Flight time: Four hours
Currency: Dhs1= 40 Kazakhstani tenge
What to see: There are incredible snow-capped mountains in the distance to the south of the city, not to mention an abundance of cultural sites in the city centre. Don’t miss the Soviet-style Kazakhstan English Language Theatre or the Presidential Palace (look out for the guards – if they’re on duty it means the palace is occupied). Take a dip in Big Almaty Lake, with intimidating looming mountains circling it – cycling around the area will make you feel as though you’re in Canada or Tibet.
Insider tip: Head to the Zelyony Bazaar, which sells fresh fruit and vegetables and home accessories: it’s a great insight into local life. Then go for a tour at the nearby Rahat chocolate factory and have your very own Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adventure.
How to get there: Fly direct from Abu Dhabi to Almaty with Air Astana from Dhs2,020 return.