Is there a long weekend coming up? Or perhaps you just feel like going out of Dubai for the weekend? We’ve selected six places that are perfect for a short vacation from Dubai. If you don’t have that much time or it’s a little bit last minute, not to worry! We’ve got something for everyone. All within easy distance from Dubai for a short trip.
Jebal Al Akhdar
This is a very specific destination and it’s drivable from Dubai! It takes around 5 hours to drive to Jebel Akhdar from Dubai, so it’s perfect for those wanting a low-cost vacation for the whole family. Along with being a short trip from Dubai. There are different styles of hotels to suit your budget including bedouin style tents. There are even camping spots if you have your own camping gear. Just make sure to take warm sleeping bags and a heater or a campfire. As it does get pretty cold in the night time, especially in the winter months. It can be up to 10 degrees colder than sea level
There are two stunning luxury five-star hotels to choose from (Anantara and Alia) on the very top of the mountain. There are also affordable camping hotels and camping spots with incredible views of the stunning valleys of Oman. The most incredible part about this destination is the view.
When you’ve had enough of hiking, the city of Nizwa is close by. Here you can explore Nizwa souq, one of the oldest souqs in Oman, and the historic Nizwa fort. Everything is very family-friendly for taking the kids. If you’re camping, you can return after to your campsite and do like that Omani’s do and have a BBQ. If you’ve decided for the more luxury trip, then a winding down in the spa after exploring all day.
If you’re looking for a shorter drive, Sohar is closer to the border of Dubai and is a lovely seaside town. Taking approximately 2 and a half hours to drive. Sohar has a rich history and has a fort similar to Nizwa. Sadly it has been closed for a while for renovations. Despite this, Sohar is a great destination for a relaxing vacation.
The capital city of Azerbaijan, this vibrant city that is popular with UAE residents due to its closeness to Dubai. Taking only three hours by plane. Ideal for a short trip. It’s also an ideal break if you’re wanting something that feels completely different to Dubai. There’s plenty of history and culture in this city located by the sea.
Key places to visit include The Palace of Shirvanshahs, Central Botanical Gardens, Bibiheybat mosque or you can wander around the historic Old Town and visit the many attractions. Azerbaijan food is similar in many aspects to Middle Eastern food due to its influence from Iran. Many in this region were influenced by the Ottoman empire. Azerbaijan also has many nature reserves you can drive to from Baku. One of the closest to Baku is Absheron National Park and is one hour drive. Gobustan National Park is another popular one and is also one hour drive away!
Staying within the GCC, Bahrain is famous for its foodie scene and there are even some restaurants by famous chefs that aren’t in Dubai. Such as Cut by Wolfgang Puck. It’s only a one hour flight away, making it another great choice for a short trip from Dubai.
Manama, of course, is quite similar to Dubai in terms of culture and lifestyle. There are so many beautiful hotels to choose from and the Four Seasons here is probably one of their most stunning in the Arabian Gulf.
In terms of attractions in Manama, Bahrain’s has lots to offer with its history. You can wander around Manama souq, visit Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Grand Mosque or the famous Tree of Life. Manama is a great vacation if you’re wanting to travel somewhere without giving up the lifestyle we become accustomed to in Dubai.
Sri Lanka is full of natural beauty and is an ideal affordable vacation destination. It is just over 4 hours to fly. The island is great for those wanting a break from the busy and metropolitan lifestyle of Dubai. It’s naturally stunning beaches and breathtaking nature are very different from the UAE. It is an often-overlooked tourist destination but is a wonderful gem that offers a variety of activities including safaris, whale spotting and natural beaches. Though to really take all of it’s beauty in, you’ll need a couple of weeks.
Many dishes have a lovely flavour mix of coconut and spices. Definitely one of the most enjoyable things for me about Sri Lanka is the food!
I recommend staying in the capital of Colombo trip for one night before heading to other parts of the Island. There’s really so much to choose from depending on what you’d like to do. Kandy offers lots of culture, Sigiriya is home to the famous rock citadel and Mirissa offers beautiful beaches with the chance to go whale spotting. So you can truly customise your stay based on what you’d love to do.
One of the best parts about living in Dubai is all the amazing destinations you can easily fly to. We hope this list of inspiration for a short trip from Dubai helps give you a few ideas. If you think there’s more we should add or one of the above was one of your favourite destinations. Let us know below in the comments!
Deciding who to fly with? Check out my previous article on Emirates versus Etihad!