Sharjah: Sharjah’s got a new spot for the fun and adventure seekers – on a 300-feet peak in the Al Mleiha desert. There, visitors can engage in para-gliding above a pristine desert and, when on the ground, soak in the local culture, including the sights of a camel farm.
Step forward then into Sharjah’s latest ‘Sky Adventures’ destination. Weeks after the Heera Beach destination’s opening, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has unveiled the paragliding center located in the emirate’s central region. Sky Adventures, about an hour’s drive away from Dubai, is among the many leisure destinations to open in the Al Faya region. Others include the ‘Not a Space’ Centre and the Mysk Al Faya Retreat.
Sky Adventures, which will open to the public on January 16, offers paragliding facilities and services to beginners and those seeking a license to engage in the activity. Individuals who need a permit can receive it after completing 30 piloted paragliding jumps.
Training basic course for four days, three hours per session. As part of the course, you will take 5 solo flights and the training equipment will be provided – Dh8,000
Tandem commercial flights; fly in tandem with an expert instructor – Dh750
The centre has been launched in partnership with the Emirates Aerospace Foundation, and fitted with a landing pad the size of a mini football stadium. Shurooq’s acting CEO Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer said: “This is UAE’s first licensed paragliding centre. Amateur and seasoned pilots have been paragliding in the Al Faya region for some time. Sharjah has also been hosting an international championship for paragliding for over four years.”
“We saw this partnership with the Emirates Aerospace Foundation as an opportunity to create a safe destination for new and seasoned paragliders to experience the desert.”
Shurooq worked closely with civil aviation regulators to ensure the facility is safe for users. “We want Sharjah to become a hub for paragliding activity,” he added,
Without revealing how much it cost to build, Al Qaseer said the destination would be predominantly open during the winter. “It will also be open in the evenings during summer,” said Akmal Rakhimov, Operational Manager of Sky Adventures.
The member pilots can get the license after completing 30 flying hours with instructors. With this license, paragliding pilots can fly on their own.
Rookie pilots can stay in the air for about 15-20 minutes, and seasoned paragliders can stay in the air for three- to four hours at least.
“Paragliding is like driving a car; the more you practice it, the better you get at it,” said Akmal Rakhimov, Operational Manager of Sky Adventures. “There is a huge community of paragliders in the UAE who have been waiting for this center to open for months.”