With Eid al-Fitr approaching, it’s the perfect time to plan ahead for a luxury escape during the long weekend. As the UAE has now removed many of its COVID restrictions, it is the perfect moment to travel, reflect and spend time with your loved ones. Many countries around the world are beginning to open their borders to travel to, and the joy of travel is finally returning. From serene deserts, chic cities and beachside hideaways we round up some of the destinations to visit now.
AlUla Saudi Arabia
The picturesque destination of AlUla in Saudi Arabia has been high on the priority list for many UAE travellers this year and we can see why. Nestled within the Saudi Arabian desert, AlUla is the ideal setting for tranquillity and mindfulness. The spectacular sunsets across the World Heritage Site are picture-perfect, and its rich history is not to be missed. Spend the days exploring the surreal rock outcroppings that mark the landscape, travelling on foot, bicycle, 4×4, or even an Arabian horse. In the evenings, coexist seamlessly with the natural wonders around by spending the night in the villas at Caravan by Habitas. These villas combine traditional design influenced by the Bedouin people, with a modern and luxurious feel encompassing you within the culture.
All travel restrictions to Saudi Arabia have been lifted, visitors no longer require a vaccination certificate or COVID test to travel from the UAE.
If you are looking for somewhere further afield with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, then Singapore has just recently opened its borders for travellers coming from the UAE. One of the ultimate highlights of this destination is Gardens by the Bay. An impressive 101 hectares of land converted into waterfront gardens, it is home to Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s most iconic and luxurious hotel. Streets are filled with artworks and sculptures, and at night the city comes alive with the lights of the super trees. Alternatively, for a haven of natural beauty, visit the national orchid garden or the botanical gardens, which has been listed as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.
Singapore has introduced a Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme. This means it is open to vaccinated tourists but they must apply for a safe travel pass before they fly, download the TraceTogether Covid-19 tracking app and present a negative PCR test result before departure.
After last year’s COVID-spike, South Africa is returning to normal and cases dramatically dropped and many restrictions have been lifted. Tourists are flocking back to experience the best outdoor activities the country has to offer. By flying into Gqeberha, previously known as Port Elizabeth, you can visit the old mosaic lighthouse for the perfect picture opportunity or take a boat tour to spot whales and penguins. After the delights of this city, a scenic 8-hour road trip adventure to Cape Town awaits. Cape Town is a must, famous for its Table Mountain hike and breath-taking vineyards, there is also a chance to spot the ‘Big 5’on a thrilling safari at Madikwe Private Game Reserve.
Visitors must present a valid, recognised negative PCR test certificate, taken within 72 hours of departure. The COVID Alert South Africa app should also be installed, and a traveller health questionnaire should be completed and presented at check-in.
The Maldives has been one of the most luxurious destinations to visit for many years now and it continues to be a top getaway for UAE travellers during the Eid holidays. It boasts idyllic resorts with underwater hotels and overwater bungalows, and the turquoise water that surrounds them is second to none. The Maldives is renowned for having some of the world’s best beaches and the beneath the sea lies pristine coral reefs with an abundance of tropical marine life. Whether it’s a romantic escape or a cherished family holiday, the Maldives has everything you need to relax and take time out from hectic daily life.
Passengers are no longer required to have a COVID19 vaccination certificate or a PCR test result to enter the country but must complete the online immigration and health self-declaration form within 48 hours of departure.
If Europe is where your heart lies, then Croatia offers sophisticated hotels, elegant restaurants and private yachts. The coastline is also adorned with remote villas for privacy and that extra level of luxury. It’s also worth taking a few day trips to explore the different sights, Croatia is famous for its beautiful lavender fields, vineyards and historic towns, or you can take a private sunset boat tour across the Zadar shoreline.
Fully vaccinated visitors from the United Arab Emirates can enter Croatia without restrictions and unvaccinated visitors from the United Arab Emirates can enter Croatia with a negative COVID-19 test result.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit our neighbouring country Oman, then Eid is the perfect holiday for this visit. Feel comfort in your own car as you cross the border on the 5-hour road trip journey, or alternatively take the short 1-hour flight, you can surely mix luxury with adventure on this trip. Stay at the W hotel in the heart of Muscat with Sultan Qaboos Mosque just 15 minutes around the corner, a beautiful sight to see at sunset. For daytime exploration, take a trip to see the Emerald Water at Wadi Shab or hire a private boat to see dolphins leaping from the sea in their natural habitat.
Tourists who are fully vaccinated with any of the approved vaccines can be accepted for travel to Oman without presenting pre-departure COVID-19 PCR testing results.