DUBAI // A zip line from a high-rise tower on Emaar Boulevard, winding over Dubai Fountain to the rooftop of Dubai Mall has created quite a stir among adrenalin junkies and mesmerised onlookers.
Thrillseekers watched in awe as those lucky enough to get an invite of participation from adventure sports company XDubai took a leap of faith and followed in the footsteps – or leg swingings – of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, who was one of the first adventurers to take on the 558-metre thrill ride.
“It is the longest zip line I’ve seen,” said British tourist Andrew Duncan, 36, delighted to be watching the action.
From 90 metres above Emaar Boulevard – from The Residences Tower 3 – a bird’s-eye view provided a breathtaking look at the city’s skyline as a means of distraction for any last-minute nerves while waiting to step off the building.
A gentle shove starts the trip, and you are flying in the breeze. Strapped in by a harness but nothing but air beneath your feet.
It is going to be all over quickly but there is time to look around in wonder at the sight of familiar landmarks – the Burj Khalifa, Dubai mall and the Dubai Fountain – from a whole new, and unexpected, vantage point.
Three minutes later and you will be dangling 50 metres above ground, waiting to be hoisted back to the safety of the Dubai Mall rooftop.
More than 100 people have risked the danger of having their legs turning to jelly to enjoy this whoosh of a thrill.
However, participation is by invitation only.
Thirty lucky people each week will be plucked from entrants of a competition being run via XDubai’s social media accounts and given an invitation.
The only limitations on those entering is an age restriction of being 10 years old or more, weighing between 50kg and 110kg, and between 1.4 metres and 2.1 metres tall.
“It’s just a shame more people couldn’t take a ride on it,” said tourist Mr Duncan. “It looks like a really great way to see the city.”
It is not the first time XDubai has challenged the emirate’s residents to push their limits.
This year it staged the highest base jump from a residential building.
The Dream Jump, similar to free fall with jumpers attached to a line, was set up from Princess Tower with an anchor point in Dubai Marina.
For more information on how to get involved or to look out for future events, visit the XLine website at xdubai.com/xline