Watch Dubai Balloon soar 300 metres above Palm Jumeirah skyline

Offering 360-degree views, it makes for a thrilling adventure

Watch: Hot air balloon soars 300 metres above Dubai skyline

Watch: Hot air balloon soars 300 metres above Dubai skyline
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In a towering city like Dubai, there are plenty of spots vying for the title of best view. And now, there’s a new contender in the mix, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Opening on Friday at Atlantis, The Palm is The Dubai Balloon, a tethered hot air balloon attraction that floats visitors up to 300 metres above Palm Jumeirah, offering 360-degree views.

The experience begins with a safety briefing from a member of the ground team, who explains that the helium-operated balloon will only be reaching half its height, at 150 metres, due to the weather (we fly on a hazy and slightly windy morning), which is fine by me as heights are not my strong suit.

Once the safety briefing is done, we hand over our boarding passes and head over to greet our captain, Harold, who is just as excited as we are.

The balloon is much larger than your average hot air balloon. It can accommodate up to 20 people in its doughnut-shaped passenger compartment basket, or gondola. Passengers are able to watch the ground fade away beneath them as they start to ascend, as well as take in the views facing outwards.

We are told to hold on to the safety rail as it starts to rise, in case of any bumps. We didn’t need to worry though, it’s a surprisingly smooth climb, interrupted only by a slight shake in my knees as the height starts to suddenly feel very real.

Once we reach our 150-metre peak for the day, I am able to relax a little (and feel secretly thankful that we didn’t make it all the way to 300 metres). The balloon floats high above both Atlantis, The Palm and its shiny new neighbour Atlantis The Royal, which sit on either side.

To the front, the famous outline of Palm Jumeirah is clear to see, with the water between the fronds glistening in the morning sunlight. Despite the morning haze, the towering Marina skyline is clearly visible, and on the horizon, you can just about make out the outline of Downtown.

While we can’t quite spot the tip of Burj Khalifa this morning, Harold assures us that passengers can get a great view when the skies are clearer. He also shows us photos of the view at sunset and at night, both of which are spectacular.

Harold encourages passengers to walk around the gondola, which is fitted out with a safety net, so everyone gets a moment to take in the views, and of course, snap their pictures from all angles. Although, it doesn’t matter where you’re standing — there are no bad photo spots here.

The experience lasts for about 10 minutes, before we are told to hold on to the rails again as we start to make our descent. Despite Harold joking that it was his “first landing”, we touch back down without a bump.

The experience costs D175 for adults and Dh75 for children (under threes go free), or you can get a fast pass ticket for Dh275 for adults and Dh125 for children, which includes a beverage in the Dubai Balloon lounge, where guests will finish their experience.

Considering how pricey standard hot air balloon rides can be (in Dubai, they average around Dh800), this is a more affordable way to enjoy the experience of being in a balloon, and taking in the city from one of the best viewpoints.

It’s definitely going to turn the stomachs of those who are not great with heights, but we promise you, the views are worth it.

Open daily from 9am to 7pm. More information is available at thedubaiballoon.com

Updated: March 28, 2023, 6:14 AM