Sandboarding for Kids in Dubai

Sandboarding for Kids

sandboarding for kids

You’ve likely heard of snowboarding, but are you familiar with its sun-kissed cousin? Welcome to sandboarding – the exhilarating activity of cruising down Dubai’s vast desert dunes. For kids yearning for an adventure, sandboarding offers:

  • A unique way to appreciate the desert’s majesty.
  • An opportunity to grasp and master a thrilling sport.
  • An invitation to explore some of Dubai’s natural wonders.

What about sandboarding lessons for kids? They’re a fantastic way to ensure a safe and fun experience. Now, gear up with sunscreen, and let’s dive into this sandy escapade.

The Best Places to Sandboard with Kids in Dubai

If you’ve ever typed ‘sandboarding for kids near me and felt inundated, fret not:

  1. Al Qudra Lakes: Perfect for beginners. Gentle slopes and soft sand ensure even kids under 10 or those with disabilities or autism enjoy a fantastic time.
  2. Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve: Step it up a notch! Intermediate dunes offer a blend of thrill and natural beauty.
  3. Umm Al Quwain Sand Dunes: For the fearless! Test your skills on these challenging terrains.
  4. Hatta Wadi Hub: A mix of culture, sandboarding, and nature. A quintessential Dubai experience.

Sandboarding Gear for Kids

Safety comes first! When it comes to sandboarding for kids, having the right gear is vital:

  • Sandboards: Choose between hardboards and softboards based on your child’s experience level. Remember, softboards are more suitable for beginners and young kids.
  • Protective Gear: Helmets aren’t optional; they’re a necessity. Consider knee and elbow pads for added safety.
  • Sun Protection: The desert’s sun can be intense. Equip with sunglasses, a hat, and high-SPF sunscreen.

Riding the Dunes - How to Sandboard with Kids

While sandboarding lessons for kids are the ideal start, if you’re venturing solo, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Position: Have your child stand on the sandboard with feet spaced shoulder-width apart.
  2. Initiate: With a gentle forward lean and knees slightly bent; they can push off using their back foot.
  3. Steer and Balance: Weight shifts and arm movements will dictate direction. Shift left to go left, and vice versa.

Sandboarding Safety Tips for Kids

Prioritizing safety is crucial:

  • Helmets are Essential: This is particularly important for kids with heightened sensory experiences, such as autism or disabilities.
  • Hydration: The desert can be dehydrating. Ensure you pack enough water.
  • Group Activities: Never let kids sandboard unaccompanied. The ‘buddy system’ is always a good idea.
  • Weather Checks: Sandboarding during high winds or at extreme temperatures is ill-advised.
  • Start Modestly: This is especially vital for younger kids. Begin with smaller dunes before approaching the larger ones.

Decoding Sandboarding Boards for Kids

The right board is paramount for a safe and enjoyable outing:

  • Hardboards: Crafted from fibreglass or carbon fibre, these are tailored for the adept sandboarder.
  • Softboards: These boards, made from wood or foam, are best for kids and novices, offering superior control at a slower pace

Protecting Kids from the Sun

Sunburns and dehydration are legitimate concerns in the desert:

  • Consistent Sunscreen Application: Especially if they’re sweating or engaging in other activities.
  • Apparel: Opt for loose, long-sleeved attire to protect from direct sun exposure.
  • Stay Hydrated: Regularly encourage drinking water, even if they’re not feeling thirsty.

Techniques to Master

Every sport has its techniques, and sandboarding is no exception:

  • Standing: The foundational technique.
  • Sliding: Best reserved for steeper dunes. This involves lying on the board and gliding down.
  • Turning: It’s all about weight shifts and equilibrium. A delightful technique for kids to learn!

Can Kids Try Sandboarding at Dubai's Sand Dunes?

kids enjoying sandboarding in Dubai desert

Absolutely, they can! When I embarked on this adventure, my older two kids were merely 4.5 and 6 years old. Believe it or not, neither had experienced skiing, snowboarding, or even skateboarding prior to this. Yet, they immensely enjoyed the experience and eventually became pretty skilled at it!

Sandboard Sizes

The sandboards available for rent are mostly a “one size fits all” deal. The foot straps, designed with bungee cords, remained securely on my kids’ feet, which, to be fair, are on the larger side. For beginners, there are shorter and more gradual dunes near the quad biking zone and parking area. Essentially, there’s a suitable spot for everyone, regardless of their skill level or age.

Recommended Attire for Kids While Sandboarding

It’s often suggested to sandboard barefoot. Hence, your kids should opt for easily removable footwear. Given that we were travelling, we only had our sports shoes during our visit. We took them off at the footpath’s end and stowed them in our vehicle. However, many families we noticed were sporting sandals – a fantastic choice as they’re easy to slip off and shake the sand out of.

Ensure your kids wear comfy attire that isn’t overly loose and ideally, with fewer pockets – you don’t want them to become mini sand reservoirs! From personal experience, my hoodie’s pocket was a sandy chaos after my sandboarding stint.

Considering the sunny desert environment, hats are advisable. Sunscreen is an absolute must, given the lack of shade. Also, packing goggles would be a wise decision.

While helmets remain optional, our household prioritizes safety above all. Our kids are only allowed to scooter in the driveway with helmets. However, considering the soft nature of the sand and the slow pace they maintained on the smaller slopes, we let them slide without helmets. Of course, we had them on standby!

Time Allocation for Sandboarding with Kids

Our family invested an excellent 1.5 hours sandboarding at the Dubai dunes. We may have lingered longer if not for our youngest needing a nap. Visiting during the winter blessed us with favorable weather. But if summer’s your chosen season, start early in the morning to avoid the peak heat.

Other Activities for Kids at Dubai Sand Dunes

Beyond sandboarding, Dubai Sand Dunes offers an array of delightful activities:

  • ATV Riding: A thrilling experience as you navigate the dunes.
  • Camel Rides: Embrace tradition as you trot through the desert landscape.

Opting for a desert safari tour could open doors to even more adventures. Since we journeyed independently, we missed out on the exclusive desert camp amenities.

Reasons Why You Should Take Your Kids To The Desert For Sandboarding:

Opting for a desert safari tour could open doors to even more adventures. Since we journeyed independently, we missed out on the exclusive desert camp amenities.

  1. Safe Adventure: Sandboarding provides an exciting yet controlled environment, ensuring kids experience thrill without undue risks.
  2. Educational Value: Beyond fun, sandboarding exposes kids to the vastness of the desert, its ecosystem, and even insights into the local Bedouin culture.
  3. Unadulterated Fun: Whether it’s racing down the dunes or simply feeling the sand beneath their feet, the fun quotient is high.
  4. Quality Family Time: Nothing bonds a family more than shared experiences, laughs, and a few sandy tumbles.
  5. A Culinary Journey: Most desert safaris come with a serving of traditional dishes, offering a unique gastronomic experience.

Wrapping Up the Sandy Adventure

Dubai offers more than its iconic skyscrapers and opulent malls. It’s a sanctuary for those with a thirst for adventure. Sandboarding provides kids of all abilities – whether under 10, those with disabilities, or just those keen to try something fresh – a world of excitement, challenges, and memories to cherish.

Grab those boards and embark on a golden adventure across Dubai’s sprawling desert expanse!


Yes. With supervision and following safety guidelines, sandboarding is a safe activity for kids in Dubai.

Kids should be supervised, wear helmets, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and follow the instructors’ guidelines.

It’s generally suitable for kids above 4.

Comfortable, not too loose clothing, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Sandboarding is typically done barefoot, but removable shoes or sandals are fine.

Barefoot provides better grip, but easily removable shoes are acceptable.

Broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, reapplied every 2 hours.

The principles are similar, but the terrain and techniques can differ due to sand resistance.

Elina Shaukat
Grumpy but gorgeous.