Abu Dhabi's man-made wave 'stacks up well against best waves on earth', says top surfer

Some of the world's renowned surfers were invited to try Surf Abu Dhabi's first test wave ride — and here's what they said


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 11:27 AM

Last updated: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 11:11 PM

Top surfers from across the world were in awe of the waves that they encountered during the exclusive first test ride at Surf Abu Dhabi on Hudayriyat Island.

The facility, which is slated for opening in early 2024, hosted 11-time World Surf League champion Kelly Slater from the US, among other renowned names.

Developed by Modon Properties and in collaboration with the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC), global experts in man-made wave technology, the innovative destination will feature the world’s longest ride, largest barrel, and man-made wave facility.

“I’ve surfed hundreds of incredible waves across the world and this wave in Abu Dhabi stacks up well against some of the best waves on earth. I’ve drawn on that travelling surf education to design the wave at Surf Abu Dhabi,” Slater said.

Surf Abu Dhabi has been designed to inspire and cater to surfers of all skill levels, from beginners to elite.

“This will provide endless fun to so many people, creating an opportunity to surf an incredible wave in a special part of the world for both experienced and beginning surfers. This marks a new era in what’s possible in the surf world,” the American surfer added.

Among other world champions to test the waves at the facility were Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, Caroline Marks from the US, Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam, and Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina from Brazil.

“A world-class wave in the UAE. Thank you for making us feel incredibly welcome and congratulations for bringing the project to life,” Gilmore said.

“As an Arab, I’m proud that Abu Dhabi has created the gateway to surfing in the Middle East,” Boukhiam said.

Toledo underlined: “Believe it or not, I found a wave in Surf Abu Dhabi. And it’s incredible.”

Praising Slater on his new project, Marks said: “Wow, congratulations on another incredible project.”

Jeff Fleeher, president of KSWC, noted: “As a global hub for tourism, sport, and business, with diverse peoples and cultures, Abu Dhabi is the perfect place for us to showcase KSWC’s unmatched wave technology and surf experience.”

Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Al Zaabi, chairman of the Department of Finance and chairman of Modon Properties, revealed that Surf Abu Dhabi is ready to be unveiled to the world soon.

“Staging our first-ever test wave with Kelly Slater and legends of the sport is a testament to the progress we’ve made to bring this vision to reality."

Bill O'Regan, CEO of Modon, added: “We can’t wait to welcome surfers of all skill levels to find their wave in Abu Dhabi, and benefit from the world-class technology and facilities available to them.”


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