Review: Helicopter Tours in Dubai – How to Find the Best Helicopter Flight in Dubai
If you are in Dubai and want a unique experience, then consider booking a helicopter tour in Dubai.
Dubai is best seen from above. While the view from the Top of Burj Khalifa is probably the most iconic, it is not the only way to have great views of Dubai.
Actually, one of the best views to have is…from a helicopter!
However, before you book your tour, you should know a few things so that you can enjoy the flight over Dubai to the fullest. While my dream was always to book my first helicopter ride over Manhattan, it was actually Dubai where I took my first flight.
Find out about my tips for booking a tour!
How to Book a Dubai Helicopter Flight
Where to Book it
I booked my helicopter tour through GYG – a booking site I often use, along with another called Viator.
I hardly ever book via the homepage of the tour operator, as I feel better knowing that I have one of these two booking sites that can help me if I have any issues with the tour.
Choose a Tour Operator
There are two main operators you can book flights with – HeliDubai or Atlantis – The Palm.
Choose a Tour / Prices of a Helicopter Flight
You have to choose a tour, and prices depend on the flight length. The minimum flight length is about 12 minutes; other popular routes take 15, 17, 20, or 25 minutes.
The cheapest Dubai helicopter flights are around 150€.
While these routes sound extremely short, you can see quite a bit in that time…but yes, whatever time you opt for, you will probably feel like it is too short anyhow.
I booked via HeliDubai. The shorter the flight, the cheaper the price, as I mentioned, but you can also book the ultimate VIP heli flight, so you do not have to share the helicopter with other passengers.
Here are my experiences with HeliDubai:
HeliDubai is located in the area between Madinat Jumeirah and the Mall of Emirates (one of the most popular malls).
After booking, you will receive a confirmation via email that has detailed (and very complicated) directions and an e-ticket (no need to print it).
How to Get to HeliDubai
I took a taxi from the Mall of Emirates. Getting there by bus seemed a bit complicated and, after reading the directions, I thought it would take forever to find it, so I was in a rush.
If you get there by taxi, just ask the driver to take you to Dubai Police Academy. At the entrance, you will be picked up by HeliDubai and be driven to the starting point, which is just a few meters away.
If you are there way too early, you could use the time to visit the Dubai Police Museum, which is located just next to the Police Academy (and is also free).
City Sightseeing also has a stop at the Police Academy.
Arrival at HeliDubai / Things to know before your flight
You need to be there at least 60 minutes before your flight departure, which is when, as they say, the gate closes.
While I am not sure if that is true, it is definitely pretty boring to wait for almost an hour for your flight to depart. There is no wifi or anything, so take something with you to kill time.
There are lockers for your bags.
After a short safety briefing (where the important security aspects are explained and which takes about 5-10 minutes), you also get weighed as the seating order depends on the weight of the passengers. The helicopter needs to be balanced, so you will not be able to choose your seat, unless you have a private heli to yourself.
This was also the main issue I had with the flight: If you sit in the front seat, you are lucky; the side seats in the back are probably fine, too; but if you have to sit in one of the two middle seats, you can see through the front window, but not so well to the left or right.
I was seated next to the pilot (being not so skinny can pay off, especially if the other passengers are very small).
You can bring your mobile (unless it is a Samsung Galaxy 7) and you can use cameras (no professional lenses though).
Flying over Dubai
If you are lucky and get to sit next to the pilot (as I was), you will have the best views. It seemed like the people in the back enjoyed the tour as well though.
And then it starts, and while I was busy taking pictures with my camera and videos with my phone, I clearly did not seize the moment.
The views of the Palm (when doing a 12-minute ride, you will not get to fly directly over it), Burj al Arab, and especially Burj Khalifa were incredible.
The pilot is there to answer any questions you have, but most likely, you will be busy enjoying these unique views…
A helicopter ride in Dubai is a great way to experience the city from above and make lasting memories.
However, 12 minutes is quite short and while I do not necessarily think that it has to be a 20-minute flight, a 15 or 17-minute ride would probably be best. This way, you can sit back and soak in the views while you also have enough time to take images and videos.
It is definitely a great thing to do and I surely do not regret that I went on that tour.