Something to try before summer arrives…

In Dubai, we have a number of experiences we can try, from desert safaris to theme parks, adventurous water sports and so much more. For something your whole family and friends can try together, try an all-new hot air balloon experience with Balloon Flights.

Balloon Flights is Dubai’s newest hot air balloon experience which takes you to 4,000 feet in the air over the desert.

What’s On was given a golden opportunity to try it out.

Here’s our experience…


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An early morning start…

Our experience begins at 3am, way before the birds start chirping and the streets of Dubai are (fairly) quiet. A barrage of messages is exchanged in the ‘Hot Air Balloon’ Whatsapp group to ensure everyone is awake and ready. ‘Don’t forget your Emirates ID!’ was one of the messages I frantically sent to the group.

Prior to the big day, the team from Balloon Adventure emailed us forms where we filled out our personal details including name, passport number, current weight, and a photo of our Emirates ID. There’s also a waiver to sign. We also get messages from our driver confirming pick-up timing and location. It’s important to note to be late, else the rest of the party will have to set off without you.

Balloon Adventures

After we are picked up by the team, we drive to the Sky Center at Margham where we sip on coffee in the indoor majlis. We are given a safety brief from the team and the captain, which includes seatbelts, landing positions (more or less, a squat), and other information.

We then return to our drivers who take us a further out to the desert where the balloons are being prepared for our arrival.

Preparing for take-off…

It’s about the crack of dawn when we arrive at the location and we were wondering if we would make it to the skies before the sun bleeds. While we wait, we start snapping up photos of the balloons being inflated with fire and the peaceful desert. Remember when the team asked for our weight? It’s to ensure the basket is balanced out correctly, so be prepared to hop inside the basket according to the positions that are allocated to you by the team. Note: There’s no graceful way to do this, but you are given a little help with the step ladder and the team.

Balloon Adventures

This is our entire group’s first time in a hot air balloon, and while we have seen pictures – the views still took our breath away. It’s not just Balloon Adventure’s hot air balloon that you will see floating to the clouds, so the scenes pretty much reminded us of those beautiful Cappadocia postcards. And yes, we were on time and after about 15 minutes in the air, we saw the sun burst through the clouds in a vibrant orange hue.

Besides the gorgeous sunrise, we also see endless desert dunes, gorgeous cloud formations and the local wildlife including Arabian oryx and falcons.

Our experiences lasted a little more than an hour as the experienced pilot had to locate a suitable landing spot.

Oh, and speaking of landing, well… make sure you follow the guidelines as stated because it can be a little bumpy. Fun, but bumpy.

Once again, getting out of the basket isn’t the most glam thing, but with the help of your friends – who hopefully aren’t laughing at you – you’ll be fine.

Time to refuel

Balloon adventures

By now, you probably have travelled a long long way from your liftoff point – so how do you get back? Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk back. While we were up in the air, our drivers were busy following us down on terra firma. So, you may have to wait a couple of minutes for them to catch up but you can use that time to snap up more photos with your group and the pilot.

Post our photo sessions, our driver then took us to another venue where we enjoyed breakfast. Think eggs, sausages, croissants, sandwiches and more along with coffee, tea and juices. We snapped up photos with a falcon and received a flight certificate signed by the captain to take home as a souvenir. When we were ready to go home, our driver dropped us off home.

Want to try it out yourself?

Balloon Adventures

You have to be quick at planning as the experience is only available until the end of May and will only reopen once summer is over.

There are three hot air balloon options available including the A6WOW & A6OMG balloons – which are the largest of their kind in the Middle East and can accommodate up to 28 guests per balloon. If you want something with a smaller group, the A6FUN balloon is designed for 10 people. Prices start from Dhs1,099 per adult.

You can call the team at Balloon Flights on 04 208 7222, or purchase your tickets and get more information on

Images: Supplied by Balloon Flights