Inside Dubai's helicopter centre for the ultra-rich

Dubai Helipark will be used by people flying between business centres and tourist destinations across the UAE



Photo: Screenshot
Photo: Screenshot
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 6:28 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Nov 2021, 7:32 PM

Creating seamless last mile connectivity and catering to a luxurious experience of ‘Dubai by Night’, the recently launched Dubai’s helicopter center is set to provide a complete ecosystem for the rotor business.

As Khaleej Times boarded an ACH145 -Airbus Corporate Helicopter and got a sneak-peek of the 42,800 square metre site close to the VIP Terminal at Dubai South, we learnt that the facility was rolled out in a record 100 day.

From a business-to-business perspective, the center is ready to provide full support to facilitate owners of helicopters with a complete 360-degree support system.

Apart from providing a landing and parking facility for eight helicopters once complete, the facility features a lounge to meet and greet ultra-high-net-worth people and extends comprehensive maintenance services, including landside fueling services in partnership with ENOC.

Dr Samir Mohamed, Chairman and Founder of Air Chateau International, says, “It’s a dream project and it is the vision of the Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and it is our mission to work towards his vision and to have it up and running. This is being done with great support from the authorities, which is the Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace Hub. The idea was to create something that was missing here for a long time. We’ve seen that everywhere else in this world, whether it’s Brazil, Monaco so why not in Dubai? So, we thought we needed to fill in this gap, and we looked up in the sky, and that’s what we aimed for.”

“The UAE leaders want this service to be available, accessible and affordable to everyone. That’s the future of this project. The dream has started, and we will continue to build on this infrastructure. We already have different stakeholders showing interest to partner with us and making use of our facilities. We are purely an enabler, operator and we are looking into facilitating this with big partners like Airbus and others, understanding their requirements and catering to them”, added Dr Mohamed.

Whether for B2B travel or celebrating a special occasion in style, the luxurious experience begins right upon touchdown.

‘Dubai by Night’ possibly to launch before National Day

Shilton Tony Irudayaraj, Co-Founder and CEO, said, “We are gearing up to launch one of the most ambitious projects to experience the city of Dubai in its grandeur at night. We expect to formally have closure with Dubai tourism to promote the entire concept in a few days. This will be a once a lifetime experience when launched.”

For the UHNWI audience to land in their private jets at the adjoining Al Maktoum Airport, the center becomes an extension to ensure a quick transfer to the city or neighbouring emirate.

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With over 14,000 business jet landings at the VIP Terminal at Dubai World Central (DWC), the opportunity to build a quick onward journey will be a natural progression.

Irudayaraj adds, “this is part of Dubai’s vision of creating good and efficient air mobility, that’s what we want to move into -- which is the future of vertiports. It’s going to be a smooth transition of helicopters, heliports into vertiports connecting ourselves to various networks of the country in places like Hatta to Ras-Al-Khaimah, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah.”

Stakeholders also explain while the current phase I and proposed phase II of the project that will be rolled out by 2023 entails investments worth 80-100 million dirhams, but overall, the vision that they endeavour to achieve is to bring in 150 million dollars of FDI over five years into setting up this entire ecosystem.

Striving to present a new offering to the residents before the country marks the 50th UAE National Day, Dr K S Pillai, Advisor and Board Member of Air Chateau says, “The Dubai by Night concept will see clients being picked up in a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley Bentayga from the hotel, take them to the Burj Al Arab and then take them from Burj Al Arab, flying over the city at night and then coming and landing here, where we have a massive terrace. We will create a Michelin star restaurant experience here. We are looking at partnerships to work on. We hope to commence this for prospective clients by the National Day.”


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