7 last minute flights for the UAE's long weekend
The UAE’s long weekend is fast approaching, with workers having Sunday April 23 off to mark Al Isra'a Wal Mi’raj.
If you’re looking to make the most of your time off and book a last minute trip, here are some recommendations.
Trust us when we say that you should visit Petra. The summer hasn't quite started in Jordan, so the temperature is mild enough to enjoy the famous archaeological site. While you’re there, make some time to head to the Dead Sea which offers the requisite blend of landscape, luminosity and luxury for which Jordan has become famed.
Flight time: 3h 10m direct and 4h 50m with one stop
Price: From AED886 with Gulf Air
Whilst Zanzibar has always been a popular beach destination, it’s relatively unknown in these parts due to a lack of flights. Now, with both Kenyan Airways and Fly Dubai operating to the island, visitors from the UAE are finding it a perfect time to explore the azure seas and soft white sands of the island. Don’t forget to bring home cloves and cinnamon.
Flight time: 5h 50m direct with fly Dubai, 8h 50m one stop with Kenyan Airways
Price: From AED1,570
Surrounded by brown and burnt orange mountains, Muscat is an impressive place to watch the sunset. As Oman’s capital city you’ll find plenty of history blended with modern living. The beautiful coastline is scattered with five-star hotels, with fancy restaurants nearby. It’s also a great place for shopping, but if glitz and glam isn’t your thing, you can check out the cultural sites. Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace is a must-see - even though visitors aren’t allowed inside, it’s a great photo opportunity. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and is open to non-Muslim visitors. There are also plenty of museums that give a snapshot of Oman’s history.
Flight time: 1h 05m
Price: From AED501 with flydubai
It’s almost a stone’s throw from Dubai, making it one of the most accessible destinations on the list. Pop across to Doha to check out how much the city has changed in recent years. While you’re there make sure you visit the traditional souks and the Museum of Islamic Art. The city has some seriously nice resorts that are built for relaxing.
Flight time: 1h 10m
Price: From AED650 with flydubai
Colombo, Sri Lanka
It’s a popular choice for UAE travellers for a good reason – the tiny island in the Indian Ocean is simply beautiful. The vast greenery of the rugged rainforest means that its packed with wildlife and it has the highest density of leopards in the world. You’ll find elephants, wild buffaloes and sloth bears amongst the 91 species that call Sri Lanka home. It’s also got plenty of surf, beautiful historical sites and pristine beaches.
Flight time: 4h 30m direct, and from 6h 55m with one stop
Price: From AED815 with Gulf Air
Although thousands of years old, Baku city centre has been busy rebranding itself as a mini version of Dubai in recent years, with five-star hotels popping up (530 in total), designer stores, modern shopping malls and a skyline of futuristic architecture. Take a walking tour through the old town’s maze of narrow crumbling lanes via the Maiden Tower (Giz Galasi) built in the 12th century and Baku’s Mini Book Museum, which houses a private collection of 3,600 miniature tomes in languages from Russian to Vietnamese – you can feel big and clever all at the same time. The Nizami Museum of Literature offers a walk-through history via the works of local poets and scribes.
Flight time: 2h 50m direct, and from 5h with one stop
Price: From AED1,565 with Azal ad flydubai
Great weather, gorgeous clifftops and plenty of beaches to explore. Cyprus is a tourism hotspot for good reason. It’s a little further than some of the other destinations on the list for a long weekend, but this is a country that tickets almost every box for holidaymakers, so its worth an extra few hours on a plane.
Flight time: 3h 55m direct, from 5h 40m with one stop
Price: AED2,422 direct with Emirates, from AED1,634 one stop with Qatar
These flights are based on leaving on April 20 and returning on April 23. Prices will fluctuate.