The Islamic New Year long weekend is here, which means many in the UAE will be set to enjoy a day off work next week.
Last-minute holidays are not as easy as they used to be thanks to Covid-19 tests, health declarations and compulsory travel insurance, which are now typically needed before you can even think about booking a flight, so chances are if you don't have travel planned by now you're staying put this weekend. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a change of scenery.
Many hotels around the country still have availability and there are also some great staycation promotions running at the moment.
Keep in mind that Abu Dhabi residents will need a Covid-19 test to return to the emirate if venturing elsewhere, and all other UAE residents will need a test to enter Abu Dhabi and staycation in the capital. From JBR in Dubai to Abu Dhabi's Empty Quarter, here are seven hotels still accepting reservations for the long weekend.
Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, Dubai
Get set for an action-packed long weekend with The Ultimate Weekend staycation deal at Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens. Spend Friday brunching at Lah Lah restaurant followed by complimentary sundowners. Saturday can be your day of rest with pool time and a massage at the Native Club Spa. Sunday is earmarked as a day of fun, with tickets to Wild Wadi Waterpark as well as late checkout until 5pm.
Rates from Dh1,299 per couple including breakfast, brunch, post-brunch, massage, and water park access. Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, Dubai, www.jumeirah.com
Radisson Red Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis
This is one for the dog parents. Take your four-legged friend with you when you book a room at Radisson Red Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis. Your pooch will be thoroughly spoiled at this dog-friendly hotel. As well as having their very own bed to sleep in, pets will be served ice cream and a special mixed beverage. Meanwhile, fur parents can enjoy an hour of complimentary house beverages to kick off the long weekend staycation in style. Rooms are spacious with plenty of modern, locally-inspired art and design work, and the rooftop swimming pool is the perfect spot for sundowners with a view over the city.
Rates from Dh279 per night for two people and one dog. Radisson Red Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Digital Park; www.radisson.com
Rixos Premium Dubai JBR, Dubai
It's always nice to feel like you're getting a good value stay and the 'money back' staycation offer at Rixos Premium Dubai JBR gives you exactly that. This Jumeirah Beach Residence hotel has gorgeous rooms and suites with views overlooking the world's largest ferris wheel and the Arabian coastline. Spend the night, and you'll get Dh500 of your money back to spend on food and drinks at the hotel's food and beverage outlets. Head to Azure Beach Club for poolside lounging or eat Greek at Ammos. STK offers some of the best steak in the city or Luigia has Italian eats. If you prefer, you can also choose to spend your credit on food or beverages at Black Tap or Lock Stock & Barrel.
Rates start from Dh900, inclusive of Dh500 credit. Rixos Premium Dubai JBR; Dubai; www.rixos.com
Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island
Ramp up the adrenaline with a staycation on Yas Island. Book a room at the Radison Blu Hotel on Yas Island and you'll also get the chance to zoom around in the go-karts at Yas Marina Circuit's Yas Kartzone. The hotel has fantastic views of the Arabian Gulf, three restaurants and two bars to take your pick from when it comes to dining. There's a gorgeous swimming pool where social distancing is being strictly enforced – you may need to reserve your spot ahead of catching some sunshine. Every booking gets complimentary breakfast and a 15 minute go-karting session. And if that's not enough engine action for one weekend, Ferarri World on Yas Island has also reopened to visitors.
Rates start from Dh525.50, Radisson Blue Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; www.yasisland.ae
The St Regis Abu Dhabi
Located right on Abu Dhabi's corniche, the towering St Regis Abu Dhabi in Nation Towers has a great staycation deal available for the long weekend. The Staycation and Dine package includes breakfast and your choice of lunch or dinner at Cabana Beach Bar and Grill, as well as early check-in and late check-out so you can really make the most of your visit. The hotel has some of the best views of the Corniche as well as direct access to the private Nation Riviera Beach Club. It's also adjacent to Nation Galleria mall if you want to hit the cinema or indulge in some retail therapy.
Rates from Dh924 for a superior room which sleeps two adults and one child. The St Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Tower, Corniche, Abu Dhabi; www.marriott.com
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Abu Dhabi
This recently reopened desert resort in the Empty Quarter, Abu Dhabi is a good pick for a secluded staycation with endless views of the dunes. This little oasis is located around 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi, but feels like it's a whole world away. Book the Summer Villa special and you can check-in to your very own one bedroom villa, where privacy is guaranteed. It even has its own plunge pool so you can cool off as you take in the endless desert views. Families will want to book a two-bedroom villa, which also has its own pool and enough space for everyone. The rate includes daily breakfast for two people (or for four in a family villa).
Rates from Dh1,999. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resot by Anantara, Rub’ al Khal, Abu Dhabi; www.anantara.com
Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche
For a bargain summer staycation, Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche has a great offer on for UAE residents. Located on Ajman's corniche, every single one of the rooms in the hotel offer sea views, as does the elevated swimming pool. When you've had your fill of relaxed chill-time in Ajman, you can make your way to Dubai for some fun, as guests booking a stay at Wndyham Garden will receive free tickets to one of three Dubai attractions. Take your pick from Laguna Waterpark, Roxy Cinemas or The Green Planet to make your long weekend one to remember.
Rates from Dh279 for two adults and up to two children under six years old, including breakfast. Wyndham Garden Ajman Corniche, Ajman; email@example.com
Note – while all listed hotels had availability at the time of writing, this is likely to change as more bookings are made.