Dubai is a city and one of the 7 emirates in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. It is also the home of Skydive Dubai where i took my first tandem skydive experience and ticked off tandem skydiving off my bucket list. This blog will guide you through the whole experience.
Once you have already decided to do tandem sky diving, first things first, reservation should be made. There are two options, either tandem skydiving experience over the beautiful desert dunes or the standard drop zone which is priced at 1,699 UAE Dirhams or the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island or the premium drop zone priced at 1,999 UAE Dirhams. During my time, the exchange rate of 1 UAE Dirham to Philippine Peso is Php 14.80. You will be asked to pay half of the total price upon reservation and half of the price on the day of your jump. I chose to do my tandem skydive at the premium drop zone since i will be doing desert safari in Abu Dhabi so i may be able to see the desert dunes also.
I scheduled my jump 4 days after my arrival in Dubai for two reasons: one, there might be delays or cancellations in my flight always remember that the reservation is non-refundable unless it is weather related condition and second, at this time my body has already adjusted with the time difference. My jump was scheduled was November 4, 2017 at 10:30 AM. They will give you the time but that is not your jump time. You just have to be there at the specified time since there are still a lot of things that needs to be done prior to the jump.
I arrived on time at the Palm Drop Zone Campus. Upon arrival, i queued to get a 3-page waiver. You need to show the reservation email that Skydive Dubai sent as proof that you are registered and you have a reservation. You can also go there as walk in customers but i suggest an early booking should be made since walk in customers will have to wait for any no-show customers or if there is really a spot on that day on which you are not sure of the time.
The fully accomplished and signed 3-page waiver (initials should be written per number) will be submitted back to the staff who gave you the waiver and then you will pay the balance either in cash or credit card at the designated counter. After the payment, you will be given a slip and should wait until you will be called for the pre-jump briefing.
Briefing is handled by your assigned professional tandem skydiver. In my case, Benj was assigned to me as my tandem skydiver. If you are not comfortable with a male skydiver, you can request for a woman tandem skydiver too. You just need to note upon reservation. They put on all the safety gears and explain the whole process.
They are very professional and they have a way to let you feel calm while they go through the whole experience. Basically they teach you position while on air and some safety measures. My thoughts while he was putting the harness was blank. I keep on motivating myself and telling myself that i can do this.
After the briefing, you will then be called by your assigned videographer who is also a professional skydiver and will jump with you, more of, ahead of you to capture each moment. Brandon did the interview which made me more excited and anxious at the same time. I swear, i went to the bathroom more than thrice before my safety gears were on my body.
After the briefing and the interview, we were told to wait for our plane boarding. Here i am with my best friend, Coy Yap, we are trying to tell each other that we can do this and trying to calm each other.
We were called and off we go to our plane!
When we were seated at the plane, Benj ensured that all my safety gears were intact. He made his last few instructions and i was hoping that i could still remember all of them. it was a mixed emotion of wanting to quit right then and there and the curiosity of what to come in a few minutes. It was mind-boggling! There was another interview with Brandon and i really appreciate his coaching on what to do on air. Both Benj and Brandon were very professional and knowledgeable in what they do.
After a few minutes, it was my time to taste the thrill of tandem skydiving. Here are photo stills of the wildest jump i ever did in my life so far!
When it was my turn to jump, i felt nothing. It all happened so fast and the next thing i knew was that i was breathless and emotionless for 2-3 seconds or so and then all of them was replaced with awesomeness. I was in awe of the experience! The thrill of jumping out of the plane 13,000 feet above the ground was an out of this world experience from a point of view of an ordinary girl with motion sickness since she was a child but is seeking for a lifetime adventure.
I was overwhelmed with so many emotions but mostly happiness and there are some feelings that i only felt for the first time in my life and those feelings were indescribable. During the free fall, all i could ever utter was WOW and i giggled a lot! It was really amazing! I was on a different realm up there. From up there, the world is so big and so beautiful! For a time, i forgot about my little worries and concerns and truly appreciated this beautiful place we live in! The apprehensions and fears that i felt prior to the free fall was replaced with fear of not living my life to the fullest and the fear of not seeing more of the world!
Up there was so cold, calm and peaceful. Benj showed me the new island that Dubai is creating. He even let me maneuver the parachute! I asked him if all the people has the same reaction like mine and he told me that on his more than 1,500 tandem skydives, every person has a different reaction and that made his job interesting and enjoyable. It is because of people who dared to jump.
I was given a full 360 degrees view of the iconic Palm Jumeirah after the free fall. I was trying to feel and breathe in the experience, the view and all my emotions. We stayed there for 10 minutes and took the opportunity to see Dubai’s beautiful landmarks like the Dubai Marina, The Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab and The World Islands before we started our descend back to the ground.
It was truly a perfect marriage between seeing stunning views and a super thrilling rush!
Benj convinced me to land on my feet. Going down was a mixed emotion of excitement and this time sadness because the experience is nearly ending.
Brandon led me back to the campus and helped me take off my gears. He told me to relax and wait for around 40 minutes to get my USB which contains my video and still photos.
WHAT TO WEAR:
You are allowed to wear only long sleeve or short sleeve shirts but only those shirts without collar. Athletic and comfortable clothes and sneakers or sport shoes are advisable. No sandals, boots or high heels. Please be respectful to the local culture and do not wear low cut tops while at the dropzone. No short shorts.
1.) Book in advance (one or two months ahead of time) as this is a weather dependent sport. I was blessed with such a beautiful weather and it made my experience more memorable.
2.) For morning jumps like mine, i only took coffee, water and some crackers prior the jump and i am so glad that i did not have a full stomach otherwise i could have vomited up there.
3.) Bring some food so that you can eat while you wait for the video and photos.
4.) Want to keep your friends updated? The campus is a wifi zone.
5.) Water station is available free of charge.
6.) Your friends and family can tag along too. There is a waiting area inside the campus available for them and they can watch you as you safely land at the waiting area outside the campus near the landing zone.
7.) If you have motion sickness (like me) you can take Meclizine an hour before the jump.
8.) For ladies, wear your favorite red lipstick, i swear it looks good on the video and it won’t make you look terrified.
9.) Let go of everything that is holding you back. Go with the flow or more likely, go with the drop!
10.) Never ever close your eyes. The most enjoyable part of the experience was to see everything with eyes wide open!
“Great things never came from comfort zones.”