The Spirit of the Emirates airships are scheduled to take to the sky in November 2018. Following detailed studies into the capabilities of the Zeppelin airships it has been announced that up to 100 days of operations are planned for the first season of flights, beginning November 2018. Each day will potentially see up to 18 flights per day during the first season with more than 1,500 flights planned to take place.
With capacity for up to 10 passengers this means the first season could see 15,000 passengers enjoying the experience of viewing the coastline of the United Arab Emirates from the Spirit of the Emirates. Operations are planned from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The flights will mark the first occasion that these airships have global approval and certification to carry passengers. If the weather conditions are suitable the airship will glide at a height of one thousand five hundred feet and will combine safety with clear views of the UAE’s many landmarks. The "Spirit of the Emirates" is a safe and environmentally friendly airship that gives a feeling of floating over the clouds through the use of massive windows that allow passengers vast uninterrupted views of the ground.
The Spirit of the Emirates project was created in 2015 in response to his highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s call to assign the year 2015 as a “Year of Innovation. Captain Khalid Ahmed Al-Ansari subsequently launched the "Spirit of the Emirates" at the 2015 Dubai Airshow. The concept is a UAE national project, namely the development one of the oldest type of aircraft, the Airship, and utilizing it in a way that has never been done before.
Captain Khalid says the "Since launching the Spirit of the Emirates in 2015 we have been working diligently to establish the capabilities of the airships and are now proud to announce the dates for flights to commence and the schedule of proposed flights for the first 100 day season. These are exciting times, we are all looking forward to the inaugural flight in 2018.”
About Spirit of the Emirates
Spirit of Emirates combines the huge classic Zeppelin airship with many types of advanced technology. Computer programs will be installed on computer tablets that are connected to satellites. Of these an Augmented Reality Program will be available on Spirit of the Emirates for all passengers and the public at the ground station of the airships. It is an electronic tour guide and a means for passengers to get guidance, education and entertainment about what they will see during flights. The application is one of a kind and is exclusive to the Spirit of the Emirates.
The Spirit of the Emirates will offer luxury tourist trips for the citizens and tourists departing from the “Spirit of the Emirates” ground station. The station by itself is designed to be a luxurious tourist destination, it includes reception halls for hospitality and gates to board the airships. There are also many international restaurants, cafes, a small national museum and souvenir stores.
The studies for the Spirit of Emirates project began in 2003 with support from Mohammed Bin Rashed's Establishment for Small and Medium Projects. Later, this initiative received wide support from several national bodies interested in this field in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi such as Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.
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