Further AfieldTravel

Time to Wing It: Fly from UAE for Under 2k

If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway here are some short flights you can avail from the UAE for less than AED 2,000.

Don’t let the summer slump prevent you from taking a trip – we’ve compiled a list of short flights you can take to some epic locations, all for under 2k.

  1. Armenia

Home to some stunning flora and fauna, Armenia is great to visit if you’ve craving some greenery and fresh mountain air. There’s a ton of culture and other-worldly vibes, with some stone monasteries dating back over a millennium. Check out Yerevan, the capital city, or visit the stunning Lake Sevan and time travel in the historical cave village Khndzoresk. Expect food influenced by Middle Eastern and Eastern European, with local dishes like their flatbread lavash. Hotels are of the quaint and charming variety, though there are one or two upscale options.

  1. Zanzibar

Expect a true tropical paradise as the Zanzibar Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean, just off the coast of Tanzania. Escape the dusty skyscrapers and beating heat of the UAE, and roam pristine white sand beaches overlooked by dangling palms. The waters are turquoise and shallow, with sand bars you can wade into and a ton of totally wild untouched islands. Check out the Stone Town which is a World Heritage Site, and mosey between the tiny fishing villages. There are plenty of luxury tropical resorts with impeccable service and multiple dining options due to the developed tourism culture, or you can go rustic and stay in beachside shacks (make sure you choose one with AC!). As for dining, a must-try is the famous Zanzibar pizza with flavours of the island, and their local spice cake. 

  1. Ethiopia

Visit the land of the Queen of Sheba (no, really) and visit a UNESCO World Heritage site called Aksum, which is as old as Rome and historical as Constantinople, is an exceptional place in Ethiopia. Known for its incredible trekking tours into the Gheralta Mountains, or the Omo Valley where you can meet decorated local tribes, this will be a trip steeped in history and rugged landscapes. Expect to see gelada baboon, Ethiopian wolf and walia ibex on your travels, plus mountains and waterfalls, and you can stay in luxury tents in safari-style parks. For food expect chicken stews in crimson colour with a spicy mix of ginger and onion, and food is usually served on a large platter. 

  1. Baku

The largest city in the Caspian Sea, Baku is a mix of ancient Asian and Arabic cultures with an influx of oil-rich progression, Baku is an up and coming destination for tourism. The older parts of Baku are quaint and charming, with a nod to archaic architecture with hints of gothic and baroque. There’s lots to see and do with mosques, plenty of shopping, beautiful local shops, and visit the Palace of The Shirvanshahs. There’s plenty of mid-range and high end places to stay, and local and international dining options if you want to do low key or schmooze it up.

  1. Georgia

At the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia promises affordable skiing in the winter and delightful city breaks and hiking in the summer. A former Soviet republic, it’s home to the stunning Caucasus Mountain villages and unusual Black Sea beaches (note, the water is not warm.) Famous for Vardzia, which is a huge monastery cave which dates back to the 12th century, plus the ancient wine-growing region of Kakheti. Tbilisi is where most tourists end up over the summer months, with charming, winding backstreets with quaint cobbles, hidden dining spots, and a bustling nightlife scene. Travel further out and experience horse riding, incredible lakes, hiking, canyons and waterfalls – or if that’s all too much you can relax in one of their luxury spas. Hotels are mainly on the cute and wallet-friendly side, but expect a few of the major chains like Radisson and Sheraton. Their local dish, is a heavy bread dripping in cheese, and trust us the calories are totally worth it.

  1. Sri Lanka

Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, with access to the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal. Known for its tea plantations in the north, and trendy surf spots dotted along the south coast, it has both tropical and beachy vibes. Despite the economic crisis of 2022, the country is safe and open to visitors, and the Sri Lankan people are notorious for their warmth and hospitality. We suggest visiting the Sigiriya or Sinhagiri, an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla, or bum around at bohemian inspired Hikkaduwa. For something fancy you can stay in Hill Country at the Ceylon Tea Trails, or chill in a beach hut for less than $30 dollars per night. Food is laden with their choice of curries, but you can also get Western and international food in most places, and vegan cafes have recently become trendy. 

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