Hadrian’s Gate, built in 130 AD to commemorate the visit of Emperor Hadrian in Attaleia, as Antalya was known in that period, is a must visit place in Antalya. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

Dubai: Ever since I fell in love with Turkish cuisine in Dubai, I got to fulfil my dream of visiting Türkiye after purchasing an all-inclusive package to Antalya.

The Mediterranean Riviera in Turkey, which is just over four hours away by direct flight from Dubai, offers a picturesque landscape with moderate temperatures and white sand beaches. I checked in at the luxurious resort, Lara Barut Bayou Villas, located just 15 minutes away from the airport, offering spacious villas with private pools, gardens, and outdoor hot tubs.

The resort provides a range of amenities, including multiple swimming pools, a fitness centre, a spa, and several restaurants and bars. The resort is popular among tourists visiting Antalya due to its proximity to local attractions and the beach.

A stunning view of the 110,000 square metres on the shores of the Mediterranean sea in Antalya Image Credit: Supplied

According to Onur Cankaya, Assistant General Manager of Lara Barut Hotels, the resort is particularly ideal for families from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries who tend to travel in large groups. “Antalya offers a range of activities for visitors, such as water sports, hiking, shopping, and sightseeing,” he said.

The city is known as a luxury destination for those seeking a relaxing vacation, with top attractions including the Old Town (Kaleici), Hadrian’s Gate, the Antalya Museum, and the Duden Waterfalls.

Lara Barut Bayou Villas prides itself on being a sustainable tourist resort that uses "green energy" and recycles wastewater to support plant and grass growth. The resort also supports art and culture through exhibitions and art workshops, provides scholarships to deserving students, and helps the community find work.

Attracting Gulf tourists

In recent years, Arab tourists who typically prefer cooler, greener destinations have shown increased interest in warmer, coastal locations. The tourist segment consisting of Arabs who prefer to travel in large groups and request luxury services on vacation is growing. Bayou Villas also prioritizes privacy for Arab guests, offering luxury villas with two, three, or more bedrooms with privileged services.

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Tourists should not miss a visit to Duden Waterfalls in Antalya. The Lower Duden Falls drop off a rocky cliff directly into the Mediterranean sea. Image Credit: Ashfaq Ahmed/Gulf News

Türkiye has been a popular tourist destination for visitors from the Middle East and Gulf countries due to its natural and historical beauty and shared cultural ties between Turkish and Arab peoples.

Arab tourists view Türkiye as more of a European country and appreciate the opportunity to experience a culture similar to their own. Safety, cultural familiarity, well-established tourism infrastructure, shopping diversity, good climatic conditions, and ease of visa issuance are critical factors that Arab tourists consider when selecting a destination.

Arab tourists tend to travel to cities with robust healthcare infrastructure and rich shopping and gastronomy opportunities.