I’ve had quite a busy few weekends, and one Saturday stood out to me in particular. My boyfriend recently moved to Dubai from London and upon downloading Uber, he spotted the UberCHOPPER option. I had heard about it, but had no idea what it involved, how much it cost and where it would take you.
We decided to find out a bit more, by messaging Uber UAE on Twitter, who promptly replied and told us everything we needed to know, along with how to pre-book it for a particular day. I’ll give you more details about how to book the experience below.
We booked it, with much excitement, and eagerly awaited the special day. We’d been told that the chopper would take off from the Atlantis Helipad and would take us on a 15 minute ride across Dubai (you can select longer times for more money). It’s been my dream to go on a helicopter ride from a young age, so when the day arrived I just couldn’t wait to hop on.
After making our way to the Helipad, we were greeted by an extremely friendly driver who took us to the waiting lounge where we were given a safety briefing and assigned our seats on the helicopter after being weighed (the weight must be evenly distributed, so that you don’t end up with a wonky helicopter!).
When our group of six passengers (you will be sharing with others unless you book a group of six) was called up, I virtually sprinted to the door where I was told myself and another lady would be at the front of the helicopter – I sat right next to the pilot, it was amazing! – and my boyfriend and the other passengers would be sat at the back.
Up, up and away!
We soon boarded the helicopter, and were belted up and handed our headsets that we could hear the pilot and her commentary throughout the flight (helicopters are loud). The next thing I knew, we were taking off into the sky – what seemed like – effortlessly.
I looked through the windows around me and saw the blue sea surrounding The Palm Jumeirah in front of me and a clear view of The Palm as a whole, including the majestic Atlantis hotel in windows behind me.
There are plenty of opportunities to take photos throughout the experience, (I have about 100 on my phone and you can bring cameras as long as the lenses aren’t ridiculously large), but I’d highly advise enjoying the experience with your own eyes rather than focussing on taking snaps!
However, if you are keen to take photographs on the trip, I think you’d be very pleased with the results. Plus, we were told by the pilot that anything we missed seeing through our windows (if you’re sat on the left or right of the helicopter) on the way out, we would see on the way back as the route goes back on itself. There are also professional photos of you taken throughout the experience (on land), that you are able to look at and buy at the end of the experience.
We flew over the – unfinished – World Islands, and towards downtown. Of course, the Burj Khalifa stood out among its surrounding array of skyscrapers. The one thing I kept noticing was that, regardless of all the twists and turns the pilot took, it felt smooth and comfortable throughout the journey.
The 15-minute journey was perfect for us, we were able to see most of the city and were blessed with clear skies and sunshine on the day that we went. A relief, considering the unpredictable weather the UAE has had recently. I was amazed at the views just before landing as we came back towards The Palm, it’s astonishing how perfectly built the island is and the attention to detail – something you don’t see from land.
The landing meant we faced The Atlantis from the back, it was a gorgeous view! Within minutes, we were back on land and I think every passenger on the flight, including myself, was amazed by what we had just experienced. My boyfriend and I have already said we would want to do it again. Living in Dubai means lots of visitors, so we think we’ll have to make sure that everyone who comes over experiences UberCHOPPER!
This wasn’t the average outing for my boyfriend and I, so it made for a truly special experience that I think we’ll remember for years to come. So if you’ve got a special occasion coming up or want to treat someone, this is something well worth considering.
I would highly recommend the experience to anyone living in or visiting Dubai. It’s an unforgettable experience and one that we still talk about often – you’ll find me glancing at the photos and videos on my phone quite regularly (check out my snaps on Instagram here).
To book you need to download the Uber app, with your location settings on (you need to be in Dubai, I believe). We were instructed to book UberCHOPPER once it said the option was available, it sometimes says the note below:
Once the option is available, we were instructed to wait for a confirmation call. My boyfriend handled this part, but I believe he spoke to the person who called and told them that our chosen day was Saturday. We were then allocated a time of 3:10PM, but you may be able to pick particular times depending on availability.
The tour company that we booked with (after requesting the tour on the Uber app) was Alpha Tours. They were very helpful and answered any questions we had. They also sent through the booking confirmation quickly, which had everything we needed to know before our experience (including a map of where the helipad is, it’s the first right after turning right towards The Atlantis when you reach The Crescent on The Palm).
We paid Dhs1,300 for both of us, a brilliant price considering I was told that some people paid up to Dhs1,600 per person for helicopter tours here. I believe you can also apply an Uber discount code if you have any (feel free to use mine: surenac3ue), which my boyfriend did and got Dhs60 off (every little helps!). We flew in the Eurocopter 130 – Sightseeing Helicopter, which had large windows at the front and smaller, but really clear ones, on the sides.
If you do have any more questions about the experience itself, please feel free to ask me in the comments below or on Twitter (@SurenaSays).
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and let me know your thoughts if you’ve already tried UberCHOPPER, or if you are now planning on giving it a go!