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21 April 2024

UAE's 3-day weekend: Best last-minute getaways on offer

By Bindu Suresh Rai

The long weekend is mere days away and if you are like most of us in Dubai, chances are, a last-minute scrabble is currently underway to find that perfect retreat for the January 24th break.

There’s no need to fret, as Emirates 24|7 puts together some ideal getaways that were still up for grabs at the time of filing this. So simply pack your bags and get booking from our top picks:

Sir Bani Yas Island

Even though the super exclusive Anantara Desert Islands Resort and Spa is booked out for the long weekend on this reserve, who says you still can’t enjoy the wonders of this magical retreat?

Day trips to the private island are available for as low as Dh570, which includes a pickup from your doorstep early morning, transport to the port in Jebel Dhanna that is 4.5 hours away, along with a roundtrip ferry ticket to the Sir Bani Yas.

However, that’s not all; the trip also includes lunch at the Anantara and a four-hour safari trip across the reserve to encounter cheetahs, giraffes, Arabian Oryx, gazelles and much more.

If this sounds heavenly, then make haste and call Mishka Tourism on 050 765 7772

Delma Island

If the day trip to Sir Bani Yas sounds a wee bit exhausting to pack in 14 hours or less, then why not opt for a night say at neighbouring Delma Island, which is also situated off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

The drill of pick up and ferry from Jebel Dhana port remains the same, but the ride is 1.5 hours long to the Delma Island dock.

Here, you will be escorted to a private beachside chalet to wile away the rest of the afternoon and evening, soaking up the sun, while the children can build sandcastles on its pristine white beaches.

For the adventure seekers, there are hiking trails to explore the volcanic heritage of this island retreat. Pick up is around 3pm the next day, according to the tour company mentioned above.

Zighy Bay, Oman

A luxurious mountain retreat in the wilderness of Oman is what Six Senses Zighy Bay has to offer.

This stunning eco-friendly resort in the Musandam Peninsula is located 90 minutes by road from Dubai. Guests have a choice of three arrival experiences: a scenic 10-minute drive by speedboat; a 4WD experience from the hilltop; or they can paraglide into the resort.

The dramatic setting, with mountains on one side and a 1.6-km white sand beach at Zighy Bay, on the other, the 82 pool villas and pool villa suites – all with butler service – is just what the doctor has ordered for the long weekend.

Rooms were still available via Booking.com, with a Pool Villa for two adults costing approximately Dh8,000.


If a beachside holiday with the family is what you are longing for, then there’s no better place than driving to Fujairah for a relaxing holiday in one of the resorts along the strip.

One of the latecomers to the emirate but offering luxurious accommodations is the Radisson Blu Resort, Fujairah that is still available for Dh1,167 per night, inclusive of breakfast, before taxes.

The beachside property will have you bask in the slightly chilly waters of the Arabian Gulf, while enjoying the spacious room at 45 square metres.

What’s more, children under 11 stay free in parent’s room in existing bedding.

While staying there, don’t miss out on the Spa Zen for a few hours of bliss where you can opt for an individual or couple’s treatment rooms and customising services.

Camping in Liwa

The vast desert sands of the Empty Quarter beckon, with the weather behaving itself of late to indulge in an overnight adventure with the entire family in the great outdoors.

While many have attempted to conquer the world’s sandiest desert on their own, we wouldn’t advise a trip into the Liwa Desert without the right safety equipment, a GPS, a few cars for company and an able guide to assist you along the way.

Those wondering, many tour companies do offer a traditional Bedouin experience in Liwa, with a pick up and drop off, a nightime camel trek, a visit to a local farm, along with some modern-day adventures, including sand skiing and dune bashing.

The adventure doesn’t come cheap, at approximately Dh2,500 per person, but the memories will last you a lifetime.