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Greetings from Dubai, on a gorgeous, sun-drenched day by the pool. (Don’t get all pissed off, by the time you read this, my ass will back in NYC cold.) This blog post will take a bit of reading, as there’s a backstory, but the lessons should be worth it. Keep reading. As is known the world over, Dubai is famous for excess. Everything here is in excess. The buildings have to be the tallest in the world. The cars have to be the most expensive. There’s even competition for who can have the license plate with the lowest number.
Nothing in this city of excess is immune from it, including the extreme sports community. Where most cities are lucky if they have one skydiving drop zone, Dubai has two. Skydive Dubai, and Skydive Dubai, Desert Campus. The former is the one that gets all the glory, as it’s right on the water, has the beauty of the Dubai skyline behind it, and if you’ve ever visited and done a tandem jump, this drop zone is where you’ve done it. Skydive Dubai Desert Campus is kind of like the awesome little brother who has been cursed with the even more awesome older brother. On its own, it’s a truly amazing drop zone. It’s in the middle of the desert, with tons of landing space, beautiful greenery, and two fast-as-hell planes to take you to jump altitude in a matter of minutes. It has super-nice people, and gorgeous, unobstructed 360-degree desert views. But put the two in comparison, and Desert Campus is unfortunately, the younger, slightly less awesome brother. Here’s where it gets interesting: Any licensed skydiver with the proper certification can show up at Desert Campus and make a jump, as I did yesterday. Until the winds kicked up and grounded me after one jump, I had an amazing time. As you can see below, the jump was killer, the skies perfect, and the air warm. Even the sand was the softest I’ve ever felt. Lovely, lovely jump.