Going abroad? Protect your trip with travel insurance
Traveling to the UAE
Traveling out of UAE
With a majority of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 now lifted, a special summer break is widely being expected in the UAE. The authorities are now allowing even the unvaccinated UAE residents to travel abroad. This year, the summer vacation is expected to be from late June till August 2022. With the travel ban lifted in the country, an increasing number of people are now planning to travel to beat the heat.
In the summers, you can find people organising beach trips, going to movies, visiting amusement parks, planning international trips, and more in the UAE. This article will offer insight into international travel destinations, things to consider when travelling abroad, and where to purchase the best travel insurance.
Bahrain, one of the most scenic destinations in the Middle East, is a cluster of 51 islands where each one adds to the untapped beauty of the country. Besides 51 natural islands, the country also has 33 man-made islands. UAE residents chiefly travel to this nation for its astounding architecture like buildings, mosques, museums, conventional market areas that represent its culture, and more.
The best places to travel in this Bahrain include
Manama City - This city is a blend of traditional and contemporary styles. It is known for its towering skyscrapers and other architectural settings showcasing the artistic flair of the Bahraini population. You can visit the city for, say, three days, and enjoy the monumental tourist spots in the city.
Bahrain National Museum – Spread across 27,800 sq. m, this is the largest public art museum in the country. Immensely popular among history enthusiasts, this museum is located in front of a beach. It is separated into six sections that host artefacts and antiquities from the kingdom that is around 4,000 years old.
Riffa Fort - This historical monument is known for its marvellous architecture that can take you back in time to the reign of the Al Khalifas. Built by Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmad Al Fatih, this fort has a small museum inside containing several artefacts of that era.
Amwaj Island - Amwaj is one of the exotic islands in the country and is known for some of the most exquisite beaches in Bahrain. A man-made island, it has excellent options in terms of restaurants, luxurious cafes, shopping malls, and more.
Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve – Replete with flora and fauna, Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve has around 25 species of vegetation and more than 80 species of birds and mammals. You can explore the remarkable portions of this reserve, i.e., Water Birds Park, Desert Flora Garden, Wild Bird Park, and Wild Animal Complex.
Qalat Al Bahrain - A UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the west of Manama, it is an old citadel initially used by the Portuguese. The location has larger mounds excavated over time which shows that the site might have been occupied as far back as 2,300 BC.
Sitra - Sitra is a fine place in the Persian Gulf and is situated on the eastern side of Bahrain. It offers a view of another side of Bahrain as it is largely occupied by oil companies and fishing communities.
Bahrain has stopped conducting PCR tests and quarantine upon arrival for international travellers.
France is among the first places coming to mind when UAE citizens plan to travel abroad during the summer vacation. The country, famous for several cities including Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon, and more, is home to 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also recognised for its fascinating beaches, palaces, cultural museums, and picturesque parks and gardens.
The most notable destinations in France for tourists are listed below:
Basilica of Sacred Heart of Paris - It is a Roman Catholic Church perched on Montmartre Hill, the highest peak of Paris and one of the city's most identifiable landmarks. This Basilica is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was planned by Paul Abadie, a French designer, and constructed in 1914.
Pont Du Gard Bridge - This bridge was completed in the 1st century AD and was used by the ancient Romans to transport water from France's Uzes region to Nime. It is also on UNESCO's list of world heritage sites.
Chateau De Chambord - This unfinished chateau in central France’s Loire Valley is considered an epitome of Renaissance architecture in France. Notably, the country’s largest reserve forest surrounds this manor. Its design was kept similar to a log cabin for King Francois I. It is now one of France’s most prominent tourist spots and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Palace of Versailles, Ile de France - The Palace of Versailles, frequently referred to as Chateau de Versailles, is one of the finest palaces of France. The earliest part of this palace was built as a hunting lodge by Louis XIII in around 1624. Later, Louis XIV, Louis XIII's successor, extended it to transform it into the country's largest castle.
The palace has 700 bedrooms, 2153 panes, a spectacular garden of around 2,000 acres, and more. Today, the Palace of Versailles serves as a famous tourist destination as well as a venue for various political events.
Disneyland, Paris - The Disneyland amusement park in Central Paris officially opened in 1992. It is among the most popular sites in Paris, having been visited over 275 million times as of 2014. Disneyland Paris is a 4,800-acre theme park complex that comprises two amusement parks, hotels, and facilities related to retail and entertainment. Across the part, there are more than 57 rides, 62 stores, 5,800 guest rooms, and more where individuals can enjoy their stay. It is an excellent place for Hollywood lovers, who can find the Pirates of the Caribbean ride there based on the eponymous Hollywood movie.
Eiffel Tower - One of Paris' best-known landmarks, it was built as an entry archway to the Universal Exposition in 1889. With its work being completed in two years, it was named as such after Gustave Eiffel, the French designer in charge of the Eiffel Tower's completion.
Note:France recently launched a traffic light system for classifying the countries into green and orange lists as per the spread of COVID-19. The UAE comes under the green list, meaning that:
The vaccinated tourists must present the evidence of their complete vaccination
Unvaccinated tourists are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result conducted less than 72 hours. They can also carry a certificate indicating their recovery from COVID-19, although this certificate is valid for six months only.
No measures like tests on arrival and quarantine are there in France.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, Maldives is renowned for its tropical beauty across the world. Male, one of the most populated cities in this island country, is famous for its spice markets and picturesque mosques. Several places can be explored in the Maldives like:
Male - The capital city of Maldives, Male houses numerous markets famous for coconuts and spices. It is located in the North Male Atoll and has distinctive architecture including the 17th-century Friday Centre and a gold-peaked Islamic Centre.
Utheemu - Situated near Haa Alif Atoll, Utheemu is an excellent place for history admirers owing to its rich history. It was once home to Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, the leader who drove Portuguese invaders out of the islands in the 16th century. Other than that, you can also visit heritage sites in Male like Utheemu Ganduvaru, which is a wooden palace where the Sultan grew up.
Banana Reef - Diving at the Banana Reef is present in the checklist of most sea tourists in the Maldives. This reef is popular for its banana shape and is full of colourful corals and seaweed-covered sandbanks under the water. You can dive into this excursion to explore striped snappers, reef sharks, bulbous sponges, barracudas, and more.
Alimatha Island - Located on the eastern edge of the Maldives in Felidhe Atoll, Alimatha is among the most popular tourist destinations in the country. You can explore the island for its luxurious cabanas, untapped sandy beaches, and scuba diving spots. If you plan to go for the latter one, you can have an opportunity to explore jackfish, eels, morays, and more.
Kuredu – Widely considered the Jewel of Lhaviyani Atoll, it is a boomerang-shaped island and is occupied by a single resort that has bamboo shacks and rows of overwater bungalows and verandas above the waves. This place is your go-to for activities like scuba and snorkelling in the region.
While the major COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in the Maldives, travellers may be asked to show a vaccine certificate.
Abundant in travel destinations to explore, Turkey is worth exploring for its vivid architecture visible on Istanbul’s skyline, Roman ruins on the southern and western coasts, beaches of Antalya, and the Mediterranean seaside resorts.
Given below are the most notable places worth exploring in the country:
Aspendos Theatre: Built in the 2nd century AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, this architecture could accommodate an audience of up to 20,000 people.
Patara Beach: One of the longest beaches in the Mediterranean region with a length spanning several kilometres, Patara has ancient Lycian and Roman ruins and dunes. Recognised as a breeding ground for Loggerhead turtles, even the location of the beach is remarkable, with the village near the beach being the birthplace of St. Nicholas.
Mount Nemrut: Nemrut is a 2,134 m high peak in the south-East of Turkey near Adiyaman. The summit of Mount Nemrut offers you a picturesque view of the mountain ranges and is an ideal point to observe the sunrise from the eastern terrace.
Hagia Sophia: This is a 6th-century construction located in Istanbul. Its Basilica structure was constructed by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I, with the building reflecting the intricate work of Roman engineering. In 1935, this church was converted into a museum although its status as a museum was withdrawn in 2020.
You will be exempted from quarantine in Turkey if you manage to present any of the following documents:
A vaccination certificate.
COVID-19 recovery certificate (should be valid for at least six months from the first positive PCR test)
A negative result certificate for a PCR test taken a maximum of 72 hours ago
The United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, is indeed one of the most sought-after destinations in Europe. The UK, besides various factors, is renowned for its country properties, castles, classic art galleries and museums, and more.
Listed below are the major places you can travel here:
London: This city is widely considered a must-visit during the summer break this year. You can discover a significant part of the country’s heritage and history here by visiting the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the Parliament Buildings. Besides these, the city also houses Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum.
Edinburgh: Considered one of Scotland’s most attractive cities, it is home to the marvellous Edinburgh Castle. It is a 13th-century royal fortress famous for its highlights like the One O’Clock Statue, Scottish Crown Jewels, and Scottish National War Memorial.
Stonehenge and Medieval Salisbury: Recognised as an ancient World Heritage site by UNESCO, Stonehenge is generally believed to have been a place of worship for over 4,500 years. On the other hand, Salisbury is a medieval city located 16 km south of Stonehenge. It is famous for cathedrals and houses a genuine Magna Carta.
Royal Windsor: Situated in the historic town of Windsor, this castle has been the summer residence of the British monarch for more than a millennium. This tradition was started by William the Conqueror in 1078. The main attractions of the castle are the State Apartments which have the Queen’s Gallery and the dining hall, and St. George’s Chapel.
The Cotswolds: Spanning over 1,287 sq. km, the Cotswold is a renowned picturesque corner of England. Famous for its pastoral scenery, some of its chief attractions are Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset.
The United Kingdom has lifted all the regulations set against COVID-19.
Tips to Make Your Summer Travel Easy
With summer break around the corner, UAE citizens and residents have begun planning their trips to these destinations abroad. However, due to the ongoing pandemic as well as ever-present issues, there are several challenges related to travel in some countries.
To help you savour your trip while navigating past the difficulties, the following guide can prove beneficial:
Make Reservations for Hotels and Flights – While booking with travel portals is cheaper, chances are that the changes in the schedule will not be possible later. For this reason, it is recommended to opt for direct booking of hotels and flights from their websites. Another thing to remember is that one should keep a gap of two hours between the connecting flights while booking, as any duration shorter than that can leave you stranded even if slight delays are there.
Travel and Health Insurance – It is highly recommended to get travel insurance if you are planning to travel abroad as it will prove helpful in availing of compensation and the required help in case of delayed or cancelled flights, misplaced luggage, lost or stolen items, emergency medical expenses, and more. You can secure a travel insurance plan before travelling from policybazaar.ae, where you can also explore the best travel insurance in UAE. You can also explore the websites of insurance providers to see their offered plans.
COVID-19 Documents - Even though most countries have lifted COVID-19 restrictions, it is advisable to carry the documents proving your vaccinated status and negative RT-PCR tests for emergencies.
Wear the Mask – With the COVID-19 still present in the world, it is necessary to wear a mask on flights. While several airlines have removed the necessity to wear masks, you should always wear a KN95 or N95 mask in congested spaces.
Enrol in Airline Loyalty Programmes - Consider signing up for loyalty programmes before you make reservations, as you would be able to access any offers, discounts, and travel advantages available with the airlines this way. There are several loyalty schemes that reward the passengers for booking a flight for the first time.
Avoid Flying on Weekends - To get the best deals on the airfares, you can avoid flying on weekends and instead opt for weekday flights.
Travel at the End of July – As the school holidays would have already started around this time, this could be the time for the most affordable travel out of the UAE. In this period, the airline rates are expected to be 8% less than the average rates throughout the summer. However, keep in mind that there might be fluctuations in the prices based on the country you are flying to and other factors.
Be Flexible - When planning to travel, you can easily save and get the best air deals by being flexible about where to travel. When searching for the flight rates online, you can select the option of “search everywhere”. This will help you get the best bargains while also allowing you to see the unplanned places.
Other Things to Consider When Travelling Include -
Ensure that there are at least six months of validity on the passport
Keep a check on the Visa requirements for each country you plan to visit
Always carry a printed copy of the boarding pass
Keep COVID-19-related equipment like face masks and so on handy
Be prepared for flight delays and high flight rates
This year's summer break for schools is expected to be from late June till August 2022. As the travel ban from the country has been lifted, it has become easier for families to escape the extreme heat of the UAE. They can opt to travel to some of the best countries that have lifted COVID restrictions or minimalised them like Maldives, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, France, and Turkey.
When planning your trip, make sure you check the deals directly on the airlines’ website and enrol in the loyalty programmes to get discounts, rewards, and travel advantages from the airline. Moreover, even though most countries have lifted the restrictions on COVID-19, it is advisable to carry the documents confirming that you are vaccinated or have tested negative for the disease.
Most notably, you should avail of travel insurance before your journey to ensure that you are compensated for any flight cancellation, misplaced baggage, lost and stolen items, and emergency medical expenses in your journey.
You can easily compare the best plans and avail of travel insurance from policybazaar.ae. We offer 24/7 support to you for your insurance-related needs. Get accurate quotes for travel insurance, ready-to-help customer service, and the best financial advice with us.
This article has provided you with a comprehensive guide to plan your trip to Qatar to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022. With the date now edging closer, it is time to plan your trip to Doha and immerse in the sporting ambience.
This is a great opportunity for those who are looking forward to accomplishing sustainable targets. The smart city expo Dubai is expected to attract a plethora of businesses to establish their headquarters there.