For a last-minute snowy escape…

Seeking a spontaneous winter break? Explore these hidden gem short-haul ski destinations for an unforgettable snowy escape. While they might be lesser-known, they still boast exceptional snow, fabulous wellness accommodations, and breathtaking natural scenery.

Here are four epic ski holidays within a four-hour flight from Dubai to book now:

Gudauri, Georgia

Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the Caucasus mountains, Gudauri is one of the world’s most underrated skiing destinations for its excellent value for money, breathtaking panoramic views, uncrowded slopes, and exceptional terrain catering to all skiing levels. A 90-minute drive from Tbilisi (which is a short 3.5 hour flight from Dubai), Gudauri reigns as the largest and highest ski resort in Georgia. Its ski season spans from mid-December to the end of April, offering ample opportunities for enthusiasts to experience its snowy splendor and burgeoning food and wine scene. Where to stay? Right in the middle of the action, five-star retreat Gudauri Lodge offers ski-in-ski-out access, an indoor pool, wellness area, and an outdoor jacuzzi. Perfect for après-ski indulgence after a day on the slops.

Shymbulak, Kazakhstan

Perched majestically above Almaty, the Zailiyskiy Alatau mountain range hosts Kazakhstan’s iconic Shymbulak, Central Asia’s largest ski resort, resting at 2,200 meters altitude. Merely a 45-minute drive from central Almaty (a 4.5 hour flight from Dubai), it’s a haven where city-dwellers escape for hours of skiing and snowboarding against a backdrop of clear skies. With ski-in-ski-out access, the Shymbulak Resort Hotel is a popular choice located in the stunning Ile-Alatau National Park with a Finnish sauna and heated outdoor pool.

Mzaar Kfardebian, Lebanon

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Dubbed the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East’, Lebanon’s Mzaar Kfardebian is the largest ski resort in the region. Just a four-flight away from Dubai and a scenic one-hour drive from Beirut, Mzaar offers excellent skiing conditions with over 80km of well-groomed slopes, modern lifts, panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, and a vibrant après-ski scene, making it a favourite among winter sports enthusiasts. Here, the mountain peaks are covered in an impressive blanket of snow from December until early April providing the perfect backdrop for your snowy escapades. For an unforgettable mountain getaway, stay at the popular Intercontinental Mzaar Lebanon Mountain Resort & Spa complete with a heated indoor pool, world-class spa, cinema, six restaurants, a ski school, and direct access to the slopes.

Tsaghkadzor, Armenia

An hour outside of Yerevan (a three-hour flight from Dubai), you’ll find Tsaghkadzor, Armenia’s most popular ski resort. Home to 30km of pistes, Tsaghkadzor is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, diverse terrain to suit all skill levels, and affordable accommodation, making it an attractive destination for skiers and snowboarders seeking a quick getaway. Ararat Resort’s close proximity to the ski slopes and stunning views of the surrounding mountains make for a memorable stay with an indoor pool, spa and wellness centre, and plenty of dining options. For optimal snowy conditions, the best time to visit Tsaghkadzor is between December and April.

Images: Social/Unsplash