x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Switch-off time is just after the kite takes off

The Life: The region's many beaches provide escape for kitesurfing Dubai lawyer.

William Coleman takes to the waves at weekends. Siddharth Siva / arabianEye
William Coleman takes to the waves at weekends. Siddharth Siva / arabianEye

William Coleman, 34, is a lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an international firm in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). He spends his weekends on the region's many beaches kitesurfing, which is a combination of power kite flying, windsurfing, paragliding and wakeboarding.

How did you get into kitesurfing?

I came across it when I was back in the UK. I thought it looked quite interesting. I've always done a lot of outdoors stuff and I love water sports. I got an instructor near Southport. It got to the point that if you enjoy it you pretty much have to buy your own kit because it is difficult borrowing everyone's all the time. So I took the plunge, but being based in London it was pretty hard because I was miles away from anywhere.

You must have been happy when you got a job in Dubai then?

There's quite a light wind in Dubai, but there are plenty of places around here you can go kitesurfing. You can drive to Ras al Khaimah or Oman and people regularly do, or you can go further afield to places like Egypt and Mauritius. I normally go to Ras al Khaimah every weekend. It's so transportable. You don't even need a roof rack. You can throw your kit in the back of your car. With other water sports you need a lot more kit.

But why kitesurfing of all things?

I am the sort of person who likes to always be learning something and in kitesurfing there's always something you can improve on. It's also relaxing and a good way of switching off.

Is it sociable?

It's a great way of meeting people. It attracts a good crowd. I've come across people who work in the DIFC, others who work in industry and people who run their own businesses, from all walks of life. It's always attracted a big crowd, but I think it is gaining in popularity.

Why do you think that is?

Because it's fun and you also have the luxury of not needing to have a big kit. Most water sports can be quite complicated. It also has quite a good image. People see it as exciting.

Does it help your performance in your job?

It is a lot easier to give my week to the firm and work as long as is required because you know you've got a great way to switch off at the end. You totally forget everything else. Sometimes you come off the water and you've had such a great time it feels like you're on holiday.