Wouldn’t riding a flying carpet be the ultimate desert adventure? Well, a hot air balloon is not quite the same, but it’s the closest you’re likely to get to it and really is just as magical. Soaring through the open air, the view from 900m above the sand dunes is breathtaking to say the least, and if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a trail of wandering camels, then your flight will have been all the more worth it. The best time to go hot air ballooning is at dawn – it’s the coolest time of day and the gentle light is great for photography.
Trips are operated by a number of tour operators, including Balloon Adventures Emirates LLC, which also has branches in Hungary, Germany and New Zealand, and is fully-licensed by the UAE’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). You can opt for a standard morning flight or a more tailor-made experience – just make sure to wear sensible shoes and bring a cap. Note that there are no flights during summer (usually from June to September) due to the high temperatures.
From Dhs995 per person, Dhs850 (children aged five-12 years). www.ballooning.ae (04 285 4949).
Balloon Adventures Emirates
Dhs1100 for adults, Dhs950 for children. Includes breakfast and falconry show (043884044)