Contemplating A Hot Air Balloon Ride

“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.”

“How much?”

“Just 950.”

“I see.”

“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.

Our Decision:

Masood and I will wait until our retirement to experience this hot air balloon ride.

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25 Responses to Contemplating A Hot Air Balloon Ride

  1. Pingback: Contemplating A Hot Air Balloon Ride | Tea Break

  2. masood says:

    I am glad we saved 2000 Dirhams :). I feel It does’nt make any sense spending money for just a short thrill. How many of you commentators agree with me?

  3. nadia says:

    Alright, I agree with that part of us saving the 2000 dirhams for something else, but this wasn’t just a “short thrill”. It’s an entire hour of balloon ride.

  4. Haleem says:

    I agree with Masoon. Spending 2000 on something like that, nah…(whats the exchange rate with the $).

    You can get the same view when you fly and take off from the airport.

    I have done sky jumping though (here in Canada its about $200, you go up in a plane and jump off with a chute, and it’s pretty thrilling.

  5. nadia says:

    Based on current exchange rate: AED 2000 = CAD 660

    Yes, you’re right – same view from the plane 🙂

    Sky jumping used to be on my To-Do list, until I got married. I don’t know why, but it scares me now.

    Oh, and since you’ve actually jumped off a plane – hats off to you 🙂

  6. hfm says:

    You saved money and had a great time!
    I think that’s just priceless!

  7. nadia says:


    We are actually planning on how to spend the Eid holidays, so was searching around for fun things to do in Dubai. Most of them are expensive though 😦

    We are yet to see what other options we have.

    And yes, having a great time is the main point – which is definitely priceless 🙂

  8. Well,… other active fun options could be:

    1. Sky diving in Umm al Quwain
    2. Snorkling in Ras al Khaimah
    3. Wadi bashing in Hatta
    4. Desert Safari in outskirts of Dubai
    5. Dune buggy ride on Dubai-Hatta road
    6. Para-sailing on Jumeriah beach
    7. Water scooter ride in Dubai or Sharjah
    8. Hot springs near Oman border.

  9. nadia says:

    Serendipitous Life,

    Thanks a lot for that list! We already have Desert Safari and Oman in our list 🙂

    Will surely go through this list with Masood.

  10. Ab says:

    Good decision!

    If it was like 700 dirhams for two people, or if you were a tourist to the desert, then it might have been worth it. But in this case, it’s probably a waste of money honestly.

  11. Ab says:

    Oh.. and do go to Hatta and Salalah in Oman. Those are beautiful places and much much cheaper than hot air ballooning.

  12. nadia says:

    Thanks, Abid. We are definitely thinking Oman 🙂

  13. Serene says:

    Well I do agree with your husband for being practical. But if you really wish why not, it is once in a lifetime experience 🙂

  14. nadia says:

    At the moment, I’d rather be practical. You’re right, it’s more likely to be a once in a lifetime experience – which I’d rather like to try somewhere else, where there are green meadows and lakes 🙂

  15. Serene says:

    I do agree! Have a great day! 😉

  16. Ordinary Girl says:

    Ok, call me bad’zoaq but I can’t find anything special in looking at the sand. Probably for someone who has lived in a cold country all his life and seen just mountains or tall buildings but not for me. Glad you saved your money 🙂

    P.S. Now Masood bhai must be gloating that so many of your commentators agree with him! He he he!!

    ~ It’s not just sand, OG. It’s the “stunning desert dunes”, according to the travel agent (or whoever else is behind this balloon ride) 😉

    And yes, Masood has a huge smile on his face 😀

  17. Aadil says:

    To me it won’t be wise to spend so much on the hot air balloon and that too in the hotter airs above the sizzling sands; yes it will be worth to fly in the cooler airs somewhere near margallah in isb but still the amount is too much .. isn’t it? ..

    Nevertheless do have fun on your eid vacations 🙂

    ~ Yes, it is definitely expensive and much more worth flying over green valleys 🙂

    Thanks, we’ll be enjoying Eid, InshaAllah. Hope you enjoy yours too.

  18. mubi says:

    hey jabel hafeet was fun 😀 i went there bk in 2004.
    even if its smth u have lived in but viewing it from a bird’s eye view is totally different. like ur decision 😀

  19. mubi says:

    i dont agree with masood bhai :$

  20. mubi says:

    ok i am all excited and going crazy thnking about jet skiing..have you guys tried that 😀 😀 😀

  21. nadia says:


    We loved Jebel Hafeet! However, since I didn’t want to cook and hence went out there without anything to eat, Masood and I had to depend on the pathetic restaurant at the top of the mountain.

    Finally, someone actually didn’t agree with Masood 😀

    The idea of jet skiing is definitely thrilling. No, we haven’t tried that yet. Maybe sometime in the future, InshaAllah.

  22. Amir says:

    yes, that’s a lot for a view. I think for that much you could do something more fulfilling…like skydiving as Haleem mentioned….but I’m to scared to try that 😛

  23. nadia says:

    Yes, skydiving costs almost the same at 1000 dirhams, this is the tandem skydiving (because I can not imagine why an amateur would like to jump off a plane from 10,000 feet above the ground without a trained person behind him/her).

    If you’d fancy to jump off on your own, it’s cheaper.

    I’m comfortable with heights, but not with jumping off 😀

  24. Wakas Mir says:

    hehe good points 😛 and yes wapis ussi land pe aana to faida kya but still might be someone who has extra cash to spend jo ke shayad kahe ke chalo ji .. waste karein :p

  25. nadia says:

    Wakas Bhai,

    Someone with extra cash pe yaad aaya ke I used to watch Donald Duck a lot, and his Uncle Scrooge is so rich that the bank refuses to take his money anymore because they don’t have space left 😀

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