9 countries to visit that are just a short flight from the UAE – Emirates Woman – Emirates Woman

With travel well and truly back on for the upcoming summer season, as well as the upcoming Eid Al Fitr break, it’s time to start planning your next getaway.
A last-minute trip is much more practical if the flight is short, as it avoids losing days to travel and to jet lag.
There are an array of places surrounding the UAE that are just a short flight away, from skiing in Georgia to relaxing in the Seychelles.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives e1638173312481
The Maldives is a destination that UAE residents commonly book. A four-hour flight takes you to crystal turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and white sand beaches – the ultimate description of paradise. With many Atolls and resorts to choose from, rest assured that wherever your choice, you will be encompassed by luxury and leave feeling like your trip has been longer than just four days.
 
 
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This East African country is enriched in history and is home to Mount Kilimanjaro and is just under a six-hour flight away from the UAE. Zanzibar is a choice for those who want relaxation combined with adventure. Take a safari in the Serengeti National Park or take a boat trip to Prison Island or even just while away the hours with a stroll along Nungwi beach. However you opt to spend your stay, Hakuna Matata will be your new motto.
 
 
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Just a five-hour flight from Dubai, Istanbul is the perfect place for a city escape. This is a destination for those who like to be on the go as it’s likely you will spend your time in Istanbul eating, as you try local delicacies, and walking as you explore. Visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque and formerly Cathedral to understand the cultural history of the capital or wander the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market to discover what treasures the city has to offer.
 
 
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Not too far away from the UAE is Jordan. Jordan has many attractions for tourists from a dip in the Dead Sea to visiting ancient ruins. For accommodation, you can relax at a beach resort in Aqaba or stay in a bubble campsite to stargaze before you fall asleep. Jordan is also home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the archaeological site of Petra, which no matter how short your trip is, should not be missed. Best of all? The flight is only three hours.
 
 
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Black sand beaches to mountain villages, Georgia is increasingly becoming a destination of interest, particularly as it’s just a three-and-a-half-hour flight from the UAE. December to April is the time to book for ski season but the capital of Tbilisi is ideal to explore all year around. The diversity of the old town’s cobbled streets in comparison to the coastal botanical gardens of Batumi and vast landscape of Lake Rica are part of Georgia’s charm.
 
 
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The largest Greek island of Crete is the closest to the UAE and has so much to offer. The main town of Heraklion is by a harbour with fresh seafood, local eateries and stores embodying Greek life at its finest. If you plan to go now, the cooler weather allows you to explore without worrying about the heat. The cooler weather means you most likely won’t be sunbathing on Elafonisi beach when you visit but you will be able to appreciate the pink sand beach without the masses of tourists. However, as summer is fast approaching it’s also the ideal destination for sun, sand and sea.
 
 
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Situated on the Nile River, Cairo is the largest city in Africa. This destination is for the explorers and history-lovers as just a short while away is Giza, the site of the iconic pyramids and Great Sphinx. A day spent here discovering the ancient Egyptian artwfacts should be followed by an evening trying local delicacies; falafel, mahshi and most importantly karkadeh, a traditional hibiscus tea.
 
 
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Another destination in the Indian Ocean is the Seychelles. Similar to the Maldives pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters, yet with the addition of the Morne Seychellois National park and rare animals such as the giant Aldabra tortoises. The Seychelles is one of the world’s smallest countries where relaxation goes hand in hand with nature and the preservation of the 115 beautiful islands.
 
 
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Potentially the shortest flight on this list. Oman is just 50 minutes by plane, so saves a four-hour drive and border crossings. Stay in the mountains in Jabal Akhdar where you can abseil or cycle through the mountain ranges. Find a desert camp in a Wadi where you can relax with traditional spa treatments in which you are buried in the sand before enjoying traditional Omani Shuwa. A visit to the capital of Muscat will keep you on your toes as you discover the history of the country and explore the markets and bazaars.
Images: Supplied/Instagram, Feature Image: Visit Seychelles Instagram/@ga6elle Instagram

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