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53 top weekend getaways
Beach huts or extreme sports on your ultimate 72-hour break 1 Comments
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Travel time: six to seven hours by plane
1 Bangkok, Thailand
Get the most out of this fast and frenetic city from the luxury of the Sofitel Bangkok Silom (www.sofitel.com, +66 2 238 1991), which is offering a special three-night package from Dhs859 per room for three nights.
Getting there: Emirates flies direct to Bangkok from Dhs3,320 return, including taxes. www.emirates.com.
2 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A long weekend affords you time to see the sights, including the Petronas Towers, Chinatown and the Baku Caves. Hotel-wise, the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur (www.shangri-la.com, +60 3 2032 2388) boasts lush gardens and offers rooms from Dhs539 per room per night.
Getting there: Emirates flies direct to Bangkok from Dhs2,750 return, including taxes. www.emirates.com.
Travel time: Four To Six hours by plane
3 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis is a hectic, bustling, but safe city – a cultural and religious melting pot of political importance: it’s the headquarters for the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. The city has plenty of history (find out more at the Ethiopian National Museum), not to mention great Italian food and coffee. Stay at the Baro Hotel, Piazza (email@example.com, +251 11 155 1447), which offers rooms from Dhs27 per night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Addis for Dhs1,055 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.
4 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
There’s plenty to see and do in the capital, but we suggest you head straight to Turkmenbashi’s golden statue that rotates to face the sun throughout the day. Madness. The Ak Altyn Hotel (+993 12 36 37 00), located in the centre of town, is a good bet for affordable accommodation.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Ashgabat from Dhs2,240 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.
5 Astana, Kazakhstan
Marvel at bizarre, space-age buildings from the Soviet era, as well as more modern offerings from the likes of architects Kisho Kurokawa and Norman Foster. Stay at the King Hotel (www.kinghotel.kz, +7 7172 705 705) from Dhs595 per room per night.
Getting there: Air Astana flies direct from Abu Dhabi to Astana from Dhs2,620 return, including taxes. www.airastana.com.
6 Belgrade, Serbia
Stroll along Srpskih Vladara and marvel at sights including Belgrade Fortress, Knez Mihailova, Republic Square and Slavija. Stay at Hotel Srbija (www.hotelsrbija.com, +381 11 30 44 000) for around Dhs249 per room per night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Belgrade from Dhs2,000 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.
7 Istanbul, Turkey
The atmosphere of relaxed tolerance is so omnipresent – and the tourist sites so easily accessible – that Istanbul is always a joy to visit. And the Sultan Ahmet Mosque is simply stunning. The Sultanahmet Hotel (+9 0212 527 0239) in the Sultanahmet district offers rooms from Dhs190 per night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Istanbul from Dhs1,189 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.
8 Kiev, Ukraine
Visit the capital of Ukraine not just for the food (chicken Kiev!), but to see one of the oldest cities in Europe, with sights such as St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. (Also witness British actor Hugh Laurie’s surprising popularity.) Stay at the Radisson Blu Kiev (www.radissonblu.com/hotel-kiev, +38 044 492 2200) from Dhs966 per room per night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Kiev from Dhs1,473 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.
9 Moscow, Russia
Head to Moscow’s minus temperatures for a long weekend of history, opulence and maybe even a spot of protesting. Accommodation is expensive, so we suggest going all-out and booking into the Radisson Royal Moscow (+7495 221 5555) – one of Stalin’s Seven Sisters and a short bus ride from the Kremlin. Superior rooms start at Dhs1,459 per night.
Getting there: Emirates flies to direct to Moscow from Dhs2,330 return, including taxes. www.emirates.com.
10 Nairobi, Kenya
The spectacular Giraffe Manor (+254 205 020 888, www.giraffemanor.com) lies an hour’s drive from Nairobi airport and, as you might well guess from the name, is an old manor house-turned-luxury hotel situated slap-bang in the middle of a giraffe sanctuary. Double rooms start at Dhs1,781 per night.
Getting there: Kenya Airways flies direct to Nairobi from Dhs2,260 return, including taxes. www.kenya-airways.com.
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