UAE National Day this year brings a 4-day long weekend if you get Saturday off (or if you had planned in advance and taken it off) and you know how much we love short budget-friendly trips out of the UAE. Here are six places to visit ranging from Dh1,500 to Dh3,500 per person (hotels and flights included).
Just under a four-hour flight away, travellers can hop on a plane to Beirut and enjoy all that the city has to offer. With its buzzing nightlife and world-renowned cuisine, it promises everything from beautiful scenery, to an exquisite culinary experience. Packages on sites such as Tajawal start from Dh1,500 for two nights and include breakfast, return flights, airport transfer and selected tours. Given the high flight rates during the holidays, a package deal might be your best option.
Visa on arrival: Not available for UAE residents but a limited number of nationalities can get a visa on arrival.
For an exquisitely green off-time and a truly immersive rich cultural experience, take a flight to Thailand. See some of the best of what Asia has to offer in Thai cuisine, martial arts, beautiful beaches and incredible temples. You could either find a good deal to fly out and then stay at an Airbnb; or book a package deal like the one by dnata which offers an all-inclusive packages from Dh1955 for three nights
Visa on arrival: No visa on arrival but visa processing takes a day and will cost you Dh130. Indians can get a visa on arrival for a stay of up to 15 days.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
This city is built for relaxation and is a resort town, located between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. It's known for its sheltered sandy beaches, clear waters and coral reefs so this is paradise for sea lovers and diving enthusiasts. From water sport activities to desert excursions and island tours, there is so much for travellers to do. A Tajawal package we found starts at Dh2,200 for four nights and include return flights, hotel, airport transfers, selected tours and an island cruise. There are no direct flights in, but a connecting flight would cost you around Dh1300 but would cost you on time getting there.
Visa on arrival: You need a visa to enter Egypt
The city of the Golden Temple and one for those of us who love flooding our Instagram pages with drool-worthy photos – Amritsar is a must-visit. Being in Punjab, it opens up travellers’ eyes to the unique cultures of Punjabis. Dance, food, architecture and friendly people are what await you in this Indian city. Ticket prices are less than Dh1,000 and you could stay at a decent 4-star hotel for Dh80 a night.
Visa on arrival: Most nationalities need to get a tourist visa approved to enter India
A former Soviet Union republic and one of the beautiful nations connecting Asia and Europe. In 301 AD, Armenia adopted Christianity as a state religion, becoming the first state to do so. The churches are a definite must-visit. At less than four hours per flight, this is a great trip if you want a complete change of scenery but this one is more for the culture buffs and a definite must-have on a travel bucket list.
Visa on arrival: Citizens of certain countries such as India and China can get visa on arrival. They also have visa-free travel for some nationalities. UAE residents don’t have a blanket facility of visa on arrival.
For the ultimate relaxation experience, the Maldives is the perfect destination. From honeymooners to diving enthusiasts, this is paradise. It is also a popular destination for travelers out of the UAE given that it is a short flight away and is visa-free for almost all nationalities. If you’re doing it yourself, flight rates can be crazy but there are packages that start from Dh3,400 for five nights and include return flights, airport transfer and a hotel stay.
Visa on arrival: Available for most nationalities