Introduction to helicopter tours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Dubai may be one of the world's smaller cities, but it’s packed with experiences. While there’s a lot to do here, helicopter tours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are a fantastic experience which no visitor should miss.
From the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to the picturesque views of the Palm Jumeirah and iconic Burj al Arab, the tours offer a thrilling ride with so much to explore in a short period.
This guide covers everything you need to know about helicopter tours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So when you get out there, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Read on!
Why Choose a Helicopter Tour in the UAE?
While the UAE is an attractive country with its beaches, desserts, and impressive infrastructure, seeing it from a bird’s eye view is a sight to behold.
Going on a helicopter ride over Dubai and Abu Dhabi allows you to admire the unbeatable panoramic views of numerous world-renowned landmarks. These include Dubai's Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, and Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace. These are some of the grandest structures in the UAE, and taking in the breathtaking views of these major sights from above is an adventure like none other.
Looking away from the beautiful architecture, there are the vast deserts surrounding the cities, which is a aspect you can’t see from the ground.
The UAE is all about luxury, and what’s better than a VIP ride cruising over the cities in some of the most advanced helicopters with some of the most skilled pilots guiding you throughout.
The Thrill of Abu Dhabi Helicopter Tours
The helicopter tours in the UAE provide an exciting experience. The tours are well managed with the flight being smooth and peaceful from the moment the helicopter takes off to touchdown. The feeling of being up in the air, soaring above some of the most iconic attractions on Earth, has a thrill you must experience at least once.
Popular Tour Destinations for Emirate of Abu Dhabi Helicopter Tours
There are helipads just about everywhere in the UAE, so depending on the tour you choose, you could land at many different places. Many of the tours have set routes and destinations but it is possible to customise it if you wish, usually with the more expensive tours though.
Some of the most popular tour destinations for Emirate of Abu Dhabi helicopter tours include:
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- Abu Dhabi Corniche
- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
- Emirates Palace
- Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
- Louvre Abu Dhabi Tours
- Marina Mall
- Warner Bros World
Comparing the Best Helicopter Tours in Abu Dhabi
There are several different helicopter tours available throughout Abu Dhabi. The top helicopter tours are offered by Falcon Aviation Services, Jtr Holidays, Arabia Horizons, and Vootours, taking off from Mina Zayed. Each of them provides a slightly different yet unforgettable experience.
Falcon Aviation Services provides some of the most popular tours in Abu Dhabi, ranging from 17 to 30 minutes. It takes you through the most popular attractions, including the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Marina Mall, Emirates Palace, Al Hudayriat Island, Al Reem Island, Presidential Palace, grand Rixos Hotel, and Sheikh Zayed Sports City.
Emirates Palace is especially spectacular from the air. Heaps larger than my next favourite mosque, Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, it is just amazing how large it actually is when you see it from above.
They offer private tours for up to 6 people and shared tours with a limit of 8 people, with some providing headsets to listen to the pilot.
If there are 6 of you, a private tour will be the most affordable, however if you are on your own or there is only a few of you, the “shared” option for a tour below will be the best option.
Viator has different tours spanning across various time durations. Tours start at 17 minutes, flying over the most common landmarks. The grandest tour is 45 minutes long and takes you through additional attractions like Ferrari World, Warner Brothers World, Yas Water-World, Louvre Museum, and the Lulu and Saadiyat Islands.
Helicopter Tours of Abu Dhabi
These tours give you options between private and shared tours, range in prices and times. You should be able to find something here to suit your budget.
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Top-Rated Dubai Helicopter Tours
HeliDubai, Atlantis Helicopter Tour Dubai, Orient Tours, and CityTourinDubai all have great tour options for you to choose from.
Heli Dubai offers four different tours with varying time durations, ranging from 12 to 30 minutes, with some offering live audio commentary from the pilots. The shortest ride takes you over Dubai’s architectural marvels like the Burj Al Arab Burj Khalifa, The Atlantis, and the scenic Palm Jumeirah before heading toward the Dubai Canal and the Business Bay.
The 17-minute tour provides you the opportunity to take in the stunning views of all the main attractions in addition to the Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Palm Island, JW Marriott Hotel, Emirates Towers, and the Dubai Mall.
In slight contrast, the 22-minute tour also provides marvelous views of Dubai Creek, the World Islands archipelago, and Dubai’s heritage sites like the Old Souk.
The longest of all tours is 30 minutes, offering a unique experience of soaking in the breathtaking views of all of Dubai’s major sights.
Heli Dubai 17, 22 and 30 Minute Helicopter Flights
Falcon Aviation Services offers four different shared ride options, with each subsequent tour offering a lot more to explore than the previous one. In addition to the Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, and Palm Jumeirah some of the landmarks you will fly over depending upon the tour you choose include Atlantis Palm, Dubai Coast, Ski Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
They also have a 25 minute private flight option if you are considering a splurge. They are all listed under the same listing, you simply choose your preferred time period during the booking process.
Falcon Aviation Helicopter Tours of Dubai
Why I Book Tours With Get Your Guide or Viator
Personally, I pretty much always book through either Get Your Guide or Viator especially for a high ticket experience. I like that they don't release the funds to the operator until the tour has been completed.
This means that if there are any challenges they will step in and handle it for me and my money is safe if the worst happens and my tour gets cancelled.
Dubai Helicopter Flights you can book direct
CityTourinDubai is one of the most popular options for helicopter tours in Dubai. They offer four different tours lasting from 12 to 30 minutes. From the towering skyscrapers to the trade souks and the corniche, each tour offers something more to admire than the last. So, you can pick the tour that suits your needs best.
If your hotel is in a central location in Dubai, you can even use their pickup and drop-off service so you don’t have to worry about getting to the location in time.
HelicopterTourDubai is the company for those looking for numerous tour options. There are over seven different tours to choose from, from short flights lasting as little as 12 minutes to grand tours of an hour.
The longer tours are a little more expensive, but they add a lot more to see while offering lots of photo-ops and refreshments. Whether it is luxury seekers or people on a budget, they have options for all.
What to Expect On a Helicopter Tour in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Deciding which price point to go for is only half the question in the decision-making process here. Every touring company and every package they offer will offer something slightly different, such as in terms of the duration of the ride, number of passengers, etc.
But as a baseline, all helicopter flights make for a memorable and fun-filled experience, providing you with tons of opportunities to click some spectacular pictures throughout the ride. Many companies also offer a pick-and-drop service from the hotel you’re staying at, granted it’s in the central city area.
Throughout your flight, from take-off to landing, you’ll see the many wonders of the UAE. And it's not just buildings. From the pink flamingos on the coast and the ships at Port Rashid to the vast deserts and the extensive infrastructure, there is so much natural beauty to take in on your helicopter tour in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Considerations will be:
- the flight time you wish to do
- how many people can do the tour
- whether you wish to book a shared or private tour & of course
- how much money you wish to spend.
While all the Abu Dhabi and Dubai helicopter tours are great, I would highly recommend increasing your budget if you can and doing at least 20 minutes in the air. We did a 30 minute flight in a shared tour which was around $480 AUD at the time. I don't think that would be the price usually, but it was in the middle of summer and it was very quite in Dubai at the time.
Making the Most Out of Your Helicopter Tours in Abu Dhabi
Opt for a morning tour for clear visibility and soft lighting that beautifully illuminates the city's landmarks. If you’re not an early riser, sunset tours are also beautiful.
Many tours offer videos and pictures to be taken professionally during your trip. If you want to just focus on the experience and not capture the moments yourself, opt for this service.
Wear comfortable clothing and avoid loose items like hats or scarves that may be affected by the wind during the flight. Sunglasses can shield your eyes from glare and provide a clearer view, so you won’t miss anything on your trip.
Consider combining your helicopter tour with additional activities such as a visit to attractions like the Louvre Abu Dhabi or a yacht cruise, which will keep the adventure going for much longer.
Booking Your Helicopter Tour in Dubai: Tips and Tricks
There are multiple helicopter tours offered throughout Dubai. That means you can customize your tour route to suit your interests or find a tour that’s already close to what you prefer.
Whether it's a focus on urban landmarks, the coastline, or the desert, select a tour package that aligns with your preferences for an unforgettable experience.
Opt for operators offering flexible booking options, including rescheduling or cancellations, in case of unforeseen circumstances or changes in your travel plans.
If you’re in a central location, use the hotel transfer service. It makes the experience much easier when you don’t have to worry about catching a ride to the helipad by yourself.
If traveling with a group, check for group discounts or tailor-made packages that accommodate larger parties, so everyone enjoys the adventure together.
Conclusion: Choosing the Best Helicopter Tour for You
Helicopter tours in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are easy to find, but with the abundance, you must research beforehand to find the perfect one. Prioritize safety, research reputable operators, and try to go for flexibility in bookings.
Customize your experience based on preferences, whether it's iconic landmarks or desert or beach views. Look for added value in package inclusions, read reviews, and embrace the adventure once you’re on board.
With all of this in mind, you’ll surely have a marvellous adventure you will not forget for a long time to come!
While you are visiting Dubai or Abu Dhabi, why not check out the other 5 emirates in the UAE that also have heaps to offer.