UAE: Ras Al Khaimah to offer new hot air balloon, skydiving, aerobatic flight experiences

Aviation adventure enthusiasts will be able to avail of the services in the first quarter of 2022



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Sat 29 Jan 2022, 8:27 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Jan 2022, 1:32 AM

The aviation adventure enthusiasts in the UAE will soon have more choices to fulfil their dreams and passion.

Aviation adventure tourism firm Actionflight Aviation will launch hot air balloon, skydiving and aerobatic flights experiences for aviation adventure aficionados in the first quarter of 2022.

The company recently tied up with Ras Al Khaimah International Airport to establish an airfield as the operational base for the adventures.

"Initially, we'll be offering an aerobatic experience with a Red Bull Air Race type aircraft. It'll be a passenger aerobatic ride in one of the world's most high-performance aerobatic aircraft. Since these are very high-performance aerobatic airplanes, there will be a pilot plus a passenger. Aerobatic aircraft are very high powered and capable aircraft so it's going to be a very, very exciting ride," said Wayne Jack, COO and director of flight operations at Actionflight Aviation.

Departing from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport, an aerobatic flight will be an approximately 20-minute experience.

In addition, hot air balloon experiences will also be introduced in Ras Al Khaimah for the first time with a flight duration of around one hour. The company operate two very large 450,000 cubic foot hot air balloon envelopes with a basket capacity of up to 24 passengers.

"For hot air balloon journey, passengers would be picked up early in the morning because balloon flights usually take off in the morning when the conditions are nice and calm. The flight will have an approximate duration of one hour. Once they land, they'll go back to the base at the Tower Links Golf Club for a gourmet breakfast," Jack told Khaleej Times in a recent interview.

For the skydiving, the drop zone is in the airspace above the Tower Links Golf Club.

"The difference between our drop zone and others is that we have beautiful views of the mountains, mangroves on the coastline, green manicured golf club and a lot of lovely wildlife. We have a view of 15,000 feet right across the Straits of Hormuz due to the availability of airspace, which is something unique to have," he added.

Jack revealed that they are working through the final implementation of the facilities, and startup will be imminent.

"We just getting started with our social media channels while our website is up and running. We'll be taking bookings fairly soon. I can't put a date on it as yet. But yes, it'd be in this quarter," he said, adding that prices for these adventures cannot be revealed at this point but assured that they will be competitive.

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The northern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, home to the highest peak Jebel Jais in the UAE, has been focusing heavily on different aspects of the tourism sector, especially adventure tourism, as well as hospitality. Jebel Jais is also home to the world's longest zipline, whose track extends over a length of 2.83 km.

To boost the hospitality sector, tourism authorities and master-developer Marjan on Tuesday, announced that Las Vegas-based hotel and casino operator Wynn Resorts to open a 1,000-room resort off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah by 2026. The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority has also announced the formation of a new division that will regulate "integrated resorts". These include hotel operations, convention space, entertainment, restaurants and lounges, spa, retail and gaming facilities.

Jack is very positive about Ras Al Khaimah as a destination for adventure tourism.

"Ras Al Khaimah is a very popular staycation destination for people within the UAE as well as for visitors from the outside. It has everything that one could want as a traveller, such as beautiful clear waters, mountains, sand dunes. We believe that our services will be very welcomed by all the resorts and hotels, and the tourists visiting the region," he added.

- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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