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10 December 2023

Take a holiday in the UAE

The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa (SUPPLIED)

By Primrose Skelton

In these credit crunch times, saving money is everything. Yet despite people economising on certain things many remain determined to ring-fence the essentials, such as a holiday, which according to Lonely Planet editor Tom Hall now falls into the category of luxury-necessity. So what better time to take a break right here on your doorstep.

And with so many special offers available to UAE and GCC residents from now until February 15, thanks to the Dubai Shopping Festival, there is no excuse not to get away.

Spend a weekend in the luscious surroundings of the Le Méridien Al Aqah in Fujairah, where you can enjoy a mega discount of Dh1,101 on a standard room, or chill out in one of the swish Jumeirah hotels, which are offering 15 per cent off the best available room when staying at any resort in Dubai.

The more adventurous should head to the exclusive Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa or take a private seaplane to Sir Bani Yas Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Business has rounded up the best local deals, and got the lowdown on the cheap flight offers from UAE carriers to Europe, the Far East and the rest of the world this winter.

1 Al Maha

The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is nestled within the 225 sq km Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The hotel is a secluded haven where you can lounge in your own private suite, pictured, eat under the stars or simply watch the oryx. Call: 04 303 4222

Price (was): Dh5,335
Price (now): Dh2,665

2 Al Aqah

The Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah is the perfect place to unwind. Although it is just a two-hour drive from Dubai you will feel a million miles away as you relax by the pool. Price is for a standard room with breakfast. Telephone: 09 244 9000.

Price (was): Dh1,700
Price (now): Dh599

3 Atlantis

Discover the thrill of Atlantis, The Palm, with unlimited access to Aquaventure – the biggest waterpark in Europe and the Middle East, entrance to the Lost Chambers aquarium and preferential rates at Dolphin Bay. Price is for a standard double room. Call: 04 426 1000.

Price (was): Dh1,900
Price (now): Dh1,675

4 Kempinski Ajman

Get a tan as you enjoy a round on the greens at the Kempinski Hotel Ajman. The Golf and Beach Package includes three nights for two, a private transfer to and from the Dubai Creek Golf & Yachting Club and a day of 18-hole green fees. Call: 06 714 5555

Price (was): Dh6,580
Price (now): Dh5,440

5 Jumeirah Resorts

All Jumeirah hotels in Dubai are offering citizens and resident visa holders 15 per cent off the best available room rates when staying in any of Jumeirah's resorts. This includes Bab Al Shams and Emirates Towers, pictured.

For more information, contact reservations on 800 586 34724. www.jumeirah.com

6 SIR Bani Yas

To mark the launch of a twice weekly flight to Sir Bani Yas Desert Islands Resort & Spa, the hotel is offering a special weekend package for two.

It includes flights and two-nights stay in a luxury room with breakfast and island activities. Call: 02 801 5400 or log onto www.anantara.com

Price: Dh4,600

7 Zighy Bay

To escape the city and experience the real culture of the Arabian Peninsula you have to head for the Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay in Oman.

Enjoy two nights in a pool villa with breakfast, massage and a candlelit dinner. Call: 00968 26735 555 www.sixsenses.com

Price: Dh9,110

8 Harbour Hotel

Take advantage of the new Harbour Hotel & Residence located at the gateway to Dubai Marina. Enjoy dinner overlooking the city at trendy rooftop restaurant The Observatory or head to the spa before eating at the healthy az.u.r. Price below applies on a standard double room. Call: 04 319 4000.

Price (was): Dh2,100
Price (now): Dh1, 050

9 Al Hamra Fort

The unique five star Al Hamra Fort Hotel & Beach Resort in Ras Al Khaimah is designed like an Arabian fort but has all the mod cons of a luxury resort. Just 45 minutes from Dubai you will find stunning beaches and beautiful countryside. Double rooms are discounted at 40 to 60 per cent. Call: 02 446 666

Price (was): Dh2,900
Price (now): Dh1,900

10 Flight Deals

- Etihad:

London Dh1,710
Bangkok Dh2,000

- Emirates:

San Francisco Dh5,460
Istanbul Dh1,440
Paris Dh3,640
Beirut Dh1,800
Hong Kong Dh3,720
Sydney Dh6,200

- Lufthansa:

New York Dh1,490
Florence Dh1,490
Barcelona Dh1,590
Stockholm Dh1,590