Here are three pastimes for those seeking some water-filled fun in the UAE.
With more than 1,300 kilometres of coastline along the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, the UAE enjoys an intimate relationship with the ocean. From the islands dotting Abu Dhabi to the historical harbour in Dubai and the pristine beaches of the Northern Emirates, we are literally surrounded by water. But how many of us take advantage of this natural treasure? For those with a sense of adventure, there are many unique water sports and activities suitable to a variety of budgets. Soumik Mukherjee reviews three pastimes for those seeking some water-filled fun.
The company Leading daily expeditions into Abu Dhabi's eastern mangroves, the Noukhada Adventure Company seeks to develop eco-tourism in the emirate and promote environmentalism.
The package A one-and-a-half-hour guided tour will take you deep into the lush and narrow passageways of the mangroves. The timing of this tour, however, could vary according to water conditions. On normal days, expeditions can be organised any time in the morning or evening. Tours are generally done with at least four people, and children under 11 must ride in a double kayak with an adult. The price includes kayaks, life jackets, oars and other accessories.
The splash Exploring this unique side to Abu Dhabi is a fun, active and affordable adventure for the entire family.The company also offers annual memberships for Dh3,000. It includes complementary use of the kayaks, a guided tour every month, a storage facility if you own your own kayak and 20 per cent off on all Noukhada products. For more information, visit www.noukhada.ae
The company King fish, tuna, blue sharks, stingrays and barracuda are just some of the marine life that could be dangling at the end of your hook. ABC Tours offers deep-sea fishing adventures leaving from Dubai Creek.
The package Trips depart several times a day on eight- , 10- and 12-seater boats and last four hours. All the equipment is provided, such as bait, poles and fishing lines. Light refreshments are also served. A boat can be hired for a minimum of two persons, while bookings need to be made at least 24 hours in advance. The trip, organised any time between 7am and 4pm, extends far into the open sea and may be contingent on weather conditions.
The splash Deep-sea fishing is a great activity for individuals as well as families. Although ABC Tours will provide all the equipment, prospective anglers should note that the company is not responsible for cleaning or cooking your catch. Check out www.abctoursdubai.com for more details.
Dh450 per person
The company The Dubai Marina Yacht Club is home to dozens of impressive yachts. Although many of these are privately owned, it's possible to rent one of these yachts for one unforgettable experience.
The package The club offers a two-hour cruise on a 14-seater yacht with a captain and a hostess. Alhough the club's charter yacht costs Dh2,500, the price will vary depending on whether you wish to have food, beverages or entertainment on board. If you're looking to save money, wait to have lunch or dinner in one of the club's restaurants after you return from your voyage. The club suggests you check for availability at least two days in advance to avoid disappointment.
The splash The club is a haven for cruisers, corporate getaways and those looking to organise anniversaries, birthday parties or other celebrations. Keep costs down by filling the yacht to its 14-person capacity, reducing the cost to just Dh178 per guest. The club also caters to those keen to learn seamanship skills. More information is available at www.dubaimarinayachtclub.com