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Travel Report Dubai - U.A.E. - Middle East



hey wayne, its corey oliver from dubai u.a.e in the middle east, ive been living over here for the past year and a half now,im working here as a flight attendant with emirates airlines, which means heaps of time off and heaps of travelling, ive been down to sri lanka, maldives,oman,yemen,mauritus,south africa and the ivory coast in west africa surfing, the majority of these places ive surfed are in the indian ocean and are only a few hours from dubai which is handy.

dubai is situated just inside the tip of the arabian gulf in the middle east, the uae has seven emirates (states) those being abu dhabi, dubai, sharjah, ajman, ras al khaimah, fujairah and al ain, other arab countries oman and yemen are on the otherside of the tip of the gulf on the indian ocean side just up from maldives,mauritus and sri lanka.

we do get waves in dubai ranging in size from 0-5 foot of wind generated swell from a nw direction, occasionally a storm or tsunami will get it up to 6-8 foot (im talking twice a year maybe), a friend recalls surfing double overhead in march 2000, and 8 foot messy storm surf in febuary 2003, december-march which is winter is more reliable though, most weekends we get the boards out and get a few little ones, some barely rideable though!! may-october which is the dry season with temps up to 50 degress and water temps 35 degress, the surf is usually flat, but sometimes waves will roll thru!



most of the breaks in dubai are beach breaks that usually work best from mid to low tide, it doesnt spit hollow tubes but it is quite fun when its on!!! waves are lacking in power compared to any decent groundswell, but there have been a few reported broken boards so it has a little power from time to time.

ive been on trips up the coast to oman border for a look and theres a couple of stoney beaches which look like they have alot of potential with some nice swell pushing thru, straits of hormuz are fjords and rocks/mountains dropping straight into the ocean, further investigation will lead to something interesting!! also the umm al quwain peninsula of the gulf looks like it will have some potential?

the seabed topography is such that dubai has deeper water closer to the shore than elsewhere in the uae, hence the reason we get the bigger waves in dubai!!

the east coast (indian ocean) also gets some nice waves at fujairah-uae, most waves are in the summer and the water is cooler than in dubai.

one reef in fujairah is called tims reef near the sandy beach hotel its always worth a look!!



the main surf spots in dubai are:

jebel ali reef- a short drive on the beach from the jebel ali hotel, rarely breaks though, only in a big clean swell.

black palace beach- past jumeria beach hotel going towards jebel ali, although access is restricted at the moment with the huge palm islands project going on.

the wild wadi waterpark flowrider- artificial wave in the water park, next to jumeria beach hotel and dubais seven star hotel in the ocean the famous burj al arab hotel

consistent 4-6 foot face, u cant bring ur surfboard though, they supply the body boards and ur only allowed to lie or kneel on them, good fun if theres no swell elsewhere!!

sunset beach- next to the burj al arab hotel on the dubai side, dubais most crowded surf beach, very consistent, lefts at the burj al arab end of the beach and rights at the


dubai end of the beach!

wollongong university beach- mainly kitesurfers, gets some swell but not much shape to it.

dosc beach- just before wollongong university beach, good banks, works mainly mid to low tide, a groyne on the wollongong university side of the beach for protection when its big and messy, although a bit dumpy at low tide.

jumeria beach park- its a public enclosed beach run by the municipality (where u have to pay $5 to get in,like a hotel resort beach), which is prohibitted for surfers of any kind, its dissapointing as it gets some clean waves from time to time.

hole in the wall beach (jumeria)- next to moscow beach, two groynes help clean up messy surf, a nice a frame bank in the middle of the beach.

moscow/open beach (jumeria)- breaks along the whole beach especially in the middle, its always good here when the swell is on,only problem is a huge rope from one end of the beach to the other end to protect swimmers, you sometimes get caught up in the rope especially on low tide, and its very annoying!!



al mamzar beach park- which is another public enclosed beach run by the municipality, but we can surf here!! yyeeeaahh!!! this beach gets the biggest swell and the best waves, ive had many memorable surf sessions here, its my favourite by far!! only problem its on the otherside of the city in dubai towards the next emirate of sharjah and the traffic is a hazard and nitemare!

sharjah, ajman,and ras al khaimah- these emirates do have waves but it is normally 1-2 foot smaller than dubai so its not advisable to surf half a foot waves when u can be surfing bigger waves in dubai!!


the main surf spots in oman are:

oman- al ashkarah asilyah, which is the closest point to dubai with good wave poptential, good beach breaks, about a 4 hour drive each way from dubai.

oman- masirah island, further along the omani coast with bigger waves and reef breaks, you need to take a ferry out to the island, 10-12 hour trip each way from dubai, also popular with windsurfing from june to september when the harif winds blow.

oman- salalah a huge drive from dubai it takes 15 hours!! its further south so the swell is much bigger, alot of unexplored territory here, some places include kuria muria, haliniyat islands,dalqut area, rakyut area which is still further south near the border of yemen, good waves ,great scenery ,beaches ,well worth a trip to oman, always check the forecast though

it has become aparent here in dubai that our surfing days may be numbered due to all the development going on our coastline and in the ocean here, in particular the 3 palm islands that are being constructed here in the ocean, of which have a radius of 3 kilometres and also the world island project 5 kilometres off shore, these man made islands will probably block most of the swell off to dubai, but there is still some areas where the swell should sneak thru, so fingers crossed!!


General information

we have a surfing club here called the surfers of dubai, we have video nites once a month,and have regular meetings on dubai surf information.

all the surfers here in dubai are a friendly crew and there is no agression in the water what so ever, which is very hard to find anywhere in the world these days!! u need all ur aggression to deal with the traffic here which is a major hazard for everyone, dubai is a very cosmopolitan and vibrant city, it has alot of different nationalities, these include- lebanese, indian, russian, arab, australian, scandinavian, british, new zealand, french, african, plillipino and south african, these make up the population of 5 million residents in dubai.

the city reminds me alot of the gold coast in australia, with the tall high rise buildings on the beach, the big party nightlife and the exact same cruisy beach/sports lifestyle, only not as many consistent waves thats all!!

they have all of the big brand name shopping, food and restuarant companys here, very much the same as australia, i know its very hard to beleive all of this in the middle east but it really is very much the same as back home in australia, except you have alot more different cultural and nationality issues to deal with day to day! we also have wakeboarding/jetski and diving clubs here to entertain us when the waves arent around.


the sun shines ever day here in dubai, it rains once or twice a year for about 1 hour, prevailing winds are nw and blow virtually every afternoon.

shamals are strong winds that come from any direction and with some luck it will be blowing nw for a few days and stirr up the gulf, if the wind is still blowing at midnite its worth getting up at 5am for a surf check, early is the best as the wind starts to kick in around lunchtime, the temperature is also a factor for an early surf particullary in summer.

water temps range from about 20 degress to 35 degress in mid summer. you may need a wetsuit top midwinter early in the morning or during a storm but you shouldnt suffer too much with just a pair of boardshorts all year round. daytime air temps vary from 15 degrees to 50 degress with up 100% humidity in summer. nights are pleasent to hot and occasionaly in winter you may need a jacket or pullover.


sea creatures include jelly fish, sea snakes,stingrays,sharks and other fish.

you will only see jellyfish in the warmer months, sea snakes are lethal but have mouths so small its highly unlikely they will bite you! stingrays are painful rather than dangerous and u are supposed to be standing on ur board anyway!! sharks in dubai are not really regarded as a hazard, on the other hand oman and yemen are a different story as these countrys are regarded as the habitat of tiger sharks.


due to the smaller waves and lack of power most people ride malibus or mini mals, the minority of us who ride shortboards, we either ride fishes or boards with alot of buoyancy to paddle us into the smaller waves ,there is a few bodyboarders in the line up, also a lot more girls are starting to learn to surf in dubai which is great to see!! the surf industry is strarting to take off here with more and more people getting involved, the sad thing is the we only have one surf shop here, which is a south african run chain- al boom marine. they only stock limited brands such as oneill, oakley, jetpilot, ripcurl, hurley, no fear and darcy surfboards from south africa. so theres a huge gap in the market, which will hopefully be filled soon.

Line Up Surf Australia would like to thank the surfers of Dubai. Check out their Web site.

See more pictures of Dubai in our Photo Gallery.

Pictures & Text courtesy Corey Oliver &!