Time Out has 10 budget breaks, the cheapest non GCC destinations from Dubai and when to fly, all direct return flights according to Skyscanner in 2016.
The saying ‘you snooze you lose’ definitely applies to booking flights. It’s happened to the best of us. Summer comes along and you think you can find a last-minute deal when you finally decide to get as far away as possible from Dubai’s scorching temperatures. Before long you’re staring at your laptop’s screen in despair as it dawns on you that you just can’t afford the vacation you so desperately need.
Moral of the story? Plan ahead, and we have just the information you need to find the cheapest destinations from Dubai International for the year ahead (not including Middle Eastern destinations as they’re obviously the least pricy).
We’ve used Skyscanner’s super handy “anywhere” and “cheapest month” features, the virtual equivalent of spinning a globe and letting your finger fall anywhere.
No doubt prices will fluctuate over time but these destinations are overall some of the cheapest non-GCC places to fly to from Dubai when not booking too last minute.
Hungary With its Gothic spires, world-class museums and non-stop nightlife, Budapest is a great city break for budget travellers based in Dubai. There are returns for under Dhs600 with Wizzair in September and October (check other times of year too) and with low-cost accommodation readily available across the city and Hungary, it’s a no-brainer for European culture lovers.
Finland Be honest, you’re dying to wear a wooly hat and scarf again, and where better to do so than in Finland in late autumn? With return flights from Dubai to Helsinki for about Dhs1000 in November, you’ll catch the first snow of the season, which makes for stunning landscapes, and the long hours of darkness mean your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are higher. Other options are dog sledding, city sightseeing or chilling in a sauna.
Georgia Vastly underrated as a holiday destination, Georgia is a hidden holiday gem, and according to travel experts Lonely Planet “one of the most beautiful countries in the world”. Mountainous and green, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise that also has a great deal of history in its capital Tsiblisi (Dhs1000 return with FlyDubai).
India If you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of India’s main cities, consider a visit to the country’s southern region of Kerala. Home to wild elephants, exotic birds and the occasional tiger, it also boasts 600 kilometres of coastline and picturesque spice and tea-covered hills inland. There are return flights to Kochi for as little as Dhs750 in October with Spicejet.
Nepal Lodged between the Himalayas and the Indian plains, Nepal should be on everyone’s travel plans at least once their lives. With its unique medieval cities, spectacular hiking and varied wildlife, you shouldn’t think twice before booking a direct return to Kathmandu from October (monsoon season ends) for as low as Dhs1400 with FlyDubai.
Philippines Have yourself a thriller in Manila with flights to the Philippines’ capital for as low as Dhs750 with Cebu Pacific in February and Dhs1000 at many other times of year. Internal flights to the picture-postcard island of Palawan – with its jungles, limestone caves and abundant marine life – cost as little as Dhs200 return too.
Sweden Clean and cool, if it wasn’t for the winters Stockholm would be a utopia. Returns with Norwegian from Dubai in March are going for Dhs1200. What awaits you as a traveller are excellent museums, great shopping and stylish streets spread across the 14 islands that make up this one-of-a-kind capital.
Thailand Whether you’re after the buzz of Bangkok or the relaxation and beauty that Thailand’s tropical islands offer, Flydubai’s Dhs1600 return flights to the ‘Land of Smiles’ in November are pretty reasonable considering the distance covered.
Romania Flying to the heart of Transylvania is a steal with Wizzair right now: Dhs600 return to Cluj, the capital. If you want to go on a vampire hunt no one’s stopping you but there’s so much more to sink your teeth into in Romania’s most spellbinding region. From the towns of Brasov and Sibiu, charming medieval time capsules, to hikes through beautiful alpine scenery, it couldn’t be more different from Dubai.
Zanzibar is like ‘diet Africa’, a place that’s intrinsically benign and innocent while still offering the natural beauty and sense of adventure that draws tourists to the continent. Just off the coast of Tanzania, the Spice Islands (Unguja and Pemba) have untouched coral beaches, a Medina-style capital in Stone Town and a laid-back attitude that’s bound to rub off. FlyDubai has a direct return to Zanzibar for Dhs1455.