national day travels are you in
Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
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Last Updated : GMT 12:45:25
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Or a relaxing in the UAE

National Day travels, are you in?

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice National Day travels, are you in?

National Day we are going to celebrate
Dubai - Emirates Voice

THERE'S A HOLIDAY coming up and, you know us, the art of staying at home is simply impossible. Whether it's a quick Wednesday night to Sunday morning trip abroad (we've again inadvisably convinced ourselves we can go straight from the airport to the office) or a relaxing jaunt right here in the UAE, this National Day we are going to celebrate by going somewhere. We've got three straight days off, which means a day at home and a couple away, perhaps in a different emirate, or a whole-nine-yards journey to pastures new. We've got a load of options to mull over. Here's what we're thinking.

AWAY

Spanish flair

Spain's capital can often take a backseat to its more artistic neighbour, Barcelona, but to ignore Madrid would be a mistake. Bursting at the seams with European culture, Latin influence and millennia of historical intrigue, the crisp winter weather can only enhance your experience. Right in the thick of things is the Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques, a home away from home for UAE hotel fans. This five-star establishment exudes refinement and nothing, for the staff, is too much trouble. There's even a heated rooftop whirlpool to watch the city go by on these cool evenings.

London calling shoppers

Shop till you drop in England's capital. Indulge in all your commercial fantasies and dive from store to store to avoid the frosty weather. In a world of fashion labels, Selfridges is a London landmark. In Covent Garden, you can find lots of smaller designers with unique creations. There's too much and the easiest way to get there is British Airways straight to Terminal 5 (from Dhs2440 return), followed by the Heathrow Express straight into town. 

On a Thai high

It's only six hours away by plane and offers an experience unlike any other. Bangkok, Thailand, is another one of those places to which people always seem to be disappearing and for very good reason. The street food alone is enough to make us crawl there on our hands and knees. And the best bit? Bangkok hotels, from hostels to five-star properties, are insanely good value. We like the look of the AVANI Riverside. You have to stay on the river at some point and this place has everything for you to relax before heading out into the chaos that is Thailand's capital city. Exciting!

Istanbul welcomes you

It's a firm UAE resident destination and a trip to 'Old Istanbul' is always worth it. The food, the atmosphere, the history, it doesn't matter how many times you head to Turkey's major city, there is always something new to discover. If you like staying in the authentic areas when you travel, the Ajwa Hotel Sultanahmet is a great mix of modern and classic architecture, is in the midst of all the tourist hot spots and has a number of deals on for the long weekend including rooms from Dhs870 per night. 

A top ten resort

Why not go all-out for a few days? The Maldives is a place where dreams are made and you can't get more dreamy than this resort. Recently ranked on TripAdvisor as one of the world's best hotels, the JA Manafaru is a stunning island beach property complete with everything you'd expect from a destination of this manner. Suites perched on stilts in the middle of the tranquil sea, pristine white sand, amazing fresh shellfish to gorge on and a sense of relaxation upon which you can't put a price.

King Hong Kong

Very much an East Asian Dubai, Hong Kong and our town share many similar attributes, notably a commitment to luxury. This is ever present in the state's hotels including The Landmark Mandarin Oriental. This HK institution has just launched its new Entertainment Suite. Check in and get an exclusive 'Globe-trotter Trunk' filled with  statement fashion pieces curated by Vestiaire Collective's co-founder, Fanny Moizant, and global fashion influencer, Tina Leung, thrown in. Now that's got to be worth a look.  

HOME

An Al Ain adventure

You'd expect 'The Garden City' to be quiet, but Al Ain is actually anything but over the weekends. With a host of new developments springing up and the always fun Wadi Adventure to enjoy, you're never too far away from a good time. One of those complexes happens to be the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium development in the centre of town, which houses the economical and lively Aloft Hotel. Don't let the sporting/ corporate surroundings fool you. Inside the property you'll find top notch, typical Starwood group rooms, a nice all-day dining restaurant and a superb rooftop pool and eatery, which attracts the locals day and night all week. Want to know the best part? This weekend rooms are going from Dhs650. 

Once in a lifetime at Zighy Bay

Six Senses Zighy Bay is one of those resorts that you just can't ignore. No matter if you've lived here for five minutes or 25 years, you'll know someone who has been and had the time of their lives. Jealousy ensues and you resolve to paraglide down into the paradise Musandam cove. So why not actually do it? The weather is perfect for you to treat yourself and you've got the time, right? 

The RAK desert

After changing hands, one of the best hotels in the world (in our opinion), is back up and running in time for this long-weekend. The Al Wadi Desert Resort in Ras Al Khaimah has to be seen to be believed. Although, we've seen it and we still can't quite get over its opulence. The private chalets dedicated to each guest, the beautiful red sand setting, the wildlife, the world-class restaurants and traditional activities.oh, and the most incredible spa. it all comes together in a blend of rustic charm and state-of-the-art luxury. 

The Hatta experience

There isn't a huge amount of choice when it comes to digs in Hatta, but then why would you need any when you've got one so close to our hearts, the Hatta Fort Hotel? While relaxing in a newly-renovated Mountain View Room, decide whether to enjoy a culinary experience at Jeema or Gazebo before enjoying a game of tennis, mini-golf, archery or exploring the tracks for walking and mountain hiking or kayaking by the famed Hatta dam. 

Chillax in Fujairah

There a few places more suited to chilling in the UAE than the vast expanse of beach in Al Aqah. A must for every home-spent holiday at least once a year, the Snoopy Island-facing oasis of calm is delightful. We love the number of shore-side resorts to choose from. The Fujairah Rotana always offers a few decent deals and the Sandy Beach is a treasure. We fancy Le Meridien this holiday though. It has the best pool.

Go wild on Sir Bani Yas Island

This Abu Dhabi nature reserve, Sir Bani Yas Island, is home to some exquisite animals and even more exquisite hotels. The Anantara Desert Islands is one such place and will house you in perfect comfort as you explore the nature reserve and its cheetahs and giraffes to name a couple of species. 

One in a million in Dubai

There are actually too many too many hotels to choose from in Dubai, so we're randomly going for one of our choice picks because it's a bit out of the way and is celebrating with a special brunch each day of the long-weekend at one of the fanciest restaurants in town. From Dhs220 you can enjoy a host of local favourites at Palazzo Versace Dubai's Giardino dining room. It, along with the Creek-side property, is a 'bellissimo' destination.

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