Hot air ballooning is an unforgettable experience, but flying with falcons during a balloon flight is truly extraordinary. On every balloon flight with Balloon Adventures, a falcon goes with and at 4,000ft the world’s only in-flight falcon show takes place. This is the story of how we innovatively combined falconry and hot air ballooning in Dubai.
For generations, falconry has been deeply rooted in Dubai’s heritage. These majestic birds represent a spirit of adventure, unyielding strength and timeless beauty. In collaboration with Land Rover and Royal Shaheen, we had a vision to create the world’s most unique and innovative falconry experience – world-first hot air balloon experience with falcons flying at up to 4,000ft.
In 2016 the falcons were born in Scotland due to the cold, crisp climate which was ideal for the development of the falcons’ muscles. When the falcons hatched, they were imprinted, which is when a falcon is taken from hatch and handfed everyday so that they begin to trust and imprint on whoever is feeding him. Through imprinting we were able to build a very strong bond and trusting relationship with the falcons.
At the age of 16 weeks, the falcons set off in a Land Rover for a three-day road trip from Scotland to Italy. Along the way, they stopped for training sessions preparing them for what lay ahead. Italy was chosen for its climate and the Balloon Adventures Italy Pilots who would be responsible for imprinting the balloons on the falcons. They needed to get used to the sound of the hot air balloon and practise flying from the balloon basket.
When the falcons were 6 months old, they arrived in Dubai to adapt to the warmer climate before their world-first hot air ballooning. For the first time in history, the miraculous birds took flight at 4,000ft above the Dubai desert dunes with the backdrop of the Hajar Mountains.
A world-first with the world’s fastest animal. A one of a kind experience. An unforgettable journey.