With National Day holidays here, the weekend has become a four-day long affair – the perfect time for a quick getaway. If you have seen enough of Oman and seek a different experience, consider short flights from Muscat to various destinations, just four hours away. Here are some ideal destinations worth visiting during the extended weekend break:
Dubai, UAE – Flight time: 1 hour
With a good number of flights daily, Dubai is a city for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On an artificial island just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks. And for those interested in shopping, Dubai has much more to offer with Expo 2020 currently on.
Doha, Qatar – Flight time: 1½ hours
If you are a football fan, you can make the best of the national day holidays and go to Qatar – now in the limelight because of the next football World Cup tournament. Qatar is all decked up to receive visitors from around the world, hence this is the good time to go check on the preparations.
The shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city, home to most of the country’s population as well as expatriate communities. Shopping abounds in the city’s numerous malls, while a wide corniche impresses visitors with picturesque architecture and dazzling views of the harbour. Direct flights makes it the quicker option to consider.
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Flight time: 4 hours
If you like history, then Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, has a long history as a port on ancient east-west trade routes with heritage being reflected in its architecture. It is a city with a great mixture of modern life and architecture, and old colonial buildings. Colombo actually served as a seaport town as far back as the 5th century as it has the perfect location for trade between Asia and Europe. It has since had Arab, Portuguese, and Dutch settlers, so it has been quite international for many decades. Direct flights to Colombo make the travel time most convenient.
Cairo, Egypt – Flight time: 4 hours
With direct flights that take only four hours, Cairo is the place to be this long weekend. It is set on the Nile River and nearby there is Giza, which is is the site of the iconic pyramids which are the main attraction in Cairo that tells a story of the last remaining wonder of the ancient world – for nearly 4000 years. Also, make sure to visit the Egyptian Museum, which has one of the world’s most important collections of ancient artifacts. Also, Museum of Islamic Art, on the edge of Islamic Cairo, holds one of the world’s finest collections of Islamic art and is Egypt’s (and one of the entire Middle East’s) most beautifully curated museums.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Flight time: 4 hours
Sometimes referred to as the capital of Africa, Addis Ababa is a buzzing hub of economic, social and political activity and home to such notable offices as the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The things to do in Ethiopia will absolutely astound you and one of the most fascinating things about the country is that it is a very ancient culture. Their language, Amharic, is one of the oldest written languages in the world. And Ethiopia, the city known as the 2nd Jerusalem, has African safaris, and even a real world Camelot. It is, indeed, one of the cheapest places to travel in Africa. Ethiopian Airlines has direct flights to this destination.
Shiraz, Iran – Flight time: 2 hours
Shiraz is a city in south-central Iran, known for its literary history and many gardens. It is known as a city of lovers is a land full of worth seeing things. It is believed that Shiraz is the most beautiful tourist city of Iran with many historical and natural attractions that you will become interested in them. People of Shiraz are really warm-hearted. Traveling to Shiraz can be one of your most memorable trips. Though passengers need to travel via Dubai, it is worth exploring Shiraz.
Tbilisi, Georgia – Flight time: 3 hours
Charming is a word that often pops up when describing Georgia’s capital. It is a place that can be called a foodie destination, and the best way to discover it is by booking yourself on one of the many food tours on offer. Apart from that, Tbilisi’s old town reflects a long, complicated history, with periods under Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings and Soviet Modernist structures. Looming over it all are Narikala, a reconstructed 4th-century fortress, and Kartlis Deda, an iconic statue of the ‘Mother of Georgia’.
Amman, Jordan – Flight time: 4 hours
Jordan might be best known for its ancient city of Petra, but you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in the thriving capital. Rainbow Street is a popular hangout, with lots of great cafes, restaurants and shops. And for those in love with history, they can check out the striking Roman Theatre, which dates back to the second century.
Male, Maldives – Flight time: 4 hours
Maldives is a small country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean. One of the world’s smallest national capital, Male is known for its ancient mosque and colourful buildings. With its beauty and progressiveness being talked about, the island today has grown into one of the most visited places in the Maldives. It is a casual town best for wandering without pre-planned itineraries. With heritage buildings on the one hand and trees and water with welcoming shades on the other, Male is a must-visit. At the moment, there are no direct flights from Muscat, but connecting via Dubai/Doha is a quick option.