Thinking of booking a vacation at the last minute?
One of the great things about living in Dubai is that it is only a four hour flight away from a third of the world’s population. This means it’s a great opportunity to explore some unique travel spots that are within easy reach: from nearby popular places like the Maldives and Oman to lesser-discovered destinations like Goa and Al-Ula.
Here are 12 great destinations within a four-hour flight from Dubai:
Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia
go there: Flynas and flydubai fly directly to AlUla from Dubai International Airport, the journey takes three hours.
Undoubtedly, this ancient UNESCO heritage site is a wish-list destination with endless experiences around some of the most beautiful and unspoiled landscapes in Saudi Arabia. This site was opened to global travelers for the first time in 2020 and visitors can now explore the fascinating and rich historical and archaeological site. Despite more than 200,000 years of experience, Al-Ula is also transformed into a hub for art, wellness, culture, and entertainment. where to stay? Discover the luxurious AlUla Habitas or the newly opened Banyan Tree.
go there: Emirates and flydubai fly directly to Beirut from Dubai International Airport and the journey takes around four and a half hours.
Often referred to as the Paris of the Middle East – the capital of Lebanon, Beirut is an enchanting destination and one of the oldest cities in the world. Full of energy and personality, you can spend days sightseeing, socializing and shopping. The people in Beirut are some of the friendliest you will ever meet and traveling there can be really flexible depending on the type of traveler and budget. where to stay? Visit the Arthaus Beirut for a boutique stay in the city’s arts district.
go there: Emirates flies directly to Cairo from Dubai International Airport, and the journey takes about four hours.
Discover one of the oldest wonders of the world in Cairo. Fun fact: Origin seven wonders of the world, The iconic pyramids of Giza are the only ones still in existence. Lying on the Nile River, the capital of Egypt is also known for its museums, medieval mosques, bustling souks, citadel, and more. The most popular time to visit is between the months of October and April.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
go there: Emirates flies directly to Colombo from Dubai International Airport, the journey time is four hours.
For a getaway filled with just the right amount of adventure, culture and wellness – look no further than Sri Lanka. Say ayubowan (hello) to endless green landscapes, tree plantations, wildlife, rainforests, and waterfalls. You can fill your itinerary with as many or fewer day trips as you wish (spending some time sipping locally grown tea by the infinity pool is totally acceptable and encouraged). Some of the main attractions in Sri Lanka include taking the scenic train ride from Kandy to Ella, climbing the Sigiriya rock, and checking out some beautiful beaches including Dalawella.
go there: flydubai flies directly to DOH from DXB, journey time is about 1 hour.
The vibrant, fast-growing city of Doha is just an hour away from Dubai and is waiting to be explored. From stunning art and high-end shopping to desert adventures and epic water parks, the multicultural city has plenty to offer all kinds of travelers. Feel inspired by the stunning architecture of the National Museum of Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art; escape to Purple Island to reconnect with nature; And check out the amazing structure in the East, West/West and East Desert by Richard Serra.
go there: Air India flies directly to Goa from DXB, and the journey takes about three hours.
For those in need of a tropical beach getaway, this small coastal state in India is the perfect choice. Whether you are planning a last minute trip, a romantic getaway, or a family getaway, Goa is full of memories waiting to be made. The most popular time to visit is between November and February, when temperatures start to rise from March to May, but you’ll find the beaches less crowded, June to October is the monsoon season. Where are you visiting? One of India’s tallest waterfalls, Dudhsagar Falls and the famous Palolem Beach. Are you ready to go to Goa?
go there: Emirates and flydubai fly directly to Tbilisi (two hours drive from Gudauri), journey time is about three and a half hours.
This Eastern European destination is becoming increasingly popular with UAE residents looking to make the snowy peaks their playground thanks to its affordable accommodations and proximity to the Emirates. The best ski resort in the country is Gudauri in the Greater Caucasus Mountains, thanks to its high altitude and impressive snow depth of up to 2.5 metres. In addition to skiing, there’s plenty to enjoy, with exhilarating experiences like snowboarding, heli-skiing, and free rides, all on offer on the slopes. There is also a thriving food and wine scene to try, with a growing influx of hotels, restaurants and bars adding to the area.
go there: Emirates flies directly to Larnaca from Dubai International Airport and the journey takes around four hours.
Larnaca is a 600-year-old port city in Cyprus known for its beautiful palm tree-lined beaches, wonderful weather, famous salt lake, and ancient gems. The island is divided into Turkish and Greek halves, which means you can immerse yourself in two separate cultures on one trip. If you’re into diving, be sure to check out the Zenobia Shipwreck in Larnaca – said to be one of the best diving sites in the world.
go there: Emirates flies directly to Mahe Island from Dubai International Airport, with journey times just over four hours.
Located on the Indian Ocean, Mahé is the third largest island in the Seychelles archipelago and is a beach lover’s paradise with sunshine all year round. Spend your days relaxing on the beautiful white-sand beaches, hiking through the rainforest, or exploring the colorful markets filled with fresh fruit, handmade goods, and fish. From Mahé, you can also easily explore other islands by hopping on a boat.
go there: Flydubai and Emirates fly directly to Male’ from Dubai International Airport, journey times are around four hours.
A place that needs no introduction, the Maldives is the perfect island vacation to relax, recharge and refresh. From its aqua blue waters to unique hotel offerings, you won’t find it difficult to visit the Maldives.
go there: Emirates flies directly to Oman from Dubai International Airport, and the journey takes about three and a half hours.
About a three-hour drive from Amman, explore the unforgettable historical sights of the City of Roses in Petra. We recommend staying at least one night at this 60-mile UNESCO World Heritage site, to experience candlelight. Petra at night. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking if you want the best views. Other nearby attractions to explore during your visit: Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and the Dead Sea.
go there: Emirates and flydubai fly directly to Salalah and the journey takes about two hours.
Salalah is located in the Dhofar Governorate of the Sultanate of Oman and is famous for its sunny weather, banana plantations, beautiful beaches and marine life. From picture-perfect waterfalls (Ain Athum) to white-sand beaches surrounded by green mountains, Salalah is a must-visit for all UAE residents.
Images: What’s On/Unsplash