From swimming with sharks to riding in a "gyrocopter," this city offers extreme activities sure to get your heart racing.

Jumper under canopy flying over the Dubai Palm
Credit: (c) Oliver Furrer

Perhaps it's driven by Dubai's Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohamed's adventurous spirit (visit his Instagram page, @faz3, to watch as he climbs the top of the Burj Khalifa for a selfie or skydives over the Palm Islands), or it's the unbeatable weather conditions during the winter months, but Dubai has become the perfect playground for adrenaline junkies. The city has pioneered an impressive number of adventures for residents, as well as the tens of millions of tourists that flock to the emirate each year, with a list that includes shark diving inside its luxury mall, riding high over the sky for the best views of the cityscape below, or the chance to rent a jet pack that will send you soaring 30 feet in the air over the waters of the city's Marina. Read on for five bucket list adventures you shouldn't miss when you're in town.


For a little more than $500, you can dive from 13,000 feet in the air over the city's palm-shaped islands as a cameraman documents your experience. SkyDive Dubai, located near the Dubai Marina, offers several types of skydiving adventures for different levels of experience.

Swim With the Sharks Inside of The Dubai Mall

Head to—wait for it—the mall to dive with the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world. The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, located in the ground floor of the Dubai Mall, features a 10 million-liter tank with more than 140 species of marine wildlife. The shark excursion is available for beginners, too.

X-Jet Pack Flights

Adventure Leisure Tourism offer jet pack rockets for rent. The half-hour excursion ($95) involves harnessing yourself into a rocket belt that's propelled by a water jet stream. This unusual flight takes you 30 feet in the air above the waters of the Dubai Marina.

Hot Air Balloon

Since 2005, Balloon Adventures Emirates has offered hot air balloon rides over the beautiful desert setting of the Hajjar Mountains. The best part? You'll only need to travel 30 minutes from downtown Dubai to savor this slice of scenic adventure ($258).

Fly Gyro

Skydive Dubai now offers one-hour tours of the city via a flying machine with an all glass ceiling known as a 'gyrocopter' ($271).

Dylan Essertier, originally from Westport, Connecticut, is a Dubai-based writer and the features editor for @SavoirFlair. Follow her on Instagram at @DylanEssertier.