What to do when you are suddenly given a week off? Rejoice? Panic? Plan?
The joyous occasion of Eid-al-Fitr is just around the corner and the UAE Government has announced that all public sector employees will have an entire week off to celebrate. Private sector employees will be given four days, starting from Monday 3 June until Thursday 6 June.
Most importantly for families, this means that all schools are closed and – we’re about to have a 9-day break!
Questions is, should you stay or should you go? This post is specifically for our readers in Dubai and the UAE but packed full of inspirational reads and information that all holidaymakers in the region can use (some links will open on our partner blogging site Our Globetrotters).
Staying in the UAE for Eid
The weather is heating up so let’s take a look at what there is to do INDOORS around the UAE and where you can keep your cool with the kids;
- Ultimate Guide to Dubai’s coolest indoor activities with kids
- How to tackle Dubai Parks & Resorts in the heat
- A Guide to Abu Dhabi’s best indoor activities with kids
- A Guide to the UAE’s best waterparks and splash parks
- What to expect at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
- 40+ Free and really cheap things you can do in Abu Dhabi
- Check out the new Presidential Palace Qasr Al Watan
- The UAE’s best eco-tourism experiences
- How to get the best discounts on Dubai’s popular attraction tickets
Time to plan a getaway
Staycations! Where can you head to by road for a relaxing retreat? Here’s a selection of our favourite staycation guides and easy road trips from Dubai:
- 5 Stunning Saadiyat Island Resorts
- The UAE’s best beach resort destinations
- How to road trip from Dubai to Muscat (passport required)
- Discover the beautiful Musandam Peninsula, Oman (passport required)
Looking slightly further away here are some of our best short break destinations where flights are around 4 to 5 hours max from Dubai.
- Best short breaks from the UAE – covers destinations including Georgia, Baku, Oman
- Fabulous fun Istanbul itinerary for families
- Best things to do in Beirut with kids
- Plan the perfect 9-day Jordan road trip itinerary
- How to road trip Transylvania, Romania
- A family highlights tour of Sri Lanka
- 9 great girlfriend getaways from the UAE (Ok, you can take the kids too!)
Search Tools we use and recommend
So how do you go about seeking the best last minute travel deals in these situations?
(We were slightly caught off guard by this week’s announcement so we haven’t quite finished and published our travel resources page – check back soon!)
Great Flight Finder Tool
The best place to start your search for possibilities is using Skyscanner to search for flights. You can enter your start airport, then try searching “Everywhere” to see what is available:
Don’t forget you can search from more than just DXB! Why not also try starting with:
- AUH for Abu Dhabi
- DWC for Al Maktoum Airport
- SHJ for Sharjah
- AE for all UAE airports
Finding last minute hotel deals
For hotels, we use a few different tools to make sure we’re getting the right price. We love Booking.Com as it has a super powerful search function and a great interactive map feature – you can test it here.
We also like to check that any accommodation we are booking is at the best price. For this we use HotelsCombined.com. Why not give it a try here – put in the hotel or location you are eyeing up and it will compare all the different search engines to try and find you the best price.
Don’t forget to jump over to our Family Travel Middle East chat group to discuss ideas with fellow parents. We will update in the group and our Facebook Page as we become aware of any great last-minute deals.
(This post was written for Eid-al-Fitr 2019. We’ll be popping back in August to make a few changes to reflect the August timing of Eid Al-Adha 2019)