Dubai is a magnificent city with a dazzling skyline and a host of other attractions including the luxurious Burj Al-Arab (the tallest building in the world), the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Jumeirah, and many other wonders that should not be missed.
While driving through the city’s streets is one way to explore, there is no comparison to viewing the awesome layout of this city from the air, where many of its iconic developments are best viewed. A scenic aerial flight over Dubai is an experience of a lifetime, giving viewers a unique perspective of this luxurious city from the air.
Soar over the city’s ever-changing skyline and enjoy the spectacular, panoramic views offered by many of Dubai’s aerial tour companies while gliding effortlessly through the clear blue skies.
Catering to the increased demand for helicopter services in the emirate, a number of tour companies provide wonderfully scenic tours of different parts of Dubai. These companies are licensed and have a fleet of luxury helicopters flown by highly trained pilots.
Tours offered by companies vary in price as well as what is included in each; rides over the some of Dubai’s most popular landmarks are the most sought after, and therefore most tour companies offer these amongst their packages.
Owing to the logistics involved in organizing a helicopter tour, companies are very strict about arrival times as well as cancellation policies, so make sure to read these carefully so that you arrive well in time for the much awaited tour!
Below, we take a look at some of the most popular helicopter tour companies, the services they offer, and pricing. Although most of these rides are not cheap, they are well worth the money as you glide over Dubai city and its surrounding deserts. If this is on your bucket list of things to do, then strap in and enjoy the ride!
Emirates Helicopter Tours
Emirates Helicopter Tours offers four different helicopter rides originating at its helipad located at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah. Rides range from 15 minutes for a quick, fun flight over Dubai’s most renowned landmarks, to a custom designed 1-hour ride in which the customer and design his own route and select the landmarks that he would like to see.
Rides can be booked as sharing or exclusively. Maximum capacity is approximately 6 persons
Helicopter Tour Dubai
Established in 2005, Helicopter Tour Dubai has continued to expand its fleet of luxury helicopters with several dedicated heliports and helipads all across the UAE. Popular not only for its fun rides, this tour company also offers a host of other services including shuttle transfers from Dubai International Airport to and from the helipad at Palm Jumeirah and professional precision aerial filming and photography.
Ultimate Charter provides three different helicopter tour rides ranging from around 12 to 22 minutes of flying time. It also provides a variety of helicopters for private charter, and has a unique “Night Lights Tour” that flies over all of Dubai’s popular landmarks at night, making for a stunning visual, aerial display!
One of Dubai’s premiere helicopter tour companies, HeliDubai offers a variety of scenic tours, as well as a range of other services including private charters, VIP transfers, and aerial filming and photography.
One of the unique scenic helicopter rides offered by the company is the Heritage Tour. Taking off from Dubai Festival City, the tour follows the winding Dubai Creek, giving us a glimpse into the city’s past that has shaped ultramodern 21st Century Dubai.
Traditional buildings and souks give way to glamorous skyscrapers, pristine beaches, and picture-postcard golf courses. Although the ride is only about 12 minutes long, it highlights the uniqueness of a city striving to maintain its rich heritage amongst the onset of new influences and technologies, and is the perfect tour for first time visitors to Dubai.
One of Dubai’s oldest tour companies, Aerogulf was established in 1976 and offers many different services through its website, including private and commercial corporate charters, aerial photography, and tourist helicopter rides in Dubai.
Aerogulf has kept itself in the highly competitive private charter market by continually updating technology made available to its customers, and will be the first company to operate the highly sophisticated “Tiltrotor,” which is an efficient airplane with the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of a helicopter!
Aaida tours operates rides that take off from Dubai Festival City, offering an exclusive 20-minute tour over the awe inspiring architectural marvels of the city that has given it its nickname “City of Gold.”
Sights include the “World Islands,” a manmade archipelago of small land masses being constructed in the azure blue waters of the Arabian Gulf in the shape of the continents of the world. This tour can also be combined with the Hatta Safari, which transports people in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, stopping at the Hatta Heritage Village and the Friday Market where fresh fruit, amongst a host of other things, can be purchased.
This package can be purchased on GroupOn, which offers a discount on the ride and the safari.
General terms for a helicopter ride
All reputed tour companies have strict guidelines to make flights more enjoyable for their customers. Here are a few common guidelines that should be kept in mind when arranging a helicopter tour.
- Not all tour companies provide pick-up, so check with the tour company.
- Be sure to arrive 45 minutes ahead of scheduled departure to make sure that formalities can be completed.
- A valid form of ID, usually a passport, is required for all passengers taking a helicopter tour.
- Tours have a maximum weight capacity and will usually accommodate between 5-6 people on any given tour.
- All routes are subject to air traffic control approval and tour companies may have to reschedule tours in adverse weather conditions.