If you are new to hot air ballooning and not familiar with what makes a good hot air ballooning company, it can be hard to know which the best company is to book your adventure with! Whether you want to go hot air ballooning over the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, over the “fairy chimney” rock formations in Cappadocia, Turkey or the vast sand dunes of the Dubai desert, there are a few factors to consider before choosing a hot air balloon company. For most people, hot air ballooning is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you want to make sure that you book the best experience possible. There are a few factors to consider before booking a hot air balloon flight. We will also let you know specifically what to look for in Dubai.
1. How well-known is the hot air balloon company?
You are probably going to want to book a hot air balloon flight in Dubai with a reputable and trusted company. It’s a good idea to be aware of how well-known a hot air balloon company is, as a way of getting an unbiased opinion. A great way to do this is by checking the Instagram page of the company. Have a look at the tagged section or the profile to see some the photos and comments made by previous guests. Is the company mainly posting professional or photoshopped promotional images, or do they share actual images taken by their guests?
You can also read some of the TripAdvisor Reviews to get an overall idea of what others say about the experience.
A well-known hot air balloon company would also usually be recommended by the tourism body of the country you are booking. Dubai Tourism’s website has a full section about hot air ballooning and frequently feature Balloon Adventures Dubai on Instagram.
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As the sun rises over the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve — the UAE’s first national park — onlookers in vibrantly-hued hot air balloons take in the vastness of the landscape as morning light illuminates the sandy scene. Dubai has taken groundbreaking steps in preserving this unique and beautiful desert habitat, especially when it comes to its endangered animals and threatened flora and fauna species. Photographer @loganstrongarms shares his experience of the reserve, reminding us how important it is to care for the planet we call home. “Meeting the employees of the reserve really helped us understand how passionate Dubai is about environmental conservation. Overlooking the divide between the desolate dunes and the habitable reserve was an incredibly impactful part of my hot air balloon experience — to me, the sight signified the important role conservation efforts play in the preservation of our beautiful planet.” How do you help preserve the beauty of the world? (@visit.dubai, : Dubai) #Repost @beautifulmatters #VisitDubai #BeautifulDestinations #Dubai #DubaiDesert #hotairballoon #airballoon #wanderlust #weekendvibes #travel #travelgram
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If you follow any travel bloggers or influencers who have experienced hot air ballooning in Dubai, you will be able to see which hot air balloon company they flew with. Influencers are notoriously quite fussy and they tend to choose the best companies to review so this is a good way to see how well-known a hot air balloon company is.
2. How long has the Balloon company been operating for?
Flying a hot air balloon in different parts of the world requires a specific skillset and knowledge base. The climate and landscape affect the technicalities of hot air ballooning and the longer the balloon company has been operating in an area, the better. They will be the experts of flying hot air balloons in that particular region. Balloon Adventures were the pioneers of hot air ballooning in Dubai – just saying! In 2005, we chartered the Dubai desert and have been flying here for 14 years. Our growing fleet of balloons is the largest in the UAE.
3. How experienced are the Pilots?
Many hot air balloon companies don’t share much information about who will actually be flying the hot air balloon. As you can imagine, the process of becoming a professional hot air balloon pilot is extensive and the amount of experience a pilot has is important. Our hot air balloon pilots are some of the most experienced pilots in the world with a collective of over 10,000 flights and 50 years of flying under their belts. They have flown all over the world, all have European pilot licenses and have extensive experience of flying in Dubai. They are highly trained and understand the local weather conditions ensuring the best and safest flights in Dubai. Read more about our experienced pilots.
4. What does the price include?
It goes without saying, that you get what you pay for. Price is always going to be a factor to consider when you are comparing companies. While going with the cheapest option is sometimes a good choice, you are probably going to want to scratch a bit deeper when it comes to choosing a hot air balloon flight – there is a reason why a balloon flight may be so cheap! It could be that the standards aren’t that high or it could be that the experience only includes the hot air balloon ride. When you are comparing prices, make sure you consider what the price includes.
Our signature Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride includes pick-up and drop-off from Dubai, a sunrise hot air balloon flight, the world’s only in-flight falcon show, ride in the desert in vintage Land Rovers and 5 star breakfast in a luxury Bedouin camp.
Balloon Adventures Dubai is the only company in the world with an in-flight falcon show. The falcon show takes place in the sky and guests watch the falcon fly and circle the balloon basket at 4,000ft. Some companies in Dubai might include falconry but it is usually just a standard photo with the falcon at the end on the ground. Read about the story of flying with falcons.
5. What is the breakfast?
Most sunrise hot air balloon flights include a breakfast. Be careful of companies who advertise their breakfast as something it is not and make it sound like more than it is, when it is often just a dry sandwich served in the back of the car on the way back to Dubai. As the old saying goes, images speak louder than words. Not to brag, but our gourmet breakfast is a buffet of eggs Benedict, eggs shakshuka, hand-cut salmon, caviar, cold meats and more. It is also served in a beautiful Bedouin camp in a Royal desert retreat. Ok that was a bit of a brag, but we are sure you can see why!
6. What are the safety measures?
Afterall, hot air ballooning is an adventurous activity and you are probably going to want to make sure that you are flying with a company with good safety standards. You should be able to tell from their website if safety is important to them and other factors previously mentioned like the experience of the pilots and the length of operation are good indicators of safety levels.
Balloon Adventures Dubai takes safety very seriously and as pioneers of Ballooning in the United Arab Emirates, we not only follow the safety standards of the UAE, but established them as one of the most stringent in the world. We were the first company in the world to introduce safety belts which has become a standard on all balloon flights. Read more about hot air balloon safety measures.
There are plenty of amazing hot air balloon companies in the world and we hope that this guide will not only help you choose the best hot air balloon company in Dubai, but also in other popular hot air ballooning destinations. If you are planning to go hot air ballooning in Dubai, make sure you take lots of photos and enjoy the unique experience of floating over the Dubai desert!