The perfect mix of action and relaxation
The contrast between the United Arab Emirates and most island destinations in the Indian Ocean couldn't be much more pronounced, but perhaps the best way to experience both regions of the world is to combine one with the other to get a better picture.
With Emirates flights from Dubai now travelling to the likes of Mauritius, Tanzania and Sri Lanka, world adventurers will be able to compliment their city break with something completely different but ultimately just as enriching. In this blog, we'll take a look at five of the most popular destinations that can be combined with a Dubai stopover and explain how each can enhance your experience.
Located over 3,000 miles south of Dubai, Mauritius may as well be on another planet when you compare it to the ultramodern U.A.E. city. Where Dubai has luxury shopping, Mauritius has golden beaches. Where Dubai has man-made attractions like the Dolphinarium, Mauritius has natural wonders like the seven coloured earths. Where Dubai has blistering desert heat and humidity, Mauritius has a temperate tropical climate and warm sea waters. In fact, the only aspect in which the two destinations are comparable is the top quality of their hotels and tourism infrastructures!
Nearer to Dubai but not by any means more similar are the Maldives, where visitors rushed off their feet by the hustle and bustle of city's souk district can relax and enjoy an altogether slower pace of life. Enjoyed by countless visitors each year as a wedding or honeymoon destination, tourism in the Maldives is largely based on luxury accommodation and activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving and other watersports. With nothing quite like it available in Dubai, visitors can enjoy big game fishing or whale watching in the Indian Ocean before partaking in some fantastic local cuisine.
Another group of islands in the Indian Ocean that offer a complete contrast to the pace of life in Dubai are the Seychelles. Situated roughly four-and-a-half hours away from the city by plane, the former British colony is a cultural melting pot that has also been influenced by French and African settlers over the years, making it both artistically and architecturally one of the most diverse and interesting regions you'll find. Featuring a vibrant arts and design scene, plenty of local galleries and a couple of famous nature reserves, the islands couldn't provide a starker contrast to the U.A.E.
Located just 30 miles off the coast of Tanzania is the Zanzibar Archipelago, which consists of a number of small islands plus two larger ones – Pemba and Unguja – the latter of which is informally referred to as Zanzibar. For eco-tourists, the two main islands boast a number of rare fauna, including the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, Zanzibar Servaline Genet and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard, meaning it provides the perfect contrast to the densely-populated city of Dubai by allowing visitors to get back to nature and visit a number of ancient sites and landmarks.
For a complete culture clash with the predominantly Islamic city of Dubai, tourists can travel some 2,000 miles east to the island of Sri Lanka. Home to a number of world-famous religious areas that have particular reverence in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, visitors can take in several ornate temples and also journey to any one of the island's eight world heritage sites. Sri Lanka is also home to a number wildlife parks that are famous for bird and elephant watching, so if you fancy trading the cityscapes of Dubai for outstanding natural beauty, the country should definitely top your list.
Twin-centre holidays with Dubai and the Indian Ocean
Having now read our list of the top five Indian Ocean travel destinations for those journeying from Dubai, hopefully you should have a better idea of what kind of adventures potentially lay in store. Remember, however, that these suggestions are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to planning your two-leg trip, so be sure to check out all of the other exotic destinations that connect directly with Dubai if you want to get even further off the beaten track on your next visit.