GCC travellers are increasingly looking to discover new destinations and different experiences, as witnessed by leading travel search site and app Skyscanner, through a 37 per cent year-on-year increase in usage of their ‘search everywhere’ tool which helps users seek the best deals from anywhere around the world in a given time period.
UAE travellers looking to escape the summer heat in June can use the Skyscanner app’s ‘everywhere’ function to get inspired with new destination ideas matched with the lowest prices available this month.
Some options currently listed include Beirut from Dh432 ($117.5), Addis Ababa from Dh853 ($232), Stockholm from Dh736 ($200.3) or Zanzibar from Dh964 ($262.4).
Best travel deals for June
1. Beirut, Lebanon - from Dh432 ($117.5)
Average temperature in June: 21-28°C
Beirut, Lebanon's capital and largest city, was at one time referred to as the Paris of the East. It's sleek, modern buildings alongside arabesque Ottoman buildings, give Beirut a unique and distinctive style often not seen in other Middle Eastern cities. The city is the focal point of the region's cultural life, renowned for its press, theatres, galleries, cultural activities and shopping. The redesigned historic city centre, marina, pubs and nightlife districts have rendered it an international tourist destination.
2. Stockholm, Sweden - from Dh736 ($200.3)
Average temperature in June: 12-21°C
Stockholm is as Scandinavian as they come, but also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the chilly region. Almost a quarter of Sweden's residents live in the bustling international city, and its burgeoning fashion business now rivals Paris, New York and London. Impeccably clean, the city is one of the greenest in the world, and its system of rivers and islands give it the moniker Venice of the North. Take a walk back in time to the 15th century, mostly centred in the city’s historic old town district of Gamla Stan, where major historic attractions such as the Riksdag (Swedish parliament) and the Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace), reside. The city's over 100 museums cover everything from Nordic life to the Nobel Prize. Stockholm is an expensive city and hotels are priced accordingly, but with hostels on a boat and Boeing 747, lodging can be inventive and affordable. A popular vacation for Swedes and visitors alike is the Stockholm archipelago, an island chain of almost 25,000 islets stretching 60 kilometres east of Stockholm. During summer, you can enjoy 11 pm sunsets on deck of a boat cruise through the scenic region.
3. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Dh853 ($232)
Average temperature in June: 12-23°C
Ethiopia might not be one of Africa’s most popular holiday spots, but that’s all the more reason to go – you’ll find fewer crowds and cheaper prices. Hike or bike your way across the Ethiopian highlands, or marvel at the ornate mosques and spice-filled souks in the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is one of the few African countries which managed to escape European colonisation, allowing it to retain its own cultural identity. As for what should be at the top of your itinerary? A wander around the historical treasures as the Aksumitetomben, a quick stop-off to check out the obelisks and 17th-century castles in Tigray, and a hike through the Bale Mountains.
4. Catania, Italy - from Dh916 ($249.3)
Average temperature in June: 16-29°C
At the foot of active volcano Mount Etna, Catania has defied seismic destruction time and again in a history spanning nearly three millennia. It's this resilience that perhaps continues to define the city as one of Sicily's main economic, touristic and educational centres, as well as a leading European hub for information technology. Facing the Ionian Sea, one of the most noticeable features of this port of call is the black-grey volcanic stone, nearly ubiquitous in pavements and buildings, and yet another symbol of the city's triumph over its fiery nemesis. Greco-Roman-philes will delight in a diverse array of archaeological sites such as the Odeon, Achillean Baths and the Roman Amphitheatre; while those preferring the Baroque will be drawn to Catania's UNESCO World Heritage city centre with such churches as Saint Francis of Assisi at the Immaculate and the Basilica della Collegiata. Be sure to visit the city's lore-riddled icon, u Liotru, an ancient stone elephant topped by an Egyptian obelisk, or marvel at the well-preserved remains of one the region's actual prehistoric dwarf elephants at the Catanian Museum of Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Vulcanology.
5. Zanzibar, Tanzania from Dh964 ($262.4)
Average temperature in June: 23-29°C
Looking for a sun destination crammed with classic palm trees, wide swathes of white sands and tons of sea life to gawk at from behind a snorkelling mask? Zanzibar ticks all the boxes! Off the coast of Tanzania, see the Middle East meet India with African flavour in Stone Town, Zanzibar’s main centre and Unesco World Heritage site. When you’re done exploring the town’s maze of lanes and alleyways, refuel with some fresh seafood or local mishikaki beef kebabs in the Terrace Restaurant at the Maru Maru Hotel, the perfect spot for a 360-degree view of the tropical sunset. - TradeArabia News Service