From new routes to Bali and Basel, to returning summer flights that take you into the heart of Europe’s buzzing beach towns…

Thinking about where to jet off this year? Whether it’s a city break, beach escape or a bucket list destination, with two thirds of the world accessible within an eight-hour flight of the UAE, there’s plenty of exploring to be done. And as regional airlines add more flight routes, those new places just keep getting closer. While some are returning destinations, others are brand new.

Here are 15 new flight routes from the UAE to inspire where you travel in 2024. 

From June 2: Malaga, Spain from Abu Dhabi with Etihad

On June 2, Etihad’s flights to the Spanish city of Malaga will resume for the summer. This summer, the Abu Dhabi-based airline is increasing its flights to Malaga to thrice per week, giving you several options for your sun-soaked Spanish getaway. Malaga provides a 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.

From June 14: Batumi, Georgia from Dubai with flydubai

If Georgia is on your travel bucket list, you can make for Batumi four times per week until September 1 thanks to a new flight route from Dubai with flydubai. The ideal timing for a long weekend, it’s a great resort town for soaking up the scenery at this Black Sea coast. Return fares start from Dhs3,055.

From June 14: Bodrum, and Trabzon Turkey from Dubai with flydubai

If you’ve got Turkey on your mind, then you can enjoy a daily flight to Bodrum – the gateway to the Turkish Riviera lined with luxurious hotels, ritzy restaurants and designer bars – until September 8, thanks to flydubai, with return fares from Dhs1,800. There’s also a double daily flight to Trabzon until September 1, if you’re searching for a cultural break on the Turkish Black Sea Coast, with fares from Dhs1,800 return.

From June 14: Dubrovnik, Croatia from Dubai with flydubai

As flydubai ramps up its flights to Central and Eastern Europe, the airline will once again offer a thrice weekly flight to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik from June 14 until September 22. 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 June 14: Tivat, Montenegro from Dubai with flydubai

Old Town of Kotor Montenegro

A four times weekly flight from DXB will take you straight into the picturesque coastal town of Tivat, Montenegro, from June 14 until September 7. One of Europe’s most underrated travel destinations, 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. Fares start from Dhs2,120 return.

From June 15: Santorini, Greece from Abu Dhabi with Etihad

Santorini is one of Greece’s most romantic spots, and for the last three summers, a number of UAE airlines have flown to this sought-after spot. For 2024, Etihad will reinstate its flights to Santorini from June 15, with a bi-weekly flight on Tuesday and Saturday, taking you to the Cyclades dream in just over four and a half hours. This island is best enjoyed by walking the winding, petal-lined streets, for bucket-list views of bone-white buildings and the sprawling Aegean beyond.

From June 15: Nice, France from Abu Dhabi with Etihad

The UAE’s National Airline will return to the French Riviera in 2022, operating direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Nice from June 15. The twice-weekly service will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays 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 June 15: Olbia, Sardinia, from Dubai with flydubai

You’ll be able to fly to the blissfully beautiful isle of Sardinia twice per week until August 31 thanks to this returning flight route between Dubai and Olbiawith fares from Dhs3,405. Olbia, on the north east coast, is know across the world thanks to the glamorous Costa Smeralda, and is home to famous resort towns including Porto Rotondo and Porto Cervo. Whether you’re heading here for the city or the beach, it offer the best of both worlds.

From June 15: Corfu, Greece from Dubai with flydubai

Also returning on June 15 thanks to flydubai will be a bi-weekly flight to the Greek hotspot of Corfu, running until August 31. The Greek island of Corfu has become popular for its stunning landscapes, rich multi-cultural heritage, crystal-clear seas and cosmopolitan Old Town. Reach it with return fares from Dhs3,055.

From June 16: Santorini, Greece from Dubai with flydubai

From June 16, the stunning slice of Cyclades beauty that is Santorini is accessible with a weekly flydubai flight until September 8. One of the world’s most romantic destinations, with its whitewashed villages, blue-topped domes, sparkling, Aegean sea, and shorefront dotted with cosy tavernas, it’s reachable in under five hours, with return fares from Dhs3,055.

From June 16: Sochi, Russia from Dubai with flydubai

For summer sojurns to Sochi, a direct flight with flydubai takes off three times per week until September 1, with fares from Dhs2,505 return. The coastal charms of this seaside resort make it an ideal destination for a beach break on the Black Sea, where golden sands, lush forests, flowing waterfalls, and striking mountain landscapes offer the most scenic of backdrops.

From June 17: Mykonos, Greece from Abu Dhabi with Etihad

Although this is a returning summer route rather than a new one, it’s worth a mention. From June 17, Etihad will return with two weekly flights to the charismatic Greek island of Mykonos. As much a hedonistic party spot with its celeb-filled beach clubs, dazzling entertainment and array of restaurant as it is a magnet for those seeking history and culture, it’s one of Europe’s most popular summer destinations. The flight will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays, perfect for long weekend in the Grecian sunshine.

From June 25: Bali, Indonesia from Abu Dhabi with Etihad

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, exploration, or spiritual rejuvenation, Bali is one of the world’s dreamiest destinations. And travellers from the capital will benefit from a four times weekly service to the alluring Indonesian isle from June 25 thanks to Etihad. From its crisp sandy shores and turquoise waters to the lush green rainforests and fuchsia flowers, it’s no wonder visitors lose themselves in the Balinese way of life. Add to that the rich, fascinating culture, welcoming locals, delicious food, and tropical weather, and you can see why they call Bali the Island of the Gods.

From June 28: Athens, Greece from Sharjah with Air Arabia

In recent years, Greece has become the destination du jour for many UAE travellers – whether they’re dreaming of vacations packed with relaxation, exploration, or gourmet delights. The Greek capital of Athens offers all three in spades, and is reachable via a new flight route with Air Arabia launching on June 28. Taking off four times per week from Sharjah, it invites travellers to discover cultural big-hitters like the Acropolis, Temple of Poseidon, and The National Gardens. When you’ve had your fill of history, escape the sweltering city heat in favour of the Athens Riviera, where you can get a taste of local coastal life with days on the beach, stays at some of the city’s top hotels, and sampling the delights of the myriad waterfront eateries.

From August 2: Basel, Switzerland from Dubai with flydubai

From August 2, flydubai will offer a four times weekly service to Basel’s EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg a unique gateway to not one – but three – different countries and their impressive cultural and culinary offerings. The northwestern Swiss city, perched on the border of the Alsace historical region in France and Baden-Württemberg in Germany, sits pretty on the banks of the river Rhine. A cultural capital with bags of historic and modern architecture to admire, visitors are also encouraged to retreat to the rolling Swiss countryside, an unmissable part of any Basel itinerary. Return rates start from Dhs1,500.

Images: Unsplash/ Supplied