Seven travel experiences easily accessible from Dubai

Seven travel experiences easily accessible from Dubai



How much of your bucket list have you conquered?

Countless travel bucket lists have been curated over the years, spanning aspects like history, adventure, food, natural wonders and more. And given the opportunity, we all would like to cross off the essentials: take in the spectacular views from Machu Picchu, snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, soak in the mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon, and walk a portion of the Great Wall. 

The expenses and logistics involved, however, are far from appealing. Luckily for us, we reside in an air travel hub, giving us easy access to some of the world's ultimate travel experiences. We've shortlisted seven that are only six hours or less from the GCC, eliminating the stress that comes with layovers and additional visa applications. Think wandermust, not wanderlust.

Linger by a Door


The Spice Island is all about sensory overload — the heady scent of cinnamon and cloves wafting over church spires as the lilting call to prayer brings street life to a screeching halt. Still, there's one element of Zanzibar's tangible heritage in particular that makes it so fascinating: its doors. Only a few hundred of these relics remain, weathered works of art revealing the occupation, social status, and religious beliefs of their original owners through ornate carvings, Quranic inscriptions, and delicately decorated frames. We recommend taking a guided walk to better appreciate their backstories.

bucket list

Live Like a Nomad


Yurts are a vital part of nomadic culture, so a trip to Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan in particular, where they're most prevalent – without at least one night of yurt camping would be incomplete. The southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake offers plenty in terms of natural wonders, many of which are easily accessed following a stay at Bel-Tam Yurt Camp. Here, you can partake in age-old traditions, taking shelter in a circular dwelling made using materials derived entirely from nature.

Guide to Kyrgyzstan

Take in the View 


By now, most UAE residents have made it to Tbilisi, only to turn around and return home — much to their detriment. Georgia's natural beauty is best captured in the small valley town of Kazbegi, where opportunities to stargaze and soak in hot springs await. As for the bucket-list must? Hiking to Gergeti Trinity Church. This 14th-century church is located at an elevation of 2,170 metres, its modest facade drastically contrasted by Mount Kazbek – a now-extinct volcano – in the background. Wide-angle lenses at the ready.

bucket list

Cruise the Old-Fashioned Way


Unlike a visit to the pyramids – which is often a hassle-filled disappointment – a cruise along the River Nile is always awe-inspiring. And while there are plenty of vessels equipped for the journey, it's the SS Sudan that is truly unique. Built in 1885, this historic paddle steamer retains the Belle Époque charm that inspired Agatha Christie to write her 1937 novel, Death on the Nile. Today, it serenely traverses the Nile at an approximate 8km/hour, taking off from either Luxor or Aswan.

bucket list

Hop on a Hot-Air Balloon


Anyone with an Instagram account knows that literally hundreds of brightly coloured hot-air balloons collectively take flight over the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia at sunrise, but to experience it firsthand is nothing short of magical. This historic region in Central Anatolia is home to countless rock formations known as 'fairy chimneys', which have come about as a result of wind, water and volcanic activity over several millennia. This one's a bit of a splurge, with prices ranging from $140 to $250, but absolutely worth it.

undiscovered Cappadocia

Fly Through the Peaks


If a hot-air balloon doesn't ascend enough for your liking, head to Kathmandu instead. It is here that an aptly named 'mountain flight' by Yeti Airlines offers a jaw-dropping shortcut to Mount Everest and its surrounding snow-capped peaks. It's a no-brainer, really — you'll board a plane in which every single passenger gets a window seat, granting them breathtaking views of the Himalayas before returning to the Nepali capital in under two hours. Bonus: hiking gear is not required.

bucket list

Float in Salty Waters


Petra is understandably Jordan's most-visited tourist attraction, with structures estimated to be over 2,300 years old. And while it certainly is an unmissable attraction, another bucket list attraction is located under 200km away: the Dead Sea. Famed as the lowest point on land – 423 metres below sea level – this body of water boasts minerals considered healing for many skin ailments. It's also super salty, making it effortless to float. Incidentally, the time to do so is circa now; experts says its surface level is diminishing as a result of climate change each year.

bucket list