It's model is based on the Learjet 55 and Learjet 60. Similar unflyable business jets also make multiple appearances in other Grand Theft Auto games.
The Shamal is available to the player since the beginning of GTA San Andreas, in the Los Santos International Airport, acquirable by trespassing over the security booth if the player still hasn't got the pilots license. It is a considerably fast jet, being on par with the Rustler, and due to it's availability, the Shamal is a good choice for players who are just learning to fly jets, as its handling is balanced and it's easy to land on runways. Also, despite its interior size, it can only transport the player.
The most prominent appearance of the Shamal is during "Freefall", when the plane's interior can be seen. The size of the interior appears larger than usual for an aircraft with a relatively small fuselage, and the interior incongruously features 16 windows (9 on the left and 7 on the right) when the plane features only 8 outside.
A similar business jet, seemingly pilotable, is also seen in the trailer and in one of the screenshots for Grand Theft Auto V, implying that it will most likely return as a functional plane.
Similar business jets
Despite none being named as "Shamal" or even accessible to the player, many similar private jets appear as an uncontrollable and mostly stationary aircraft in the series:
- In Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City there are multiple parked business jets around the Francis and Escobar airports based off the Learjet 35.
- In GTA Advance, during Freedom Flies, a cutscene shows a plane similar to the Shamal.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, a jet also similar to the Learjet 35 but with a considerably larger fuselage and wing span, decorated with blue stripes, appears in multiple missions. It is first seen in the introductory mission, Soldier, as belonging to the dealer Victor Vance meets. It is later seen parked in Escobar International during Snitch Hitch and ends up being escorted out of the airport by Vance while it takes off in Farewell to Arms.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV and it's expansions, business jets still remain unattainable (nor can any other planes be flown) but such vehicles can still be found at Francis International Airport, featuring an updated design. One such plane is used by Kenny Petrovic during the Hangman's NOOSE multiplayer mission where, in up to four players, must hold back NOOSE units and escort Petrovic from his jet at Francis International Airport to a safepoint.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, a jet also similar to the Learjet 35 is introduced in the first mission of the game, used by Huang Lee to travel to Liberty City. For the rest of the game, just as in GTA IV, is an uncontrollable aircraft at the Francis International Airport. It can also be seen taking off and landing in the runways, but never taxing or moving from them.
- In the Grand Theft Auto IV DLC Ballad of Gay Tony, Ray Bulgarin owns a much larger business jet named Ghawar. Also in The Ballad of Gay Tony, the only time a regular business jet isn't stationary is during the mission Bang Bang, where Luis must destroy one before it takes off.
- Los Santos International Airport, one of them just northwest of the runway.
- Easter Bay International Airport, two of them next to southeastern access road, another one next to the fuel tanks, where the Stinger can be also obtained.
- Las Venturas Airport, two of them between the two sets of ramps, west of the runway. During the mission Saint Mark's Bistro there is another one at the northern end of the runway, which is supposed to serve CJ as transport to Liberty City and back.
- During the mission Freefall it flies to Las Venturas and CJ is supposed to jack it with a Dodo, eliminate the strike team and pilot inside and land the plane at LVA.
- Airports in Los Santos.(possibly)
- In Arabic, Shamal means "North".
- In GTA: San Andreas, while in the interior of the Shamal during Freefall, the player can shoot out the lights and headrests.
- The Shamal can be seen on the TV show I'm Rich in GTA IV, possibly suggesting that it was cut from the game.
- The Shamal and the Dodo are the only airplanes available in the 3D era Los Santos.
- Ghawar, non-controllable equivalent in The Ballad of Gay Tony.