Ideal places near Dubai for Eid break

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THE MALDIVES

Time to get there:   4 hours
Airport: Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, Male- Maldives (MLE)
Average maximum temperature during the Summer: 32 degrees C

Why the Maldives?
The Maldives is a short enough distance away from Dubai, but just that far enough to be located in a stunning tropical setting, literally in the middle of the Ocean. There are only a few places in the world that can claim such recognisable beauty of turquoise waters and white sand. The Maldives is definitely one of those destinations where you can combine escaping the Dubai Summer heat with taking that long desired luxurious vacation in paradise. You can travel to the Maldives at any time of the year, as it experiences moderate temperatures throughout the year.

Highlights of the Maldives:
Maldives Resorts are celebrated for their water sports, luxury dining and first-class pampering. It is certainly one of the greatest places on earth to visit as a couple only, and as far as taking the children, there are so many activities and things to do together, your vacation will be all play! The children will be preoccupied, content and busy. You can also enjoy your own time whilst they enjoy theirs, with loads of activities, entertainment and dining options.

Don’t forget:
When booking your Maldives Resort, to research and enquire about facilities for the children, and most importantly, if children are welcome in your Resort. If there is…. check out the Kids Club at your Resort on the first day. If your time in the Maldives is shorter than ideal, you will want to make the most of your time. This means getting to know where everything is early.

 

SEYCHELLES

Time to get there:   5 hours
Airport: Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)
Average maximum temperature during the Summer: 32 degrees C

Why the  Seychelles? Seychelles is a vibrant yet ever so casual Island to visit. The serene surroundings of Seychelles with the backdrop of National Parks and uncontaminated natural beauty will have you relaxing from the moment you arrive. Away from your Resort, you will most definitely engage in Island hopping to visit one or more of the 115 islands National Parks (some UNESCO heritage listed) with a myriad of options of small Islands with the most delightful bird and wildlife you will see on a tropical Island. Inside the gates or walls or your Resort, you will relax and enjoy the natural environment and without any guilt make the most of the tranquility that Seychelles uniquely offers.

Highlights of the Seychelles:
The tropical setting and outer islands of the Seychelles are the fi nest features. A natural beauty that has been preserved will have you enjoy a stress-free and truly leisure-filled holiday.

Don’t forget:
Take a boat trip across to Moyenne Island – which is now part of Ste Anne Marine National Park- just off  the North Coast of Mahe Island. It will be an unforgettable experience for you..  and don’t forget to take your swimmers. The beach is beautiful and the kids will love the giant tortoises.

 

ANTALYA, TURKEY

Time to get there:   4+ hours, then domestic fl ight of 1hr+
Airport: Ataturk Airport, (IST) Antalya (AYT)
Average maximum temperature during the Summer: 35 degrees C

Why the   Antalya?
If you have never heard of Antalya, it is considered the jewel of Turkey and is nestled in the Taurus Mountains on Turkeys’ southwest coastline.
A very popular holiday destination, particularly with Dubai residents, Antalya is a populous City offering beachside Resort Accommodations and immense historical significance dating back to 200 BC and the Attalid Dynasty (a Hellenistic dynasty that ruled the city of Pergamon). Antalya is ideal for visitors who would like to enjoy modern comforts in a seaside setting but with incredible significant historical value. Antalya is quickly becoming quite the tourism hub with ongoing large-scale development and of course the notoriety that Antalya is gaining.

Highlights of the  Antalya:
Because of its long and rich history, the number of monuments, beautifully preserved architecture and beaches, Antalya offers a wide array of activities and sights to see for any style of tourist – adventurer or beach-goer. Mountains meet the seaside and ancient fortifications are surrounded by Resort living making for a surreal experience that only a number of other destinations in the world off er.

Don’t forget:
Visit Hadrian’s Gate (or Üçkapılar) which was incorporated into the surrounding walls of the city. It was built in the year 130 AD in the name of and to honour the Roman Emperor Hadrian who visited the city. It is beautiful and quite an unforgettable monument.

 

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN

Time to get there:   3 hours
Airport: Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Baku (GYD)
Average maximum temperature during the Summer: 31 degrees C

Why the   Baku?
Azerbaijan (or Baku, the Capital City) is one of those destinations you will possibly feel slightly embarrassed for never hearing of and about.
It is one of the most surprising and intruiging cities you will possibly visit. Only a few hours fl ight from Dubai, Baku shares many cultural similarities with Dubai and the Middle East whilst maintaining a low-key social existence.

Highlights of the  Baku:
Baku’s Boulevard stretches alongside the Bay with beautiful views of the Caspian Sea. It was completed in 1909 and runs parallel to Baku’s seafront. To make the visit to Baku most enjoyable, defi nitely take a walk or many walks along this beautiful promenade. There are many stores and kiosk’s along the way offering refreshments, ice-cream and snacks. The real beauty is the Old Town. Make sure to walk alongside the Walls of the old city, sit for a local coffee at one of the coff ee shops and take in the atmosphere of this charming but humble City.

Don’t forget:
Take the funicular up to the base of the “Flame Towers’. The view overlooking the city is spectacular. Certainly do not forget your camera on this day. Similarly, of an evening you will notice the flame towers will light up with flame-inspired images on all 3 of the giant but stylish icon’s that overlook the city. The towers were completed in 2012 and use more than 10,000 high-power LED lights.

Remember:
To check (with the Azerbaijani Consulate in Jumeirah) if you require a Tourist Visa to visit Azerbaijan.

 

SANTORINI

Time to get there:   (2 stops) 5 hours+ plus 1 hr
Airport:  Athens(ATH) and Thira(JTR)
Average maximum temperature during the Summer: 29 degrees C

Why the Santorini?
The answer in short is Why Not Santorini? The Greek Islands is without a doubt one of the most unique places in the world to visit. If you have been wondering where in the world those islands with the Blue and White domes are, overlooking the deep blue oceans? Look no further than the Greek Island of Santorini (Aegean Sea). Located 280kms south-west of Athens, Greece, Santorini (with the Capital city Thira or Fira) is a sun-lovers dream! Born from one of the largest volcanic eruptions of all time, the island is famous for its beautiful sunsets, hypnotising views over the ocean and of course its recognisable blue and white domes and buildings on the hill above the Aegean Sea.

Highlights of the Santorini:
The Island of Santorini really calls for you to relax, dine and dine again (many many times), take morning walks around the town and just absorb the relaxing nature that is Santorini. It really is a beautiful destination with stunning views. Some of the restaurants are simply divine. If you can manage it, eat out as much as possible!!!  (Remember to take a walk down to the docks, greet the donkeys on the walk down and then take the gondola up to the top).

Don’t forget:
Hire a local car (or arrange a bus day-tour) and take a drive to Oia, and adjacent town of Thira. It gives a wonderful view of the actual town of Thira from a different perspective, plus there are some iconic domes that are actually located in Oia that you will most definitely want to take the camera for.

Remember:
In the hotter summer months, be aware that if you travel right in the middle of Summer (July-August), there may be several shops and establishments closed, as many close during these two months.

 

SRI LANKA

Time to get there:   4 hours +
Airport:  Bandaranayake Airport (CMD)
Average maximum temperature during the Summer: 33 degrees C

Why the Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka is a destination that does not have quite the demands that is placed on the likes of the Maldives or even Antalya. It does, however, off er a peek into an almost untouched beauty that is a mixture of mild jungled-like surroundings and tropical climate. The small teardrop shaped country’s reputation for diversity is pleasantly surprising, particularly to those who have not travelled to this part of the world. Countries in the Indian Ocean are spectacularly rich in resources, plentiful in stunning landscapes and typically generous with fl ora and fauna. Sri Lanka is renowned for its lush tea estates (the origin of ceylon tea is Sri Lanka), botanical gardens and it is equally celebrated for being amongst the top fi ve biodiversity hotspots in the world. Many species of rare mammals and birdlife make Sri Lanka a very special destination even for just its conservation eff orts alone. It makes for a tranquil backdrop for a relaxing vacation.

Highlights of the Sri Lanka:
Because Sri Lanka is so diverse with ecological delights, there are so many contrasting activities with which you can participate. Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches coupled with superb surfing and scuba diving opportunities are fantastic for everyone in the family. Another activity that is simply unmissable is the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery South of Colombo (almost 2 hours drive). Operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka, you will never forget visiting this place. The kids will love it.

Don’t forget:
Ask your hotel about the opportunity to visit the Moonstone Mine in Meetiyagoda. Sri Lanka is well known for its gems, one of which is the moonstone. You also have the opportunity to purchase some mined moonstones in the store. Ask your hotel for a recommended driver to take you to the mine. For a fee, the driver will wait for you and return you to your hotel. Our recommendation is to visit the Turtle Hatchery on the same day, to incorporate the travel into a one day adventure. It works out more cost eff ective this way too.

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