Archery is a traditional sport which you can try in the UAE and a great activity to improve your precision, core strength, focus and concentration. Here is all you need to know about archery in Dubai.
HISTORY OF ARCHERY IN DUBAI
Some of the best schools in Dubai now have a no homework policy. This helps children to pursue hobbies and physical activities including archery.
Even before the homework ban, there was an increase in the number of people, especially children who signed up for archery lessons in Dubai. This partially owes itself to the popularity of fictitious archers in Hollywood movies (Katniss in the Hunger Games franchise and Hawkeye in the Avengers are some of the recent examples of the phenomenon).
However, the main reason both youngsters and adults are drawn to archery is the significance of the sport in the region. In fact, archery is one of the best ways to immerse yourself into the history and culture of the UAE.
Many believe that archery in the Middle East dates back to the Babylonians and Assyrians, who are thought to have been skilled archers. Not to mention, excavations at Ed-Dur (in the emirate of Umm Al Quwain) have unearthed a large number of ‘trilobate’ arrowheads dating back 2,000 years which also sheds light on the ancient archery practices in the region. You can also find ancient arrowheads on display at the Fujairah Museum as well as the Sharjah Archaeological Museum.
And let’s not forget the religious significance of archery in Islam. All these reasons make archery the perfect sport for those considering taking up a hobby in Dubai.
Here are some of the best places to learn and practice archery in Dubai.
BEST PLACES FOR ARCHERY IN DUBAI
JA HATTA FORT HOTEL
To start off, archery is one of the best things to do in Hatta. Located 130km away from central Dubai, Hatta is a natural retreat with rocky mountains and crystal clear waters. And it is one of the best places in the UAE to familiarise yourself with a bow and arrow. You can find an archery range in the lawns of JA Hatta Fort Hotel. This Dubai archery range is equipped for both beginners and expert archers. Take in the views of the stunning Hajar mountains as you try to hit a bull’s eye!
- Timings: Open every day from 09:00 am to 06:30 pm
- Price: AED 50 per person for visitors, AED 30 per person for hotel guests
- Contact: +971-4-814-5400
JEBEL ALI SHOOTING CLUB
The second entry on our list is among the best places for archery in Dubai: Jebel Ali. Home to a massive outdoor range, the Jebel Ali Shooting Club gives you a chance to learn archery from a team of skilled and experienced trainers and assistants. And you don’t have to be a member of the club to use the facilities at this Dubai archery range.
While primarily a place for shooting enthusiasts, Jebel Ali Shooting Club provides an exciting opportunity for you to brush your bow and arrow skills at the outdoor range. Along with professional coaching, you will also get to use advanced equipment. And all this takes place inside a fortress-like structure.
Each session lasts 30 minutes. Note that children under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult at the archery range.
- Location: Gate No.7, Exit No.13, Near Jebel Ali Freezone
- Timings: Wednesday to Monday: 01:00 pm to 08:45 pm
- Price: AED 80 (for members), AED 110 (for non-members) for 30 minutes with unlimited arrows
- Contact: +971-4-814-5300
AL MAHA DESERT RESORT
Located at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), this resort invites you to a luxurious archery experience. Other traditional activities at the resort include camel riding and falconry. Swimming is also included in the day package. Al Maha Resort allows you to experience the stunning desertscape in a sustainable manner, making it one of the best ecotourism destinations in Dubai.
- Location: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
- Timings: Every day from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm
- Price: AED 950 (day package)
- Contact: +971-4-832-9900
SONORA DESERT CAMP
Moving on, Sonora Desert Camp is another eco-friendly destination in Dubai. Located in the heart of the Arabian Desert, Sonora offers a luxurious dining and camping experience along with a range of activities, including soft archery.
This is a form of archery for people of all ages using safer equipment. It includes soft foam tip arrows that have the same flight characteristics as a standard arrow. This allows you to shoot without safety nets.
- Location: Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), Al Ain Road, Margham Gate
- Timings: 03:00 pm to 10:30 pm
- Price: The dinner package costs AED 860 per adult and AED 380 per child (aged 5 – 12). You have to ask for archery to be included in the list of activities
- Contact: +971-50-336-7909
BAB AL SHAMS DESERT RESORT & SPA
One of the popular desert resorts in Dubai, Bab Al Shams helps you combine your love of archery with a luxurious vacation. You will have a team of experts offering watchful guidance and provide basic training and safety tips. This Dubai archery range is suitable for all skill levels. Each archery session lasts for up to an hour and the archery venue overlooks the dunes.
- Location: Opposite Endurance City, Al Qudra Road
- Timings: 09:30 am to 12:00 pm | 04:00 pm to 06:00 pm (latest booking is by 05:00 pm)
- Price: AED 175 per adult, AED 140 per child (prices are the same for visitors and guests)
- Contact: +971-4-809-6167
These are the best archery ranges in Dubai. There was also a group by the name of ‘Dubai Archers’ at Dubai Country Club, but they have now relocated to Sharjah Wanderers Golf Club. Not to mention, you can also find archery training schools in the nearby emirates of Fujairah, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Note: You have to make prior bookings for archery sessions at all the places listed above. Also, try to reach at least 15 minutes early for archery lessons in Dubai.
PLAY ARCHERY TAG IN DUBAI
One of the reasons why many are drawn to pick up the bow and arrow is that archery is an individual sport. It is a showcase of strength, vision and concentration. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun while practising archery in Dubai. Grab your friends and head to Flip Out to enjoy a competitive but fun game of Archery Tag, one of the best indoor summer activities in Dubai.
Dubai Archery Tag employs fast thinking and sharp aiming and uses specially-designed bows and foam-tipped arrows to prevent injuries. The only safety equipment you need to play Archery Tag in Dubai is a facemask and guards. You have to fire arrows from a 5m distance; each team has five members separated by a safe zone. Points are awarded for hitting the discs of the other team and the objective of Flip Out Dubai Archery Tag, of course, is to knock down your opponents. You can also eliminate opponents by catching their arrows.
Flip Out is also one of the best places to throw a birthday party in Dubai, where you can enjoy activities like dodgeball and bubble soccer along with archery.
- Location: Al Quoz, Dubai
- Timings: Sunday to Wednesday 12:00 pm to 09:00 pm, Thursday to Saturday 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
- Prices: AED 80 for a 60-minute session (you also have to rent quivers and juggernaut bows for AED 10 and AED 15 respectively)
- Contact: +971-60-056-7568
LEARN ARCHERY IN DUBAI AT A SUMMER CAMP
Along with archery ranges in various resorts and clubs in Dubai, children can also engage in the sport during summer camp.
KINGS’ SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP WITH ECOVENTURE
This holiday camp is held every year during the summer holidays at Kings’ School Al Barsha and Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba. Along with archery, kids can also engage in other activities like martial arts and dodgeball. Kids can also join the engineers’ camp that combines these activities with more educational ones.
- Dates: Summer Camp is from July 7th till August 29th, 2020
- Timings: 09:00 am to 01:30 pm
- Price: AED 875 for the week (early bird price is AED 775)
- Contact: +971-4-438-3939
SPLASH ‘N’ PARTY SUMMER CAMP
Another exciting venue for a summer camp that features archery in Dubai is the Splash ‘n’ Party water park. Activities include robotics, arts and crafts, archery and swimming. Overall, there are 15 different activities that kids can participate in during the camp under the close supervision of professionals.
- Dates: July 7th to August 29th 2020
- Location: Street 8, Al Safa 2
- Timings: 09:00 am to 02:00 pm
- Price: AED 499 per week
- Contact: +971-4-388-3008
WHAT IS THE AGE REQUIREMENT FOR LEARNING ARCHERY?
Archery requires a certain level of upper body strength. This is why many feel that they cannot be good at the sport. However, archery schools and ranges in Dubai don’t have specific age limits. In fact, in the last couple of years, the country has seen a surge in interest in archery by school-going children. Likewise, no one is too old for archery as well.
HOW SAFE IS ARCHERY?
There are safety rules applied when setting up targets in archery ranges. Under professional supervision, it is one of the safest sports out there. For further safety, one can consider using foam-tipped arrows.
WHAT IF I HAVE WEAK EYESIGHT?
Contrary to popular opinion, even people with weak eyesight can practice archery.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN ARCHERY?
It all depends on your natural ability, as well as the kind of instruction you receive. It is possible to learn shooting with a Recurve Bow in a day. Take your time when learning to hold the bow and drawing the arrow, find the right technique on how to steady your arms and especially how to aim.
Finally, remember that archery can be exhausting as it exerts pressure on your arms and upper body. Pace your lessons so that you don’t tire yourself.
This wraps up our guide on archery in Dubai. If you are interested in shooting, we have compiled a list of the best shooting ranges in Dubai.
Subscribe to MyBayut to learn more exciting activities in the UAE.