The weekends are a great time to get away from the monotony of our daily lives and what better way to travel! For the Middle East residents, the options are a plenty! So, stop thinking about what to do and start planning for a weekend getaway with your families and friends alike.
Check out these amazing Middle East weekend breaks brought to you by HolidayMe and have a great time.
Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul has several footprints of bygone civilisations and amazing cultural heritages along with a delightful shopping, cuisine and interesting experiences.
Travel Time (Flights): Dubai to Istanbul – 4 hour 45 minutes, Abu Dhabi to Istanbul – 4 hour 55 minutes, Jeddah to Istanbul – 3 hour 45 minutes and Riyadh to Istanbul – 4 hour 10 minutes.
What to See: Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower, Suleymaniye Mosque, Golden Horn, Grand Bazaar, Beylerbeyi Palace, Galata Bridge.
What to Eat: Turkish Cuisine is very diverse and flavoursome. Try the delicious kebabs, pulavs, koftas, baklava, manti and don’t forget the authentic Turkish coffee also known as Sahlep.
HolidayMe Recommendation: Enjoy a cruise in the Bosphorus Strait and admire the rich cultural heritages positioned around the banks. Hunt for souvenirs and bargain in Grand Bazaar.
Glitzy, glamorous and the megalopolis of Dubai has carved a reputation of offering world class hospitality, activities and cuisines along with top-notch shopping and entertainment experiences.
Travel Time (Flights): Abu Dhabi to Dubai – 10 minutes and 130 km by road, Jeddah to Dubai – 2 hour 55 minutes, Riyadh to Dubai - 1 hour 50 minutes.
What to See: Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Creek, Dubai Museum, The Dubai Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach, The Dubai Fountain, Dubai Aquarium, Ski Dubai, Grand Mosque, etc.
What to Eat: Dubai has many establishments operated by Michelin starred chefs and has wide variety of cuisines due to the large number of expats. You must also try the Emirati Cuisine and regional specialities.
HolidayMe Recommendation: Dune Bashing in a 4x4 vehicle is must-do activity alongwith a camel ride in the desert at the time of sunset. Sail in a Dhow boat in Dubai Creek and check out the observation deck of Burj Khalifa.
The Emirati capital is quickly gaining reputation as a modern, swanky city but is in its own pace at the same time preserving and maintaining the cultural and traditional values.
Travel Time (Flights): Dubai to Abu Dhabi –130 kms by road, Jeddah to Abu Dhabi – 2 hour 45 minutes, Riyadh to Abu Dhabi – 1 hour 50 minutes.
What to See: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Yas Island, Yas Waterworld, Yas Island Marina Circuit, Emirates Palace, Qasr Al-Hosn, Zayed National Museum, Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, Louvre Abu Dhabi.
What to Eat: Abu Dhabi is the best place to savour the Emirati cuisine in its restaurants filled with more traditional décor. However, international cuisines like French, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Lebanese and Indian cuisine are also available.
HolidayMe Recommendation: Enjoy the exhilarating rides in the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Visit the oldest building of Abu Dhabi, Qasr al-Hosn and learn about the regional culture at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.
Years of strict building norms and regulations combined with genuine efforts to preserve the culture and heritage has led to the stunningly beautiful capital city of Muscat in Middle East. The city is filled with typical architecture in white colour and beautiful parks and wonderful mosques.
Travel Time (Flights): Dubai to Muscat – 1 hour 5 minutes, Abu Dhabi to Muscat – 1 hour 10 minutes, Jeddah to Muscat – 3 hour 20 minutes, Riyadh to Muscat – 2 hour 10 minutes.
What to See: Sultan Qaboos Grand Museum, Bait al Zubair, Royal Opera House Muscat, Al Aman Palace, Oman Children’s Museum, Omani Aquarium and Marine Science and Fisheries Centre, National Museum of Oman, Oman Natural History Museum.
What to Eat: Savour the local Omani cuisine which is steadily recovering its lost grounds and popularity. Apart from Omani, you can also try Lebanese, Indian and Arabic cuisine in Muscat.
HolidayMe Recommendation: Enjoy a drive in the Jebel Haram Mountains, sleep out in vast sand dunes of the Wahiba Sands or Rub al Khali and enjoy a dhow cruise in Musandam’s most spectacular fjord.
AmmanThe Jordanian capital of Amman is one of the most overlooked and underrated cities in the Middle East, despite being the one of most frequented country in the region. However, Amman is now steadily increasing in stature with a progressive look and feel coupled with Middle Eastern charm.
Travel Time (Flights): Dubai to Amman – 3 hour 15 minute, Abu Dhabi to Amman – 3 hour 15 minute, Jeddah to Amman – 2 hour, Riyadh to Amman – 2 hour.
What to See: Amman Citadel, King Abdullah I Mosque, Roman Theatre, Jordan Archaeological Museum, Royal Automobile Museum, Wakalat Street.
What to Eat: Lebanese, Egyptian and Turkish cuisine are very popular in Amman. International cuisines like French, Spanish, Greek, Mediterranean and Indian are also available.
HolidayMe Recommendation: Enjoy a tour of Petra and discover the world heritage sites, Enjoy swimming in the Dead Sea, check out the vast expanse of Aqaba and its deserts.
From a tiny fishing village along the Egypt’s Red Sea Coast, Hurghada has developed into a urban city with quality resorts and amazing activities all based along the Red Sea. Pristine coral reefs offer amazing diving spots along the Red Sea.
Travel Time (Flights) : Dubai to Hurghada – 6 hour 10 minute, Abu Dhabi to Hurghada – 6 hour 20 minute, Jeddah to Hurghada – 4 hour 10 minute, Riyadh to Hurghada 5 hour 5 minute.
What to See: Red Sea Aquarium, Marine Biology Museum, Red Sea Mountains, Shadwan, Anfish Mountain.
What to Eat: Egyptian, Tunisian, Mediterranean and Arabic
HolidayMe Recommendation: Diving in the Red Sea to see the coral reefs, exploring the Red Sea Mountains with a 4x4 wheel vehicle or a camel ride.
Sharm el-SheikhSharm el-Seikh is a world class Red Sea resort town and has some of the most amazing underwater world scenery including the protected Ras Mohammed National Park and has amazing dive spot to admire coral reefs.
Travel Time (Flights): Dubai to Sharm el-Sheikh – 5 hour 20 minute, Abu Dhabi to Sharm el-Sheikh – 6 hour 15 minute, Jeddah to Sharm el Sheikh – 1 hour 45 minute, Riyadh to Sharm el Sheikh – 2 hour 15 minute.
What to See: Namma Bay, Ras Muhammad National Park, Tiran Island, Mount Sinai, Pharaoh's Island, Nabq Protected Area and Saint Catherine's Monastery.
What to Eat: Mediterranean, Lebanese and Egyptian cuisine are highly popular along with several international cuisines due to the presence of international hotel and restaurant chains.
HolidayMe Recomendation: Drive to Sinai Mountains and visit the Ras Muhammad National Park. Explore the Tiran Island and enjoy a drive to visit the secluded Saint Catherine's Monastery.