Looking to book a last-minute summer holiday? You’re in the right place…

If you’re hoping to squeeze one more holiday out of your summer, then we’re here to help inspire you. From a quick getaway to neighbouring Oman to new flight routes ready to drop you right in the heart of Europe’s buzziest towns, here’s 7 travel ideas from the UAE this August.

Salalah, Oman

Why go: From June to September, khareef season, also known as monsoon season, is one of the best times for waterfalls, scenic drives, hiking, kayaking, lush green landscapes, and exploring Oman’s incredible natural features. Just a two-hour flight (or a 12-hour drive) from Dubai, Salalah has it all. For nature lovers, Wadi Darbat is a must-visit. The beautiful valley is ideal for families and can be explored in many different ways: from paddle-boarding to picnics, hiking to powerboats. Another must-see waterfall is Ayn Athum, which is around a 20-minute scenic drive in the Dhofar mountains and only visible during khareef season. Insider tip: Stop at one of the many famous local fruit huts for a drink of fresh coconut.
Where to stay: For a luxury break, retreat to the blissful surroundings of Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. Nestled between a private beach and a freshwater lagoon, Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate after an adventure-packed day. Plus, throughout khareef season, the resort offers 20 per cent off bookings, including daily breakfast, until the end of August.
Rates start from Dhs1,612, anantara.com
How to get there: Wizz Air Abu Dhabi offers flights from Dhs318 return, while return flights with flydubai start from Dhs1,355 return.
wizzair.com, flydubai.com

Sardinia, Italy

Why go: The sun-drenched isle of Sardinia offers rugged natural landscapes, shimmering turquoise waters and picturesque towns that look like they’ve been plucked straight from a fairytale. It’s now more accessible than ever thanks to a direct flydubai route from Dubai to Olbia, which operates thrice weekly through the summer. While the route runs until September, August is a perfectly peak time to jet off to Olbia on the north east coast, which serves as the gateway to the glamorous Costa Smeralda, and famous resort towns including Porto Rotondo and Porto Cervo. The latter really comes alive in August, where a jet-set crowd frequent its fashionable boutiques, beautifully chic beachfront bars and incredible array of upscale restaurants.
Where to stay: A mere 20 minutes from the beating heart of the action in Porto Cervo lies Hotel Capo d’Orso, a romantic retreat designed with couples in mind. Close enough to feel like you’re still embracing the dazzling allure of the resort town, but far enough away to enjoy the natural spoils of the island, it’s a true escape that offers the best of both worlds. One of a boutique collection of hotels that all scatter the northern part of Sardinia, this resort is one that’s packed with soul. In a secluded bay within the protected natural park, this exclusive hideaway is home to charming guestrooms, a relaxing spa where pools are surrounded by the dappled shade of olive trees and a spectacular restaurant that gazes out over the ocean.
Rates from Dhs2,900, delphinahotels.co.uk
How to get there: flydubai flies three times per week to Olbia, Sardinia with return fares from Dhs2,980.

Marbella, Spain

Why go: To check out the newest hotel from Dubai-born Sunset Hospitality. The group’s second Mett hotel opens this August on the hedonistic shores of Marbella. Following the opening of Mett Bodrum, Mett Marbella will debut in August 2023 on the Estepona seafront, bringing with it a trio of Dubai concepts. Alongside Greek restaurant, Ammos, and Italian eatery, Isola, we can’t wait to enjoy days of tan-topping at Marbella’s newest beach club, Azure Beach. Serving as the hub of the resort, this lively beach club will serve up an array of internationally-influenced dishes perfect for dining beachside. Use the hotel as a base to enjoy the array of charming Spanish eateries in the old town, or charter a yacht from the Puerto Banus harbour for a fun-filled afternoon on the water.
Where to stay: At Mett Marbella, where breezy rooms inspired by the oceanside setting provide a contemporary backdrop for your getaway. Whether you choose to explore more and pack each day out, or prefer to simply soak up the surroundings at the resort, it’s set to be a modern escape for pleasure seekers on the Costa Del Sol.
Rates from Dhs1,588, mettsocialliving.com
How to get there: Etihad offers a seasonal, bi-weekly flight on Wednesdays and Sundays to Malaga, which serves as a gateway to the Costa Del Sol. Fares start from Dhs5,185.

Masai Mara, Kenya

Why go: A safari is a bucket list travel experience, and the great plains of the Masai Mara are among the most popular destinations for spotting the Big Five. August, with its dry and pleasant weather, is an ideal time to go, not just for the weather – but for the thriving activity that comes with the great migration. Travel in August to catch a glimpse of the great wildebeest migration, which sees some 10 million animals travel from the Serengeti between June and September.
Where to stay: There are some fabulous tented lodges dotted all along the Masai Mara, but if it’s somewhere new you’re looking for, JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge debuted back in May and is a spectacular addition to the luxury lodging scene. A thoughtful sanctuary that’s arranged around the breathtaking natural region it frequents, it’s been designed to seamlessly blend into the surroundings, with just 20 private tents each an inviting abode for relaxation. When you’re not out exploring the exceptional local wildlife, guests can look forward to cosy spaces like the Adventure Lounge library and Cultural Deck where guests can curl up around the fire pit. A Spa by JW and a trio of restaurants give the JW touch to this rustic-luxe experience.
Rates from Dhs5,325 all-inclusive, marriott.com
How to get there: Emirates offers daily direct flights to Nairobi with return fares from Dhs3,875. From there, you’ll need to take a one-hour domestic flight to the Mara.

Sri Lanka

Why go: There’s no bad time to visit Sri Lanka. It’s affordable, accessible, and home to a diverse topography of beaches, national parks and incredible wildlife. In the summer, much of the island is experiences monsoonal rains, but it’s a different story on the east coast, which enjoys its best weather from May to September. So skip the more popular towns of Galle or Kandy and make your way to this strip of coastline, where golden beaches offer blissful relaxation, pods of dolphins are regularly spotted by the shore, and a deliciously diverse food scene await.
Where to stay: Set on what’s known as one of Sri Lanka’s best beaches, Uga Bay is a luxurious resort on Pasikuda beach that oozes coastal charm. Fusing five-star facilities with the enchanting surrounds, you’ve got 3km of pristine golden sand at your fingertips, and rooms range from swish studios to colourful beach villas where you can go to sleep listening to the sounds of the gentle waves. There’s a restaurant overlooking the inviting infinity pool, but tap the hotel team to arrange you a unique private dining experience on the beach as a bucket list meal.
Rates from Dhs1,298, ugaescapes.com
How to get there: flydubai flies from Dubai to Colombo daily from Dhs1,465 return.


Old Town of Kotor Montenegro

Why go: Despite its youthful existence, Montenegro is emerging from the shadows of its neighbours as a sophisticated Adriatic escape, its historic past colliding with its glittering new future. For history, Our Lady of the Rocks is one of Montenegro’s star attractions, and is reachable via a boat trip across the serene Bay of Kotor. For a traditional slice of Montenegro you’ll want to head to Kotor, a picturesque masterpiece wedged between the endless azure shades of the water and dramatic craggy mountain peaks. For something more modern, plan a visit to Porto Montenegro, a ecidedly chic and unapologetically modern waterfront town, it presents a dazzling first impression for international arrivals sailing in from overseas, with a ritzy French Riviera feel. The waterfront promenade is a sublime setting for relaxation and sunset rendezvous, lined with elegant boutiques, chic cafés, and restaurants in soothingly contemporary hues.
Where to stay: Contemporary and cutting-edge Nikki Beach – a hedonistic beach club brand that’s expanded into upscale resorts in recent years – brings its effervescent approach to luxury lifestyle experiences to an otherwise unassuming stretch of homely villas, pebble beaches and national parks at Tivat Bay. The voguish resort – complete with an extensive spa and bohemian-luxe beach club – should clash with its serene coastal surroundings, yet somehow it fits in effortlessly. The star of the show is a lavish beach club, where cool tunes, a stretching swimming pool and plush day beds draw a glamorous crowd. But away from the hedonism of the restaurant and beach club, the Nikki Spa is a haven of relaxation. From treatment rooms where you can meld into firm massages to an indoor pool backed by mountain vistas for getting your laps in, it’s all about finding your inner zen.
Rates from Dhs1,353,
How to get there: flydubai offers a seasonal flight to Tivat, Montenegro on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Fares start from Dhs3,100 return.

Lisbon, Portugal

Why go: One of Western Europe’s oldest cities is having a renaissance, and has firmly established itself as a destination for culinary connoisseurs. If you’re looking for a foodie-filled break, Lisbon should be high on your agenda, with direct access provided via a new Etihad flight route that began operating in June. Getting lost is all part of the fun in the historic part of town, which cascades down the hillside. Once you’re all walked out, hop on the iconic banana yellow tram and see the sights this way – line number 28 is the one to take for first timers. When it comes to dining, it’s hard to go wrong, although for a bit of everything the original Time Out Market is an excellent place to start.
Where to stay: Right in the heart of buzzy Barrio Alto is the Barrio Alto Hotel. As renowned for its five-star location as it is for its beloved fifth floor restaurant, Bahr, this hotel offers a modern twist on local flavour. Guest rooms fuse traditional prints and warm colours with modern amenities, and the relaxed rooftop offers panoramic views of the Tagus river.
Rates from Dhs1,720, barrioaltohotel.com
How to get there: Etihad operates a thrice weekly service on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday with fares from Dhs2,595.

Images: Getty / Supplied