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22 to try: Weekend trips
Want to beat the heat? Hop on a plane and try out these divine local destinations 2 Comments
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Why go? This Jordanian city is one of the oldest in the world.
Tourist musts: The Dead Sea and Petra.
Insider tip: The hilltop citadel offers amazing views of the city.
Stay: The Four Seasons Amman (+962 6 550 5555) may be pricier than most hotels (rates start at Dhs1,090), but it’s worth it.
Get there: Fly Dubai flies five days a week. Prices start from Dhs750.
Visa info: Consulate (04 397 0500).
Journey from DXB: Four hours.
All approximate flight prices are returns.
Why go? To experience Egypt’s overcrowded metropolis, with a population of 6.8 million – the city hangs onto its sanity by the skin of its teeth.
Tourist musts: The Pyramids, Old Cairo and the National Museum.
Insider tip: Try the Turkish coffee at Feshawi’s café, and fuul (fava bean stew) from most restaurants.
Stay: Intercontinental Semiramis (+20 2 2795 7171; www.ichotelsgroup.com) is in the downtown district with views over the Nile and a great steakhouse inside. Rates start from Dhs753.
Get there: Emirates flies to Cairo daily. Prices start from Dhs1,600.
Visa info: Consulate (04 397 1122; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Journey from DXB: Three hours.
Why go? To taste India’s laid-back vibe, friendly people and beach-side relaxation.
Tourist musts: Chennai is home to some spectacular temples, including the towering, brightly coloured Mylapore Temple.
Insider tip: Prepare for humid weather and little air-conditioning. Also, dress modestly on the beaches.
Stay: Try the centrally located GRT Grand (+91 0 44 2815 050; www.grthotels.com). Rates from Dhs400.
Get there: Kingfisher flies to Chennai daily. Prices start from Dhs995.
Visa info: Embassy (04 397 1222, www.cgidubai.com).
Journey from DXB: Three and a half hours.
Get there: Emirates flies to Cyprus daily, with fares starting from Dhs2,045.
Journey from DXB: Four hours
Why go? The Sri Lankan capital is one of the most vivid cities on earth.
Tourist must: A tour of the coastal villages in the south.
Insider tip: Head inland to visit the Pinawalla elephant orphanage.
Stay: Mirissa Hills (+94 773 290 999; www.mirissahills.com) is a boutique hotel on a working cinnamon plantation. Rates start from Dhs350.
Get there: Mihin Lanka Airlines flies to Colombo three times a week. Prices start from Dhs1,098.
Visa info: Consulate (04 398 6535; www.srilankanconsul.org.ae).
Journey from DXB: Four hours.
Why go? For sports events, Qatar is the next big destination.
Tourist musts: The Museum of Islamic Art is an amazing building that showcases some breathtaking displays.
Insider tip: Head to the Pearl Qatar, where the outdoor restaurants look back over the city skyline.
Stay: Try the Grand Hyatt Doha (+974 448 1234; www.doha.grand.hyatt.com). Rates start from Dhs767.
Get there: Fly Dubai flies to Doha daily. Prices start from Dhs890.
Visa info: Consulate (04 345 6888; email@example.com). Note that entry laws for Qatar are changing from May 1, so check whether you require a visa before you travel.
Journey from DXB: 45 minutes.
www.airarabia.com, www.airastana.com, www.austrian.com, www.emirates.com, www.etihadairways.com, www.flydubai.com, www.flykingfisher.com, www.GulfAir.com, www.kenya-airways.com, www.kuwait-airways.com, www.mihinlanka.com, www.omanair.aero, www.qatarairways.com, www.rj.com, www.singaporeair.com.
Why go? For beautiful beaches and an active, if laid-back, nightlife scene.
Tourist musts: Try the tat-tastic Anjuna Flea Market every Wednesday. It has some great finds – you just have to trawl for them.
Insider tip: After beach-hopping in the super-touristy (but no less fun) north, head to quieter Palolem in the south. The beach is pretty as a postcard.
Stay: Budget travellers should try Shalom Guest House (+91 227 3166), near Vagator beach. Rooms start at Dhs50 per night.
Eat: Shore Bar (+91 982 238 3795) is situated on Anjuna beach and is headed by an award-winning chef. The seafood is top notch and the beach views are to die for.
Get there: Air Arabia flies to Goa from Sharjah three times a week. Prices start from Dhs1,271.
Visa info: Consulate (04 397 4167; www.cgidubai.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Journey from Sharjah: Four hours.
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