Travel options starting in the UAE in late spring?
February 13, 2013 9:01 AM   Subscribe

I'm working in Abu Dhabi until late May. At the end of my contract, I'll have a number of visitors staying with me. We are interested in travel destinations for a 7-10 day trip leaving from Abu Dhabi or Dubai at that time. Currently on the list is India (but what part?), Sri Lanka, and Turkey. I will be doing some short, weekend-length trips on my own the next few months including Jordan, Oman, and Qatar and while we have discussed those as places as possibilities to visit, they aren't necessarily where we could see ourselves spending a week and a half.
posted by tip120 to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What would you and your guests like to do on the trip? Stay in big cities soaking up the sights? Go to a resort and lie on the beach and get massages and go on boat rides? Go to historical sites and temples and suchlike? That might influence people's suggestions.

(I'm sure you're aware of this because you're in the UAE, but it is going to start to get really hot around that time of the year in India, as it's the pre-monsoon season.)
posted by vetala at 9:11 AM on February 13, 2013

Response by poster: I think we would be interested in options more than anything else. We'll see plenty of city in the UAE before traveling, so probably a relaxing/sightseeing mix would be preferable. I realize how the season would influence recommendations which is why I'm probing the hive mind.
posted by tip120 at 9:17 AM on February 13, 2013

You could do a week and a half in Oman - a few days by the beach and a few days seeing the hill forts and wadis. The Six Senses in Zighy Bay is expensive but apparently fantastic. You can get discounts in May because the weather is so hot.

Otherwise, a trip to Sri Lanka is doable in 10 days if you don't want to see everything. You can see suggested itineraries for 7 and 14 day holidays here but I used them to put a 10 day plan together and they came up trumps. May is the rainy season though. That said, I went in October/November when it is also rainy and didn't find it that bad.

India in 10 days? Perhaps go to Kerala. Not been, but lots of friends have and rave about it.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:29 AM on February 13, 2013

If you go to Kayak Explore and enter Dubai, spring 2013, you'll see a ton of options with price tags attached. Ethiopia has been on my radar for awhile and has cheap flights from Dubai, but it sounds like it can be rough traveling, and I'm not sure if that's what you want. Tanzania also looks like it has affordable flights, and then there's Tunisia, too. I've also heard good things about Kerala, but if it's going to be hot, how about Nepal for roughly the same flight cost?
posted by ceiba at 9:32 AM on February 13, 2013

Well, as I literally just came back from Kerala five days ago, I can tell you that there's a direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Trivandrum on Etihad Airways (4-5 hour flight).

Kerala is a gorgeous, lush part of the country, full of coconut and palm trees. Trivandrum is a lovely little town of about 750,000 people, where the streets are clean (compared to, say, Chennai), people are friendly, and the food is delicious. If you feel like going about 20-40 km outside of town, you can stay in any number of beautiful resorts in the backwaters along the beaches. I stayed in one of them with my family (memail me for details) for three days, and it was great for relaxing with clean private beaches, gorgeous backwater boatrides, and Ayurvedic massages for around $90 USD per day per cabin - and each cabin was a big traditional Keralan-style cabin in design. If you're interested in sightseeing, there are all sorts of bridges and palaces and waterfalls that you can hit on a single day's drive from Trivandrum; if you really feel like it, you're 80 km from the southernmost tip of India itself. To get around, you'll want to rent a car/minivan with a driver and I can give you price guidelines on that.
posted by vetala at 9:43 AM on February 13, 2013

Flights to Sri Lanka from UAE sometimes stop in the Maldives; you could spend a few days there on the way.
posted by cogat at 11:45 AM on February 13, 2013

Off topic, but are you on an Epic implementation at one of the hospitals?
posted by jen14221 at 12:16 PM on February 13, 2013

You can go to Socotra via Sharjah, UAE (Abu Dhabi) for exactly a week and a half, since flights to the island are on Wednesdays and back on Saturdays.
posted by mykescipark at 3:02 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @jen14221 Not sure what you're talking about, so probably not.
posted by tip120 at 4:54 AM on February 14, 2013

There's a good deal with one of the airlines for a trip to Kenya right now. A friend just went. I don't know how long it lasts, but might be worth looking into. MeMail if you want me to get more details.
posted by bardophile at 8:55 PM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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