GN Focus | Ramadan & Eid

Exquisite Eid breaks

Make the most of the Eid weekend in these cooler countries. GN Focus picks the best deals

  • By M Sen | Special to GN Focus
  • Published: 00:00 August 8, 2012

  • Image Credit: Baros Maldives
  • Baros Maldives
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Set in a translucent lagoon surrounded by a sun-drenched, golden sand beach, ringed with a colourful coral reef, Baros Maldives (pictured) provides the ideal summer escape for discerning GCC travellers. And it isn't just lazing on the beach.

Its Exotic Summer package offers a variety of activities including a complimentary island discovery excursion, a private yoga session for two on a sandbank, a breathtaking snorkelling safari, a Maldivian cooking class with one of the renowned restaurant chefs, a Maldivian or Asian buffet dinner for two and return speedboat transfers from Male airport, which is just minutes away. Couples looking to get away from it all should be delighted - there are no children or groups disturbing the serenity of this tropical idyll.

The package is valid until September 30 and is available for four or seven nights, with rates from $850++ (Dh3,000++) per night for four nights.
Book at



Shanghai is China's most international city, where a sense of history merges with a keen anticipation of the future. In the heart of this pulsing city, on the famous Nanjing Xi Lu lies The Portman Ritz-Carlton, surrounded by cosmopolitan delights such as some of the country's finest shopping, cultural attractions and entertainment options. After a day spent sightseeing, guests can find relief in the spa or enjoy an exceptional meal at one of the six on-site restaurants - or both.

The hotel's Comfort You package, available from Thursdays to Sundays, begins at CNY2,100++ (about Dh1,210++) per night and includes accommodation in a deluxe room, credits of $50 on a two-night stay or $100 for a three-night stay. Terms and conditions apply.
Book at



Frequent travellers know Bangkok is a busy city offering little respite from the bustle of Dubai. Phuket is a nice alternative if you're looking for peace and quiet.

Guests staying four nights until October 31 at Anantara's Phuket Villas get 25 per cent off accommodation in a deal that includes breakfast. Set in a landscape designed by Bill Bensley, each private pool villa is at least 180 square metres in area and incorporates a terrazzo tub big enough for two, sun loungers outdoors, private pool, and elite amenities such as an LCD TV, Wi-Fi and an iPod docking station. Prices begin at THB9,375++ (about Dh1,093++) per room per night. Email:



Some of the world's best hotels are in India and the summer season is the best time to experience the country's warm, gracious hospitality.

The Oberoi group of hotels has created itineraries ranging from six to 12 nights, allowing visitors to experience in one holiday the romance of the Taj Mahal, the grandeur of India's forts and palaces, the thrill of sighting wildlife in its natural habitat, and the chance to take in some of India's most colourful festivals - all by staying at different group hotels. A sample six-night package over three cities offers, in Delhi, the chance to explore the historic Red Fort and the Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque; in Jaipur, a tour of the Palace of the Winds or the Hawa Mahal; and in Agra, a visit to the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri.

Visitors can also have the group build a bespoke schedule. Among the hotels on offer are some of the best in the world, including The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra and the Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur. Packages, valid until September 30, begin at $2,155 for six nights on a twin-sharing basis, inclusive of accommodation, breakfast, local transfers and discounts on spa treatments. Travel between cities is not included.



For an Arabic experience of a different sort head to the L'Amphitrite Palace in Skhirat, which lies half an hour from Rabat, the capital, and less than an hour from magical Casablanca. Book three nights at this Moroccan oasis to receive your choice of one complimentary gift, including a Moroccan dinner or iftar for two, Moroccan afternoon tea, oriental massages for two or round trip airport transfers. Guests booking longer stays of six or ten nights receive two or three gifts respectively.

Besides relaxing on the resort's private beach - arguably one of the most picturesque in Morocco - guests can head to the spa or tee off at any of the four golf courses, conveniently located within a 30-minute drive of the resort, including the prestigious Royal Golf Dar Essalam.

Room rates are lower the longer you stay: a three-night stay in a superior double room starts from 230 euros (about Dh1,046) per room per night, while six nights begins at 200 euros  per room per night and ten nights begins at 175 euros  per room per night. All stays include buffet breakfast and are valid till September 16. City taxes apply.
For reservations call +212 5376 21000.



The pearl of the Arabian Gulf and home of the ancient Dilumn civilisation, Bahrain has always been a fine weekend break option for the stressed out. And this month, the  Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa hotel has great deals on treatments at its thalassotherapy spa. Treatments harness the healing power of seawater to aid well-being.

All rooms have a private balcony with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, so you can watch the sunset from the comfort of your room before heading to iftar.

Rates over Ramadan, valid until August 15, start at BD65++ (about Dh637++ )and include a 20 per cent discount on spa treatments. Rates for Eid start at BD 99++ on bed and breakfast basis. For reservations call +973 1763 6363



Put summer behind you and head to Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in Africa. Currently experiencing winter, you can expect it to be cold, but daytime temperatures in the city are rarely below ten degrees. Dnata is offering a five-night round trip over Eid with Qatar Airways for Dh6,969 for two adults. The deal includes flights from Dubai to Cape Town, with departures on August 15. Accommodation at the Ritz Hotel, which has the best Atlantic seaboard views in the peninsula, includes breakfast. Book at



A short hop away from the UAE is Beirut, traditionally the region's summer capital. Le Gray Beirut, the newest luxury hotel to open in the city for some time, is an urban hideaway in the buzzing, historic heart of the Lebanese capital and is well placed for visitors looking to explore the city's exquisite shopping and entertainment, with pool-side relaxation, spa therapy and glamorous rooftop dining.

This being Beirut, you'll want to live it up in style and the hotel has a special summer deal especially for jet-setters. For guests in a Corner Suite, a three-night package includes breakfast, VIP airport transfers and the choice of a treatment in the PureGrey spa or a bottle of chilled bubbles at the trendy Cherry on the Roof bar.

The deal is priced at $4,000 plus taxes for three nights and is available until September 30.