Review: Aventura Adventure Park
BCME readers often ask us about the types of Hen Do (or Bachelorette Party) activities that are available in Dubai. Whilst there is plenty on offer, it can sometimes be hard to find something truly unique. We were recently invited to try out Aventura Park, a zip lining and ‘tree surfing’ experience located within Mushrif Park near the Mirdif area of Dubai. This struck us as a great opportunity for brides-to-be to experience something different as part of their pre-wedding celebrations. Plus, it would also be great for stag dos and for entertaining friends and family whilst they are in the UAE for your wedding, all of which is a huge bonus. So, our Assistant Editor, Rachael, and her husband went along to try it out. Enjoy!
Located within a 35,000 square metres Ghaf tree forest, Aventura offers itself as a unique activity for brides and grooms who want something slightly different for their pre-wedding celebrations. With activities such as tree surfing, zip lining and rope climbing, it is perfect for nature lovers and thrill seekers who want to enjoy a challenging couple of hours before maybe having dinner later in the day. There are different levels available to cater to all abilities, starting with the easy initiation circuit that all visitors must complete, to the ‘Extreme’ and ‘Thriller’ routes.
A trip to the park lasts approximately three hours, which includes the safety briefing and learning how to use the CliC-iT® carabiners and personal protection equipment. In the briefing, you realise just how safe the equipment is. We are not experienced climbers, and at first, the thought of being completely in charge of our own equipment was daunting. However, you’re never actually not connected to the safety line thanks to a clever magnetic system. This was particularly useful to remember when navigating from one obstacle to another, perched on a platform high off the ground or climbing ladders or walls. It’s impossible to completely un-attach yourself, which was reassuring.
Checking into the park, we were fitted into our harnesses before taking a short walk to the training area. Here, we learnt how to use the carabiners and safety gear. The ‘obstacles’ were mainly at ground level so we could get used to using the equipment without panicking about how high we were, and at the end, we climbed a short ladder and practised on a zipline that was just a couple of metres off the ground. Each post and obstacle has information about how many people can be on a particular platform or challenge at any given time, which would be really useful for groups.
We then decided that we would have a go at every single circuit (apart from the children’s one), working our way up to the most difficult.
Although this was one of the easier circuits at Aventura, we were a little shocked about the difficulty of some of the obstacles. The course began with a rope ‘spider web’ to climb across (you really feel your arm muscles working in this one) and saw a total of fifteen challenges, including a tightrope and ‘log walks’ at an average height of five metres. There was also a horizontal climbing wall that we had to traverse, the ‘wall’ wobbling as we tentatively stepped and stretched across it to (thankfully) make it to the other side.
On to the next course, and this began with a decision. To climb the ladder up on to the platform, or to ‘rock climb’ up. We really like how there was a choice, as it means that the less confident amongst the group is still able to access the course, whilst those who are slightly more fearless get more of a challenge.
The Thriller circuit has an average height of eight metres, meaning that it can be nervewracking for those with a fear of heights. However, the obstacles are not quite as difficult as those in the other circuits. At the end, there’s a fun 160-metre zipline which takes you over the Aventura property and finishes on the other side of the road. It was a real thrill to ride and made us even more excited to try out our third and final circuit, which we thankfully still had time for.
When Aventura describes this course as ‘extreme’, they really mean it! This course tested us, both physically and mentally.One of the most challenging features, from a fear perspective, was the 25 metre ‘Tarzan Jump’, where thrill seekers have to jump to grab hold of the rope before it takes them across the course and deposits them into another rope net, which they then have to grab hold of and climb across. Despite being a scary thought, it was actually pretty fun once we gathered enough courage to make the leap off the platform!
After this, more log walks await, all of which are much, much harder than anything we previously attempted.Near the end, you get to ‘surf’ through the treetops on a surfboard whilst holding on to a piece of rope to help with your balance. Finally, another zipline saw us complete the extreme circuit, completely exhilarated and with a sense of satisfaction that we had risen to all the challenges thrown our way!
Aventura Adventure Park makes an ideal pre-wedding celebration for both the girls and the guys. With the perfect weather that we are currently enjoying, it’s a breath of fresh air (literally!) to be in the outdoors and amongst nature. Although there were only two of us, I can imagine that in a group the sense of camaraderie and supporting each other would be even greater
Using the safety system was simple and became second nature after only a few obstacles, and we always felt secure and trusted that if we did slip on an obstacle, the harness and carabiners would do their job. The staff are friendly and encouraging, and there is always somebody around should you get into difficulty en route.
Overall, there are enough options that everyone in your group can try something and decide how far they want to push themselves in terms of the challenges they take on. There’s also a nice café on site in which to relax after! It’s the perfect way to work up an appetite for dinner and a night out after…but you will definitely ache the next day!