Dubai: The UAE is home to many world records... One of them is the biggest indoor skydiving wind tunnel in the world.
Located at Clymb Abu Dhabi on Yas Island, this wind tunnel isn’t just a walk in the park. You need a 15-minute briefing, a bit of body strength and a smidgen of bravery. As someone, who is generally afraid of heights, I started feeling like I was the wrong person for the job. The nerves hit when I saw an instructor bouncing around the chamber. Then flying up soo high that I couldn’t see her anymore.
But I had a video to film, so I put my big girl trousers on. Literally. When you arrive, they hand you a uniform to wear over your clothes. Trust me you need it because when the wind is going 112 kilometres per hour, it is cold cold cold in that flight chamber.
Once dressed, you get a briefing. You will be fully horizontal. Arms upon eye level and legs slightly bent and spread a little. Pizza slice style. You are given earplugs, a hairnet and a helmet… just in case you bump into the glass on the edges.
My instructor John was the most positive and energetic person and I needed that positivity right then and there. He promised to always hold on to me and not to do anything crazy. I wanted a pretty tame flight. Up down… a couple of left and rights… no flips thank you very much.
Once inside the chamber, you really feel the full force of the wind. It’s so loud, you cant hear each other, so you communicate with thumbs-up signs and a few more hand signals I learned in my briefing including “legs wider”, “legs bent” “arms up” and “all good”.
And then it was time to fly. It’s easy to let yourself go with winds so strong, but that’s when you have to be physically tough. Keep your body straight, and keep your arms as low as your eye level. Easier said than done because that wind though…
Eventually, I became more comfortable inside the flight chamber and John began slowly spinning me around and going higher and lower and higher and lower.
The feeling isn’t as lightweight as people thing. Sure it’s a wonderful surge of adrenaline, one that you can’t stop smiling from, but you need to be focused on keeping your body in the right position and staying strong.
The flight chamber is the worlds biggest indoor skydiving tunnel and it’s got a Guinness Record to prove it. The flight chamber is 32 feet wide (9m) and has a record-breaking hight of 104 feet (32m).
The experience is open to people of any age from 3 years old onwards. Whether you are a beginner or an expert flyer. Their trained instructors will guide you through your flight, whether you are a beginner or an expert.
Location: Clymb Abu Dhabi, Yas Island.
Cost: Dh175 for First Time Flyers until November 30
Timings: Open from Tuesday to Saturday