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Best Last Minute Family Breaks In And Around Dubai

TravelPost Category - TravelTravel - Post Category - Short HaulShort Haul

The holidays are here and if you haven’t booked one, well, it’s not too late! We’ve found the best short trips in and around the UAE for the family so that you don’t have to dread that multiple hour plane ride halfway across the world. From exploring our neighbouring Emirates or nipping off to Asia for a week or two, check it all out below.

al ain oasis

Al Ain

This Emirate is amongst the most laid-back, boasting gorgeous views at heights that don’t require a skyscraper and an elevator shaft. You won’t see the hustle and bustle of Dubai here and it’s thankfully not nearly as humid, making it a great place to retreat to during the burning summer months. There’s also fun stuff for the archaeologists in the family with a number of historical sites peppered across the region.

Travel time: 1 hour 20 minutes drive
Where to stay: Al Ain Rotana Hotel, Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Things to do: Camel racing, exploring ruins, running through the oasis

abu dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Our sister city’s an easy road trip away and full of fun things to do or see, from the wacky Ferrari World for your little (and big) racers to exploring the amazing green Masdar City. For something really special, you can do as our Sassy Mama Dani did and nip on over to Sir Bani Yas Island for a safari! Skip the plane ride on this one mama and opt to pack everyone into the family van, it’s so much cheaper.

Travel time: 1 hour 40 minutes drive
Where to stay: 
Rosewood, Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island
Things to do: Safari, see the Sheihkh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World



Yeah, if that photo doesn’t convince you, we don’t know what will. Cyprus is a Dubai family fave (especially since it’s not so far away) and with good reason. With a number of secluded bays and beaches to explore, this is very much a beach holiday in a place that’s the perfect blend of Greek chic and Turkish culture.

Travel time: 4 hours 15 minutes flight
Where to stay
: Louis Ledra Beach, Avanti Village, Elysium Hotel
Things to do: Aphrodite Water Park, beaches, archaeological sites

atlantis dubai


Who said you couldn’t have fun at home? We’ve got a number of awesome staycations (some of which you may have spotted on our site) and it’s worth heading over to one for a breather. You can either take a chance to explore the city’s natural glory at a secluded desert paradise or chart a course for one of our many beachside hotels.

Travel time: Ha!
Where to stay: Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Atlantis The Palm, Sheraton Dubai Creek
Things to do: Camel riding, dhow river tours, going to a water park

goa india


Why not head over to Asia this summer? India’s a beautiful and culturally rich experience, full of unforgettable sights and smells, and there are parts of it that are absolutely family friendly. We’ve heard great things about Goa and Darjeeling and apparently, you haven’t lived until you’ve had real traditional Indian food.

Travel time: Around 3 hours
Where to stay: Taj Exotica Goa, The Leela Goa, Elgin Darjeeling
Things to do: Himalayan Railway/Toy Train (Darjeeling), historical tour of Goa, Mirik Lake (Darjeeling)



All it takes is a single photo of the Maldives to fill us with wanderlust. If you’ve got a few water bugs in the family and want to get up close and personal with the fishies, this vacation’s definitely a great shout. Just remember to bring your bathing suit!

Travel time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Where to stay: Gili LankanfushiLUX* Exotica
Things to do: Snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing


Oh man, Oman. This beautiful country’s not all that far from Dubai (just an hour’s flight) and it’s a hidden bastion of natural beauty: think secret beaches and scuba diving galore. A great option for bub’s first holiday, it’s different enough to merit going and familiar enough to ease the newest of travellers. (Tip: go swimming in Wadi Shab Valley above, it’s gorgeous!)

Travel time: Approximately one hour by plane
Where to stay: Six Senses Zhigy Bay, Turtle Beach Resort, Alila Jabal Akhar
Things to do: Scuba diving, camping, turtle watching

ras al khaimah

Ras al Khaimah

One of the usual suspects, Ras Al Khaimah’s one of the popular nearby Emirates for a quick vacation away. The Hajar Mountains are definitely a sight to see if the family’s into hiking and it has a rich cultural history, full of fortresses and old structures waiting to be uncovered.

Travel time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Where to stay:
Waldorf Astoria, The Cove
Things to do: Surfing, hiking, sightseeing

beach seychelles


By now, the words paradise and Seychelles should be practically interchangeable. Perfect for island hoppers and the mama who wants to indulge in a bit of mumbathing, there’s a pristine white beach and turquoise waters everywhere you look. (Just look at the image at the top of the page and tell us you don’t want to be there.) There’s not a skyscraper in sight, which is a massive plus in our books as well.

Travel time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Where to stay
: Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa, Constance Ephalia
Things to do: Island hopping, snorkelling, fishing

sri lanka

Sri Lanka

This one’s a little bit further away, but absolutely worth it. Sri Lanka’s totally unlike anything you’ll find in Dubai, from the gorgeous tea tree plantations through to the orangutan sanctuaries to monkey around in. Now’s actually a great time to go as rainy season’s just passed and it’s off-peak season, meaning you hopefully won’t have to navigate the army of selfie-sticks and DSLRs.

Travel time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Where to stay: The Last House, Jungle Beach Resort, Ulagalla Resort
Things to do: See the wildlife sanctuaries, watch turtles being born, exploring tea plantations

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