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It's go, go, go for Al Ain Aerobatic Show

altIt’s all systems go as the 2011 Al Ain Aerobatic Show takes off Friday, with big crowds expected to turn up to witness the amazing line-up of top-class aerobatic talent from across the world. With so much to enjoy, organisers have confirmed that gates will open at 9am and close at 6.30pm on both Friday and Saturday, with the displays starting at 10am.

The extended opening times are designed to meet spectator demand to see the more than 15 aerobatic and display teams from three continents that are taking part, including representatives from three national air forces. Visitors holding tickets from Wednesday or Thursday will be able to present them to gain free entry on either day over the weekend (4-5 February).

“The unprecedented delay has served to heighten anticipation, so we wanted to give something back to show visitors. Extending the opening hours and flying time is the perfect way,” said Sultan Al Muhairi, Event Coordinator, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), who are organising the show in conjunction with the UAE Armed Forces.

“Visitors can now get even more for their money when they come to the Oasis City this weekend. The Al Ain Aerobatic Show is one of the world’s top aerobatic shows and will offer an unforgettable experience for all the family, with an unbeatable range of aerobatic displays and formation flying,” he added, while visiting the show before its official opening.

With more than 25 aircraft taking to the skies in the daily flying display, including some of the planet’s best formation teams, organisers have also been able to provide first details of the weekend’s flying programme.

The unique, multi-discipline FAI Desert Challenge will open the show on both days over the weekend. Arranged by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the international governing body for air sports, this breathtaking aerial tête-à-tête will see six of the world’s best pilots flying in classic and free-style competition formats. 

The afternoon is set to witness one of the 2011 show highlights, with a fighter jet flypast from the UAE Air Force, as well as a breath-taking display from the Royal Saudi Air Force aerobatic team, and world record holder for the biggest aerial drawing, the Saudi Hawks. And providing the perfect finale, global Abu Dhabi ambassador Hannes Arch will perform his stunning new ‘Rhythm & Air’ routine at sunset on both days.

Over the weekend, spectators will be treated to a wealth of gravity-defying stunts featuring wing-walkers, subsonic jets and choreographed ‘dancers in the sky’. Also jetting in for the show are the Turkish National Air Force aerobatic squadron - the Turkish Stars – as well as the Baltic Bees from Latvia, Team Viper’s Hawker Hunter supersonic fighter jets, and many of the world’s best solo acts. These include a comedy performance from Otto the Helicopter, dramatic stunts involving motorbikes and a plane from Skip Stewart, and dare-devil flying from Miss Demeanour.

Topping off the aerial displays will be spectacular on-ground activities for the whole family, including meet-the-pilot sessions, tethered hot air balloon rides, go-karting and bungee trampolines, as well as face-painting and appearances by children’s favourite magazine character Majid, the Al Ain Aerobatic Show’s own Friendly Pilot Bear and a stilt-walking pilot.

The Al Ain Aerobatic Show, held under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is taking place at the Al Ain International Airport, a scenic 80 minute drive from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai

A large grandstand offers superb views of the display and daily show tickets are just Dh40 per adult and Dh20 for children between three and 10 years old, while children under three enter free. 


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