UAE-Pakistan flights: Experience cold desert, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls; 6 best places to visit in Skardu

With temperatures reaching -20°C in winter and staying in the 20s in summer, the city is a perfect destination for summer and winter breaks

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Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 20 Aug 2023, 11:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 20 Aug 2023, 12:42 PM

Dubai is now directly connected to the Pakistani city of Skardu, thanks to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Accessible to UAE residents within a three-and-a-half an hour flight, Pakistan’s northern city, which sits over 8,000 feet above sea level, offers one of the shortest and perfect destinations for adventure and cultural tourism.

Skardu is a relatively newly-opened and untapped destination for the UAE and world tourists, offering views of snow-capped mountains, cold desert, Indus River, waterfalls and scenic drives. It annually hosts off-road jeep rallies and other winter festivals for visitors. With temperatures reaching -20°C in winter and staying in the 20s in summer, the city is a perfect destination for summer and winter breaks.

Below are the six best places that UAE tourists can visit and explore the beauty of Skardu:

Deosai plains

The alpine plateau offers exceptional beauty to visitors. Pakistan designated this plateau as Deosai National Park in 1993 to protect and conserve Himalayan brown bears. Residents of the area have also spotted snow leopards in the remote areas. The plains are a mix of plateaus, hills, streams, lakes and mountains. During summer, visitors can spend nights in the Deosai plains in cosy camps and glamps to enjoy the cool and crystal-clear sky.

Shangrila Resort

Nestled in the Himalayan mountains, it is also known as “Heaven on Earth” for its stunning beauty and peaceful ambience. It offers lakeside views, Swiss cottages, executive suites and many other options to people looking to stay in the hotel and enjoy a peaceful ambience.

Cold desert

Located around 30 kilometres from Skardu, this desert is fully covered in snow during the winter, therefore, it is also known as cold desert. Once the ice melts, this desert blooms into adventure tourism, offering visitors an experience to enjoy paragliding, desert safari, quad bikes and horse riding.

Manthokha Waterfall

This 180-foot-high waterfall is located around 50 kilometres from Skardu and is surrounded by beautiful towering rocky mountains. The visitors can also enjoy trout fish sourced from the fresh waters and it tastes as good as Salmon. It is also a great source of Omega-3 and other nutrients and vitamins.

Kachura Lake

Also known as Upper Kachura Lake, the crystal-clear water reservoir sits around 8,200 metres above sea level. Visitors can also swim in the lake’s cold water. In addition, speed boat experience is also available for the visitors.

Serena Shigar Fort

This facility is a beautiful combination of a 400-year-old fort and a luxurious hotel in Shigar, located around 50 kilometres from Skardu. The fort was also a palace of the Raja of Shigar in the 17th century. It is a perfect mixture of the new and old architecture of the Gilgit-Baltistan area.


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