Did you see all those cool skydiving in Dubai Instagram photos over the Palm Jumeriah and are interested to get your own taste of it? Or did you just stumble upon it while in Dubai now?
Regardless, here is what you need to know if you are looking to skydive in Dubai, including some personal tips I have from my experience.
I did my first tandem skydive ever in Dubai and it definitely qualifies as a bucket list experience for me. I am not a super adrenaline junkie, so if it is your first time and are nervous about it, I feel your pain!
Skydiving in Dubai over the palm is hands down one of the best ways to see the famous Palm Jumeriah.
Why? Because there is nothing really special about the Palm when you see it on land. I have driven through it and it is basically a rich people estate. The whole idea of the palm is to see the shape from above.
Another option is to do a private gyrocopter flight.
When is the best time to do skydiving in Dubai?
Skydiving is very weather dependent. Fortunately, Dubai doesn’t experience much rainfall and one of your biggest considerations might be the heat. The best time to do it is during the winter season, between April to October, where the weather is not too hot.
In terms of timing of the day to do it, I personally prefer to do it in the morning for the following reasons:
- The temperature is usually cooler in the morning
- You don’t have to be thinking about it throughout the day. Tip: Especially if you have fears about it. Rather than worrying for half a day, do it early and spend half the day feeling proud of yourself instead!
- If things get delayed due to weather, you have the time buffer to wait for the weather to clear
Which company should I go with?
Unlike many skydiving locations where you might have to ponder over the choices of operators, there is only 1 operator that is licensed to skydive over the Palm and that is Skydive Dubai!
Skydive Dubai also has another dropzone that is over the desert, located about 35km outside the city, if you are interested in getting a bird’s eye view of the desert. The price of the tandem dive is cheaper in this dropzone.
But really, why would you want to jump over the desert when you have the option of jumping over the iconic scenery of Dubai.
What is the price of skydiving in Dubai?
As of 2020, the price for a tandem skydive at the Palm Jumeirah is AED1899 (approx. USD$518), and AED2199 with photos and video included. There is also now an Instagram video option for an additional AED100.
You can pay with UAE Dirhams, Debit cards, Visa and MasterCard credit cards, or UnionPay cards.
Is it worth getting the video and photos?
The photos and videos are captured by a videographer who will jump with you IN ADDITION to the instructor, so it is not simply done by some GoPro attached to you sort of stuff. I would highly recommend this because this is not just skydiving over some random landscape, it is skydiving over Dubai, Palm Jumeriah so the shots are awesome!
I did not have the Instagram option when I skydived but you can see examples of them on Instagram to determine if it is worth your money.
The photos and videos will be given to you on a USB, which is available for collection approx. 45 minutes after your jump. You might want to plan for something to do there while you wait. There is a nice viewing area outside where you can see the skydivers land. There is also a café where you can get food and drinks.
What height will I be jumping from?
You will jump at an altitude of 13,000ft and freefall at 120miles an hour.
The freefall will last around 1 min and then you will cruise (basically paraglide) for around 5-6 mins where you can enjoy the view at a slower pace. I also got some time to steer the parachute for a bit before preparing for landing.
How long is the skydiving experience in Dubai?
The time you book is the arrival time and not the skydiving time. You should plan to spend around 3-4 hours there for the whole process/experience including waiting for the USB collection. This might change if the schedule is affected by weather conditions.
The process is quite efficient and would go something like this:
- You will register at the counter and do all the admin stuff (they will collect your wavier and declaration form and check your BMI).
- You will then meet your instructor who will fit you into your gear and give you a briefing.
- The videographer will do the first interview with you, which will be on your video! (If you ordered it).
- You will then head to the boarding area, where they will do another check on your gear before the takeoff.
- After that, you will board the helicopter, scale to the altitude, and jump off with your instructor!
- You will then return your gears. If you paid to capture your memories of skydiving in Dubai, you can wait to collect your USB.
What should I wear?
I went in t-shirt, jeans, and sports shoes. Athletic, comfortable clothes are advised; t-shirts and tops must have sleeves. I also didn’t wear any accessories. There are some personal lockers where you can keep your stuff but I won’t advise bringing any big luggage with you.
Is Skydiving in Dubai scary?
This varies from person to person, so I can only share my personal experience.
There were some nerves while waiting but nothing insane. I guess the most nervous for me was when I was signing the waiver form. It kind of felt like signing your life away.
The most intense instant was the short 2-3 seconds between falling out of the plane and reaching freefall velocity (I could see my expression change for a few seconds from the video). It is like that same feeling when you “fall” in your sleep/dream and wakes up; if you know what I mean. Once you get into freefall, it is pure thrill and fun.
Do I need to have prior experience to Tandem Skydive?
For tandem skydive, you don’t need any prior experience. You will get a briefing before the dive on what you need to take note of. During the dive, you are basically strapped to a certified instructor who will jump with you.
However, there are certain requirements such as your age, BMI index, and medical conditions, which are general ones for skydiving anywhere. You can refer to them at Skydive Dubai Tandem Jump Requirements.
Other Personal tips
Avoid watching “Skydiving fails” videos the night before. Seriously, don’t mindf**k yourself with that, those videos can give you a sleepless night.
It is normal to be nervous, but once you see others who are doing it at the centre, it is kind of comforting. You aren’t technically jumping during tandem. The instructor is jumping and you just need to go along for the ride and enjoy. It is probably more dangerous if you freak out on him/her during the jump.
Day Of Skydiving:
I did mine in the morning and had a light breakfast before heading there. You should definitely avoid eating too heavily but don’t go on an empty stomach either. It is after all going to be quite a while until you finish the jump.
You might have read that some people complained about not being able to breathe during the freefall. I took the opportunity to ask my tandem instructor, Cupcake Tim (the guy who holds my life in his hands for the next few minutes) while waiting for the helicopter.
The explanation was that because most people get nervous during the fall, so they kept trying to gasp for more oxygen. However, during the fall, the air is flying into your face/mouth so you are already stuffed with it; trying to breathe in more results in feeling like you might be choking.
(Take a very big breath now and just keep trying to breathe in more without breathing out, you will know what I mean)
Instead, you should scream to let the air out and breath normally. You won’t actually hear yourself scream but you will feel the air coming out.
Lastly, remember to take note of the videographer. If you are not a natural in front of the camera (like me #foreverawkard), it is probably good to have some thought about what you are going to do in the air! What kind of poses are you going to put up?
Hey, after all, you paid extra for the photos and videos. I actually ran out of poses! Apparently, 1 minute lasts quite long when you don’t have a good arsenal of ideas at your disposal.
Don’t get overwhelmed, remember to look good for the camera!
I’m going to throw some cliché ones here to help out the not-so-creative souls: Superman / Thumbs up / Thousand variations of Heart signs / two-finger yay. Feel free to check out videos of others to grab some ideas.
This is a once in a lifetime experience (mainly because it’s actually one of the more expensive skydiving locations worldwide), so go enjoy and make a memory out of it! However, visiting Dubai doesn’t always have to break the bank. There are some cheap and free things to do in Dubai as well.