As we roll further into Ramadan, thoughts are beginning to turn to Eid Al Fitr and the upcoming holidays that look set to begin around June 5. That could mean a five-day weekend for some people and this year, public and private holidays are aligned for the first time in years meaning this time-off could be a good opportunity to take a trip.
Whether you fancy a simple staycation, a weekend escape or a longer haul holiday, we’ve gathered some of the best Eid holiday deals from around the world offering everything from a concert on a Maldivian island to a wellness retreat in the mountains of India.
Holidays in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the UAE
Butler service in Abu Dhabi
If you are looking for a mini-break in the capital, The St Regis, Abu Dhabi on the Corniche might be a good option. Home to the Remede Spa, Nation Riviera Beach Club and over 200 metres of pristine sand, every room in the hotel also comes with complimentary butler service, meaning you can let someone else take the lead this Eid, and focus on unwinding. Check-in to a superior room or a signature suite this Eid and you'll get money back by way of restaurant dining credit as well as complimentary breakfast and a late check out. And if you book two rooms, you'll get the second at half the price.
Superior room from Dh650 (plus taxes) includes Dh200 in restaurant credit. Signature suites from Dh1,200 (plus taxes) includes Dh400 restaurant credit, www.marriott.com
Explore Bluewaters in Dubai
If you have not had a chance to check out Bluewaters yet then Eid may be a good time to get out there. Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai is offering half price pool access at Neptune Pool and bar this upcoming holiday where you'll also get private beach access, complimentary water, cold towels and freshly cut coconuts, as well as 25 per cent off all food and beverages. On the other side of the spectrum, if you're trying to impress someone then the Romance Like a Caesar package at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai might be worth a look. Stay in a presidential suite with a private butler to take care of your every need and enjoy breakfast in Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, private movie screenings, couple's spa treatments and lots more.
Day pass rates at Caesers Resort are Dh50 on weekdays, Dh75 on weekends. The Caesars Palace Romance package starts at Dh20,000 (plus taxes) per night, www.caesars.com
All aboard Dubai's QE2
Staying in Dubai over the holidays? Make your Eid memorable with a night on the historic Queen Elizabeth 2. The whole family can enjoy a Funfair Feast at The Lido restaurant tucking into an international buffet and where live music will ensure a festive atmosphere, little ones can have fun in the play area. Guests staying on the Queen Elizabeth also get complimentary access to Laguna Water Park at nearby La Mer. Once evening falls, take your seat at the Razzle and Dazzle dinner show for a night of first-class entertainment before bedding down in your own historic cabin.
The All Aboard packages costs Dh2,250 per couple and can be booked at www.qe2.com
Manhattan vibes in Ras al Khaimah
The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah evokes New York glamour fused with coastal vibes less than an hour’s drive from Dubai, making it a good pick for getting out of the big city without having to travel too far. The huge family pool and private beach complete with a water sports centre will keep the entire family happy, while grownups seeking some downtime will love the adults-only infinity pool. This Eid, the half board offer includes a buffet breakfast and dinner at Qasr Al Bahar. One child under 12 can stay free in their parents’ room and children under six eat free while children aged 6 to eleven will dine at half price.
The half board offer starts at Dh1,000 (plus taxes), subject to availability. Find out more at waldorfastoria3.hilton.com
Destinations four hours or less from the UAE
Make the most of Oman
Oman’s Chedi Muscat was one of the first luxury resorts in the country and it remains one of the most coveted thanks to gorgeous architecture, beautiful gardens and the fact that it boasts the country’s largest spa. You can get 30 per cent off at the spa and at any of the hotel’s restaurants when you book the Chedi’s seasonal offer. You’ll also get daily breakfast, a complimentary mini bar and a third night free when you book a two-night stay, or a fourth night free when you book for three days. Go for a Club Room to also get return airport limousine transfers, access to the Club Lounge and a host of other perks.
Eid rates start at OMR 327.60 (Dh3,129) for two adults for three nights. Book online at www.ghmhotels.com
A boutique stay in Bahrain
Just an hour’s flight from the UAE, tiny Bahrain is a good choice if you want to leave the country but don’t want to fly too far from home. Stay at the beautiful Merchant House in Manama’s old town and arrive in style courtesy of a Maserati Quattroporte airport transfer. Each suite in the boutique hotel comes with gorgeous interiors from iconic designer and hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray and the art collection is worth checking out, it's filled with pieces from local Bahraini and other regional art. Those looking to soak in the city vibes will love the rooftop restaurant and garden overlooking Bab Al Bahrain souk.
Eid rates for a one-night stay in an Urban Suite including a Maserati transfer and breakfast for two start at BHD178 (Dh1,738), www.campbellgrayhotels.com/merchant-house-bahrain/
Discover a medieval city in Azerbaijan
Less than three hours from the UAE, Azerbaijan's Baku offers a unique place for an Eid escape. Check in at the Four Seasons Baku along the city's waterfront and you'll be just steps from the medieval walls of the Inner City, known as Icherisheher. Wander the narrow roads discovering places like the UNESCO-listed Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower. Elsewhere you can sail along Baku Boulevard or discover over 6,000 rock engravings in Gobustan. For bookings throughout May and June, including the Eid holidays, all guests that book three nights at the Four Seasons will get an extra night free of charge.
Eid room rates start at $200 (Dh734), per night, and suites start from $320 (Dh1,175), www.fourseasons.com/baku
Attend a private concert in the Maldives
Fancy something different this Eid? Escape to Velaa Private Island in the Maldives on June 6 to see Lebanese singer and TV personality Dianna Haddad perform at an intimate gig. As well as a complimentary one-way seaplane transfer to Noonu Atoll — the most northern point in the archipelago, all Eid guests who book at least four nights in the island’s private residences will get half-board hosting at Athiri, the resort’s seafood and Japanese restaurant. The ultra-luxe resort also offers plenty of turtle-spotting opportunities and golfing action and the archipelago is just a four-hour flight from the UAE. If you're only staying one night, you can take advantage of a ten per cent Eid discount.
Rates start at $1,815 (Dh6,665) per night and you can book online at www.velaaprivateisland.com
Fly to Pune for free
If you're planning on taking a bit of a longer Eid break and want to make an investment in your well being, you could do worse than a trip to The Atmantan in Pune, Western India. The internationally acclaimed resort is a sprawling blend of modernity and spirituality and offers a whole host of remedies and treatments including Ayurveda, massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, chakra work, balneotherapy and more – all surrounded by 42 acres of lush green valleys and the waters of Mulshi Lake. And this Eid, If you book a stay that's 10 nights or longer, the Maharashtra resort will pay for your flight for you.
Rates start at $1,260 (Dh4,627), 10-night stays with flight included cost $4,200 (Dh15,424) including taxes and meals. For more information, see www.atmantan.com
Family fun in Goa
Sunshine, sea, sand and a rambling laid-back vibe await in Goa, just over a three-hour flight from the UAE. Take the family to The Taj Exotica Resort and Spa in the south of Goa for an easy mini-break where everyone will be happy. Children will be entertained at the onsite activity centre where they can take part in workshops, games and sports sessions while grownups can enjoy a classic Goan afternoon tea or a pampering session at Jiva Spa.
Rates start at 17,000 Indian rupees (Dh887) per night (a three-night minimum stay is required) and include airport transfers, all meals and 20 per cent off spa treatments. Book online at www.tajhotels.com
Georgian delights in Tbilisi
The Caucasus capital of Tbilisi seems to get more interesting by the day thanks to an evolving nightlife, dining and arts scene. This Eid, Tajawal travel has put together three packages for anyone looking to discover Georgia’s blossoming capital. Budget travellers can go for the bronze option, which includes three nights at the Gallery Palace next to Tbilisi Botanical Gardens. For luxury fans, the gold package includes check-in in at the stunning Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi which has a in indoor pool and spa and is ideally located for sightseeing right beside the city’s historic Freedom Square.
Packages start at Dh3,853 per person including flights, daily breakfast, a private day tour of Tbilisi and airport transfers. Find out more at www.tajawal.com
Longer distance trips
Explore easy-going Tunis
The capital of North Africa’s smallest country comes with a laid-back vibe and a rich history lapped by the cooling waters of the Mediterranean. Less than seven hours from the Emirates, Tunis is filled with Maghreb culture, Unesco-listed relics, historic souks and port-side boats. Check into The Residence Tunis for a wellness-orientated escape designed to leave you feeling restored. Stay for four days and you’ll enjoy a body scrub and bathing session, an ESPA marine body wrap, two massages, an oil body treatment and a coaching session all tailored to your personal wellness needs. You’ll also get airport transfers, an upgrade to a Seaview room and complimentary day trips to clifftop Sidi Bou Said town and Carthage, believed to be the ancient centre of civilisation.
Rates start at €995 (Dh3,654) per couple and bookings must be made before May 31. You can reserve online at www.cenizaro.com
Royal celebrations in London
With the Eid holiday falling in June this year, a visit to London makes perfect sense as Britain’s capital will be in full pre-summer mode fueled by the recent excitement of the royal baby's arrival. Get set to indulge in some Royal celebrations on June 8 when the queen will be celebrating her official birthday with the annual trooping of the guards ceremony. If you really want to keep the royal theme going, the Corinthia London's Royal Penthouse offers a gorgeous place to stay. It's the largest two-bedroom luxury hotel residence in the capital and overlooks the River Thames with uninterrupted views all the way from the heart of the city to the heritage sights in Westminster. If that’s not quite within budget, there are several other stunning penthouses to pick from as well as some beautiful suites. All rooms will be filled with celebratory Eid dates and fruit baskets.
Junior suites start from £1,200 (Dh5,739) per night, penthouse suites from £7,000 (Dh33,480), and a night in the Royal Penthouse will cost £22,000 (Dh105,000) per night. Book online www.corinthia.com
Go snap happy in Belgium
Capture every detail of your Eid holiday with a trip to Belgium and a stay at Hotel Amigo. Set among the cobbled streets of Brussels, the historic hotel fuses modern design with traditional touches and this juxtaposition spills over to your picture-taking. Upon check in, guests each get their very own retro Polaroid camera and can then spend time with the hotel concierge creating a perfect day-trip itinerary. Make use of a hotel guide or head out on your own, armed with your customised itinerary, to explore Ghent, Antwerp or Bruges and capture every moment with your new piece of tech. Before you leave, the hotel will gather your pictures into a souvenir photo album.
Rates start at €573 (Dh2,348) for two per night and include breakfast, concierge day trip recommendations, a Polaroid camera and personalised photo album. To book email email@example.com
Eid in the Irish capital
Craving a spot of country living? Head for Ireland where green hills and boundless fresh air await. Head for the capital where the Leprechaun Museum will fascinate children of all ages as will a day spent in Phoenix Park. In the cobbled streets of Temple Bar enjoy traditional music sessions and unique eateries or head to Grafton Street for serious retail therapy. The Suite Retreat package at the InterContinental Dublin offers shoppers a private shopping appointment with Brown Thomas, Ireland’s most distinguished department store. You’ll also get a full Irish breakfast, health club access, late check out and €100 (Dh400) to spend at the hotel’s dining outlets.
Suites costs from €420 (Dh1,732), book online at www.intercontinentaldublin.ie
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This article was first published on 13 May, 2019