Looking for a quick escape that’s less than 5 hours away from the UAE? Here are a few to consider:
Holiday type: Island life with a bit of culture and sightseeing
Flight time from Dubai: 4 hours and 36 minutes
The vibrant country is home to numerous islands, each one boasting something charming for travelers. Head to Silhouette, if travelling with the family, Praslin to spot Coco de mer, the world’s largest nut, found in Garden of Eden (Rumored to be the garden from Biblical stories, where Adam and Eve were), and La Digue for stunning beaches with majestic boulders. Northolme offers the ultimate in luxury – Price Williams and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, honeymooned here. To try local food and for a bit of sightseeing (Spice Plantation, Botanical garden and the Craft Market) head to the main island, Mahe. Read our Seychelles guide here.
What to eat and drink? A fruit bat (you will need to call ahead and order), breadfruit, coconut water and Taka Maka rum
Currency: Seychellois Rupee and Euros
Holiday type: Beach break for couples
Flight time from Dubai: 4 hours and 47 minutes
Explore marine life, sunbathe by your villa’s infinity pool and take long strolls on the sandy beach with your loved one. Maldives is all about seclusion, for true relaxation.
What to eat? Maldivian curry and plenty of fresh seafood from the reef
Currency: Maldivian Rupee and US Dollars
Holiday type: Ideal for backpackers, hikers and yogis
Flight time: 3 hours and 45 minutes
Head to a yoga retreat, or perhaps climb the first base camp of Mt. Everest. You can also lend a helping hand at an orphanage.
What to eat? Momos
Currency: Nepalese Rupee and US Dollar
Holiday type: Shopping and sightseeing
Flight time: 2 hours and 55 minutes
Baku is soon becoming a hot spot for tourists, offering history, architecture, beaches, mud baths, salt caves and a spot for shopping. The country produces a healing medicinal oil, Naftalan, used at spas across Azerbaijan.
What to eat? Kebabs and dolma (stuffed vegetables such as tomato or peppers), and Lavangi (chicken casserole with walnuts and herbs).
Currency: Azerbaijani New Manat
Holiday type: Affordable holiday with great food and a bit of sightseeing
Flight time: 3 hours and 29 minutes
Just a few hours away, Georgia is apt for those who want to pack in a quick spur-of-the-moment holiday over the weekend. The city has plenty to offer, from a cable car ride to the top of the hill, to streets packed with street food, mountainous regions (do the Old Tbilisi tour) and an easy walk to most attractions.
What to eat and drink? Chacha shots (homemade grape vodka/brandy), Khachapuri Adjaruli ( a warm bread canoe of eggs and cheese), khinkali (soup dumplings that offer warmth on a cold winter day), and churchkhela (dried grape juice poured over various nuts).
Currency: Georgian Lari
Holiday type: Culture and sightseeing
Flight time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
The magical country is one where you can swim in the dead sea and indulge in a mud bath. The ancient city of Petra makes for a great attraction to tick off your bucket list too.
What to eat? Mansaf (lamb cooked in fermented dried yoghurt, served with rice or bulghur)
Currency: Jordanian dinar
Holiday type: Exploring beaches, tea trails and nature
Flight time: 4 hours and 15 minutes+
Known for its stunning beaches and elephant orphanages, Sri Lanka is one to visit for a holiday by the coast. You may find it hard spending a long weekend here, as there’s much to discover, from tea trails to monkey temples and hiking adventures. Reasonably-priced accommodation is available to suit all budgets, so you won’t feel like you’re breaking the bank here.
What to eat and drink? Curries, Kotu roti (Paratha/Roti mixed with egg and chicken, almost like a dry fry), Ceylon tea.
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee and US Dollar
Know of any other destinations worth visiting that are 5 hours away from the UAE? Do comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
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