Fulfill your water adventure fix in the desert oasis of Al Ain.
Several years ago I came across a short video called Electric Blue Haven from the company Globe on youtube. It consisted of Dion Agius surfing somewhere in the middle of the desert in a man-made wave pool. It was something so futuristic that it blew my mind. There was no way that a wave this good was man-made and my friends agreed. When I questioned about where it was, implying that we should go, they immediately said that it was impossible.
Years later, while my wife and I were on one of our many trips around the world, the thought of visiting Dubai arose in our conversation. My first instincts were to maybe skip Dubai because I normally prefer destinations were I can surf. Then, somehow the memory of watching the surfers at Wadi Adventure wave pool from many years ago appeared in my mind. Without hesitation, I said “yes, let’s go to Dubai”. My selfish reason was to surf in the desert at Wadi Adventure.
After a little research I discovered it was very possible to live the dream I’ve had for years about surfing the mystic wave created by man.
We were staying in Dubai so we rented a car and after an hour and forty five minute drive we found ourselves at the entrance of Wadi Adventure. I was so excited and I couldn’t even talk. I was dancing around the car and into the front door. The fact that Wadi Adventure is the Middle East’s first and only man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking, surfing and wakeboarding facility, it was a big bucket list experience for me. It is located in the garden city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates at the foot of the surreal Jebel Hafeet mountain.
If you didn’t think there a water park in the desert and you forgot your swimwear, sunscreen, flip-flops or anything else, don’t worry. You can find anything that you could possibly need at the fully stocked Wadi Adventure’s
retail store H2O.
The staff kindly greeted us while checking in. As we entered the park grounds outside at the wave pool I couldn’t believe we had finally arrived. The best part was that we were one of the first arrivals and had the amazing view of the wave pool all to ourselves. As they do offer other water sports like wake boarding and rafting, all I could focus on was surfing.
We casually walked over to the board rental area and met the amazing lifeguards who were super kind to us right away. I was so stressed out that I didn’t have a high performance short board with me, but the guys at Wadi Adventure immediately assured me that they had one available for me.
Wadi Adventure does have soft top long boards that are included in some of the packages as well as a small selection of short boards for rental and bodyboards.
After a quick informative talk about the wave and safety, I had a board under my arm and I was ready to surf.
I quickly paddled out in the wave pool and was blown away by the amazing mountainous backdrop that made you feel as if you were in a movie. Jiffry, the head lifeguard, politely offered to go out into the pool and film with my go pro that I had brought along while I surfed. I couldn’t believe how nice the staff was.
So there I was sitting on my board in a calm flat pool and suddenly they initiated the first wave for me. I quickly turned and paddled to catch the wave and there I was surfing the first man-made wave of my life. By the way I’ve surfed in 30 different countries and had never surfed inside a wave pool, so it was very different but so exciting.
As I made a few turns and finished the wave I was laughing and smiling ear to ear. I couldn’t believe that I actually fulfilled one of my dreams that easy.
Lets just say I caught many more waves that afternoon and had the best time ever. Later, a group joined me surfing the advanced wave and we shared waves for a while having fun time together. The vibe was nothing short of happy and I never felt unsafe at any given time.
They offer all levels of waves as well as lefts and rights to cater to each surfer. The free surf advanced wave, you will have a single spot on the main wave lineup and there will be one surfer per wave with no exceptions, rotating turns for the duration of the session. An intermediate wave are set at level 3 “A-Frame”, maximum of 2 surfers per wave with 8 surfers in the pool. A ‘parallel’ wave, will break all across the pool at the same time, there is no ‘right’ or ‘left’ break, maximum of 3 surfers can surf per wave with a total of 9 surfers in the pool. Whitewash, surfing the whitewash is the very next step after a beginner’s lesson. There are private sessions, free surf hire (semi-private) and body boarding as well. So I highly recommend to any surfer from beginner to advance to book a session and get to Wadi Adventure while visiting the UAE, you won’t regret it.
However, if surfing is not your thing there’s so much more to do and have fun at Wadi Adventure. From kayaking to rafting, from wake boarding to zip lining, the fun is endless.
You can spend the whole day at the park enjoying all kinds of thrilling activities and when you get hungry, the Surf Cafe has great options. To refresh yourself with smoothies, cold drinks or ice cream head over to Mango Mango near the rafting course.
All said and done, if you like water activities, having fun and are coming to UAE, know that there is a special place in the desert, Wadi Adventure. It is your ultimate spot for an amusing day that you’ll never forget.
*Disclaimer: We were hosted by Wadi Adventure, but all the opinions and views presented here are entirely our own.