Eid Escapes from Dubai
What’s On has details of the best Eid escapes in Dubai including trips to Baku in Azerbaijan, Seychelles and Serbia.
– Summer staycations
– Ramadan daytime dining
Go for the glamour. Fuelled by oil-wealth, the coastal city is famed for its glitzy lifestyle; shiny sports cars fly past luxury stores and glistening skyscrapers – at night the iconic Flame Towers glow red and gold. For high-end boutiques stay close to the city centre and explore the area around 28th May Street and Neftchilar Avenue.
Currency: AZN (US$1 = AZN1.05)
Average temperature in July: 26 degrees
But don’t miss the romance. Couples stroll hand-in-hand along Baku’s long waterfront promenade and park, stopping once in a while to admire the views across the Caspian. While others soak in the historic walled Old City, home to the twelfth-century Maiden Tower – the origin of its name surrounded in myth – and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs.
EAT at Sumakh. This stylish restaurant offers traditional Azeri food in a luxurious setting. facebook.com/sumakh
DO try caviar. The Caspian Sea produces around 90 per cent of the world’s supply.
STAY at Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel. With more than a touch of luxury, the resort is 35 kilometres from the city centre and boasts panoramic views across the Caspian Sea worth waking up at sunrise for. From US$202.83 a night. jumeirah.com
FLY: 3 hours. Azerbaijan Airlines flies daily from Dubai International to Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport. azal.az
Go for the beaches. Turquoise waters underfoot and palm trees swaying above, it’s no surprise the archipelago has long attracted loved-up couples looking for a romantic getaway. Beau Vallon and Petite Anse on Mahé are some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and exploring the island’s coral reefs makes an ideal sunbathing break.
But don’t miss the wildlife. The islands are home to wonderful nature reserves and some fantastic hiking trails. Morne Seychellios National Park boasts the Seychelles highest peak, while in Vallee de Mai on Praslin – a Unesco World Heritage Site – is where the prized Coco de Mer plant and the native Seychelles Black Parrot can be found.
Currency: SCR (US$1 = SCR13.28)
Average temperature in July: 27 degrees
Eat at La Scala. Overlooking Beau Vallon Bay, the Italian restaurant is known for its delicious seafood. christophvollmer.de/lascala
Do island hop. Praslin and Le Digue are easily reached. La Digue is a peaceful car-free island and a great snorkeling spot.
Stay at the Four Seasons Seychelles. With beach views, each villa has its own infinity pool and guests can discover the reefs with the on-site snorkeling guide. From US$991 per night fourseasons.com/seychelles
Fly: 4.5 hours. Emirates runs twice daily direct flights to Seychelles International Airport (on Mahe island) from Dubai International. emirates.com
Go for the history. Centuries of invasions – from the Romans to the Soviets – has shaped the capital, its gritty past clearly seen in its architecture. On the bank of the Sava River, Savamala is one of the city’s oldest districts – now the city’s creative hub – and is a good spot to wander and soak up its history. One of the world’s largest Orthodox churches, the imposing Cathedral of Saint Sava is a tourist hot spot.
But don’t miss the café culture. The Serbs take coffee seriously so follow the locals’ example and, with a rich black coffee in hand, while away a couple of hours at a local kafana – best described as a café-meets-pub – just watching the world go by.
Currency: RSD (US$1 = RSD107)
Average temperature in July: 23 degrees
EAT a burek. Head to any small bakery first thing and there’ll be a queue of people waiting for one of these delicious pastries filled traditionally with either meat or cheese.
DO the ‘splavs’. During the summer months, these floating bars and restaurants on the banks for the Sava and Danube rivers are the best spot to spend an evening.
STAY at Square Nine Hotel Belgrade. Up the road from the historic Kalemegdan park, this elegant hotel prides itself on its polished design and sizeable pool and spa. From US$212.42 a night. squarenine.rs
Fly: 5h15. Flydubai runs flights three times a week to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport from Dubai International. flydubai.com