Nine travel destinations that Dubai residents should visit in 2018
New Year, new you... or so they say. But for many of us, a new year is less about reinventing ourselves and more of an opportunity to hit refresh on our annual leave.
Zagreb, Croatia: Known for its Austro-Hungarian architecture, permanently full street cafes and museums, Zagreb is the perfect destination for aspiring architects, coffee connoisseurs and culture vultures. If contemporary and historic art isn’t your thing, head down to the Museum of Broken Relationships. Founded by Croatian film producer Olinka Vištica and sculptor Dražen Grubišić in 2010, the museum tells the tale of true failed relationships by exhibiting the personal belongings of ex-lovers. Each item is donated anonymously and is accompanied by a brief description or message. The concept proved so successful that a branch of the museum opened in Los Angeles, US in 2016. Flight time: 6.20 hrs Cebu, Philippines: Often referred to as mini-Manila, Cebu offers travellers the best of both worlds. Its pristine white sand beaches are perfect for those looking to unwind and relax, while the markets make it an ideal location for shopping enthusiasts. Spots like the Sirao Garden and the Tops Lookout are well-worth a visit. Flight time: 8.50 hrs Baku, Azerbaijan: Although thousands of years old, Baku city centre has been busy rebranding itself as a mini version of Dubai in recent years, with five-star hotels popping up (530 in total), designer stores, modern shopping malls and a skyline of futuristic architecture. Take a walking tour through the old town’s maze of narrow crumbling lanes via the Maiden Tower (Giz Galasi) built in the 12th century and Baku’s Mini Book Museum, which houses a private collection of 3,600 miniature tomes in languages from Russian to Vietnamese – you can feel big and clever all at the same time. The Nizami Museum of Literature offers a walk-through history via the works of local poets and scribes. Flight time: 2.30 hrs Hanoi, Vietnam: Located on the banks of the Red River, this destination is incredibly popular with beach lovers and avid fisherman. It has an entire theatre dedicated to nothing but puppets – the Water Puppet Theatre pays homage to one of the nation’s famed past-times. Aside from temples – the Perfume Pagoda is a must see – the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long are two sights that you to visit. Flight time: 6.35 hrs Phuket, Thailand: There isn’t much that Phuket doesn’t have. Rainforest, mountains and the Andaman Sea pull in masses of tourists every year. It’s so large that you’d easily forget that its an island, meaning that there are plenty of bars and restaurants to explore. Out top tip is to pick a luxury resort away from the crowds if you fancy some r&r. Flight time: 6 hrs Zanzibar, Tanzania: With the sort of “glittering sand” and “turquoise waters” that travel magazines rave about, it would be easy to mistake Zanzibar for an island in the Maldives. But this Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa offers more than a beach holiday. Stone Town is a mix of cultures, with markets and narrow streets, and the famous “Freddie Mercury House”. Head to the north for hotels, bars and plenty of surf. Flight time: 5.50 hrs Budapest, Hungary: Hungary’s bustling capital city is popular with all sorts of travellers. Walk into the likes of Szimpla (one of our favourite bars) and you’ll find backpackers, stag dos, older couples and solo travellers keen to enjoy Budapest’s diverse attractions. Make sure you try out the baths – there are plenty of different options to suit the nature of your trip, with chilled out traditional types as well as party baths that you’ll need to book quite far in advance. Flight time: 5.20 hrs Milan, Italy: Everything about Milan is fashionable. You don’t have to be a keen shopper to enjoy the city’s chic vibe – the street style is everywhere, almost every building is an Instagram opportunity, and even the food is high-fashion in itself. Flight time: 7 hrs Larnaca, Cyprus: Great weather, gorgeous clifftops and plenty of beaches to explore. Cyprus is a tourism hotspot for good reason. It’s a little further than some of the other destinations on the list for a long weekend, but this is a country that tickets almost every box for holidaymakers, so its worth an extra few hours on a plane. Flight time: 3.55 hrs