So, will you be spending the 5-day N-Day break in UAE?
"We are going to Maldives, honey," exclaimed my wife.
"Maldives? Why, when . and the cost?" Suddenly I felt Dh35,000 drained out of my pockets.
"No, I got a super deal," she justified.
"But it rains during early December, right?" I asked trying to skirt the topic. "We all love rains, don't we," she said and I knew the deal was decided.
The photographs of the beaches and the resort in Maldives mesmerised me. Secretly, I had been wanting to go on such a trip. Tired of travelling to fancy locations that make my social media feed look happier than me, I was looking for a place where I could have some real conversations with myself. Hence, The Maldives, blessed with 26 natural atolls comprising dual island chains won me over.
The choice was between staying back in Dubai or visiting another country during the long break graciously given to us. Such long breaks hardly ever come by and I knew it was an opportunity I should grab to make a trip outside the UAE, since we could visit the tourist spots in the UAE at any time.
In any case, there was no going back and my opinion did not seem to matter. My wife had gone ahead with the plans and made the reservations and even booked the resident photographer at the resort. As for me, the idea of sitting on the beach and reading the four books I recently bought was enticing.
This looks like a perfect holiday right before the Dubai Shopping Festival in December. And the numerous offers by travel companies have made this a steal deal. The 35 per cent discount we got, which is not normal for the Maldives, sealed the deal for us.
(Ritu Kant Ojha, Founder, www.wiyld.com Follow him on Twitter: @rkwiyld; Instagram: what_if_its_your_last_day)
As the UAE gears up for its 48th National Day celebrations, we residents are looking forward to the much-awaited five-day break. Yes, it is a good opportunity to travel abroad because it is not often that one gets such a long break. But we as a family have decided to stay back and explore the country, its changing landscapes, culture and heritage.
The UAE is home to 'At the Top', skyscrapers and fancy malls, but the country also boasts an impressive coastline, architectural heritage and excellent flavours of the Arab land. Being a shopping enthusiast, I will definitely visit some of the malls as it's raining 'sales', a good chance to revamp my entire home or wardrobe. The family being travel enthusiasts, the seven emirates offer a host of staycations to soak in beauty of the country. Whether it is Burj Khalifa, Fujairah Fort, Sharjah Heritage Museum or Al Ain Oasis, the UAE makes a perfect holiday destination.
There is no dearth of adventure enthusiasts in the UAE and huge crowds will rush to such spots. Those craving an adrenaline rush can head to Ras al Khaimah, the adventure paradise, while the cliff-to-cliff zipline at Hajjar mountains provides great chills. A hike at Jebel Jais, or drive across the wadis will give us the ultimate altitude experience. And no, the crowds will not keep us away; we will join the beeline.
The holidays are long enough for us to explore the desert, enjoy a campfire and the night skies underneath the dazzling stars. The Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi or the Al Qudra lakes in Dubai are excellent camping sites. Phew! So much to explore, but we have the time. UAE in itself is a package and it never disappoints, and as for the weather, we cannot ask for a better season.
(Sameera Jalali is a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter: jalalijunior and Instagram: sameera23)