All You Have To Know About Surfing in Dubai

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Published: November 15, 2022

Is there a better, more exciting workout than surfing? Riding the waves, the adrenaline in your veins, salt air in your hair, there’s truly no feeling quite like it! Once you start doing it, you’ll get hooked. However, trying out a new sifting spot is not as easy as showing up there with a surfboard and hitting the waves straight away. Before you go surfing in Dubai, make sure you’ve done your research! And make sure to find the best personal trainers in Dubai to get you ready for this activity.

History of surfing in Dubai

The first time people started surfing in Dubai was around 1990. During that period, there were only a couple of guys chasing the waves in the Gulf. Back then, the sandy beaches of Dubai were not what they are today. Surfers say that the best part about the 90s was that you could pick and enjoy any beach in Dubai you wanted. There were no crowds and no hassle. Just the waves and the freedom you would feel catching a wave. Depending on the tide and which sandbanks are active, you could simply pick any spot and give the water a whirl. Truly the best and most exciting cardio workout there is!

However, since they constructed the World Islands and three Palm Islands, there are now only two surf-convenient beaches in Dubai. Today, because of the most massive man-made islands in the world, the rest of the coastline doesn’t get the big waves it used to. These constructions stop waves before they’re able to break near the shore. This had a massive impact on the Dubai surfing scene.

A person surfing in Dubai on a big wave.
It surprises people a lot when they see how incredible surfing in Dubai is.

What you need to know about surfing in Dubai

From 2005 to 2018, the surfing scene in the Arabian Gulf thrived exponentially. It grew from no more than a handful of surfers in the mid-nineties to over a thousand surfers with the Surf Dubai membership alone.

However, this growth didn’t just happen overnight for no reason at all. It had a lot to do with the influx of many emigrants from South Africa, Brazil, the United States, and Australia, some of whom really love surfing. In 2010, due to the increased interest in surfing, Dubai even hosted UAE’s first surfing competition, Surf House Dubai’s Sunset Open.

Through the years, Dubai has had a lot of luck in welcoming some ex-professionals who moved here and continued to share their love for surfing. Of course, not everyone who surfs in Dubai is a pro. However, with plenty of exercise, you may get there. If you are looking for a cheap personal trainer Dubai, a surfing instructor could be your best choice. They could help train you and prepare you for the tough competition.

The surf season in Dubai

If you’re thinking of hitting the waves in Dubai, you must know some basics about the Dubai climate. For starters, the best season for surfing in Dubai is from October-April. However, the best and most consistent months are December, January, and February. The water temperature is 25-30 degrees Celsius when the season starts and when it ends. From December to February, temperatures drop just a little, to 20-22 degrees Celsius. This is ideal surfing weather, especially for those running away from the north and its harsh winters. During summer, it gets too hot to surf or go outside. To stay in shape during summer, look for air-conditioned places, like gyms, and hire a personal trainer for muscle building to help you achieve your goals.

If you decide to sit around during these hot months, you may have to hire a weight loss trainer soon after. Since people tend to get lazy when the weather is scorching and going outside is not an option, gaining a few extra kilograms is not uncommon.

The biggest crescendos happen when strong low-pressure systems rise at the top of the GulfGulf in Kuwait. At the same time, the strong Northerly winds blast through Bahrain and Qatar. The distance in the Arabian Gulf, where the wind can blow over water, is 1000 miles. Even though this technically doesn’t qualify as a solid ‘Ground Swell’ because it would require a distance of over 2000 miles, The Gulf has great days of solid waves. Sometimes we can hardly believe we’re in the Arabian Gulf. During the winter months, the waves get even triple their usual size! However, on the rare times when waves get that much bigger, the wind usually makes them messy.

A man surfing during golden hour on choppy waves
The best time to go surfing in Dubai is between October and April.

Surfing equipment

Before the surfing trend hit Dubai, surfing gear was very scarce; we dare to say it was non-existent! The only place you would have gotten it from are various online stores. However, with the founding of Surf House Dubai, along with several other clubs, surfing equipment found its way to mainstream stores and is in high demand. Now, you can find world-class surfboards and accessories everywhere in Dubai.

Unlike many other water sports, surfing only requires a surfboard and persistence. It takes determination to be able to glide over ocean waves. The essential surfing equipment consists of:

  • A surfboard
  • Fins
  • Leash
  • Wax
  • Wetsuit

Then as you progress and improve your skills on the board, you might desire more gadgets. For example, you may also need a bag to protect your favorite stick, skin, ear protection, and items like longboards, mini-mals, and SUPs.

Some attire recommendations 

When surfing in Dubai, we recommend boardies and a quality rash vest. You might wish to show the amazing body you got from doing an abs workout, but you shouldn’t. Covering up at least your torso is essential because Dubai is a Muslim country. This means they’re very conservative when it comes to clothes. For starters, you shouldn’t walk around town half-naked. Even if you’re a guy, this rule is still very important. On the other hand, while women are not discriminated against when in the company of men, it is still not wise to strut in a bikini. On the plus side, a full suit will protect you from sunburn.

A woman in a bikini on a surf board.
Because it’s a Muslim country, people recommend dressing more modestly when surfing in Dubai.

What should you eat

As a surfer, you burn a lot of calories by hitting the waves. That’s why you need to pay close attention to what you eat. Try to eat balanced meals with enough nutrients to sustain your body and replenish what you lost while surfing. Start by incorporating more vegetables and proteins into all your meals. If you’re not creative in the kitchen and have trouble coming up with your meals, check out some healthy meal plans Dubai training professionals can compose for you.

Furthermore, don’t restrict food. If you’re trying to cut sweets and chocolate, you can do so. But know that balance is the key, and it’s not the end of the world to eat something unhealthy every once in a while. It may not be good for your body, but it’s great for your soul.

4 spots where you can experience surfing in Dubai

Are you dreaming of a travel-and-surf vacation? If you are already a surfer, you’ll fall in love with Dubai’s beaches. It is also a great way to keep up the cardio during Ramadan. And, if you want to learn how to do it, the surfing conditions here are quite ideal. Book an unforgettable holiday in Dubai and experience the most popular surfing spots in Dubai.

Before you choose where to learn surfing in Dubai, remember that waves can be good from November to April are good, but it’s all up to chance in that period. So, be sure to check the weather and wind conditions when you plan your surf vacation to one of the following places:

  1. Sunset Beach
  2. North Beach
  3. Tim’s Reef
  4. Surf Sharjah & Surf Ajman

1. Sunset Beach

Start your surf-adventure vacation at one of the busiest beaches, expanding in the heart of Jumeirah. Sunset Beach is a beautiful place where you can work on your surf moves, also known as one of the best workouts for a toned body. There you can enjoy the iconic Burj Al Arab as a backdrop. As a tremendous swell surfing spot, the beach is always packed with board riders and surfers, so anticipate crowds.

2. North Beach

Another popular surfing spot, North Beach, is located near Sharjah. It is a small sandy beach, ideal for surfers. The beach is very popular with tourists and other beach lovers like paddle boarders and kite surfers who love to try the waves here. The cross-onshore winds make it a perfect beach to enjoy the sport and the waves.

3. Tim’s Reef

Surfers should visit one of the most exciting spots to learn surfing in Dubai, the city of Fujairah. Its location on the east side of UAE, facing the Indian Ocean, makes it an ideal surfing swell. The summer months extend the solid surfing conditions with favorable weather and winds. It is an hour outside Dubai, so check the surfing conditions first before planning the road trip to Tim’s reef.

4. Surf Sharjah & Surf Ajman

Despite popular belief that the Gulf is flat, there are approximately 100 days of great conditions during the winter months. On those surfable days, the north-westerly winds blow onshore, generating waves of up to 4ft. But if you need a quieter surfing spot, the Sharjah beaches & Ajman beaches are ideal. The sandy beaches are extremely enjoyable, and you can freely hit the waves to make the most of your surf vacation.

A man surfing on a big wave in Dubai
The average wave height recorded in Dubai was just above 2 feet. The highest wave ever was in 2007, at 11 feet high.

Surfing in Dubai – a perfect winter getaway

In Dubai, surfing is very popular at the moment. Moreover, there are plenty of fantastic surfing spots. Of course, extreme heat makes it hard to surf during summer, but that’s why Dubai makes for a perfect winter getaway. Imagine escaping the cold and the snow and going surfing in Dubai; what a dream! Just make sure you’re prepared for it, that you researched the best spots and read about the culture and customs in Dubai. Finally, ensure you’re in the right shape to hit the waves by hiring a personal trainer and eating well!

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