22 to try: Weekend trips

Want to beat the heat? Hop on a plane and try out these divine local destinations 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; egyptian_consulate@yahoo.com).
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.

Or try…

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; dubai@mofa.gov.qa). 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.

Airline details

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; cgidubai@emirates.net.ae).
Journey from Sharjah: Four hours.

By Becky Lucas
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Esra Engur on 24 Apr ' 10 at 19:38

I would like to inform you that the national airline of Turkey which is Turkish Airlines fly everyday twice to Istanbul. It operates a network of scheduled services to more than 120 international cities, serving a total of 158 airports, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. I have no doubt that you, as the Travel & Holidays department of TIME OUT Dubai, know about Turkish Airlines, but I believe that it is better to mention Turkish Airlines before Air Arabia, in the section where you talk about Istanbul.
Thank you for your concern and correction on your web site in advance.
Esra Engur

Posted by: Ammar on 22 Apr ' 10 at 11:46

I do not understand how you can take a six to eight hour travel time and enjoy a weekend overseas and then be back by sunday morning!

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