Just before dawn, the Hajar Mountains, about 20 miles east across the Arabian Desert, began to emerge from the darkness. I shifted my position in the wicker gondola and watched, rapt, as the sun peeked above the silhouetted limestone range. In the east, the sky glowed orange and crimson, and the light illuminated a sea of saltbushes, sweet grass and wind-rippled dunes. Beside me, the pilot, Mike Schaefer, a big, balding German with a salt-and-pepper goatee and black-framed glasses, turned to his co-pilot, Robertas Komza, a skinny Lithuanian new to desert flying, and ordered him to take us higher.
"In Dubai, Giving the Falcons a Lift" is from the January 22, 2018 Lifestyle section of The New York Times. It was written by Joshua Hammer and narrated by Kristi Burns.