Wed, 25 July 2018
With the long Eid al-Adha weekend just around the corner, if you haven’t begun thinking about where to spend a few days relaxing in-style, we suggest you start now. We’ve compiled a list of destinations to help you get on top of your planning game.
A bucket list destination for many, Maldives is home to exotic white sand beaches, turquoise waters and water bungalows, but you’re in for a surprise if you think that’s all Maldives has going for it. Crystal-clear, warm and inviting waters mean swimming with sharks, stingrays, seahorses and sea turtles among other beautiful aquatic creatures. On a dolphin excursion, you’re bound to see playful, twirling dolphins actively put on a show for you. A world-class surfing spot, Maldivian waves encourage even amateur boarders to have a good time. Stay at Jumeirah Vittaveli and lazily enjoy the Instagram-worthy changing hues of the sky around sunset.
As a business hub, while skyscrapers and swarms of men in suits might initially look somewhat restricting, there’s much Frankfurt has to offer as contradiction. Be a tourist to a T and tour the city on the Ebbelwei-Express with some famous apfelwein. If walking suits your fancy, take a leisurely stroll around the Old Town, a whole district recreated as it was before the World Wars. As you try out independent cafés, also pop into Erzeugermarkt Konstablerwache, the state’s largest farmers’ market to marvel at local culinary specialities. Relish the comfort of traditional luxury at The Hotel Hessischer Hof.
With ultimate city feels, London has something to offer everyone. Tour Kensington Palace and marvel at its spectacular garden, boasting flowers galore during the summer. Witness the age-old Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. If you’re yet to understand the Shakespeare hype, watch an action-packed Elizabethan play at the Globe. Shop till you drop at Harrods and the West End. Indulge yourself in a chocolate-centred, Mediterranean-inspired afternoon tea at The May Fair Hotel’s May Fair Kitchen. Stay at the Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living to make the most of the Mayfair experience.
If you’re looking for a nearby destination to decrease travelling time, where better to go than Dubai? A welcome escape from the harsh Middle Eastern summer, a trip to Ski Dubai should be your first stop. Or if you’d rather the snow come to you, drop your bags off at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel and visit its Talise Ottoman Spa which boasts state-of-the-art snow rooms. If you’ve tired of malls, and want something a bit more adventurous, go for an unforgettable desert safari or treat your inner child to a collection of 30 water rides and play areas at Wild Wadi Water Park.
Well worth the long journey, Shanghai offers you a completely new culture. Running alongside the Huangpu River, the Bund is a waterfront walk almost a mile long which we recommend taking at night, if only because the panoramic night view is simply amazing. During your stay, don’t miss out on the experience of trying different Chinese teas, including oolong and longjing green tea. Adding to China’s uniqueness is its food culture, scallion pancakes, eel noodles and soup dumplings (of course!) are among Shanghai’s must-try eats. Ride a Shanghai subway, hang out at People’s Square and let modern Chinese literature educate you at Lu Xun Park. Enjoy luxurious comfort at Jing An Shangri-La hotel.
Sri Lanka, a famous holiday destination, has earned every good review it has received. Book a relaxing stay in a cosy bungalow in cool Bandarawela or, if you desire a primarily tropical, seaside vacation, sojourn at Jetwing Blue, Negombo. Hike Adam’s Peak at midday to reach the summit in time for a breathtaking sunrise the next morning. Take the scenic train from cultural Kandy to elegant Ella. Visit Chill Café in Ella for its signature lamprais. Make your way to Jaffna, off the beaten path, to experience Sri Lankan Tamil tradition and culture. Consider spending a day at Galle Fort, the 18th century Dutch headquarters now converted, yet retaining its past beauty.
Capital of Oman’s Dhofar province, Salalah is comparably different to the predominantly arid rest of the Middle East. Boasting natural scenery, Salalah is a wonderful getaway this upcoming long weekend. Be a spectator at the Al Mughsail Blowholes. While the rest of the Gulf endures the summer heat, Salalah sees a drop in temperature from July and awaited rains which welcome the the Salalah Festival, which includes Omani traditional and cultural shows. Enjoy a boat trip in a classic Omani boat. Stay at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara and immerse yourself in extravagance.
With both Gulf Air and Azerbaijan Airlines now flying direct to the capital of Azerbaijan, why not consider Baku for your short stay? Have a look from the observatory deck of the iconic skyscrapers, Flame Towers. Explore the combination of various architectural styles throughout Baku. Walk around glamorous Nizami Street, taking in its photogenic environment. Try the Azeri treat, tea with strawberry jam, which sounds risky until you discover that it’s jaw-droppingly good! Beluga caviar from the Caspian Sea is also a treasure here. Stay at the Four Seasons Hotel, perched along the waterfront in central Baku, perfect for lounging your weekend away.