What better way to see the desert than by hot air balloon? Witness the unforgettable panoramic view of the dunes – it’s likely that you will never experience it this way ever again. Ballooning provides a calm experience in tune with the serenity of the desert, and the feeling of the calm, clear breeze is nothing like you would experience on the ground. Be prepared to see amazing desert landscapes with rich red sand dunes, and once you’ve reached a good height you may be lucky enough to spot wandering camels, gazelles and date plantations.
Ballooning in Dubai
If you are planning to book a hot air balloon, be prepared for the early start. Experts say the ride at sunrise is the best in terms of air temperature and calmness. The balloon company will pick you up from your hotel (if you are staying within the urban areas of Dubai) and take you on a long drive into the heart of the desert landscape. If this is the first time you’ve seen a hot air balloon in real life, you will be amazemed. It’s huge! Last minute preparations of inflating the balloon will build up. No time to back out now, be brave and climb into the basket to experience the best rides of your life. Safety belts are provided, but they are only be used during exceptionally fast landings and we are told that this rarely happens.
Compared to the glitz and glamour of urban Dubai, a hot air balloon flight is a tranquil experience with the only intermittent sounds of the gas burner blasts. The entire flight lasts for approximately an hour and on touching down you’ll be offered cold refreshments and a flight certificate from the pilot. Depending on where you land you may even get the opportunity to meet with some local Bedouins or farmers. It’s a great experience, if you have the time and money!
Points of note –
Pick up time from the hotel is between usually 4- 5am. Make sure you have an early night!
The total duration of the hot air balloon adventure in Dubai is about five hours (includes pick up, and drop off), but the actual ride is about an hour.
Because it is in the desert, comfortable clothing and footwear inclusive of hats and sunglasses are strongly recommended. You may even carry a light jacket as well as protection against the early morning desert chill.
Wheelchair users and children under 5 years are not allowed on the ride. Adults with certain medical issues may also not be permitted but please check with individual tour operators.
Every ride can accommodate 2 to 24 people but it is not usually full.
There are no toilets on board!
When – The best time to book a hot air balloon flight in Dubai is early morning at sunrise and most of the tour operators also schedule it at that time. Pick up is usually between 4 and 5am
How long – While the flight lasts for one hour the entire round trip starting from pick-up point to being dropped back takes approximately 5 hours
Location –Balloon Adventures flys in the Sweihan area, but if you are staying in a hotel within the urban areas of Dubai, they will collect you and drop you back free of charge.
Cost – Roughly 1000Dhs per person
Booking – There are a handful of tour operators who are experts in hot air ballooning, however we are basing our review on an experience with Balloon Adventures Emirates 04 285 4949 ballooning.ae