Seven short escapes from Dubai in under four hours

The best places to take a trip to from Dubai

Seven short escapes from Dubai in under four hours
Amman, Jordan

Dubai is on the doorstep of a load of stunning destinations, whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure.

The below seven holiday spots are all within four hours from Dubai, so you can kick back, watch a couple of films (if you’re lucky) and touch down in your chosen destination. Happy travels.

Amman, Jordan
Amman is a perfect spot for a break, in that it’s only a few hours from Dubai temperatures are a lot cooler and finally because it’s a charming place to soak up Middle Eastern culture. You can fly with Emirates from Dubai to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman for around Dhs1,300 return, five times a week, and flydubai offers 21 direct flights every week from from around Dhs1,300. You can also fly from Abu Dhabi for Dhs1,500.

Must see spot: As well as plenty of ancient ruins including the Temple of Hercules and the Umayyad Palace, there’s also an abundance of modern flavours to keep your interest, like the Darat Al Funun art gallery.

Must eat at restaurant: Hungry? Don’t miss Sufra restaurant for homemade dishes in a traditional setting, or Cantalope for a high-end international menu and rooftop views.

Flight time: Three hours, 30 mins.
From Dhs1,300. Queen Alia International Airport.

Bahrain
Bahrain is just an hour and 15 minutes away by plane, but the smallest Gulf state is worlds away from the fast-paced glitz and glamour of Dubai. If you’re after a cultural holiday, look no further: the Kingdom has a rich history, dating back to 3000 BCE, and you’ll be able to visit sites ranging from Dilmun burial mounds to Portuguese forts. Bahrain also has an amazing home-grown music scene, with incredible DJs and jazz musicians, so you’ll never struggle to find live music if you’re headed out to any one of the amazing restaurants or bars. GulfAir, Emirates, and flydubai all fly between Dubai International Airport and Bahrain International Airport.

Must see spot: Make sure you visit the Bahrain International Circuit, the first Grand Prix in the Middle East, or the Bahrain Pearling Path which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Must eat at restaurant: For Bahraini food go to Emmawash Traditional Restaurant, preferably for breakfast.

Flight time: One hour 15 minutes.
From Dhs550 (flights). Bahrain International Airport.

Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku is just beginning to be explored and with high peaks, lush greenery and stunning modern architecture it’s easy to see why. Summer temperatures sit around 25 degrees celcius and flights from the UAE take just under three hours, making it an ideal destination for a holiday. Azerbaijan Airlines and flydubai run daily flights from Dubai to Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport, while Etihad Airways put on a few flights a week.

Must see spot: Don’t miss the Flame Towers– a trio of buildings mimicking fire.

Must eat at restaurant: Head to Sehrli Tendir restaurant for authentic Azerbaijani dishes close to the famous Fountains Square.

Flight time: Two hours, 55 minutes.
From Dhs1,200. Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport.

Cairo, Egypt
Less than four hours from Dubai lies Cairo, and if you’re after history and culture then there’s really no better place in the world for a short break. You can get to Cairo from Abu Dhabi and Dubai with Egypt Air (AUH and DXB), Eithad and Gulf Air (both AUH) and Emirates (DXB), with flights starting at around Dhs1,300 return.

Must see spot: Don’t even think about visiting Cairo without heading to the 4,500 year-old Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx of Giza just a little bit down the road.

Must eat at restaurant: For some of the best regional food (with a side of traditional dancing), head to Fayruz Lebanese Restaurant, or if you looking for something a bit more budget then Bab Al Qasr is another excellent (and less extravagant) option.

Flight time: Three hours 45 minutes.
From Dhs1,300. Cairo International Airport.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Another favourite for the capital’s residents, Sri Lanka is just a few short hours away, yet when you touch down you’ll step out into another world. SriLankan Airways offers 11 flights a week from Dubai and Emirates also offer a handful. Your cheapest option is probably flydubai with returns starting at around Dhs1,200.

Must see spot: If you have any sense you won’t spend too much time in the capital, and instead venture out to lush mountainous regions such as Kandy, or idyllic beach-side towns like Mirissa.

Must eat at restaurant: Before you vacate the city, make time for a meal at Bu Ba, or Ministry of Crab if you’re a crustacean fan.
Flight time: Four hours.
From Dhs1,200. Bandaranayake Airport.

Mumbai, India

It’s called the Maximum City for a reason, but if you’re ready for the crowds then there’s no place more vibrant than Mumbai. Whether you’re rubbing shoulders with a Bollywood star or touring the slums, your guaranteed to see every facet of Indian life – and it’s brilliant. There are loads of flights from the UAE with Air Arabia, Emirates, Eihad, Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet flying out from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from around Dhs1,200 return. Jai ho!

Must see spot: Taste authentic flavours on a street food tour with Reality Tours, or venture to Elephant Island (about an hour’s boat ride away) to explore ancient temple ruins carved into the cliff side. You can unwind at Mumbai institution Leopolds, before moving onto the bustling Calaba Social for the fish tacos.

Must eat at restaurant: On your way back to the airport, stop off at Masala Library, for a 12-course molecular gastronomy feast that will make your head spin (and your stomach expand). It’s phenomenal, and the sister restaurant of the newly opened Dubai eatery within JW Marriott Marquis Dubai from famed chef Jiggs Kalra. Don’t miss it.

Flight time: Three hours five minutes.
From Dhs1,200. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Muscat, Oman
Muscat is so close to Dubai that you can even get a bus there from Dubai, but make the short journey and you’ll be rewarded with perhaps the most idyllic Arabian escape that you can imagine. As well as centuries old forts nestled into beautiful hillsides, you’ll also find restaurants from Michelin-starred chefs, huge shopping malls and stunning architecture.Emirates, Air Arabia, flydubai and Ethihad, all fly to Muscat from their respective hubs from around Dhs500. Alternatively, you can get the bus for Dhs55 from Abu Hail bus station three times a day, or make the five-hour drive from Dubai.

Must see spot: Don’t miss the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque or the Bait Al Zubair museum. Visit timeoutmuscat.com for more must-visit places.

Must eat at restaurant: For Omani fusion food you’ll do well to head to Ubhar restaurant

Flight time: One hour five minutes.
Dhs55 (bus), from Dhs500 (flights). Muscat International Airport.

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