with Xline. You’ll be securely attached to a harness on a zipline 90m up on a tower in Downtown Dubai and soar across 558m over the largest choreographed fountain in the world.

Go skiing in summer

Does the phrase “Dubai ski resort” not compute? Well, who says you can’t have a snow day when it’s 45°C? Layer up and head to the slopes at Ski Dubai, the Middle East’s first-ever indoor ski resort, for the ultimate winter adventure. Spend your day skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, or ziplining. Don’t forget to meet the resident penguins.

Fly an Emirates A380

Know your flaps from your ailerons? At the Emirates A380 Experience, take control in an immersive simulator and learn how to pilot an Airbus A380 on a 30-minute flight over cities like Dubai, New York or Paris, complete with take-off, landing and realistic weather conditions. After your first session with a trainer, you’ll get to fly on your own.

Dive with sharks in Dubai

Cast aside your fears and scuba dive into an aquarium with the world’s largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks at the Dubai Aquarium on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall. Under the guidance of qualified instructors, you’ll come face-to-face with stingrays and sharks as mall-goers watch the action and cheer you on.

Flyboard above the Arabian Sea

Flyboarding – a new extreme sport a bit like surfing, only 10 metres above the waves. Keep your balance as you’re propelled into the air on a wakeboard powered by water jets, courtesy of SeaRide Dubai. If you think that’s easy, ask to practice backflips and other tricks on the water.

Explore a rainforest

Fancy a bit of the Amazon in the desert? At the Green Planet Project, explore a lush tropical rainforest in an environmentally controlled biodome. Home to over 3,000 species of flora and fauna such as porcupines, snakes, sloths, exotic birds, and marine life typically found in tropical forests, it’s a fascinating experience for all ages.

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