“The Palm Dropzone offers visitors truly unique experiences.” Skydive Dubai
It’s been a while since there’s been a guest post on the blog but we are back with a bang! Our friends Simon & Di recently visited us in Abu Dhabi and a skydive was top of Simon’s holiday to-do list. Where better to jump out of a plane than over The Palm Jumeriah in Dubai. He was so keen to tick this off his bucket list that he booked it for himself and the other half, who had been roped in, before he left the UK.
As a mere spectator, with my feet fully planted on terra firma, I could not do this post justice, it had to be a firsthand portrayal written by one of the daredevils themselves. So here’s Simon’s detailed account of their adrenaline filled adventure.
Simon and Dave have been friends for years after working together in London and I can safety say there’s no crazier way to cement your friendship that jumping out of a tiny plane together! I was very surprised by how many likeminded people wanted to throw themselves out of a plane, Skydive Dubai was absolutely heaving on a Monday afternoon.
Thanks for visiting guys and thank you so much Simon for this brilliant post! All I need to do now is plan another adventurous activity for their next visit, did someone say Via Ferrata?
SkyDive Dubai Tandem Jump
In January 2022 I saw an Instagram post from Luke, who runs my local Gym at T2FIT. It was a 1-minute video clip of him doing a Tandem SkyDive over the stunning backdrop of the Palm Jumeriah and the Dubai Cityscape. I had never thought about doing a skydive before, but after being mesmerised by the video and the amazing scenery, I knew I had to do it.
The timing was perfect, as I had a week’s break planned with friends Dave and Jo in Abu Dhabi in March. It didn’t take too much persuasion for Dave to agree to do the jump with me.
Booking the Jump
Booking the jump couldn’t have been easier. Just click on the Skydive Dubai website, pick a date and an allotted time-slot. Complete and sign a waiver form (which includes insurance) and you’re done.
Note: There are some criteria you need to meet to do the jump. You must be 18 years of age or above on the day of your tandem skydive. We were instructed to bring a valid form of ID (Emirates ID, driver’s license, passport) on the day of your skydive. There are also strict weight and BMI limits. You are weighed in your clothes and shoes as you check in to ensure you’re within the limits.
Women – Weight: 90kg/ 198lbs or less. BMI: 27.5 or less
Men – Weight: 100kg/220lbs or less. BMI: 30.0 or less.
If you are 70 years old or older on the day you skydive, you need to fill out the Declaration of Fitness form. The form must be completed and must be signed and stamped by your doctor.
Day of the jump
It was about 1.5 hour drive from Abu Dhabi to SkyDive Dubai, located at the northern end of the JBR in the Dubai Marina area. The UAE had been particularly windy leading up to our jump day, but we were glad to see there had been a marked decrease in windspeed, and there were clear blue skies to greet us as we approached Dubai. We had a 12:45pm timeslot and arrived in good time. There was plenty of parking onsite and we quickly grabbed some photos outside.
Check in Process
Although we had booked a 12:45pm timeslot, we had been advised that was simply the time we should arrive at SkyDive Dubai. The duration of the visit was expected to be between 2 – 4 hours. On arrival we provided our ID’s and were both weighed. We were then given the option to purchase a one minute, Instagram friendly video* for AED 100 (about £20). Having seen how good Luke’s video was, we both agreed to this.
*The cost of the Tandem jump does include a 3-minute edited video and photos. The Instagram video is simply a cut down version of your video, which makes it easier to share on social media.
After the check in process was complete, we were advised to go to the 1st floor area and wait for our names to be called. Upstairs was a well stocked café and and outside seating/viewing area. From the viewing area we could see a procession of jumpers landing right in front of us. I was further encouraged by the all the soft landings I was witnessing.
After about a thirty minute wait, Dave and I had our names called out. We were led into a room with about ten others, and shown an instructional video on the Tandem Jump. The video lasted about 5 minutes, but seemed to cover all the necessary points. At this stage we were advised to take one last bathroom break, then wait in the downstairs area, close to where the parachutes were being re-packed, for our jump instructor.
In the seating area was a big TV screen displaying a schedule of jumpers and their associated Instructors and Video team. It wasn’t long before Russ called out my name and introduced himself as my instructor for the jump. A quick chat about Russ’s native Australia and he was setting me up in the harness. He went through some of the key points from for the instructional video again and confirmed I was happy with everything. Main emphasis was stressing the importance of the “banana position” in free fall.
Then came Marcin, from Poland. He was to be my video man and he came with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm! Marcin did a quick pre-jump video with me and asked for my reasons for doing the jump etc. We chatted on the way out to the bus that drove us to the runway. I told him I wanted to record the jump on my Garmin Fenix GPS watch. He kept laughing asking to see my heart rate on the watch – glad to say it was a steady 80 BPM. Before we boarded the plane Marcin got Russ and I to pose for a quick pic
So Dave and I were onboard with about 10 other foolhardy souls. We were told it would only take 8-10 minutes to reach the jump height of 13,000 feet. I sat with my back to Russ, as he clipped me into the tandem harness.
As we climbed, Russ pointed out some of the sights, The World Islands, Burj Al Arab, The Palm Jumeriah and the new Bluewater’s Island and its big Ferris Wheel. I was still feeling relatively relaxed, and Marcin insisted on a heart rate update, it was a steady 90 BPM.
Things became real when the side door of the aeroplane was slid open and there was a sudden rush of air in the cabin. I saw a few slightly anxious looking faces in front of me, but no time to back out now. We started shuffling towards the door as one by one, they leapt out the plane. Dave gave me a thumbs up as he disappeared and now it was my turn. I held onto the edge of the plane and waited for Russ to give me the nudge.
Then I was falling, very fast. Before I knew it Marcin was in front of me waving his arms and encouraging me to play up for the camera. At that point I remembered I hadn’t started my GPS tracker, so frantically went for the start button. The freefall itself lasted about 40 seconds, with speeds of approximately 120 MPH, but I was still able to take in the views.
The rush was amazing, and I then felt a pull on the harness and a rapid deceleration as the chute deployed. Then there was near silence. Russ asked if everything was OK. He said I could to drop the goggles off my eyes to better enjoy the views. Russ then asked if I fancied doing a few quick turns. He passed me two long yellow ropes, and said pull down hard on the left one to do a sharp turn to the left. We repeated this several times in either direction, and then started aiming towards the landing zone. The view coming down was simply staggering. All of Dubai was below me.
Before I knew it we were coming in for the landing. Russ had prepped me well and had advised the “legs up” position I needed to take. As a keen runner, with an important race coming up in a few weeks, this was the one thing I stressed to Russ pre-jump. Protect my ageing ankles at all cost ! There was no need to worry, he softly landed me down without any dramas. Of course Marcin was there with his video, getting the post jump reaction.
It was simply an amazing experience. My immediate reactions was I wanted to do it again. Dave said exactly the same thing. Despite the delayed start of the GPS watch, we had travelled approximately 2.2 miles and duration of the fall was about 5 minutes.
If you’re foolish enough to want do a parachute jump, don’t do it over a grass field in the middle of nowhere, go to Dubai, you won’t regret it! Click youtu.be/i4QtRHEumsw to watch more.
The cost of the Tandem Jump, including an edited 3-minute video and photos was AED 2299 (approximately £475). We paid an additional AED 100 for the edited 1-minute video. The videos and pictures were of excellent quality and were delivered by Dropbox within 24 hours.
The SkyDive Dubai website advises jumpers must wear long sleeve tops, but Dave and I both jumped in T-Shirts (as did most people). Be prepared to spend 2-3 hours from the time you arrive onsite.
Location: Al Seyahi Street, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Read more from Simon by visiting his blog fourgomad.uk
© Jo Brett 2022. All rights reserved.