- You’re only one cheap flight away from Dubai.
- A lot of those destinations are within less than 5 hour trips from Dubai, making them ideal for a short getaway.
- Traveling on a budget can be just as enjoyable and comfortable.
- Among the dream budget destinations are Tbilisi, Cyprus, Goa, Addis Ababa and Baku.
Dubai is a short flight away from many hot spot destinations. This makes it arguably one of the most geographically blessed countries in the world.
Now that’s reason enough to live a life of travel if you reside in the glitzy urban desert. But what if you’re struck with a bad case of wanderlust on a tight budget?
To lend a hand with planning your upcoming escapades, we’ve curated a well-thought-out list of economical destinations within less than 5 hours from Dubai. They won’t break the bank but they certainly will count as bonus points toward your travel bucket list.
The good news is – contrary to what you might think, you are only one cheap flight away from exploring some of the world’s most stunning and exotic destinations. Centrally located, Dubai offers a plethora of short and sweet budget travel opportunities on its doorstep.
Scroll down to find out what non-GCC destinations we’ve pin-pointed on the map
A UAE resident favorite, this tourist destination has plenty on offer at a mere 3-hour 30-minute flight from Dubai. From vineyards, ski slopes, monasteries, caves and hot baths, the activities are endless, and the sceneries are awe-inspiring.
- David Gareja’s mountain caves overlooking Azerbaijan
- The wine town of Sighnaghi
- The breathtaking Sameba Church in snowy Kazbegi
- Take the cable car for beautiful panoramic views of Tbilisi
- Ride the vertical Funicular to the amusement park sitting atop the city.
- Cheese-filled bread called Khachapuri
Best time to visit:
- May, June, September, and anytime during winter to enjoy the snow-covered landscapes.
- Starting $278 [AED 1,020]
Catch a 4-hour 15-minute plane ride to Cyprus for your quick fix of pretty beaches, delectable food, fine wine, and history.
- The ruins of Kourion, an ancient Roman city
- The Saint Lazarus Church
- A swim in the sea caves of Ayia Napa
- The tasty Moussaka, a Mediterranean casserole baked in layers of eggplant and lamb, then covered in béchamel sauce
Best time to visit:
- April and May
- Starting $393 [AED 1,443]
Plan your long weekend and catch a 3-hour 15-minute flight to enjoy Goa’s wild nights, road trips and beaches.
- The colonial Portuguese ruins
- The Anjuna flea market
- Go to one of the plenty breathtakingly beautiful beaches
- The Rava Fried Fish
Best time to visit:
- Mid-November to mid-February
- Starting $280 [AED 1,028]
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Surprisingly, Addis (as everyone calls it) is a very safe city in terms of violence and crime. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch out for pickpockets, especially at busy markets and public areas.
Other than that, you’re good to go for a very affordable and exotic holiday. The city pretty much boasts 13 months of sunshine (Ethiopia has its own calendar with 13 months instead of 12), jacaranda trees, and believe it or not, an edgy fashion scene that will certainly wow every fashion-forward individual out there.
- Visit Merkato, the largest and most vibrant market in town
- Shop for some nice wardrobe additions at the Shero Meda market.
- Explore the hopping jazz scene at Jazzamba
- Injera, the signature spongey bread
- The kifto, a minced raw beef dish mixed with clarified butter and spices served with bread for dipping
Best time to visit: The weather is guaranteed to be pleasant all year round.
- Starting $350 [AED 1,285]
Azerbaijan is a splendid clash of East meets West. Rest assured, you will find lots to enjoy in its capital city, Baku. From its quaint subtropical seaside resorts to its hillside towns that hide ancient mosques and minarets, there’s something for everyone. The city is a curious mix of old and modern.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art
- The historical Mosque Bibi Heybat
- A visit to Teze Bazaar, a market famous for its cheeses and spices
- Grab a kebab at one of the numerous open restaurants found all over the city
Best time to visit: Overall, the weather in Baku is relatively mild all year long, but the best time to visit would be early September.
- Starting $298 [AED 1,094]
It’s time to tick off one destination after another on your bucket list. We promise, catching the travel bug on a budget (and without having to fly over the Atlantic Ocean) can be just as fabulous.