My experience skydiving in Dubai
March 20, 2020
Skydiving has been on my bucket list for a very long time. I had plans to do it a few times, but it just never worked out.
When I decided to go to Dubai, I remembered seeing pictures of people skydiving over The Palm Island.
I quickly looked it up and realized that it would be an amazing experience to not only skydive but also to see the beautiful views.
In this blog post, I want to share with you my experience with skydiving with Skydive Dubai.
Also, some tips and tricks on how to have an amazing experience as a first-time diver.
Main things to remember
- You have to be 18 years of age
- You might not be able to skydive if you have certain health conditions such as Epilepsy, Heart Issues, Diabetes, etc. Check their site for the full list or email them to confirm if needed.
- Don’t forget to bring your photo ID – that can be your driver’s license, ID card, passport, etc.
- Print your confirmation/ticket and bring it with you
- It is really important, that you don’t eat too much before your flight
- Remember to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. For clothing wear something athletic. No sleeveless shirts are allowed, only T-shirts with long or short sleeves. The reason for that is to protect your skin from the straps of the harness. They also said not to wear shirts with a collar, no shorts or skirts. For shoes wear sneakers or running shoes. They do not allow any sandals, boots or heels. I wore black tights, running shoes, and a T-shirt that was not super tight. I saw a lot of people that were dressed very similarly. Some people were wearing long jeans but I have the feeling that it will not be comfortable.
- The second thing to keep in mind is that the entire process takes a long time – there is a lot of waiting around. From the moment we entered the building to the time we left it took us about 4hrs.
- Make sure you use the bathroom before you go for your flight
- Weight and BMI [Body Mass Index] restrictions :
Women 90 kilos/198 pounds or less and max BMI is 27.5
Men 100 kilos/221 pounds or less and max BMI is 30
The Skydive Dubai base
Before I booked my skydiving experience
I was researching which company to skydiving with in Dubai and Skydive Dubai seemed like the best choice.
My friend that I was visiting said that a friend of hers skydived recently with them and was satisfied.
They have two locations, one is on the left side of The Palm Island [on the main land] and the other one is in the middle of the desert.
Needless to say, the first one is significantly more expensive but also way more scenic.
Make sure that you book the right experience. If it’s your first time, you must book a tandem jump.
What that means is that you are strapped to a professional skydiver, who is going to explain to you what to do and will also open the parachute.
So pretty much you don’t have to worry about anything, you’re tandem instructor will do everything for you.
All you have to do is keep your body in a certain position while falling and landing and that’s it.
You do not need any prior experience.
Another skydiver landing
And yes there are female instructors so you can request to have one upon booking. Make sure to request ahead of time though!
If you want to do a tandem skydive at the Desert Campus it costs AED 1699. If you want to do a tandem skydive at the Palm Campus, it costs AED 2199.
Whichever one you chose, they include photos and a professional video of your jump.
There is a designated person who conducts a short video interview before you jump with questions such as “are you excited?”,” what do you expect?” and so on.
Once you jump off the plane s/he jumps ahead of you so that they can record your entire fall.
Most other skydiving places don’t have a designated camera person.
Instead, the instructor has a camera attached to their wrist.
Personally, I am not a fan of the wrist camera because the pictures are too close to your face and on a weird angle.
This is the field where you will land
The timeslot that I chose was 12:00 PM. However, according to the email they sent me you need to be there at least 15 to 20 minutes before your scheduled time.
We arrived probably about half an hour early, so 11:30 AM. There was no particular reason for choosing that time.
I picked it mainly because I wanted to have a light breakfast and because we were located quite far and needed time to get there.
Once you get to the Dubai Marina area, follow the signs for Skydive Dubai (there are a bunch of street signs to help you find your way).
There is a big parking lot where you can park your car. Then, walk to the building which looks like a plane hangar or a warehouse. Here is what it looks like.
Get ready to jump with your instructor
Go inside and you will have to check in with the main desk and sign a waiver. Here they also check your BMI and weight.
Then you kind of sit around and wait until they call your name. We waited for an hour and a half from the time I gave them back the waiver.
In the building, there is a small café that serves drinks and snacks, a gift shop [where they sell different memorabilia –shirts, hats, etc.], a washroom, an area where they have a bunch of monitors where you can see your pictures right away, reception area and an area where the divers prepare to go out to the plane.
Also, there is an area where they have benches and tables for everyone waiting to sit.
Here we go
Getting ready for skydiving
Once they call your name, you go to the corner of the warehouse where the divers get ready.
There you sit and wait for your instructor to call you up [as I said, you wait around forever].
Your instructor will put the harness on you and make it fit your body.
Then s/he will explain how to position your body for the fall and how to land correctly.
Make sure you are listening very carefully to their instructions and follow exactly what they say.
Then the camera person comes around and takes your interview.
Lovely Palm Island below us
My instructor was super cool, with many years of skydiving experience. He was very relaxed and answered all of my questions.
Once that is done, you, your instructor, the other skydiver/instructor pairs and the camera people get on a golf cart type train which drives you for a couple of minutes to the area where you board the plane.
Once you get on the plane, you put on a pair of goggles that you need to wear to protect your eyes. The plane took off right after we boarded.
Now that’s where the scary part starts!!! The plane’s ascend took a lot longer than I expected.
The views were beautiful but at this point, you are starting to get very nervous. Your instructor will tell you when you have to get strapped to him/her.
I was the first to jump out of the plane and we were the first to strap in together and go hang out at the open plane door [omg].
Keep in mind it is extremely loud and you cannot hear each other. If you have any questions, ask your instructor before you get on the plane.
Parachute thankfully opened lol
The actual dive
As you are standing at the open plane door, there is not too much that goes through your mind.
You are at that super high adrenaline mode where you’re asking yourself “am I actually going to jump out of a freaken’ plane?”
The instructor does all the decision-making for you and on the count of three, the two of you plunge towards Earth.
Here you will have to put your legs between the legs of your instructor and once s/he taps your shoulder you can open your arms.
You free fall like this at over 120 miles per hour for 60 seconds!!!
After that, your instructor will open the parachute and you will start gliding slowly towards the ground.
S/he will offer you the steer the parachute yourself [which is perfectly safe to do].
Unfortunately, my arms are extremely weak so I wasn’t able to do much steering.
Regardless, the view before your eyes is something you will never forget until the rest of your life.
You can see the desert in the other direction
Now, as much as I loved the whole thing, I did get very nauseous once he started steering the parachute.
I’ve had motion sickness since I was a kid but I don’t usually get it anymore which is why I was really surprised that it happened.
However, within less than a minute I was about to be really sick.
Once the parachute opens, you are able to talk to your instructor and I told him I was feeling really nauseous.
He made us land quicker than we would have otherwise which was very nice of him.
When we were about to land he reminded me to hold both of my legs up in the air and he slowed us down by dragging his right foot.
It is very important that you lift your legs and let the instructor stop you, otherwise, you can break your leg/s.
Once you land the camera person comes around and asks you “how it was?” and “final thoughts”.
***If you do start to feel sick as well, try and close your eyes for a bit.
I believe I can flyyyyyy
Post Dive and Final Thoughts
As I was feeling extremely nauseous, I had to sit down for a bit and then splash water on my face.
Then they removed the harness and told me to wait for the pictures and the video.
They said the wait will be 45min. to get the USB but I would say it took about 20 to 25 min.
They give you a really cool USB drive with all your pictures and a professionally edited video.
You can check them out in the monitors they have provided if you’re really eager to see them right away.
Once you have collected your USB you are free to go.
Overall, I am happy I did it, even though I wish I was not feeling nauseous on the way down.
The weather was perfect and the view absolutely stunning.
Honestly speaking I don’t think I will ever do another jump but it was definitely worth it. It was on my bucket list for so long and I am glad that I had the opportunity to check it off.
It was once in a lifetime experience and would certainly recommend doing it!!
Here we are landing
Have you ever skydived before? Where did you do it? What was your experience?
If you want more suggestions on what to do in Dubai, check out this post.