Travel

6 great getaways from the UAE

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In case you didn’t realise, there’s a long weekend coming up in the UAE, with public holidays penciled in for Commemoration Day on 30 November and the 45th UAE National Day on December 2. Certainly, it’s worth sticking around in the UAE to observe the holidays, but if you’re the kind who gets itchy feet, this is the perfect opportunity to hop on a plane for a short break.

And if you are planning on hitching a quick ride to a new country, we’ve come up with a list of the top short getaways from the UAE. All of the below destinations are four hours or less from the UAE by plane, and they’re accessible via a range of airlines – from budget to luxury. Indeed, even if you’re not planning on using the long weekend for a quick getaway, keep this list handy for the next time you do fancy a short break – these destinations are great no matter the occasion.

Jordan
Flight time: 3 hours

The lost city of Petra, the Dead Sea, the intrigue of Old Arabia – Jordan offers all this and much more. The country is a veritable hotbed of Arabian culture and history, with archaeological sites still standing from the days of the Romans. And if history isn’t your thing, the modern capital, Amman, while built atop ancient Roman ruins, has all the vibrancy and modernity you’d expect of a buzzing global city.

Baku, Azerbaijan
Flight time: 3 hours

Azerbaijan becomes more popular as a tourist destination every year, and with good reason. Representing the easternmost parts of Europe, the capital, Baku, is a cultural mishmash of conflicting views of the world – you can think of it as a lesser-known Istanbul. The architecture is stunning, and the numerous museums paint a compelling picture of the country’s history. What’s more, with the city on the coast of the Caspian Sea, there are plenty of picture-perfect beaches around. With Baku only three hours away from the UAE, we’d recommend visiting sooner rather than later.

The Maldives
Flight time: 4 hours

If idyllic, white-sand beaches up against crystal-clear, azure waters are your thing, then you could do no better than a trip to the Maldives, which is only a short hop away from the UAE. The archipelago features many resorts that are single islands on their own, meaning the utmost in privacy, quiet and relaxation. And with stunning weather that lasts all year long, the Maldives really does make a convincing case for itself as one of the best destinations at which to unwind and unplug from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Sri Lanka
Flight time: 4.5 hours

Alright, it takes a little longer to reach Sri Lanka by plane than it does the other destinations on this list, but the country has become such a popular destination for UAE residents wanting a short break that it really deserves a mention. And there’s a reason for this – Sri Lanka offers so much. If trekking through the rainforest with elephants is on your bucket list, Sri Lanka is the place to do it. If chilling on a stunning beach underneath bright blue skies is your idea of bliss, Sri Lanka has what you’re looking for. And if your aim is to simply explore the best in eastern cuisine, Sri Lanka has you covered.

Cyprus
Flight time: 3.5 hours

Some might dismiss Cyprus, and its capital, Nicosia, as a down-and-out party town best suited for hen dos and stag parties. But there’s much more to this beautiful Mediterranean destination than meets the eye. For one thing, Cypriot food is stunning, made up of healthy and delicious morsels that give the nationals one of the highest life expectancies anywhere in the world. If you’re adventurous, organise a trek across the country’s beguiling mountainous inlands, or else simply spend your short break lounging on the many white-sand beaches that the country has to offer.

Muscat, Oman
Flight time: 1 hour

This is the most obvious one for anyone living in the UAE – the Omani capital is just a short, one-hour flight away, or a five-hour drive from Dubai, if you fancy a road trip. Laidback and beautiful, Muscat has plenty of culture and history to offer visitors, and its local population is renowned for its hospitality. For an opulent weekend away, head to one of the city’s many five-star hotels, or if you’re more the adventurous type, explore the deserts outside of the city searching for old forts from the Ottoman era.

 

If you’re interested in any of these destinations, head to Booking.com to find the best hotel deals. And things get even better when you use the ADIB Booking.com Signature Card, which offers cardholders 10% discount on hotels, 5% cashback on flights, complimentary VIP airport lounge access, valet parking, dining discounts and loads more.

Apply now!

Or, go one further with the ADIB Booking.com Infinite Card, which comes with 200,000 sign-up reward points, 10% discount on hotels, 7% cashback on flights, 5% off fuel, and three reward points for every dirham spent. Like the Booking.com Signature Card, this will also offer complimentary VIP airport lounge access, valet parking, dining discounts and much more.

Apply now!

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