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; 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;
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; Rates from Dhs400.
Get there: Kingfisher flies to Chennai daily. Prices start from Dhs995.
Visa info: Embassy (04 397 1222,
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; 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;
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; Rates start from Dhs767.
Get there: Fly Dubai flies to Doha daily. Prices start from Dhs890.
Visa info: Consulate (04 345 6888; 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,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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;;
Journey from Sharjah: Four hours.

Why go? It was the cornerstone of two of the world’s largest empires.
Tourist musts: See the Hagia Sophia, then sweat it out in a 16th-century hammam.
Insider tip: Travel down the Bosphorus river to see where Asia and Europe meet.
Stay: The Osmanhan Hotel (+90 21 2458 7702, is charming and clean. Rates from Dhs225.
Get there: Air Arabia flies to Istanbul once a week. Prices start from Dhs1,154.
Visa info: Consulate (04 349 0200).
Journey from Sharjah: Three and a half hours.
Why go? It puts you only a bus ride away from the world’s highest peaks.
Tourist must: A tour of the Himalayas.
Insider tip: Beware the simians at the Monkey Temple. It’s their temple and they do as they please.
Stay: The Radisson (+977 1 441 1818, is an upscale and reasonable option. Rooms start from Dhs380.
Get there: Air Arabia flies daily from Sharjah Airport. Prices start from Dhs1,028.
Visa info: Embassy (02 634 4385;
Journey from Sharjah: Four hours.
Or try…
New Delhi
Get there: Gulf Air flies there daily. Prices start at Dhs903.
Journey from DXB: Two and a half hours
Why go? It’s Pakistan’s cultural, intellectual and artistic hub.
Tourist musts: Stop off at the Shalamar Garden, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan way back in 1642.
Insider tip: Head to Wagah, on the border with India, to watch the daily closing-of-the-border (flag lowering) ceremony.
Stay: For a touch of luxury, we love the Avari (+42 636 6366, Rates start from Dhs700.
Get there: Emirates flies to Lahore four times a week. Prices start from Dhs2,465.
Visa info: Consulate (04 397 3600).
Journey from DXB: Three hours.
Why go? India’s answer to New York, Mumbai is a melting pot of hip artists, musicians and actors.
Tourist musts: The Prithvi Theatre shows English-language plays from India’s best playwrights.
Insider tip: Avoid the trains around 6pm, when the system descends into jostling madness.
Stay: Check into the clean, plush Residency Hotel (+91 0 22 6667 0555, Rates start from Dhs198.
Get there: Gulf Air flies daily to Mumbai. Prices start from Dhs822.
Visa info: Embassy (04 397 1222,
Journey from DXB: Two and a half hours.
Or try…
Sharm el-Sheikh
Get there: Royal Jordanian Airlines flies from Dubai to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt via Amman from Dhs1,700.
Journey from DXB: From six hours (depending on connections)
Why go? Picture-postcard Nepalese scenery and the freshest air you’ll ever breathe.
Tourist musts: A plane ride to the top of Mount Everest.
Insider tip: Don’t pack much. You can rent everything you need when you get there.
Stay: The Little Tibetan Guest House (+97 7615 31898). Rates start at Dhs135.
Get there: Air Arabia flies from Sharjah to Kathmandu, with prices starting from Dhs1,028. Buddha Airways flies from Kathmandu to Pokhara daily. Rates start from Dhs350.
Visa info: Consulate (04 394 4733)
Journey from Sharjah: Four hours.
Why go? For lush Omani landscapes, pristine beaches and lower temperatures than Dubai.
Tourist musts: Drive along Salalah’s coastal road, with palm trees and fruit shacks.
Insider tip: Hotel prices tend to rise in khareef season (June to September), when there is an influx of GCC tourists.
Stay: Hilton Salalah Resort (+968 23 211 234). Rates from Dhs601.
Get there: Fly Dubai flies to Muscat, with prices from Dhs470, then Oman Air flies from Muscat to Salalah, with prices from Dhs570.
Visa info: Embassy, Abu Dhabi (02 463 333).
Journey from DXB: Two hours.
Or try…
Get there: Emirates flies there daily. Prices start from approx Dhs1,635.
Journey from DXB: Two hours

Why go? For a taste of medieval Yemen.
Tourist musts: The Suq al-Milh, an ancient market accessed through the 1,000-year-old Gate of Yemen.
Insider tip: If children shout ‘sourah’, it means they want you to take their picture.
Stay: Check out the 18th century Taj Talha Hotel (+967 128 7130, Rates start at Dhs70.
Get there: Air Arabia flies to Sana’a from Sharjah three days a week. Prices start from Dhs970.
Visa info: Embassy (04 394 7400,
Journey from Sharjah: Two and a half hours.
Why go? It’s a cosy city that mixes ancient mountains with the modernity of Kazakhstan.
Tourist musts: Check out the Holy Ascension cathedral, the largest wooden church in the world, then try skiing at the nearby resorts.
Insider tip: Take a trip to the Alma-Arasan gorge for spectacular views.
Stay: The InterContinental Almaty (+7 727 250 5000) is always reliable. Prices start from Dhs1,400.
Get there: Air Astana flies to Almaty daily. Prices start from Dhs2,265.
Visa info: Consulate (04 224 2462).
Journey from DXB: Four and a half hours.
Why go? Because this Greek gem is one of the world’s oldest cities.
Tourist musts: The world-famous Acropolis. Later, try an evening stroll around the Plaka district for souvenirs.
Insider tip: Climb Lycabettus Hill for picturesque views of the city.
Stay: The St George Lycabettus Hotel (+30 210 7290 711 9; Prices start from Dhs580.
Get there: Emirates flies direct to Athens. Prices start from Dhs2,365.
Visa info: Consulate (02 449 2550, 04 227 2106).
Journey time from Dubai: Five hours.
Or try…
Get there Fly Dubai flies to Bahrain daily. Prices start from approx Dhs660.
Journey from DXB: One hour
Why go? The Thai city boasts buzzing street scenes packed with quirky clothing stalls and colourful, tasty street food.
Tourist musts: The outdoor Suan Lun Night Bazaar has great (and cheap) clothing finds.
Insider tip: Cabs usually cost less than pedi-cabs, and the meter is always cheaper than bargaining.
Stay: Flashier accommodation with a riverside view can be found at the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel (+66 2659 9000,, with rooms from Dhs1,542. For a budget stay, try the charming, if basic, Villa Guest House (+66 2281 7009). It provides no-frills (and no hot water) stays from Dhs25 a night.
Eat: For cheap and tasty grub, you can’t beat Thai street food. Oddly enough, some of the best Thai food stalls – serving more conventional food – can be found in Chinatown. If you’re looking for somewhere classier, seek out Bo.Lan (+66 2260 2962,, run by a Michelin-starred Thai chef. The food is as fantastic as you’d expect, but not cheap by Thai standards.
Get there: Etihad flies to Bangkok daily. Prices start from Dhs3,075.
Visa info: Consulate (04 349 2863;
Journey from DXB: Six hours.
Why go? It’s a chance to explore India’s vast jungle and backwater.
Tourist musts: Jump in a canoe with a local fisherman and drift lazily down the green-hued waters.
Insider tip: For dinner, try fish molly, Kerala’s signature dish – a tasy yet tongue-burningly-hot delicacy.
Stay: Check into a floating cottage at Poovar Island Resort ( Rates from Dhs248.
Get there: Air Arabia flies to Trivandrum airport three times a week. Rates from Dhs796.
Visa info: Consulate (04 397 1222;
Journey from DXB: Four and a half hours.
Or try…
Get there: Kuwait Airlines flies there daily. Prices start from Dhs177.
Journey from DXB: 1 hour 30 minutes

Why go? It’s the cultural hub of Morocco.
Tourist musts: Photograph the breathtaking architecture, including the Hassan II Mosque and the Villa des Arts.
Insider tip: The movie of the same name is set here, but it was filmed in the US.
Stay: The Golden Tulip Hotel des Arts (+212 522 96 54 50; is dedicated to arts and culture. Rates from Dhs329.
Get there: Emirates flies daily to Casablanca. Prices start from Dhs3,150.
Visa info: Embassy (02 443 3963).
Journey from DXB: Eight hours 50 minutes.

Kuala Lumpur
Why go? It’s a great jumping-off point for Malaysian travel.
Tourist musts: Check out the Hindu temple in Batu Caves, or the rainforest canopy tour.
Insider tip: Ultra-friendly hostel Classic Inn ( is perfect for cheap stays. Rates start at Dhs35.
Stay: For something upscale, try the Dorsett Regency (+60 327 151 000, Rates start at Dhs147.
Get there: Qatar Airways flies daily to Kuala Lumpur. Prices from Dhs1,880.
Visa info: Consulate (04 398 5843,
Journey from DXB: Seven hours.
Why go? For the gorgeous beaches, clear waters and a plentiful supply of palm trees to lean against as you relax on the sand.
Tourist musts: Watch a sega dance and visit the peerless Pamplemousses Gardens.
Insider tip: Birdwatch at the Black River Gorges Park and spot the pink pigeons.
Stay: Feeling flush? Treat yourself to a stay at the Oberoi Mauritius (800 065 0551,, which offers luxury beachside villas for Dhs3,850.
Get there: Emirates Airlines flies directly to Mauritius. Prices start from Dhs5,510.
Visa info: No consulate or embassy in UAE.
Journey from DXB: Six and a half hours.
Why go? The food and the great city buzz.
Tourist musts: Singapore Zoo houses the world’s largest captive colony of orangutans. Afterwards, hit the Night Safari, the world’s only nocturnal zoo. Try to fit in a trip to the Botanic Gardens, which includes a rainforest, the Evolution Garden (it shows the evolution of plant life) and a Chopin monument.
Insider tips: Try afternoon tea at the Shangri-La and a Singapore Sling at Raffles.
Stay: For a bit of character, stay at The Royal Peacock (+65 6 223 3522;, a collection of restored shophouses decorated with a fantastic collection of antiques. Rates start at Dhs360.
Eat: Hit Glutton’s Bay on the Esplanada for old-fashioned street cart fare with a twist (the oyster omelettes are fab). For mouth-watering dim sum, head to Din Tai Fung at the Paragon centre.
Get there: Singapore Airlines offers daily flights from Dubai. Rates start at Dhs2,465.
Visa info: Consulate (04 321 9498;
Journey from DXB: Seven hours 20 minutes.
Or try…
Get there: Austrian Air flies from Dubai to Albania via Vienna from Dhs1,945.
Journey from DXB: Seven hours
Why go? It’s an island steeped in natural beauty, as well as history and diversity.
Tourist must: Watersports: diving, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing are all popular here.
Insider tip: When organising transport from Stone Town to one of Zanzibar’s beaches, don’t fall for the ‘private taxi’ scam. The car/minibus gathers every holidaymaker in sight before starting the journey.
Stay: We like 236 Hurumzi (+255 77 742 3266; Rates start from Dhs438.
Get there: Kenya Airways flies to Zanzibar daily. Prices start from Dhs2,635.
Visa info: Embassy (02 631 3088).
Journey from DXB: Six hours.