Two hot-air balloon rides are launching in the UAE, one that offers views of the Arabian Gulf from Palm Jumeirah, the other taking off from Al Wadi desert in Ras Al Khaimah.
Al Wadi desert
The balloon ride in Ras Al Khaimah, operated by ActionFlight, lasts for 60 minutes, with up to 20 passengers at a time. It offers sunrise views of desert dunes and the Hajar Mountains
"Known as the nature-based Emirate and adventure hub of the region, the destination is the perfect location for hot-air balloon flights," says Wayne Jack, chief executive of ActionFlight.
"Passengers will have a truly unforgettable experience with a bird’s-eye view of Ras Al Khaimah’s stunning landscapes and majestic wildlife."
Tickets start at Dh1,315 per adult and Dh1,155 per child. Private bookings are also available to those looking for a more intimate experience.
After the flight, guests will be treated to a breakfast, with pastries, cold cuts, fruit platters and hot plates from a live cooking station. There will also be a show featuring Arabian falcons, owls and hawks. All passengers will also take home a souvenir flight certificate signed by the balloon pilot.
More information is available at actionflight.ae
The Dubai Balloon, a new hot-air balloon ride, will take off from Aquaventure Waterpark beach at Atlantis, The Palm.
The balloon will rise up to 300 metres (1,000 feet), offering an aerial view of the man-made Palm Jumeirah. A specific launch date is yet to be announced, but the attraction is expected to take off in February.
A ride on The Dubai Balloon lasts about 10 minutes, and upon landing, guests will be taken to a lounge overlooking the water.
There will also be a merchandise store offering hoodies, caps, mugs and other souvenirs.
Anyone can ride the balloon, with no age or weight limit. It's also wheelchair and stroller-friendly. A regular ticket costs Dh175 for adults and Dh75 for children. Children under three go free.
The Dubai Balloon will sell priority tickets to those who want to skip the queue, priced at Dh275 for adults and Dh125 for children. This ticket also includes complimentary soft drinks, coffee or tea at the lounge.
Aside from regular balloon rides, groups can arrange private charters, with a flat rate of Dh5,500 for two to 30 people, for up to 20 minutes, depending on the weather.
“We have a dedicated events team that will work on a case-by-case basis as per the requests and requirements they receive, so each event will be unique and customised,” a representative tells The National.
The new attraction is operated by Hero Experiences Group, which has been running hot-air balloon rides over the Dubai desert. Its signature ride takes off at sunrise, and goes up to 4,000 feet (1,220 metres) in the air, and includes breakfast at a Bedouin camp. The group also conducts desert safaris and boat tours.
“We are so excited to welcome everyone to try this new bucket-list experience and rise above this beautiful city we call home,” Clair Aichhorn, general manager of The Dubai Balloon, says. “The teams have worked hard to create something spectacular that will reshape the city skyline and enhance Dubai as a destination.”