Kayaking in the UAE: Exclusive Tips, The Best Spots, and More!

Blog written on 15-08-2022

When exploring the UAE, your dreams may be filled with hiking majestic mountains, spice-filled souks, and magnificent deserts. It might be a bit counter-intuitive, yet you can also explore the Emirates’ lovely lakes, coastlines, and mangroves. What better way to explore these than by kayaking in the UAE?

Kayaking may not be the first thing that comes to mind when visiting the Emirates, but it’s an activity that’s worth doing on your trip. You get to see parts of the UAE from a whole new perspective–while also getting a good workout in! That being said, if you want to enjoy your kayaking experience fully, you’ll have to be prepared–especially if it’ll be your first time. Here are a few beginner tips for kayaking in the UAE.

Beginner Tips for Kayaking in the UAE

Kayaking isn’t the most challenging water sport to pick up, but it can be a challenge for beginners. Here’s what you should do before and during your first kayaking experience.

Remember to Warm-Up

Even if anyone can grab an oar and start rowing, kayaking is a physical activity and very strenuous on your upper body muscles. Warming up might seem unnecessary, but doing so before stepping into the kayak minimizes the risk of stretching a cold muscle. Doing a few dynamic arm movements followed by some light stretching should be enough for most people. You want your kayaking experience in the UAE to be memorable because you had fun, not because your arm started cramping.

Kayaking in the UAE: Exclusive Tips, The Best Spots, and More!

Bring a buddy

If it’s your first time kayaking, you might want to hop into a tandem kayak with a friend instead if the option is available. This can make rowing much easier while also ensuring that someone’s there to fish you out in the event you fall off. When I first went kayaking in the UAE, having someone at my back definitely put me at ease–and I even got to share a memory with someone!

If you don’t have a buddy available, you should be fine kayaking on your own as long as you’re a bit more cautious. Be sure to check out my guide on traveling solo in the UAE. If you feel you want someone to kayak with, you can always…

Sign up with a tour group

If you’re afraid of going kayaking alone, then a tour group ensures that you have people to flow with and row with. It’s also great to meet other travelers and make new friends! If you’re looking to join a tour group, you’ll have a great time when you book one of our trips!

What to Bring When Kayaking in the UAE

To get the best kayaking experience, you’ll need to bring the right gear. Besides oars, life vests, and the kayaks themselves (as these should be provided if you’re renting), here’s what you should have:

Kayaking in the UAE: Exclusive Tips, The Best Spots, and More!

Change of clothes

Wet cotton clothes make it difficult to move your arms around, which is essential for kayaking. You can kayak in sportswear (like your gym clothes) and bring a change of clothes. If you happen to have a wetsuit, that would be ideal, but most people won’t have a wetsuit hanging out in their closet. 


You’ll definitely want to coat yourself with a healthy layer of sunscreen when kayaking in the UAE. The temperature can get pretty toasty in the Emirates, reaching up to even 49.1°C, so you’ll need all the protection you can get. You wouldn’t be kayaking in the summer (too hot), and the ideal months to go kayaking are October to March. 

Water shoes

You wouldn’t want to risk damaging your favorite pair of shoes or sneakers by taking them kayaking, would you? Most water shoes are made of neoprene rubber, which makes them water resistant and perfect for protecting your feet when kayaking.

Waterproof bag

You must get a waterproof bag if you bring your phone, wallet, and other small valuables when kayaking. This will ensure that your valuables are safe and protected from splashes of water that could otherwise damage your electronics, paper money, and more. 

Best Places to go Kayaking in the UAE

The UAE may not be known for its bodies of water, but there are quite a few places to go kayaking. Beginners will want to kayak in calm, serene waters without a current for a relaxing kayaking experience. Here are three of the best places to go kayaking in the UAE.

Hatta Dam

If you’re looking for some activities in Dubai, you must visit Hatta Dam. Aside from being a great hiking spot, it’s also home to the Hatta Dam Lake–a beautiful, all-natural lake surrounded by scenic mountain views. A single-person kayak will cost only AED 60 to rent, and there’s no time limit either.

There’s so much more to say about Dubai’s Hatta Dam. If you want to learn more about it, check out my article here!

Kayaking in the UAE: Exclusive Tips, The Best Spots, and More!

Al Zorah Mangroves

I bet you didn’t think you would find a lush, mangrove forest surrounded b serene waters in the middle of the desert, did you? Al Zorah Mangroves, located in the emirate of Ajman, is a massive mangrove forest spanning over a million square meters. Furthermore, it’s also full of wildlife, home to over 102 species of native and migratory birds, such as the famous pink flamingoes, corals, fish, mollusks, and flora. With so much life, it’ll feel like you’re kayaking in the middle of the Amazon!

Louvre Abu Dhabi

If you’re not too keen on heading too far outside the city for a kayaking experience, you can always try kayaking around the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It’s a unique way to admire the museum’s beautiful architecture and designs!

Speaking of getting a different view, you can have a closer look at what the Emirates has to offer by checking out our blog! Once you’re done, you can check out our adventures and book a trip with us. Be sure to follow our Instagram, too, for the latest updates!

Ashleigh (Tingu Travel Founder)

I’m a travel curator who has visited over 30 countries and is currently based in Dubai. For more of Tingu Travel’s experiences, you can follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok @tingutravel