53 top weekend getaways

Beach huts or extreme sports on your ultimate 72-hour break Comments

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21 Kerala, India
Other than Cochin’s stunning beaches, this southern province offers an intricate network of scenic backwaters for you to explore by small boat (www.kerala-backwaters-tours.com). Rooms at Seaview Apartments in Fort Cochin (www.tripadvisor.com) start at Dhs57 per person per night.
Getting there: Air India flies direct to Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) from Dhs1,300, including taxes. www.airindia.in.

22 Mzaar, Lebanon
Bored of Ski Dubai? Then head to the slopes of Mount Lebanon for a weekend (it’s currently the best time of year for skiing). InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa (+961 934 0100) offers ski packages (including ski passes and rental and two drinks at the Lobby Lounge). Packages start at Dhs815 per couple.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Beirut for Dhs1,000 return. www.flydubai.com.

23 Pondicherry, India
Old colonial charms, literary references (The Life of Pi) and a great name: more than enough reasons to head to this coastal town on the Bay of Bengal. Check into the The Dune Hotel (www.thedunehotel.com), an eco resort with doubles from Dhs451 per night.
Getting there: Emirates flies direct to Chennai (the nearest airport to Pondicherry) from Dhs1,240 return, including taxes. www.emirates.com.

24 Red Sea, Djibouti
If you’re a diving fanatic, the East African country of Djibouti has great access to the Red Sea, as well as islands and beaches known for their whale sharks. Rooms at Djibouti Palace Kempinski (+253 325 555) start at Dhs1,267 per night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Djibouti from Dhs2,827, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.

25 Tbilisi, Georgia
Nestled in the foothills of the Trialeti mountain range, this scenic city offers an action-packed weekend. Take a dip at the Sulfur Baths, scale the walls of the once-great Narikala fortress or head out to Lake Lisi. Stay at the Courtyard by Marriott (+995 32 277 9100), which offers double rooms from Dhs606 a night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Tbilisi from Dhs1,259 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.

Travel time: One to two hours by plane


26 Barr Al Jissah, Muscat, Oman
The Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa (+968 2477 6262), nestled in its own bay, is offering a special weekend package for GCC residents, which includes a two-night stay and buffet breakfast for two adults and two kids. The package starts at Dhs1,707 per family.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Muscat from Dhs405 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.

27 Doha, Qatar
The region’s coolest hotel, the W Hotel (www.whoteldoha.com), is currently offering special ‘birthday’ rates. If you were born in 1981, your daily rate will be QAR1,981 (Dhs1,999). The package includes a W Suite and breakfast buffet for two at Market Restaurant or in-room dining.
Getting there: Qatar Airways flies direct to Doha for Dhs650 return, including taxes. www.qatarairways.com.

28 Manama, Bahrain
Head to the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa (+973 1763-6363), a secluded, scenic resort that is currently offering special room rates of Dhs828 per room per night until the end of February.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Bahrain from Dhs500 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.

29 Masirah Island, Oman
This ruggedly beautiful island getaway offers the possibility of seeing loggerhead turtles nesting on the beaches, while active types can also enjoy some kite surfing. Accommodation at Masirah Island Resort (+968 2448 5020)starts at Dhs602 per room per night.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Muscat from Dhs405 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.

30 Oman Dive Centre, Muscat, Oman
The rustic air-conditioned beach chalets at the Oman Dive Centre (www.omandivecenter.com, +968 2482 4240) are set in a peaceful cove. Divers and snorkellers can enjoy the clear, shallow waters and the abundance of sea life (we spotted a pod of dolphins a few years back). Packages start at Dhs1,600 per person.
Getting there: Fly Dubai flies direct to Muscat from Dhs405 return, including taxes. www.flydubai.com.

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: AK on 20 Feb ' 12 at 12:25

What visa do you get to go to Riyadh? As I've heard that there is no tourist visa as such..

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