Middle East, Travel

Hot Air Ballooning in Dubai

An inspiring blend of sophisticated luxury, authentic Indian heritage and contemporary style – Taj Dubai is a world-class destination. Experience great Indian hospitality at the shores of modern Arabia.

An experience that will forever stay with me has to be watching the sunrise over the Arabian Desert from a hot air balloon with Balloon Adventures Emirates.


I woke up at 4.30am for our 5am pickup, which was a little rough after only arriving into Dubai the day before. But jetlag be damned, I had a hot air balloon to catch! Oh and be aware, the balloon waits for no one. If you’re late, it will leave without you. So set those alarm clocks.

We drove into the desert and arrived while it was still dark, with only the bright colours of fire illuminating us.



It’s important to remember to dress comfortably and warmly (you need to climb into the basket, so no skirts please, plus bring a sweater as the desert is chilly in the morning). Practical shoes are essential – so no heels, ladies – and as you can’t bring a bag on the balloon, ideally wear something with pockets you can put your phone in.

This was my first time in a hot air balloon, and as we started to rise and rise I must admit I got a bit freaked out. We were so high! And only hot air was keeping us afloat! But my mind was soon put at ease by our pilot “Cowboy Mike”, a highly experienced pilot who holds a European license and has piloted thousands of these balloons.



After my minor freakout was resolved I loved it – we were going to fast but you couldn’t tell in the air. It was such a peaceful experience.

Unfortunately Mother Nature wasn’t on our side and there was a lot of low hanging cloud about, obscuring the sunrise. So we flew up even higher until we were submerged in the clouds. It was such a dissociative experience – I lost concept of height and movement and it was like being in heaven.


We returned below the clouds just in time to catch rising sun cast it’s rays from behind the cloud. Amazing, don’t you think?


The desert was now bathed in golden light and it gave us a better perspective on how high up we were, and the sheer scale of the desert.




It was also fascinating to see the different farms and locals from above, it sure would be tough living out here. We also spotted camels, oryx and gazelles wandering through the dessert.





Cintia and I enjoying the balloon ride!

Image thanks to Inside Out Style Blog

In my opinion, if you ever decide to splurge on a Hot Air Balloon ride at sunrise, then you must do this when you visit Dubai. It’s an experience which is going to stay with me for life.


  • Price: Adults AED 995 per person and children (5 to 12 years) AED 850. Children must be over 120cm to fly.
  • The price includes return transfers form your hotel, refreshments and the option of purchasing a souvenir video of your journey at the end.
  • Book tickets here www.ballooning.ae




This post was brought to you in collaboration with Nuffnang and Dubai Tourism

This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.

An inspiring blend of sophisticated luxury, authentic Indian heritage and contemporary style – Taj Dubai is a world-class destination. Experience great Indian hospitality at the shores of modern Arabia.

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  • Reply Lucy @ Bake Play Smile January 23, 2016 at 7:46 am

    What an amazing experience!! How gorgeous is the scenery! PS – you are SO brave!!

    • Reply Swah February 16, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks Lucy!! I think the adrenaline helped!

  • Reply A Bird's Eye View of Dubai - Love Swah February 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    […] ways to get a great view of Dubai from the sky – for the adventurous, I highly recommend Hot Air Ballooning. If you’re on a budget, the viewing deck of the Burj Khalifa called At The Top is an amazing […]

  • Reply Shedi October 23, 2017 at 3:48 am

    HI SWAH,

    Another great post. I was wonder what camera did you use in taking pictures?

    • Reply Swah December 6, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Hi Shedi, I took these photos using my Olympus OMD E-M10 camera :)

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