Eid is a time of celebration in the Middle East and is a public holiday across the region. Many expats use Eid as a chance to get away, especially when Eid is in the summer. Private sector workers tend to get three days public holiday while governmental workers get five days so it is the perfect chance to take a break and escape the Middle East summer. Here are the perfect Eid escapes all under five hours flight from the Middle East and reachable by a direct flight. Here my favourite Middle East bloggers and me tell you the perfect Eid escapes!
Spending Eid Holidays in Oman
Muscat nominated by Jo at An Expat Abroad
Looking to escape this Eid? Look no further than The Chedi located in Oman’s capital city of Muscat. It is the perfect place to spend Eid Holidays in Oman. This immaculate, low rise landscaped five-star resort oozes refinement and Omani charm from every pore.
Outside, its idyllic setting on a stretch pristine private beach with a backdrop of mountains cannot fail to impress. Inside, it’s stylish with understated minimalist luxury flowing through every part of the traditional Omani influenced hotel. Moorish water features adorn the many geometric walkways and courtyards while a series of archways and date palms line the pristine garden and pool areas. The cool white exteriors are in complete contrast to the dark varnished wood furniture inside the large tastefully decorated rooms and villas.
With six restaurants guests are spoilt for choice from simple poolside lunches to international fine dining choices at ‘The Restaurant’ for dinner (not all venues are open in Eid). The Asian-inspired spa adjacent to the region’s longest pool specialises in fantastic Balinese therapies, a massage is a must do while staying at this resort.
Fantastic Omani hospitality is guaranteed at The Chedi and that coupled with the high-level of unprecedented service and attention to detail makes for a great stay. The Sultanate of Oman has a rich and well-preserved history and heritage, this hotel is perfectly situated to easily explore Muscat and beyond to fully immerse yourself in some local culture or just relax by the pool.
Read the full review on anexpatabroad.com here and follow them on the below instagram.
We would also second jo’s recommendation of the chedi! You can read our review of the Chedi here!
Salalah, Oman as nominated by A Girl and Her Passport
Salalah, Oman is an unexpected part of the Middle East. During the Khareef season (monsoon season), it becomes a green oasis in the desert. Given that it is a short 2-hour flight from Doha, it is a great Eid escape.
Since Eid falls outside of the monsoon season, the best thing to do is to enjoy the deep white sand beaches. The beach at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Salalah is very nice and if the pool is more your thing they have a great pool, especially if you have children. If you want more of an adventurous beach, you can drive about 45 minutes south to Al Mughsail Beach. It is a golden sand beach with picnic areas. The best part is the drive there. It gives you a beautiful view of the mountains that meet the beach.
If culture is more your thing, there is a great archaeology museum that has the history of Oman. Next to it and included in admission, is the ruins of Al Balid port, which dates back to 2000 BC. You can walk the entire site. Don’t forget to stop down at the roadside stand and get some fresh fruit or fresh coconut water.
You can read A Girl and Her Passports full review here
Looking for more amazing places to visit in Oman- check out this post!
Visiting the Maldives at Eid by Adventures of a Jersey Girl and The Wandermust Family
Kuramathi Resort By Adventures of a Jersey Girl
The Maldives from Kuwait is a short 6 hour trip (compared to the 13 hours from London) to Male via Colombo with Sri Lankan Airways. First time with the airline and very impressed, the fares are so reasonable, we even sprung for Business Class so worth checking.
We opted for the sea plane transfer to Kuramathi Island Resort, whilst this is a pricer option ($500 per person) it cuts the travel time down to 20 minutes, compared to the complimentary 90 minute boat transfer.
The resort is spectacular and caters for couples and families, with multiple room options to suit all budgets. We had Thandi Sunset Water Villa, very special experience and epitome of the Maldivian dream.
We went for the basic all inclusive package, which was the best decision we made on island is very expensive. The resort offers various meal options and even the all inclusive has 2 tiers. 3 meals, located in your specific area of the island and alcoholic drinks are included (with very few limitations). There are also nine à la carte restaurants offering a range of cuisine, which are discounted on some all inclusive packages, so well worth trying.
The way Kuramathi have respected the island is second to none, they are sympathetic to the surroundings, every building is brilliantly designed, so that it never imposes itself on the habitat. Its all sand, nothing is forced to change, there is none of that Disney-fied man made nonsense, the island feels like its still breathing and we are its guest.
Note there are no direct flights from Kuwait to The Maldives its either via Dubai or the way we went so its a little outside of the brief but within the time constraints
You can read the full post over on jersey girls blog here
Bandos Maldives by Wandermust Family
The Maldives is a short flight, c.4 hours from Doha which makes it the perfect place to escape to at Eid! The Maldives has always been on our bucket list but we never had chance to go when we were just a Wandermust Couple and we worried we had missed our chance. We need not have worried as we found the perfect family friendly resort in Bandos Maldives. It has something for guestsof all ages and it’s proximity to Malè makes it very family friendly and can be reached by boat. Despite the fact the resort was busy when we were there it has been laid out to make sure all guests get privacy.
The year round perfect temperatures, white sandy beaches and beautiful blue oceans make it the perfect Eid Escape from the Middle East!
You can read our full review here
Sri Lanka by Wandermust Family
Sri Lanka is the perfect tonic to Middle East summers. Bright colours,beautiful green landscapes and stunning wildlife which makes it the perfect Eid Escape. And only X hours away. There are so many sides to Sri Lanka, that there is something for everyone. Colonial towns like Galle full of history, amazing wildlife parks where you can have some of the best natural elephant experiences in the world, and on top of that literally the best hotel in the world is in Sri Lanka. Buckingham Place in my opinion can not be beaten and if there is only one hotel I can go to again, Buckingham Place would be it! Relaxing, well positioned and the best service I’ve experienced, make it the perfect Eid escape.
Uganda by Wandermust Family
Africa, when you live in the West, seems like a million miles away but from the Middle East is only a couple of hours flight away! Seeing gorillas in the wild is something that had been on our bucket list for awhile and was something we knew we had to do before having babies. Uganda offers an array of unique wildlife experiences from chimp trekking to Uganda swamp walks but the gorillas have to be the highlight. It also offers some amazing luxury accommodations. It is the perfect Eid Escapes!
Rwanda by wandermust family
We went to Rwanda at the end of our Uganda gorilla and chimp trekking experience. I realise that Kigali may not be the top of everyone’s bucket list but I really recommend a visit. All I knew about Rwanda before we went largely related to the genocide but it has s much more to offer. Saying that I would highly recommend a visit to the memorial museum which is one of the. It’s moving museums I have ever been to! Besides that Rwanda has many great wildlife experience a to offer. An unusual but perfect Eid Escape! You can read more about our time in Kigali here.
Ethiopia by Turknoy Travels
It maybe our love for discovering human history when our family travels that had drawn us in visiting Ethiopia. Our primary goal was to see Lucy, the 3.2 million years old fossil, probably the first evidence of humanity. The continent Africa is known as The Cradle of Humanity, then Ethiopia is its evidence repository.
As a worldschooling family who sets SMART goals to travel to 100 countries in all continents by 2022. This is our attempt to live life to the fullest with kids. Ethiopia is our first country in Africa (our third continent, 26th country visited, to date).
When it comes to food and accommodation, we had the most unique experience in the country. Barely 4 hours away from Qatar, we were amazed with a totally different world. We definitely had a crash course in archeology and paleontology and how it works in the real world. Our three traveler kids had been to countless of Natural Museums in Europe and Asia yet we were impressed with somewhat “shabby” museum in Addis Ababa containing real human history treasures.
Lucy aside, here are 5 interesting facts about Ethiopia that everybody, yes, including kids, can appreciate:
- Country History:Ethiopia is the only African country, which successfully fought against the scramble for Africa. It was never colonized, though Italians attempted to occupy it twice.
- UNESCO Heritage Sites:There are nine, day trips from Addis Ababa possible! Most famous sites are Lalibela twelve-rock-hewn churches. We visited Christian Orthodox churches which gave an interesting perspective for a family with both Islam and Catholic members.
- Religion:Ethiopia appears in the Bible 45 times both in Old and New Testament.
- Origin of Coffee.Coffee is Ethiopian’s gift to the world. It was found in the Kaffa Region (South-Western Ethiopia.) Even before the visit, we are non-Starbucks coffee drinkers. Enjoying the real “coffee culture” experience in Addis Ababa with really strong and delicious coffee with local ceremonies
- Abebe Bikila, a star Ethiopian marathon runner, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal in 1960. Add in the country’s high elevation Addis Ababa is athletes’ heart’s working out paradise. Made us want to become runners and marathoners.
And oh, more pluses — the Ethiopian women are really gorgeous and almost everybody is kind to tourists. Ethiopia is one of the safest country in Africa to visit. With low costs airlines flying to Addis Ababa almost every day from Doha, for sure, we would be back for some backpacking with kids.
Where is your ideal edit escape from the Middle East?
Further Reading on Qatar:
Preparing For Your Trip:
Ultimate Guide of Where to Stay in Doha
What to Wear in Doha
What to do with Kids in Qatar
Qatar’s Most Beautiful Places
Hidden Gems in Qatar Public Beaches in Qatar
Ramadan in Qatar
Eid Escapes from Qatar
A-Z of Best Restaurants in Doha
Drinking in Doha
Jane @ Raincity Librarian
Monday 5th of June 2017
Wow! To be quite honest, Africa has never been on my bucket list (sooo far away!!), but you've definitely piqued my interest, especially Ethiopia.
Claire at Tin Box Traveller
Monday 5th of June 2017
I think I'd be heading to The Maldives. What great recommendations from the experts! Thanks for sharing this on #MondayEscapes