Planning a short break for the upcoming long weekend? Here’s some inspiration…
A public holiday has just been announced for Sunday, April 23, and for many, this means a three-day weekend.
This gives us exactly two weeks to plan a long weekend getaway, and luckily, there are plenty of incredible destinations within easy reach of Dubai.
Here are just a few of our ideas…
STAYCATION: Glamping in the Dubai Desert
A night under the stars in the heart of the desert? Yes, please.
Book an Arabian Adventures overnight safari, and they’ll pick you up and take you out into the pristine Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, about a 45-minute drive from the city. You’ll enjoy all of the classic desert safari experiences, like a falcon show, dune bashing, and a camel ride, before arriving at the beautiful campsite.
Don’t worry, this is most definitely “glamorous camping” – your tent contains a double bed with fresh linen, and there are washrooms complete with flushing toilets.
The experience costs Dhs945 per adult, which covers transport, accommodation and activities, as well as a barbecue dinner, drinks and shisha. For more information, check out the website.
CLOSE TO HOME: Fujairah
Fujairah is the only emirate located on the Gulf of Oman, and its turquoise waters offer some of the best scuba-diving and snorkeling in the UAE.
A tropical escape to Fujairah is only an hour’s drive from Dubai. We recommend a stay at the Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort, located within the coastal region of Dibba. This luxury resort opened its doors in December, and offers all kinds of activities, from hiking to water sports to poolside lounging (unfortunately, there’s no beach access just yet, as the resort is still building its beach club – however, a free shuttle will take you to a neighbouring hotel’s private beach).
Rooms start from Dhs800 a night. For more information visit the website.
PACK YOUR PASSPORT: Muscat, Oman
Muscat, the capital of Oman, is a city rich in natural beauty, culture and architectural treasures.
The best part? It’s only an hour’s flight from Dubai, with flydubai flights available for the long weekend from Dhs405. Or you can check out this Flight Centre deal from Dhs1800 which includes return economy class airfares and two nights’ accommodation at the Intercontinental Muscat.
Don’t miss the stunning Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the only mosque in Oman open to non-Muslims. And be sure to pick up some souvenirs and spices at the famous Muttrah Souk, one of the oldest bazaars in the Arab world.
SHOPPING BREAK: Beirut, Lebanon
In recent years, Lebanon’s capital city has become one of the Middle East’s top style destinations – and it’s not hard to see why, with so many Lebanese designers making their mark on the fashion world.
Make sure to pack light, or even bring a spare suitcase for your purchases. Just a three-hour flight from Dubai (priced from Dhs845 with Emirates) will have you and your credit card in the thick of downtown Beirut’s boutiques – including Elie Saab’s couture atelier. Or head to the colourful Mar Mikhael district, where you’ll find a unique collection of indie designers, galleries and quirky pop-up stores.
TAKE AN EXTRA DAY: Jordan
Jordan is a dream destination for history lovers, with the “lost city” of Petra on many bucket lists.
Flights from Dubai to the capital city of Amman take just over three hours, and start from Dhs365 with flydubai. Here, you can check out ancient Roman ruins, float the day away in the Dead Sea, and get amongst the city’s thriving nightlife.
If you can wrangle an extra day off, you’ll also be able to book a trip to Petra (about a four-hour drive from Amman). Now considered one of the new seven wonders of the world, this famous city of stone is undoubtedly Jordan’s most popular tourist attraction.
Flying out of Dubai International Airport for the long weekend? Don’t forget about DXB’s strict new baggage rules, which ban passengers from checking in oversized, round or lumpy bags (yes, that means you can’t check in your giant old duffel bag). Only bags with a flat surface will be accepted.