As we enter September and start saying our goodbyes to the British Summer, a new school year begins, and parents can breathe a sigh of relief as order and normality is resumed. We may be clinging onto the last few days of Summer, but early mornings are already noticeably darker, and Autumn will soon be creeping in. On a more positive note, October half term is just 6 weeks away and your next dose of sunshine could be here sooner than you think!
If you’re considering a trip to the Middle East for October half term but are unsure where to stay, below we compare two of our favourite destinations to help you choose. Why not consider a multi-centre trip and combine both destinations for the ultimate Middle Eastern adventure?
A WARM WELCOME
The Middle East refers to a transcontinental region centred on Western Asia, Turkey and Egypt. Each country is unique but one thing they all have in common is the incredibly hospitable nature of the people that live there. Locals simply cannot do enough to help you, whether that’s a point in the right direction when looking for places of interest, advice on the best restaurants to visit or simply polite conversation on how your day is going – smiling faces will most definitely surround you during your trip!
Dubai is the United Arab Emirate’s most iconic city. With world-class hotels, larger than life architecture, breath-taking tourist attractions and thrilling theme parks, there is endless entertainment for all the family in this lively city.
Here you can experience the best of both worlds within one holiday destination; relax poolside or head to one of the stunning beaches during the day, all whilst being just a stone’s throw from the bustling city and some of the world’s best bars and restaurants.
What to see:
The Dubai Mall – The second largest mall in the world! Here you can also witness the Dubai Fountain show taking place each evening.
The Burj Khalifa – The tallest building in the world.
Dubai Miracle Garden – Opened on Valentine’s Day in 2013, expect 72,000 square meters of natural flower garden. The perfect place to get those holiday snaps!
Where to stay?
Burj Al Arab
Easily the most the iconic building in Dubai, the Burj Al Arab towers above the waters of Jumeriah Beach. Connected by a private road and with access only for the hotel’s guests, it ensures exclusivity and privacy away from prying eyes. A stay here will be one of your most unique and memorable to date!
Don’t let its name mislead you, Desert Palm is a 150 acre green country estate with four polo pitches and over 300 horses residing here. Although further from the centre of the city, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. Watch the horse or camel racing, take to the waters for scuba diving or water-skiing or play on the world class golf courses! Head to the magnificent spa before you head home to leave feeling relaxed and energised.
Oman is world’s away from the towering spires of Dubai. A trip to Oman will most likely be centred on culture and visiting its many landmarks such as the Grand Mosque and the Al Jalali fort in Muscat. Oman is perfect if you’re looking for a destination which combines historical and traditional attractions. For a more relaxed way to spend your day, visit one of the many beaches, idyllic locations with great family friendly areas.
What to see
Mutrah Corniche – Visit the souq, a traditional Arab market selling Omani and Indian artefacts, textiles, hardware and jewellery.
Grand Mosque – Gifted to the nation from Sultan Qaboos, this piece of modern Islamic architecture is not to be missed!
Al Hoota Cave – A tourist friendly cave, sensitively lit to make the most beautiful setting as you ascend the different staircases leading to different geological features.
Where to stay?
Shangri-La Al Bandar
Al Bandar is perfectly placed to make the most of all the action at Shangri-La. With a huge choice of facilities and endless activities, families will have so much fun exploring here. Inspired by Old Muscat, with ornate details and different height buildings, it gives the sense of a mystical Arabian town.
Alila Jabal Akhdar
With a location almost 2000 meters above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar has breath taking views over the Hajar mountain range. This eco-friendly property is the perfect retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Try out the local spa therapies, combining traditional Asian healing techniques and good old, simple relaxation.