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Updated by Erin Hunter on Jan 26, 2016
Erin Hunter Erin Hunter
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Thrilling adventures in Abu Dhabi - It is not just about basking in luxury

Renowned for luxury tourism and shopping options, Abu Dhabi is the least likely place to come to mind for thrill seeking tourists. Here are some thrilling adventures that are sure to blow your mind:


Wadi bashing

This is one of Abu Dhabi's most popular adventure sports and consists of tearing down rough terrains in a 4 x 4. 'Wadi' is a dried up river bed consisting of rocks, boulders, mud and sand and the ride is a rough one too!


Dune bashing

Accelerate and bounce over immense sand dunes as you dominate them in a 4 x 4 or 700 cc dune buggy. The acceleration and bounciness are nothing short of exciting. Imagine a wild roller coaster ride in the desert.



This is one of the key activities on most adventure lovers' bucket lists. The thrill of freefalling, soaring like a bird and the amazing views of Abu Dhabi thousands of feet below! If you are not up for the real thing, you can also opt for indoor skydiving where you experience a simulated jump adventure. Staying at a Sir Bani Yas Island Resort, places you close to most of these exciting attractions.


Formula 1 racing

Ever imagined sitting behind the wheels of a real race car and taking it for a spin? Take a drive along the world's longest straight circuit in the Yas Marina Circuit Race Track in an Aston Martin GT4 or a Chevy Camaro or even an actual race car. Budget options include pro-karting at the Yas KartZone and a ride on the world's fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa reaching 149 miles/hour. Consider staying at the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort for luxurious accommodation and to be minutes away from this amazing and world-famous Formula 1 circuit.


Scuba diving

Scuba diving is popular here as it offers divers the opportunity to come up, close with sailfish, marlin and even barracudas. Adding to the thrill are several sunken vessels off the coast where the waters aren't very deep.



The Eastern Mangroves Lagoon National Park is home to 200 species of fish and 50 types of birds and makes for a fantastic excursion.



The Al Hajar Mountains, just over an hour away, are the highest in the Eastern Arabian Peninsula. The central section of the mountain range reaches almost 3,000 metres. The hike can range from a three-hour run to a multiple-day hike depending on the itinerary.



Take a relaxing ride along the city's north-western shore to truly experience Abu Dhabi. The ride will take you through Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street to the Marina Village on Corniche Road. If you are up for a more rugged experience, try your hand at mountain biking in Shawka. This rocky desert landscape is located at the base of the Al Hajar range.