Do you find yourself wishing you could get away, but without the hassle of researching destinations and booking flights and hotels? Do you ever feel like a much-needed vacation without having to pack a hundred suitcases, stepping on a plane and standing in endless immigration queues? Is there any way at all to maximize relaxation and sightseeing with minimal logistics, travel time and stopovers?
There is. Abandon that last minute dash to Dubai International Airport, and indulge, instead, in a stress-free “staycation” in the UAE itself and enjoy discounted summer rates as a UAE resident! There is a myriad of choices for staycation spots in Dubai, and to help you decide, one EXPAT CONNECT blogger gives you her top recommendations for enjoying the best of what the UAE has to offer.
P.S. Best of all – if you forget your camera at home, you can always go back to get it!
STAYCATION OPTION ONE: THE FAMILY-FRIENDLY GET AWAY IN DUBAI
Where to stay: The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort
What to do: Situated on beautiful Jumeirah Beach, this resort is the perfect destination to relax, unwind and enjoy some family time in a peaceful setting. Immediately adjacent to JBR, there is a wide array of activities at your fingertips, but if you’re like us, you won’t feel like leaving. Perfect outdoor facilities, with several temperature controlled pools and zones to relax, play and beat the summer heat.
Best For: Families with young children, because this is one of the most kid-friendly hotels we have stayed in. An amazing kids club with soft play areas and enough activities to keep your little ones occupied, a large kiddie pool with water slides and constant supervision, a kids play area even in the breakfast restaurant and child friendly restaurants and staff were just some of the reasons we fell in love with this place and our kids (and us!) never wanted to leave!
Info and Bookings: http://www.westinminaseyahi.com/
STAYCATION OPTION TWO: THE OPULENT PERFECT FOR COUPLES RETREAT IN RAS AL KHAIMAH
Where to stay: Waldorf Astoria RAK
What to do: Indulgence in the sheer opulence of this palace style hotel, from its majestic chandelier-laden lobby and spacious luxury rooms to the underwater themed spa and star quality fine dining options, most notably the Lexington Grill steakhouse. Complemented by a lavish pool area and long open stretch of fine white sand beach, this is the ultimate place to splurge away a romantic weekend.
Best For: A glitzy, glamorous occasion, the perfect place to enjoy as a couple or to celebrate a special anniversary or birthday getaway together.
Info and Bookings: http://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/hotels/uae/waldorf-astoria-ras-al-khaimah-RKTWAWA/index.html
STAYCATION THREE: THE CULTURAL DESERT RETREAT IN AL AIN
Where to stay: Al Ain Rotana
What to do: A 90 minute drive from Dubai through a serene sand dune landscape, Al Ain is the ultimate unexpected green oasis in the endless Arabian Desert. Clustered around the renowned historic Al Ain oasis, the city teems with manicured parks and well-preserved Arabic forts, with plenty of playgrounds to keep smaller visitors busy. While the oasis itself enchants with its beguiling air of tranquillity among its dense palm tree groves, nearby Al Ain Zoo is a remarkable and spacious wild life reserve, to the magnificent backdrop of a rocky desert landscape. And on the edge of the city, right on the border to Oman, looms majestic Jebel Hafeet, the highest peak in the UAE, which is not only easily accessible due to its winding rod to the top observation platform, but rewards with breath-taking views over the boundless Empty Quarter.
Best For: Families and couples looking for short getaway with a cultural twist and unique scenery.
Info and Bookings: www.rotana.com/Al-Ain-Rotana-Hotel
Travelling truly makes for some of the best experiences in life, but if you are not able to go away, a STAYcation is a great alternative. Recharge your batteries and feel brand new.