x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai's first bungee jump offers daredevils an adrenalin rush

Thrill-seekers have been queuing up to make the 50 metre plunge at Gravity Zone, Dubai's first permanent bungee jump.

Ramy Corey, from Lebanon, launches himself from the
Ramy Corey, from Lebanon, launches himself from the "the cage" on his first jump ever.

DUBAI // A string of daredevils are lining up to make a 50-metre leap at the city's first permanent bungee jump.

Out of 200 people set to jump at Gravity Zone since it opened less than two months ago, only two have lost their nerve.

"That 10 seconds on the edge is where you find the courage," said Ryan Shoucair, 30, an account manager who has also jumped in the US.

"They were from a bridge, this is different," he said.

Jumpers are weighed on arrival at the site, in the Power Play Soccer Centre on Meydan Road, before going to the waiting area.

Minutes later, they are hoisted up in a cage, by a crane, after two mandatory safety checks by staff.

With Mr Shoucair was first-time bungee jumper Mariam Mohanna, 24. "It's just having fun. I'll probably jump," she said, before she entered the cage.

Two minutes later she was dropping then the 8-metre elastic cord stretched three times its length and catapulted her back up.

"I asked if I should do it or not and he told me he was not going to make me, but I should jump,"said the computer engineer, from Lebanon.

"The adrenalin is amazing and I recommend everyone do it. I have to do it again."

Asaad Masri, 26, also from Lebanon, was jumping as part of an adrenalin-fuelled weekend, with a skydive lined up for tomorrow. "I'm looking for an adrenalin rush and this should do it. I like heights," he said. "I like to try things like this and it is more of a challenge. "

After it was over, he was stuck for words to describe the moment he lost his view of Dubai's skyline, which included Burj Khalifa and Meydan, and shot towards the ground. "Awesome," he said.

Gravity Zone has big plans for the coming months. "We've got another product coming, which is the catapult," said Ramez Shawky, Gravity Zone's managing director.

"It will fire you off the ground like a bullet to 50 metres.

"You will be tied up to the ground and the cord is stretched to the maximum before it's triggered, and off you go. We will also have a 100-metre crane in addition to the 50-metre one."

eharnan@thenational.ae