Eid Al Fitr 2023: Short breaks, family getaways and flydubai's flash flight sale

Sri Lanka safaris, adult-only wellness retreats in Qatar and eight-day hikes in Taiwan await

Photo: Shutterstock / Flydubai
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The next UAE public holiday is around the corner as the country gets ready to celebrate Eid Al Fitr.

Marking the end of the holy month, the first day of Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on Friday April 21 with most people enjoying a four-day weekend beginning the day before.

Just in time for the holidays, flydubai has announced a flash sale on flights to 20 destinations — including Turkey (from Dh1,200) and Germany's Strasburg (from Dh2,510). It runs until April 20 for flights between April 15 and 23.

Here are 10 Eid holidays available to book.

1. Sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

From temples to towering skyscrapers, Malaysia’s capital offers a vibrant mix of the country’s Malay, Chinese and Indian communities, and April is one of the best times of year to visit as it’s sandwiched between the country’s two wet seasons.

This Eid, Air Arabia Holidays is offering a three-night getaway to Kuala Lumpur, including flights from Sharjah and a stay at Ibis Kuala Lumpur City Centre Hotel. Travellers will be within walking distance of the city’s 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, no longer the country’s tallest buildings, but still worth a visit.

Sightseeing options include Istana Negara, the king's palace, the Islamic Arts Museum, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park and Independence Square. Or head out of town to explore the limestone Batu Caves, take a cable car ride at Genting Highlands or enjoy family fun at Legoland. Dining in Malaysia is also popular with tourists — the cuisine reflects the country’s multi-ethnic population, meaning there’s always something new to try.

From Dh2,735 including flights, hotel with breakfast, excluding transfers; www.holidays.airarabia.com

2. A golfers getaway in Egypt

If golfing is your game, an Eid escape in Egypt awaits with a stay at The Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa, Katameya Dunes. Located in New Cairo, this resort has a 27-hole course designed by Nick Faldo and Brian Curley that’s suited to both beginners and experienced players. The Golf Academy is the place to hone skills, with facilities including a 350-yard driving range.

Away from the greens, the hotel’s large spa is where guests can unwind, with an array of treatments on offer plus a high-tech steam room, experiential rain shower, swimming pool and whirlpool. For families with children, there is 50 per cent off second rooms and children under six eat free. The heart of the Egyptian capital is a 30-minute drive from the resort, making for easy day trips to the famed Khan el-Khalili market and the Great Pyramids.

Rates from Dh940 per night, including breakfast. Return flights from Sharjah to Cairo start at Dh1,683 with Air Arabia over Eid; www.marriott.com

3. A luxury escape in Azerbaijan

Less than a three-hour flight from the UAE and at the crossroads of the Middle East, Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan’s Baku is where antiquity meets modernity. April is one of the best times to head to the Land of Fire, as the month avoids the country’s stifling hot summers and sub-zero winters.

An eclectic destination, Azerbaijan has skyscraper-filled cities and cosmopolitan cafes alongside ancient petroglyphs and mud volcanoes. In Baku, don’t miss the historic walled centre of Icheri Sheher, filled with craftsmen, ancient palaces, mosques and the sunken ruins of hammams. If nature calls, head out of the city for a spring hike through wildflower-covered mountains.

To celebrate Eid, Ritz-Carlton Baku has 50 per cent off the rate of a second room, making it a good choice for families or groups of friends. Nestled near the historical Sherq Bazaar and the modern Heydar Aliyev Centre, the five-star hotel is a good base for exploring the city and also has some great dining options including Tribeca, a New York City-inspired restaurant, and Blind Tiger, a modern speakeasy where guests can enjoy live jazz.

Stays from Dh1,575 per night. Return flights to Baku from Dubai with flydubai start at Dh1,855 over Eid; www.ritzcarlton.com

4. Safari adventures on the edge of Victoria Falls, Zambia

An adventure to remember awaits on this wildlife-centric escape to Zambia. April is still rainy season in this south central African country, but the parks are lush and green, the wildlife is on the move and Victoria Falls is in full flood.

Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara is set in the middle of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park overlooking the mighty Zambezi River. This luxury resort offers a safari-style hideout blended with Anantara’s renowned luxury, including butler service and private verandas. Each morning, guests can spot the likes of zebras, baboons, impalas and giraffes.

To coincide with Eid, the hotel is offering a special package inclusive of daily breakfast, credit towards spa treatments and unlimited access to the thundering Victoria Falls. There are also plenty of inclusive activities such as a half-day of Zambezi River rafting, a river safari cruise and a 15-minute microlight experience soaring above the savannah.

From $860 per room, per night with a minimum three-night stay. Return flights to Lusaka from Dubai with Emirates start at Dh3,549 over Eid; www.anantara.com

5. Family adventures in Sri Lanka’s south-east

Merely four hours from the UAE, Sri Lanka beckons with its idyllic beaches, bustling markets and lush hillsides. And in the teardrop island’s south-east, the Wild Coast Lodge offers something a little bit different for families this Eid.

Adjacent to Yala National Park, this beachfront safari lodge offers tented accommodation with jungle views and is the perfect base to see leopards, elephants, sloth bears and more.

Curious minds can get hands-on with the resort’s junior ranger programme that aims to introduce little ones to the wilderness. Children can learn skills such as animal identification, footprint identification and tracking, and can even choose to become a specialist in their favourite animal, with a certificate awarded at the end. The add-on package costs Dh1,708 for a family of four and includes three game drives, a children's tasting menu and merit badges.

Dh3,297 per night including meals, drinks and select activities. Return flights to Colombo from Abu Dhabi with Etihad start at Dh2,340 over Eid; www.resplendentceylon.com

6. Island living in Mauritius

Nestled in the Indian Ocean, about six and a half hours from the UAE, the islands of Mauritius are idyllic with white sandy beaches, Jurassic-like landscapes and some of the world’s best luxury resorts. The island’s tropical climate means there will be April showers, but these are usually balanced by plenty of sunshine-filled days.

There’s plenty to see and do in Mauritius including kitesurfing and hiking at Le Morne and scuba diving in the surrounding waters, which are almost completely surrounded by a barrier reef. The bustling capital of Port Louis is also worth a visit with its colourful markets, colonial architecture and Creole restaurants.

Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas on the fringe of the island’s secluded Le Chaland Beach is 10 minutes from the airport. The luxury resort is a good pick for a short break and Dnata Travel has a package deal that includes flights and a three-night stay in a premier garden view room, including breakfast. Daily supervised activities are also on offer for children at The Nest club and babysitting services are available on request.

Dh5,950 per adult, Dh3,475 per child, including flights, transfers and accommodation; www.dnatatravel.com

7. Dive into the Maldives

The Maldives is a perennial favourite when it comes to short breaks from the UAE, and with its year-round temperate climate, beautiful beaches and unrivalled marine life, it’s not hard to see why. The recently opened Emerald Faarufishi Resort & Spa in the Raa Atoll offers an escape to the northern part of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Surrounded by a 100-hectare lagoon that’s home to some of the best coral reefs in the Maldives, the all-villa five-star resort offers a choice of minimalist-style accommodation options, including overwater residences.

Active travellers can visit the Padi-certified diving centre to discover an underwater world filled with turtles, eagle rays, Napoleon sharks and schools of tropical fish. There are also tennis and padel courts, a fully equipped gym and water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing and jet skis. When it's time to unwind, the wooden-flanked Emerald Spa offers treatments from Thai and Balinese cultures with a yoga pavilion and a separate relaxation area with plunge pools. Children can visit The Dolphin Club, where there are daily educational and interactive activities on offer for little ones of all ages.

From $899 per night on an all-inclusive basis, excluding taxes. Return flights from Abu Dhabi start at Dh1,840 with Wizz Air over Eid; www.emerald-faarufushi.com.

8. Traverse Taiwan over eight days

Travellers hoping for a complete change of scenery this Eid might want to consider booking a spot on Trekkup Dubai’s Into the Shadow of the Dragon expedition.

Taking place in Taiwan, the trip runs from April 21 to 29 and starts with a city tour of Taipei including a visit to the National Palace Museum, home to a collection of Chinese imperial art. An afternoon hike to Elephant Mountain offers fantastic views of the city.

The next morning, travellers rise early to head to Sun Moon Lake, in the middle of the island’s mountainous region. Hiking through tea farms and lush hillsides brings tourists to Mount Mao-Lan where efforts will be rewarded with views of the region. From here, travellers will head to the incense-shrouded Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery for a private tour of the sacred site before descending to Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city.

National parks, rivers, caves, hot springs and scenic coastal treks are also on the agenda in this all-inclusive eight-day adventure.

Dh5,250, including all meals, activities and accommodation and flights from Dubai with Emirates; www.meetup.com

9. Springtime in Armenia

Holiday Factory’s three-night trip to Armenia is one for bargain hunters. It’s only available to book until Monday and is great value for anyone keen on exploring the capital of this fascinating Caucasus country.

Flight time from the UAE is just over three hours to the Pink City, which offers a mix of sprawling neoclassical squares, leafy tree-lined boulevards and scars of a tumultuous past.

At the five-star National Hotel, travellers will be within walking distance of several landmarks including the musical fountain in Republic Square and the 18th-century Blue Mosque, and its pretty Islamic garden. Travellers who want to escape the city can head to Etchmiadzin, known as the Armenian Holy City, which is home to some of the world’s oldest churches. The resort town of Diligan is about 90 minutes away and offers nature with flower-filled meadows, pine forests and natural mineral springs.

From Dh3,199 including flights from Abu Dhabi, hotels and transfers; www.holidayfactory.com

10. An adults-only wellness escape in Qatar

Take time for yourself this Eid Al Fitr with a three-night wellness escape at Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som in Qatar. A short flight from the UAE, this coastal getaway blends traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine with holistic health.

Zulal Serenity is the resort’s adults-only destination, and this Eid guests booking two nights will receive a complimentary third. Travellers with more time can book a four-night stay and receive an additional three nights for free.

Upon arrival, all visitors receive a one-on-one consultation with a health and wellness expert who will help set up a personalised programme including treatments and activities. Stays also include three meals per day, access to all facilities including the hydrothermal areas, sauna, steam room and an arctic cave. There are also outdoor and indoor pools, a high-tech gymnasium and complimentary group fitness classes, plus free laundry services to keep your workout gear fresh.

From 4,500 Qatari riyals ($1,236) per night. Return flights to Doha from Abu Dhabi with Etihad start at Dh1,060 over Eid; www.chivasom.com/zulal

Updated: April 11, 2023, 1:50 PM