“Experience the desert as only a few have seen it – from a gently floating hot air balloon. Watch the sun rise over the rocky Hajar mountains. Enjoy an hour of majestic flying across the stunning desert dunes.”
This is what the website promised: a unique and romantic way to see the desert from the sky, aboard a hot air balloon. I was captivated by the idea of riding this oldest human-carrying flying technology. So on our way home last night, I excitedly proposed to Masood that we try out this hot air balloon ride during the Eid holidays.
“What’s in a balloon ride?” He asked.
“Well, we will watch the sun rise over the rocky Hajar mountains and enjoy an hour of majestic flying across the stunning desert dunes.”
“Stunning desert dunes?”
“Yes, and the sun rise.”
“1900 for both of us.”
“Oh. You want to spend almost 2000 dirhams to ride a balloon and look down at desert dunes?”
After dinner, I Googled around for some breath-taking pictures to show him. I wanted him to feel the magic, the enthusiasm, and the thrill of experiencing a balloon ride over the red desert sand.
These are photographs taken by tourists who went to experience the hot air balloon ride. Actually, Masood has a point. For someone who has been living in the desert for several years, paying 950 per person to see that same desert doesn’t make sense.
Besides, we went to Jebel Hafeet, the highest point of the U.A.E., last year. This was the view, free of charge:
Of course, some might just say that you pay for the experience of actually riding a huge balloon, and not just the view. But the price is equivalent to a plane ticket to Karachi! Not to mention the advantage of being with family members after landing. On the other hand, once this balloon ride is over, you land on the same sand, get into the same car, and head back home.
Masood and I will wait until our retirement to experience this hot air balloon ride.