SUP-ing is pretty easy and, if you want to just jump on the board and give it a try, you’ll find boards and oars available to rent from just Dhs.70 an hour or even less; check out Watercooled Dubai at the Jebel Ali Golf Resort. If you already have a paddleboard or plan to purchase one then there are several places around the UAE and Oman that you can explore. Check out the calm waters of Dibba in Oman just off the shore by the Golden Tulip Hotel, paddle out to Snoopy Island off the coast of Fujairah near the Sandy Beach Hotel before diving in for a snorkelling adventure, or check out the wildlife at the Umm Al Quwain marine reserve; the list of locations is endless.
However, like all deceptively simple activities, there is an art and a technique to it; if you decide a lesson or two could be in order to help you get to grips with the basics, try some of the following – they’re also all excellent resources for learning more about SUP and the SUP community in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Stand Up Paddle Club
Jen Scully is the capital’s tireless SUP advocate and an accomplished instructor. She also arranges tours of the corniche and the mangroves. One hour private lessons cost Dhs.200 for individuals; Dhs.150 each for two people; or Dhs.125 each for three or more.
Lessons range from a 20-minute express session which costs Dhs.175 (plus one hour free rental) to one hour private lessons costing Dhs.350 for individuals (plus 30 minutes free rental).
Surf School UAE
Single lessons for both adults and children cost Dhs.200 and Dhs.175. Alternatively, you can sign up for a tour around the Burj Al Arab for Dhs.125, including equipment and a short coaching session.
UAE SUP supports the growing paddling community in Abu Dhabi by offering social paddling sessions on Thursdays.
Noukhada Adventure Company
This tour operator runs a two hour adventure combining a paddle out to a mangrove island with some quality on-the-board yoga.