Where to travel in 2022: 12 new flight routes from the UAE

With one-way fares from just Dhs70…

With travel restrictions easing and more destinations welcoming travellers again, it’s time to start making those long weekend plans. Luckily, the UAE’s array of low-cost airlines are here to get you inspired, with new flight routes launching in the coming weeks from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah – with fares as little as Dhs70 one-way.

Here are 12 new flight routes from the UAE to tick off your travel bucket list.

Abu Dhabi to Mattala, Sri Lanka

As Wizz Air Abu Dhabi continues to add new flight routes, the latest destination to be announced is Sri Lanka, with the low-cost airline beginning flights to Mattala in early June. The flight will depart three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with one-way prices starting at just Dhs179. Bang on the south east coast of the tear drop island, it’s handily located next door to one of the most incredible safari experiences available outside of Africa, Yala National Park.

From Dhs179 return, wizzair.com

Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Santorini, Greece

2021 was the summer of Greece, and a whole host of UAE airlines put on seasonal flight routes to some of the European hotspots most alluring islands. For 2022, Etihad, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and flydubai have all confirmed they’ll be instating flights to Santorini from June. From June 3, Wizz Air will fly to Santorini on Monday and Friday, Etihad will begin its twice-weekly service from June 16, and flydubai’s thrice weekly service from Dubai to the fabled white walls of Santorini from June 24. Walk the winding, petal-lined streets, for bucket-list views of bone-white buildings and the sprawling Aegean beyond.

From Dhs179 return, wizzair.com, etihad.com, flydubai.com

Abu Dhabi to Nice, France

One of a number of summer flight routes Etihad is launching this year, the UAE’s National Airline will operate direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Nice from June 15. The twice-weekly service will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays between Abu Dhabi and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport on a modern Boeing 787 aircraft, offering the perfect opportunity for a long weekend on France’s south coast. Renowned for its famous waterfront, Nice boasts a scenic seven-kilometre walkway known as the ‘Promenade des Anglais’. The city was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.

From Dhs2,735, etihad.com

Abu Dhabi to Malaga, Spain

Also on June 15, Etihad will launch flights to the Spanish city of Malaga — gateway to the Costa Del Sol, the province of Andalucia, an electrifying world of passion cuisine, pristine beaches, coastal adventures, Iberian soirees filled with out-out fuego, and unlimited portions of paella, live at the source. The seasonal flight route will operate twice per week.

From Dhs2,425 return, etihad.com

Abu Dhabi to Crete, Greece

From June 15, for the first time Etihad Airways will be operating two weekly flights to the charismatic Greek island of Crete. Crucible of the Minoans, Crete is the central staging point for a hefty earn-full of ancient mythology (the stories say it’s the birthplace of Apollo), with real life ancient ruins you can visit — such as the 4,000-year old Palace of Knosso. There’s charm too in its beaches, caves, dishes, and nightlife.

From Dhs1,905 return, etihad.com

Dubai to Dubrovnik, Croatia

As flydubai ramps up its flights to Central and Eastern Europe, the airline will offer a thrice weekly flight to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik from June 23 until October 3. The flights will operate on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, handily timed for those looking for a quick weekend jaunt. What to add to your agenda once you get there, you ask? History buffs will love a stroll around the famed Old Town district, while Game of Thrones fans won’t want to miss a guided walking tour to some of the real-life filming locations.

From Dhs2,473, flydubai.com

Dubai to Tivat, Montenegro


A bi-weekly flight from DXB will take you straight into the picturesque coastal town of Tivat, Montenegro, every Monday and Friday from June 24 until September 16. One of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations, there’s so much to squeeze into a long weekend in Montenegro. Its small size allows you to easily navigate between the key attractions, from boat rides around the bay to strolls through historic towns or Kotor and Perast or evenings in the elegant marina of Porto Montenegro.

From Dhs2,443 return. flydubai.com

Dubai to Mykonos, Greece

Dubai-based airline flydubai will relaunch flights to the Greek party island of Mykonos this summer. Between June 24 and September 18, passengers can enjoy three weekly flights to Mykonos International Airport (JMK) from DXB. Flights will operate on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, perfect for planning a long weekend getaway to the island paradise.

From Dhs2,923 return, flydubai.com

Dubai to Pisa, Italy

From June 24, flydubai will make travel to Italy from Dubai even easier (and cheaper) with a direct flight route to Pisa. The thrice weekly service will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, perfect for squeezing in a long weekend in the land of pizza and pasta. Famed for its iconic leaning tower, there’s lots of culture and history packed into this western coast city – but it’s also the gateway to Tuscany’s rolling hills, grand farmhouses and endless olive groves.

From Dhs2,500 return, flydubai.com

Abu Dhabi to Baku, Azerbaijan

Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will add flights to Baku from June 28, 2022, becoming another UAE airline to offer the direct flight route to the capital of Azerbaijan. Flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Nestled along the Caspian Sea, Baku is famed for its medieval walled old city as well as modern skyscrapers. Baku combines the best of both worlds, offering travellers a unique immersive experience between the old and the new.

From Dhs650 return, airarabia.com

Dubai and Sharjah to Bodrum and Sharjah to Antalya, Turkey

Air Arabia has announced plans to introduce two summer flight routes to Turkey this year from its Sharjah hub. Both operating from July 1, flights from Sharjah to Bodrum will depart thrice weekly on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, while flights from Sharjah to Antalya will operate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The seasonal flight routes will operate until September, and will be the third and fourth destinations in Turkey that the Sharjah-based airline flies to. Bodrum will also be serviced with a thrice weekly flight from Dubai thanks to flydubai on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from June 23 until September 17. Flights to Bodrum offer UAE residents direct access to the sun-drenched Turkish Riviera, while flights to the city of Antalya offer the opportunity to discover this southern Mediterranean region, known as the Turquoise Coast.

From Dhs1,500 return, airarabia.com

Images: Getty and Unsplash