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Our Hottest Staff Picks For Holiday Destinations From Dubai
Best Summer Vacation Destinations From Dubai
Summer in Dubai is amazing, but sometimes you just need a getaway. Whether it’s a fun vacation with the kids or a romantic weekend with your partner, there are tons of destinations less than a five-hour flight from Dubai that make for the perfect escape from the summer heat. We asked our staff what their favourite summer holiday destinations from Dubai are, getting the inside scoop on the best places to stay, the tastiest local cuisines, and the activities that are worth the hype to help you create your ultimate summer getaway.
Lucy’s Fave - Mahé, Seychelles
Flight Time: 4hr 30min
Known For: Idyllic natural beauty, rare plants, amazing beaches
Mahé tops our list as one of our owner Lucy’s favourite holiday destinations from Dubai because of its natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere. From pristine white sand beaches to mountains harbouring unique flora and fauna, Mahé is the perfect destination to turn off your phone and get back in touch with nature.
For the ultimate tranquil retreat, Lucy recommends Mango House, a secluded luxury resort on the island’s southern coast. The property is the former family home of Italian fashion and travel photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri. They strive to honour their Seychellois roots with artisanal charm and a focus on the island’s natural beauty.
All of their suites and villas offer a view of the sea, and the resort features five different restaurants and bars offering everything from Creole-inspired dishes to the elegant brasserie. They even have an on-site spa specialising in locally sourced products and personalised services to help revitalise your spirit in one of the best vacation destinations from Dubai.
What To Do In Mahé
Whether you’re an outdoorsy adventurer or a laid-back traveller looking to enjoy the beach with a good book, Mahé has something for everyone. Mango House offers a wide range of excursions - private boat rides and cruises, guided nature tours with local rangers, and even rounds of golf amid Mahé’s native vegetation.
Outside of the resort, Lucy recommended checking out the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens in the capital city of Victoria - the gardens are over 100 years old and were originally an experimental garden for crop species during the colonial era. If you want to get up close and personal to Seychelles’ unique plant life, the National Botanical Gardens are the place for you! The island is also filled with authentic restaurants and cafes, a vibrant street market, and plenty of amazing little gems for travellers who want to wander off the beaten path in their holiday destinations from Dubai.
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Our outfit for Seychelles is inspired by the island itself, bringing simplistic elegance and luxury into the mix with elevated basics.
Anna’s Fave - Bodrum, Turkey
Flight Time: 4hrs 35 mins
Known For: Historical wonders, unique architecture, arts and culture
Bodrum comes recommended to us as a summer holiday destination from Dubai, courtesy of our Director of Operations, Anna. Bodrum is a beautiful resort town in southwestern Turkey, home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Alongside its numerous cultural landmarks, it’s home to gorgeous beaches, luxury restaurants, and shops, making it an excellent destination for a getaway with your girlfriends or a learning experience for the kids while they’re out of school.
The Edition Hotel
Anna’s favourite accommodations in Bodrum are at The Edition Hotel, a boutique hotel on the Turkish Riviera. Indulgence and luxury come through in every detail of the hotel’s 108 suites, with decadent monsoon showerheads, oversized baths and high-end bath products in each room. The hotel also has amazing access to the Aegean Sea, with tons of available watersports and spots to soak up the sun on the white sand.
What To Do In Bodrum
The Edition Hotel is centrally located near many of Bodrum’s attractions, including the marina and market in Yalikavak and the Bodrum Amphitheatre. They offer 5 on-site restaurants and bars, each with a unique vibe so that you’re never bored during your stay!
And of course, there are tons of beautiful beaches! Anna’s favourite beach is Bitez Beach for its tranquil, uncrowded atmosphere and close proximity to restaurants and shops. There’s no charge for sun loungers in many locations along the beach, making it the perfect place to stretch out with a book and relax.
If you’re looking for a romantic option that offers you the best views of Bodrum, Anna recommends a private sunset boat tour with an included dinner from Bodrum Boat Trips! This tour takes you through Bodrum’s breathtaking aquarium bay for the best sunset view, all while you dine on traditional Turkish cuisine!
If you’re planning on being in Turkey for longer than a few days, Anna says that one of her favourite things to do is take a day trip to Gümüşlük, a small town just under 20 KM from Bodrum. It’s a quaint, laid-back town known for its traditional restaurants, unique open-air market, and various boat tours that are perfect for seeing the sights!
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Our outfit for Turkey is inspired by ancient architecture, simple elegance, and laid-back, neutral colours.
The Romy Dress from Flook The Label is one of our most luxurious and daring cover-ups. The mesh design and one-shoulder strap give off distinctly archaeological vibes while also being incredibly chic.
May Ann’s Fave - Kvareli, Georgia
Flight Time: 3hr 20min
Known For: Charming pastoral vibe, amazing local food scene
Our head accountant May Ann recommended Georgia as one of the best holiday destinations from Dubai, and she’s not talking about the state. Georgia is a small European country nestled between Russia and Turkey on the coast of the Black Sea. Her favourite region, Kvareli, is an ancient paradise surrounded by mountains, forests, and wine country that’s responsible for the area’s unique culture and cuisine.
Kvareli Lake Resort
May Ann’s recommended accommodations in Kvareli is the Kvareli Lake Resort, a secluded resort with a laid-back vibe that’s connected to nature. Constructed in 2010, the resort features 41 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, recreational areas including a hiking trail, bike lanes, a pool, and a gorgeous panoramic terrace where you get one-of-a-kind views of the Alazani Valley and the 44 hectares of lake and forest that surround the Kvareli Lake Resort.
Alongside the breathtaking location and relaxing connection to nature, the Kvareli Lake Resort offers a variety of unique recreational activities that are quintessentially Georgian. For the outdoorsy among us, there are areas for fishing, hiking, badminton, and many other sports. Paddle boats, powerboats, waterskis, and bicycles are all available for rental on-site to help you explore the mountains and lake around you!
And for those of us who want a more relaxing vacation, the resort offers a series of “Georgian masterclasses” focused on certain aspects of Georgian culture and cuisine like baking bread, distilling vodka, making churchkhela (a type of Georgian candy) and grilling. It’s a unique opportunity to interact with Georgia’s cultural cuisine from a different perspective!
What To Do In Kvareli
The municipality of Kvareli is a hidden gem among summer holiday destinations from Dubai, and it’s filled with cultural landmarks and activities that are a breath of fresh air. Kvareli itself is an adorable town with cobbled streets, pastel houses and tree-lined avenues that make the town feel like it grew from the forest around it. It makes an excellent retreat for creatives and those who just want to get back to basics and unplug from the world for a while.
The main thing that’s making Kvareli a tourist hot spot is food. Georgia has a unique culinary profile that’s making waves in foodie communities worldwide. From homestyle bread and traditional European cuisine to world-class wine, the Kvareli region is a must-visit for food aficionados and anyone who just wants a good bite.
The Kvareli region and regions around it have been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and many historical monuments from different eras are scattered around the area. One of the most popular is the Nekresi Monastery Complex, a group of buildings high up on a mountain built during different periods and are long-lasting examples of Georgian culture.
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Our outfit for Georgia is inspired by nature and laid-back vibes.
Ramina’s Fave - Baku, Azerbaijan
Flight Time: 3 hrs
Known For: Unique architecture, trendy Insta-worthy locations, quirky museums
Our top model Ramina suggested the trendy city of Baku in Azerbaijan as one of her favourite summer holiday destinations from Dubai! Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea. It’s an ancient city with modern values, filled with breathtaking architecture and quirky museums that make amazing backdrops for your Instagram feed. It was once described as a “love child of Paris and Dubai” by the Lonely Planet.
The Four Seasons Hotel
Baku is full of trendy hotels, but Ramina says The Four Seasons is her favourite. And we can see why - the hotel is decorated in a decadent beaux-arts style and is nestled between the medieval walls of Baku’s Inner City and the beautiful Baku Flame Towers, offering breathtaking views of both the city’s ancient and modern attractions.
On top of their luxury suites, The Four Seasons has a full range of amenities for a fantastic vacation. Their heated indoor pool is in a secluded Romanesque atrium with a glass ceiling, creating a tranquil hideaway. Our favourite feature is their penthouse spa, which specializes in traditional Turkish hammam rituals and other ancient beauty traditions while providing an incredible view of the Caspian Sea. It’s one of the most luxurious ways to relax and reset on your summer holiday.
What To Do In Baku
There’s tons to do in a city as eclectic as Baku - Ramina gave us the inside scoop on some of her favourite hotspots. She started with the Amburan Beach Club, one of Baku’s hottest beach getaways. The club features everything you could want for a day out - a gorgeous pool, tons of beach sports, shopping, and nightclubs! Whether you’re on a day out with the kids or lounging with your partner, the Amburan Beach Club is one place that makes Baku one of the best vacation destinations from Dubai.
Check out the Chinar for one of the best dining experiences in Baku. This location has been an iconic landmark and meeting place for decades and was originally a tea house built under a cluster of chinar trees. Now, it’s one of the finest restaurants in the world, offering elevated Asian fusion cuisine and quality shisha. The interior of the restaurant is filled with light, and it would make a gorgeous addition to your Insta feed!
If you’re looking for a little bit of culture, it’s everywhere! Baku’s Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, filled with different ancient landmarks and fascinating history. The city is also filled with museums and art collections, some of which are one of a kind! Some of our favourites:
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Our outfit for Baku is inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern values and elevating traditional styles.
A hat must be stylish and durable enough to accompany you on all your adventures, and the Peoni Clasico Wide Brim Hat from Artesano makes a great companion. It has a wide brim for extra protection from the sun, and the silhouette is distinctly Indiana Jones chic.
Did you find your new favourite holiday destinations from Dubai in our list? Let us know with #SawItOnSandDollar!