History of Seaplanes in the UAE

Have you ever fathomed taking off by seaplane and landing on the beautiful crystal clear waters of Dubai with the UAE’s only luxurious seaplane service, Seawings?

Some customers who have experienced the flight have said:
  • “If the Burj al Arab can have seven stars, so should Seawings!”

  • “The best way to see Dubai’s modern marvels”

  • “It’s so worth the effort, time, and money.”

Seawings has been providing sightseeing tours in the UAE since 2007. But, how did the concept of a ‘flying boat’ even come about? Seems pretty bizarre, right?

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1910

Circa

Seaplanes were invented by Henri Fabre, however the history of seaplanes in the UAE began in 1937 when the civil aviation signed an agreement to base a flying boat of Imperial Airways with a rental fee of about 440 Rupees/month.

The Imperial Airways started operating once a week flying east to Karachi via Marseilles, Rome, Brindisi, Athens, Alexandria, Tiberias, Habbaniyeh, Basra, Bahrain, Dubai, Jiwani and west to Southampton, England. The thrill of the spectacular scenic flights gained popularity and before people knew it, there were four ‘flying boats’ scheduled a week.

“It’s amazing to think how far aviation has come in 75 years, where now we see new airlines popping up every day in what is a multi-billion dollar a year global industry,” said Starrs.

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Good-To-Know Fact: Did you know that the word “seaplane” is used to describe two types of air/water vehicles: the floatplane and the flying boat?

1940

Circa

The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) flew over Dubai in the 1940s. BOAC then operated the Horseshoe line from Southern Africa via the Persian Gulf to Sydney. Next BOAC, in conjunction with Qantas, began twice-weekly Poole/Sydney services using Hythe flying boats. As sightseeing forms an integral part of every tourist’s itinerary, Marseilles, Augusta, Cairo, Basra, Bahrain and Singapore was highlighted in a unique and unforgettable way.

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Good-To-Know Fact: Did you know that Seawings also has regular sightseeing tours like the Heritage Tour in Dubai and the Private Discovery Tour in Abu Dhabi along with our seaplane tours?

1959

Circa

With the rise in popularity and traffic, Dubai built a ‘new’ Airport and Terminal for flying boats. This was located in the Al Ghusais Area of Dubai.

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Good-To-Know Fact: Did you know that the Al Ghusais Area of Dubai was regarded as Dubai’s first Airport?

1966-1968

Circa

BOAC starts services between London and Dubai. A few years later, BOAC, starts services between London and Abu Dhabi using Vickers VC-10 aircraft. Tourists and locals were inspired to catch a glimpse of the capital city of the UAE with Abu Dhabi.

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Good-To-Know Fact: Did you know that a historically important library of thousands of photographs is also available as well as probably the most complete set of aviation posters in the UK?

Present Day

Still the excitement carries on, BA operates daily wide-body services to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, and twice daily service to Dubai, using Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft. With Seawings Seaplanes you are able to observe unique perspectives of Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab, The World and Palm Jumeirah. Seawings delivers a once-in-a-lifetime luxuary aerial experiences in the UAE.

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Good-To-Know Fact: Did you know the Boeing 777 has emerged as a best seller for long haul commercial aircraft thanks to its excellent fuel efficiency and cabin comfort?

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Everyone wants more adventure in their life!
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