Travelers around the world know that sightseeing tours in Dubai are quite exciting. What more, many people come to Abu Dhabi just for the helicopter tours of the capital. There is so much to see and do in these parts that the only way to experience it all is with a luxury helicopter ride.
With this mandate, an Abu Dhabi helicopter operator has recently launched a Dh3 million (US $817,000) private heliport and terminal next to Marina Mall to cater for corporate clients and Abu Dhabi’s growing tourism industry. Falcon Aviation’s 30-minute guided island tour provides the UAE residents and tourists with a bird’s eye view of the capital – offering a new perspective on the city’s design and the hundreds of billions of dirhams of development plans under way.
A helicopter tour of the area will take you high in the sky for a view that is unparalleled when compared to any other type of tour. Using Falcon’s $3m Eurocopter EC130, which seats six, the company takes people high above Lulu, Saadiyat and Yas islands, including fly-bys of the Ferrari World and the Yas Marina Circuit. The tours cost between Dh490 (US $133.40) and Dh1,250 for a 10, 20 or 30-minute flight. Tours of Emirates Palace, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and Al Raha Beach are also part of the tour.
Helicopter tours of Abu Dhabi are much more affordable than you might think. Many people feel a bus tour is a cost saving alternative, but anyone who has done both knows that a bus tour pales in comparison to a helicopter flight and there are many great deals to be had with a helicopter tour company. Tourism is a small but growing part of the UAE helicopter industry, with tours in Dubai and now, Abu Dhabi. By contrast, about 90 per cent of aircraft operators’ work is providing offshore support for oil and gas companies.
Corporate travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi forms a significant portion of their business, with fares of about Dh13,000 for the service. But that could change as Abu Dhabi’s tourism agencies open hotels and tourist attractions and continue their push to bring in more cruise ships.
By Tom Amafador