With its world-class infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, picturesque coastline, luxury marinas and diverse destination experiences, Dubai has emerged as a leading marine leisure destination, providing residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of sea-based activities and watersports to keep cool, unwind and explore this summer season.
As Dubai’s enduring connection to the sea extends to the travel and tourism sector, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism takes a look at some of the city’s maritime and aquatic leisure offerings that people can experience during the summer months in Dubai.
Residents and visitors alike can utilise the services of leisure travel companies which operate yacht tours from beautiful marinas in the city including Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Creek Marina Yacht Club, Dubai Harbour and Jaddaf Waterfront Marina. The high number of quality and safety assured yachting companies offer bespoke itineraries, the latest water sport experiences, along with state-of-the-art nautical equipment, for a safe and refreshing day at sea.
Guests can enjoy a tailored yachting experience, with a wide variety of dining options provided and a full day of onboard entertainment, all set to the backdrop of the impressive Dubai skyline. Moreover, when embarking on a trip at sea, guests can be selective in their routes and choose from which port to hop onboard. The vast majority of routes offered by these travel firms will include incredible views of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, including the Dubai Marina, the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa, whilst extended itineraries include excursions to The World Islands. Alternatively, if guests wish to enjoy a more extensive experience, yachts are available to hire for longer, extended excursions.
Amit Patel, Founder and Managing Director of Xclusive Yachts, commented: “We offer 30 tours a day, and serve over one million tourists a year. All our tours are water-based with our most popular tour being a two-hour guided luxury yacht tour with a live BBQ, which takes you to the iconic landmarks, Ain Dubai, Atlantis-The Palm and Burj Al Arab. The yacht is fully air conditioned so guests can cool off inside, and we have our own dedicated fully air conditioned lounge in Dubai Marina, providing guests the opportunity to refresh before a trip”.
With these fun and affordable days out at sea, the yachts will often dock at a tranquil location, allowing for tourists and residents to soak up the stunning sunset and have a dip in the refreshing Arabian Gulf. This then completes a cool afternoon enjoying all that Dubai has to offer, with guests even being able to make use of a floating supermarket located on a boat that is docked, meaning they need not return to the shore to purchase snacks and refreshment.
Dubai Marina and the Dubai Creek area are also home to a number of traditional Dhow cruise companies, which provide a more authentic and simplified offering, without compromising on experience. Guests can enjoy stunning city views on these traditional wooden boats, taking in some of Dubai’s most famous landmarks. Many of the companies also provide Arabic buffets and beverages on board, at an additional cost, for an elevated experience. This fun way of exploring Dubai is a nod to the Dubai’s maritime heritage and a unique way to relax. In addition to Dhow cruises, there are a number of cost effective and fun ways in which tourists and residents can enjoy the city skyline, including tours organised by Yellow Boat, one of Dubai’s most popular boat tour companies.
Muhammad Ansari, CEO of The Yellow Boats said: “The Yellow Boats provide unique guided sightseeing tours on top-of-the-line rigid inflatable speed boats. We actively promote visitors to discover the city from the water to beat the summer heat. The Yellow Boats have a number of daily tours from 9:00am to 20:00pm for individuals, families and private groups who want a safe and extremely fun experience.”
Maritime tourism in Dubai extends beyond the tranquil luxury boating experience, with multiple offerings for those seeking a more action-packed aquatic adventure including self-drive boat tours, island hopping, Jet Ski tours, water skiing, paragliding and more. Many water sports companies offer package experiences which allow friends and families to experience a full day of action packed adventure, such as jet skiing past some of Dubai’s most beloved landmarks and water skiing off the back of luxury yachts, and more. As well as this, many travel companies are well-equipped to provide a range of water-based pursuits, including diving experiences, fishing trips, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kite surfing, offering one the chance to explore the magical marine life surrounding the city. Additionally, one of the most notable water-based activities in the city is the distinctive ‘fly boards’, offering thrill seekers a chance to be elevated above water on jet powered boot attachments.
Basheer Al Salabi, Co -Owner SeaYou Watersports commented: “SeaYou Dubai offers an array of non-motorised water sports on the Palm Jumeirah, from rentals to lessons and training in watersports to guided tours. These activities include Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, Sailing and Windsurfing. Our popular Guided Kayak and SUP tours are among the most popular choices for visitors to Dubai, as they give our guests a unique viewpoint of Dubai and its landmarks. To accommodate our guests in the summer we run these tours during the cooler times of the day focusing on early mornings and sunset. The sunset tours are our bestseller as it gives them plenty of photo opportunities. We aim to remove the perception that it is too hot go out in the summer and highlight that the outdoors can still be a great way to explore the city while staying fit as long as activities are run at specific hours of the day and that everyone stays hydrated.”