The Al Ain Aerobatic Show is in essence a competition between the top aerobatic pilots of the world. In 2012 the Al Ain Aerobatic Show will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. The competition is conducted in three forms of air racing – airplanes, Helicopters and gliders and wingwalkers. In 2012 fifteen countries will be competing.
However apart from the spectacle taking place in the air the event involves several earth bound attractions as well. On the ground there will be kid's playgrounds, a mini go-kart track, paint-ball, an air simulation zone sponsored by Etihad Airlines and much more.
There will be a kid's zone with bouncing castles and fun activities. There will be "Meet the Pilots" events as well as tours of the aircrafts on the ground. Visitors can even take a hot air balloon ride.
The show is extremely popular and in 2011 an estimated 71,000 locals and international visitors attended to show. The show is run by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority under the patronage of Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Some of the scheduled acts include Hannes Arch from Australia, Otto The Helicopter, Miss Demeanour a 1956 Hawker Hunter flown by ex-British Royal Airforce pilot and Royal navy instructor Jonathon Whaley and the Turkish Stars.
The annual Al Ain Aerobatic Show is held from the end of November to the beginning of December over the course of three days. In 2012 it will be held from November 30th to December 2nd although in previous years it has been held in January and February. The national event will occur in 2012 over the UAE National Day long weekend as part of the celebrations. In the case of bad weather the opening of the show can be postponed as was the case in 2011.
The open hours and performance hours of the show are from 10am to 6:30pm each day. There are specific times set for each performance; you can see a list of these on the Al Ain Aerobatic Show website.
The aerobatic show is held in Al Ain, UAE the city which is nicknamed the Oasis City. The main venue of the Abu Dhabi aerobatic show is the Al Ain International Airport.
To get the best view of the shows you will need to be in the public grandstand but it will be possible to see the events in the sky from wherever you are. On arrival at the venue you can pick up a map showing where all the attractions will take place.
Entry to the show area costs Dh40 for adults, Dh20 for kids under 12 years and kids under 3 years old enter for free. The best view of the shows will be from the public grandstands which require tickets. Those in the grandstands will also be able to listen to the commentators describe the action in the sky and see close-up images on big screen TVs.
It is possible to purchase tickets online or at the box office on the day of the shows. The tickets do not guarantee a seat in the grandstands as they are given out on a first come first served basis.