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Amsterdam: It’s the city of bicycles, canals, gabled buildings, vintage shops, hops and dining – and while it’s not a new destination to grace the flight path from Dubai, five additional flights per week from Emirates have just made it all the more accessible. The additional services added to the existing double daily services, totalling the weekly flight number to 19. Outbound, flights leave early morning from Dubai on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in time for breakfast, allowing you to make the most of your day in the city – and there’s plent of you to see and do. Hit Amsterdam’s history-packed museums, vintage-filled shops and appreciate the city’s hyper-creative design. From Dhs4,104 (return). Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.emirates.ae.
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Barcelona: It’s the home of Gaudi, golden beaches, Barcelona FC and patatas bravas. The seaside city has boundless culture, breathtaking architecture and a roaring nightlife scene. Barcelona’s architectural treasures span 2000-plus years. Towering temple columns, ancient city walls and subterranean stone corridors provide a window into Roman-era Barcino or head to the Middle Ages with a stroll though the Gothic Quarter. For tourists, Barcelona is an absolute dream, with bars and restaurants at every turn, as well as a fantastic clubbing scene. You’ve been able to fly to Barcelona from Dubai for a while, but now you can jet off from Abu Dhabi as well, and it’s soon to get even better. Etihad Airways will introduce the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its scheduled services from Abu Dhabi to Barcelona, from Tuesday February 22, replacing the Airbus A330-200 currently operating the recently launched route. There’s never been a better time to get your European culture fix. From Dhs2.695 (one way). Available now. Abu Dhabi International Airport, www.etihad.com.
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Belgrade: The city of Belgrade is an increasingly popular and historic tourist destination thanks to its varying architecture, typical of a central European city, and more modern architecture and spacious layout of New Belgrade. Loud, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade (‘White City’) is by no means an attractive capital in the aesthetic sense, but its gritty flamboyance makes it one of Europe’s most lively cities. Buildings range from socialist blocks to art-nouveau masterpieces, making it a must-visit for architecture fans. Venture deeper into Belgrade and you’ll discover museums guarding the cultural and military heritage of the country. Starting from Friday June 28, the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier Air Arabia will have a new route to Serbia’s capital city direct from Sharjah. Return flights to the city will take off four times per week – every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Sharjah International Airport. From Dhs918 (one way). From Fri Jun 28. Sharjah International Airport, Sharjah, www.airarabia.com.
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Boryspil: Set along the banks of the Dnipro River, this Ukrainian city is a place of big statements with glittering golden church spires and gargantuan tower blocks. There’s plenty to see, and you’d do well to take a trip to the Pyrohovo Museum of Folk Architecture, which sits out in the open air. The Chernobyl Museum is also interesting (and harrowing) while Pinchuk Art Centre is a world-class gallery featuring contemporary art and design from Ukraine and beyond. You can now take one of two daily flights to Boryspil International Airport from DXB with flydubai on the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 cabin that offers a flat-bed in Business Class, for extra comfort, privacy, and snoozing space. Return flights from Dhs1,165. Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, flydubai.com.
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Chittagong: Chittagong is Bangladesh’s second largest city. It’s a gritty and congested and there’s no getting away from that, but as the gateway to the Chittagong Hill Tracts – one of the most beautiful and fascinating corners of the country – it’s somewhere that many visitors pass through at some point. Flights to Chittagong in Bangladesh have just relaunched from DXB with daily journeys as part of the codeshare between flydubai and Emirates. Flight FZ589 departs Dubai International Terminal 2 at 03:20am, arriving into Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong at 10.05am. Time to head for those hills. Return flights from Dhs1,500. Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.flydubai.com.
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Edinburgh: The Scottish capital is the second most-visited city in the UK by tourists, and for good reason. Take a stroll in its medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town, and of course see Edinburgh Cas-tle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Scotland’s social scene is also a treasure, with plenty of hidden cafés and brilliant pubs to sit back and enjoy some Scottish banter. Emirates Airline has a daily service between the Scottish capital and Dubai. Estimated travel time between the UAE and Edinburgh is between seven hours and 30 minutes to eight hours, with economy class prices currently going from around Dhs2,500. Now with Edinburgh as an option, travellers from Dubai have a whole new set of sights to go and see. Return flights from Dhs2,500. Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.emirates.ae.
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Glasgow: Ready to check out Glasgow? This former European City of Culture has plenty to see and do, with loads of museums as well as being home to the Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and National Theatre of Scotland. With a gritty yet friendly vibe it’s a fun place to explore and it also has a cracking nightlife scene, if that’s your vibe. Not technically a new route, but a changed one, Emirates will introduce a daily A380 service between Glasgow and Dubai from Tuesday April 16 until Friday May 31, meaning you can jump on a double decker and be there in time for your neeps and tatties. From Saturday June 1 until Monday September 30, the twice daily service will be reinstated on the route, with the A380 operating on the first flight of the day, and a Boeing 777 on the second. Now pass us that deep-fried Mars bar. From Dhs1,250. Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, emirates.ae.
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Helsinki: How would you fancy a long weekend in a seaside city surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful scenic islands? It sounds thousands of miles away from Dubai – and it is – but with flydubai’s new service it’s easy to do and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The low-cost airline launch directed flights from Dubai to Helsinki in October, with a year-round service between Dubai International Airport and Helsink-Vantaa Airport with a flight that takes six-and-a-half hours each way. Helsinki is a city packed with wondrous architecture. The Finnish capital winds around Baltic bays and islands – and even has its own sea fortress. The bustling market town is awash with modern culture and design and the food scene is bursting with northern European flavours. From Dhs1,500 (return economy class). Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud,. www.flydubai.com.
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Hong Kong: Its skyline is iconic, the cuisine incredible and the culture is fascinating to discover. Hong Kong is any traveller’s dream and one that can be easily reached with a direct flight from Abu Dhabi. From Sunday March 31 the current Airbus A330-200 aircraft will be replaced by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its daily scheduled service. Underneath Hong Kong’s commercial persona is a dynamic cultural landscape where its Chinese roots, colonial connections and the contributions of its home-grown talent become intertwined. You can expect beautiful music, dazzling art and dragon boats aplenty. Prices vary. Available now. Abu Dhabi International Airport, www.etihad.com.
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Kazakhstan: You might not of thought about a holiday in Kazakhstan, but the world’s ninth-biggest country is the most economically advanced of the ‘stans’, thanks to its abundant reserves of oil. That means generally better standards of accommodation, restaurants and transport than elsewhere in Central Asia. Look past the cities and you’ll find gorgeous mountains, valleys and wildlife, making it well worth a visit. flydubai is now operating flights to three points in Kazakhstan following the relaunch of its Shymkent service in December 2018. Together with the relaunched service to Shymkent and existing flights to Almaty and Astana, it now operates a total of 13 weekly flights to the country. From Dhs655 (one way). Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.flydubai.com.
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Kerala: Fancy escaping somewhere green and leaving the desert behind you? Kerala in South India is defined by its 600km of coastline and spice and tea covered hills of the Western Ghats. It feels a million miles away from Dubai, but you can get there in under four hours. As well flights from DXB, you can now fly to Kerala from Abu Dhabi with daily flights to Kochi and Kozhikode with Indigo. From Dhs355. Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, www.goindigo.in.
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Krakow: A hub of culture, art and trading, this Polish city is a modern destination which still manages to perfectly retain its rich history. Take in the impressive Wawel Royal Castle, visit Rynek Glowny, Krakow’s central square, or enjoy a fascinating day trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. With a place on UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage List, this eerie subterranean site is definitely worth a visit. From Dhs785. Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.us.ceair.com.
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Naples: Naples is one of the largest cities in Italy and is home to a tonne of cultural attractions and the beautiful Amalfi coastline. Hire a car and explore the area, including the pretty surrounding town of Sorrento and take a trip up Mount Vesuvius. flydubai will be offering direct flights to Naples as of Tuesday June 4, departing from DXB Terminal 3. Looking for top-notch pizza? You know where to go. From Dhs1,125 (one way). From Tue Jun 4. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.flydubai.com.
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Prague: Prague is the equal of Florence in terms of beauty. Its history goes back a millennium and the hops are arguably the best in Europe, and now you can fly there direct from Dubai without it costing an arm and a leg. Low cost airline Air Arabia launched direct flights to Czech Republic capital Prague in December 2018 from its Sharjah home base. The route operates five times a week every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and flights take around six hours and 50 minutes. Emirates and flydubai also operate services to Prague from Dubai International Airport, so shop around for the best deal before you jet off. From Dhs1,170 (one way). Available now. Sharjah International Airport, Sharjah, www.airarabia.com.
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Riga: Riga may look a bit domineering with its Gothic spires, but delve a bit deeper and you’ll find a vibrant cosmopolitan city full of cool bars, modern art galleries and some pretty experimental restaurants. The largest of the Baltic capitals has a vibrant spirit and now you can get there directly from Abu Dhabi until Tuesday April 30 with Air Baltic. Standing next to a gulf named after itself, Rīga is a short drive from jet-setting sea resort, Jūrmala, which comes with a stunning white-sand beach, if you’re not getting enough of that in Dubai. From Dhs776 (one way). Abu Dhabi International Airport, www.airbaltic.com.
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Shanghai: Fancy travelling to China but don’t want with the additional stress of indirect flights? Well, worry no more as China Eastern are offering daily non-stop flights between Shanghai and Dubai International Airport (DXB). The non-stop route is a game changer for anyone fearing a weary layover. The new journey makes travelling easier and provide a greater number of flight options between the two destinations. The announcement comes with the hopes of boosting UAE-China connectivity, and build on the growing number of Chinese tourists. Shanghai is famous for its architecture (it’s home to the world’s second-tallest tower), its cuisine, shopping and arts scene, and it’s definitely up there on our list. Prices vary. Available now. Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.us.ceair.com.
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Thessaloniki: Head to the lovely Thessaloniki for history and culture by the bucket-load, beauty at every turn and just the right amount of chaos. Greece’s second city is full of life, and you can get amongst the action direct from Dubai. The profoundly historic city is both the gateway to some fascinating parts of northern Greece, but still a worthwhile destination in its own right. The city sprawls around an arc of coastline at the top of the Thermaic Gulf. The main area of interest to visitors is along the shore between the ferry port and the White Tower, and in the area that rises inland from here to the ancient city walls. We’re ready for some tzatziki and plate smashing. From Dhs1,879 (return fares). Dubai International Airport, Garhoud, www.emirates.ae.
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Zagreb: Zagreb in Croatia is a gorgeous maze of red roofs and cobblestones, baroque and art deco. It’s best explored on foot, to enjoy that mish mash of architecture and a load of truly brilliant street art. Emirates and flydubai are now offering daily flights to Zagreb until Saturday March 30, after which it will continue to be operated by Emirates. Flights from Dubai land in Zagreb at 1.15pm local time, when you can delve straight into the city’s historical core or have a late lunch of Croatian cuisine. We’re submitting our holiday forms to HR as we speak. From Dhs1,479 (one way). Dubai International Airport, emirates.ae