Continuing on with extreme activities after yesterdays post about hang gliding in the Swiss Alps, is skydiving in Dubai! This is by far the most extreme, exciting, thrilling activity I have ever done in my life and DEFINITELY want to do it a hundred more times! I am infinitely jealous of the people who get to spend their entire days doing this as their job! What a life that must be!
When a friend of mine and I booked our trip to Dubai he got looking online and on YouTube and found out about SkyDive Dubai (the company we went with to do our skydive) and how awesome of an experience it looked. We decided to bite the bullet and go for it! Neither of us had ever done skydiving before or anything remotely close but it is hard to beat the location that Dubai offers.
The entire skydive costs 1999 AED (about $544 USD) with 999 AED (about 272 USD) payable upfront as a deposit when you make the reservation. SkyDive Dubai slots fill up really fast and they book months in advance so don’t show up in Dubai and expect to book a jump there and then. When we booked, we booked on August 7, 2014 for our jump that would take place on October 16, 2014. Even booking that early, over 2 months in advance, was cutting it close as slots were filling quickly for that week of October when we were set to be in Dubai.
SkyDive Dubai has two jump sites; a desert jump site and the primary site over the Palm Jumeirah man-made island located next to the Dubai Marina. I should note though that the desert location is only for those individuals who are licensed skydivers. For those who are new and doing a tandem jump like I did, the Palm location is the only location for you.
Dubai is known for the big, the bold and the boastful and SkyDive Dubai is no exception. The Palm jump zone is one of the (if not the) best jump zone in the world for the immense and absolutely stunning views it offers. Add to that the fact that Dubai gets sun almost all year round and you have yourself one of the most perfect SkyDive locations worldwide.
When I do things like this I want to do them in spectacular locations. After all, why pay all that money to do something as awesome as this in simply a mediocre location where all you see are fields when you are falling? That’s not my thing. Just like how I chose to do hang gliding in the Swiss Alps because of the location, I chose to do my first skydive in Dubai because of the world renowned location. I can’t imagine anywhere else in the world that can compare to the beautiful view you see when falling over the Palm island.
So October 16th came around. Our dive was booked for 11 AM which is also your arrival time at the facility. We made our way via the metro to the Dubai Marina and strolled around there for a little while beforehand and then headed to the SkyDive Dubai facility located next to the harbor situated right on the coast of the Arabian Gulf. Arriving at the facility a few minutes prior to 11, we promptly met our instructor who would also be the guide jumping tandem with us.
The process involved signing in for the jump, meeting the instructor and meeting the camera man who also jumps with you to take the camera footage. The video you see above begins here on the ground while you are getting suited up and prepped with gear. They just ask you a few questions to get the ball rolling but it is quite noisy in the building so it’s hard to hear what they are asking of you.
Now, i’ll admit I was VERY nervous. We had gone up to the top of the Burj Khalifa (the worlds tallest tower) the night before and while up there the bottom looked terrifyingly far away and yet our jump would take place thousands of feet higher than where we were at the top of the tower.
I was finally all geared up and prepped by just before 12:00 PM. We headed out to the runway where we got on a small plane and took off! The camera man was shooting this entire time as well so we could get a video of the whole experience. While the plane climbed to a height of 14,000 feet the camera man asked a few more questions and asked if I had any last words to which I replied “I hope I don’t die!” :).
When we reached the jumping height, the plane started to clear out. I was one of the last to go. My guide and I waddled towards the door where a red and green light on the wall indicated when we could jump. The camera man got on the outside of the plane so he could jump with us capturing the whole experience. I was instructed to keep my head tilted back on to the shoulder of the guide when we jumped to avoid any sort of whiplash. My legs were to remain bent up behind him during the jump and after jumping he would instruct me when I was allowed to bring my arms out from my sides.
The light turned from red to green and we JUMPED!!!! For about the first two seconds I was terrified from the fear that had been building during the flight up and from suddenly being thrown out the door of this plane but it was quickly replaced by a feeling of floating, flying like a bird, excitement, and honestly one of the greatest and most freeing feelings in the world!. We plummeted towards earth in free-fall for 60 seconds at a speed of over 210 km/h. Honestly, I would do this every day of my life if I could! It was that amazing and unreal.
After free-falling for 60 seconds the instructor pulled the chute and we parachuted down for 4 minutes before reaching the ground. Let me tell you, for guys, when that chute is pulled it is a painful experience! The force of the chute pulling up on your vest which is strapped around your legs next to your balls is intense! I’d imagine if you did this too many times you may not be having kids in the future! Luckily the pain is only temporary as the chute is deployed, the rest of the way down it is fine. I couldn’t get enough of the views on the way down and wish it had lasted longer. The whole way you saw the immaculate skyline of Dubai combined with the impeccable views of the Palm Jumeirah combined with the glistening blue water of the Persian Gulf. it was unlike anything I have ever experienced before and words nor pictures can do it justice.
After the dive we had to wait about 45 minutes to receive our pictures and video which came on a credit card sized USB stick nicely branded with the SkyDive Dubai logo. It was the most expensive 5 minutes of my life but it was 1000% worth it. I have absolutely no regrets or complaints about SkyDive Dubai and would do it all over in a heartbeat if I could. They made the entire process so easy, hassle-free and enjoyable that I encourage ANYONE who ever visits Dubai to make a booking and go experience one of the greatest feelings and thrills you could ever have in your life!