See you at terminal 3.
With just 10 days until the likely end of Ramadan (astronomers are predicting Eid Al Fitr will fall on June 15) we’re casting about for long weekend destinations.
Usually, the end of the Holy Month means two to three days off work, and while that might be slightly curtailed as it falls on a Friday this year, we won’t know for sure until the government’s moon-sighting committee makes the call.
Until then, let’s plan holidays that may or may not happen.
This lush, diverse island off the southern tip of India is only four hours from Dubai, and it’s impossibly beautiful. Think golden beaches, tall, skinny palm trees, and turquoise surf. For somewhere so close to home, it feels like a completely different world. Tajawal are offering five-day packages from Dhs5,079 for two people, or you can upgrade to five star from Dhs845 per person.
We’d say the above picture of Meeru Island Resort, 55 minutes by speedboat from Male International Airport, kind of sells itself. This is what people mean when they talk about an island paradise. The resort offers snorkling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, or there’s the option of simply sunbathing and letting the hours while away. With a flight time under five hours, this is another appealing option. Rooms from Dhs487 per night.
Whether you want to laze about on one of those loungers, or go horse-riding on the beach below, Sea Cliff Hotel in Zanzibar has you covered. A flight time just under six hours will get you to this Tanzanian island, and we’re told that once you’re there, leaving feels just about impossible. Rooms at the Sea Cliff Hotel start at Dhs399 per night, and include use of bicycles to get around the property. Adorable.
It won’t even take you four hours to get to Beirut, which is part of the reason it’s such a popular destination. There’s also the incredible food, nightlife and architecture to recommend it. This is an energetic, vibrant city full of creativity and spirit. If you haven’t been yet, now’s the time.
Sick of the summer heat? We feel you, and we’re also feeling this mountain escape. Set in Oman’s Hajar moutains, Alila Jabal Akhdar is 2,000 metres above sea level and 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding areas. You’ll find us by the infinity pool (and enjoying the twice-daily yoga classes). They run a GCC offer from Dhs1,097 per night.
If you’re not from around here, Baku might be a recent addition to your must-visit list, Dhs1,000 with flydubaibut it certainly deserves a spot. They call it the architectural midway point between Paris and Dubai, and it’s home to the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Әliyev Cultural Centre. Plus, there’s the UNESCO-listed old city. You’ll get there in under three hours and for just over Dhs1,000 — though the busy long weekend may push those prices up.
We last chatted about this city with regards to its fashion week, and the fact remains that Georgia does extremely well in terms of style. Head here if you want to discover the local designers we’ll all be wearing in a year. Plus, you’ll struggle to find a more charming city to get lost in. It’s an east-meets-west dream. Get there in three and a half hours.
The ancient city of Petra is on just about everyone’s bucket list, and for good reason. It’s about three hours from Amman, a city which has plenty to recommend itself in its own right. Take a wander through the Souq Al Juma’a, shop for keepsakes on Rainbow St, and head to the Dead Sea. Rooms at the Grand Hyatt Amman Hotel start at Dhs242 a night.