short story of Dubai's adventure


Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a hot air balloon ride in Dubai amid magnificent views of the Arabian Desert.

Dubai is a land of multiple experiences. You can tour the desert in a 4X4, shop in luxury department stores, or cruise along the spectacular coastline. But few things are more memorable than a hot air balloon ride in Dubai over the vast and majestic Arabian Desert.

Gliding over barren, arid wilderness can seem like a distant fantasy, especially when complemented by idyllic vistas bathed in orange sunrise sunshine. This is why taking the air from Dubai for a hot air balloon ride is a must when you are in the emirate.

Photo of short story of Dubai's adventure by Lee Jhon

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Dubai: An Early Departure

A little grumpy and tired from the early morning (we are due to meet at 4:45am), I can't help but feel a shiver of excitement as I board the minibus with the other passengers ready for the hot air balloon flight from Dubai. As I slowly wake up from my daydream, I feel great anticipation.

Our future pilot, Captain Mike, is no less excited than us. Even though he has flown hundreds of hot air balloon rides over Dubai and the desert, his eyes still light up as he describes the sun rising over the mountains and beaming down to the landscape below.

“You'll love it, and the weather is perfect today too,” he enthuses as we drive along the roads of the emirate.

"Winds in the desert pick up at sunrise," he adds, explaining the need to start early, "and can get quite strong during the day and last late into the night." Therefore, it is better to combine the beauty of the rising sun with weaker winds and pleasantly warm weather.

Take a hot air balloon ride in Dubai

The minibus ride is filled with paperwork and questions from impatient travellers. There is also a form in which we must indicate our weight in kilograms. “It allows us to make sure that we balance the ball correctly and that there is enough weight to carry the basket,” says Mike. No lies about it then.

The first glimpse of the balloon

The first glimpse of the globe is not a disappointment. Even lying on our side, our morning wearer is a brilliant kaleidoscope of color in the dim light. Although he was expecting something big, he hadn't planned anything on such a grand scale.

Even partially inflated and on its side, the envelope (the technological term for the bag in which the hot air is contained) is a sight to behold.

We are briefed on the landing position and safety procedures before a quick count reveals that there are 16 passengers, plus the three pilots who will be joining us for the flight. The basket, while roomy, seems barely big enough for all of us to fit in, but Captain Mike assures us there's more than enough room.

For a few minutes, everything goes into overdrive as he transforms the partially inflated balloon into an upright masterpiece a little more recognizable as a means of transportation. Jumping into the center of the gondola, he deftly directs shots of propane at the cold-inflated balloon, causing the air inside to expand and slowly lift the craft into an upright position.

Fly in the hot air balloon flight over Dubai

In what seems like a matter of seconds, we're ready for liftoff, climbing into the basket in an attempt to lift off in time for the sunrise over the desert. The ball gradually rises as the captain shoots again and again. First a few centimeters, then a few meters, then climb at an increasingly rapid pace until it is clear that any chance of escape is gone and we are here for the long haul.

The thrill of takeoff over, I look forward to a leisurely flight over the arid landscape, gazing down at the dunes from above. But I don't trust Captain Mike's alternate plans for a "contour flight" location. "This is where you follow the shape of the earth with the ball as close to the ground as possible without crashing," he laughs, pointing to the red dunes in front of him.

A few smiles in the basket fade as we realize how close the captain intends to get to the contours of the massive dune ahead of us. Meter by meter, we skimmed the climbing slope, almost, but never touching the sandy slope. Although I'm sure of our safety, I can't help but get a rush of adrenaline and fear when I see how close we are.