Planning a getaway, but lacking inspiration? The weather’s cooling down now and we can feel the difference already – the warm sand in our toes (without scorching them), the morning wind in our hair and the absence of the sun glass fog. Yes, summer days stuck inside are starting to become a distant memory. So surely it must be time for more school holiday’s, right?
If there’s one thing that us British mums love most about living in the Middle East, it’s the fact we really are in the centre of the world. Within 5 hours we can be on three different continents, not to mention some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether you’re new to Dubai, you’re here to stay, or you’ll be leaving soon, a hop, skip and a jump away are destinations that you won’t regret visiting. So if you are looking to explore a new country but don’t want to travel too far, here are some suggestions for getaways, all within easy reach.
1 hour away – Doha
Hello neighbour! So close as the bird flies, (in fact you will spend twice the amount of time queueing and waiting at the airport than you will in the air) Doha is perfect for a short break. There are many cultural similarities between the Emirates and Qatar, but this city definitely has its own unique feel.
Favourite stops for visitors include the Museum of Islamic Art and the Umm Salal Mohammed Fort. Explore the Corniche promenade and take a Dhow ride, or spoil yourself at one of the luxury hotels on the Pearl (the equivalent to Dubai’s The Palm.)
The fully refurbished Souq Wafiq is a real must for visitors – still a vibrant and active market place, and a visit to Katara Cultural Village offers brilliant restaurants (especially seafood,) a children’s play park on the beach and other tourist attractions too.
2 hours away -Salalah, Oman
Fed up of the pace of Dubai and want to escape it all? Then this is the place you are looking for. In the southern most province of Oman, Salalah is a completely unexpected oasis. Although we have now past the summer Khareef – (or monsoon season,) you will still find yourself surrounded by lush greenery and cooler weather, completely unexpected for the Middle East.
Visitor highlights include Wadi Dawkah, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its masses of frankincense trees. But if simply relaxing on a coconut tree filled beach is your thing, you’re also on a winner.
3 hours away – Jordan
If history and culture are your thing, then look no further. Take the 3-hour flight to Amman and then you’re driving distance to Petra, housing one of the Modern Wonders of the World.
Half built and half carved from rock, Petra was once an important city on the silk and spice trade route and remains a fascinating place to explore – (although come prepared for some walking!) With so much more to the country, you will ideally need a week to do it justice – the Dead Sea is another tourist favourite along with the ancient city of Jerash and Wadi Rum.
4 hours away – Goa
The smallest of the Indian states still packs a powerful family travel punch with British mums. Away from some of the hustle and bustle of other parts of India, Goa prides itself on its quiet beaches, and at a fraction of the cost than some other nearby island options. Its best recommended that families stay in the quieter South, then take day trips to explore. Relaxation and seafood curries to die for await you!
5 hours away – Egypt
Just enough time to get you onto another continent and explore the ancient wonders of Egypt. Landing into Cairo first, it’s hard not to pinch yourself in disbelief the first time you set eyes on the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
Don’t miss the Egyptian Museum in Cairo itself, where many of the most famous Egyptian artifacts are housed. This place is truly fascinating and great for our kids as they’re bound to study this in the Curriculum! But if time permits, cruising down the Nile and going on to visit Luxor and the Valley of the Kings is a must. Autumn temperatures will make it perfect for busy exploration days.
These are great spots to tick off the bucket list whilst living in Dubai. Will you be heading off somewhere this break?
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