Just a Hop and a Skip Away: 7 Eco Summer Destinations Within Four Hours of the UAE    

5 mins

Lower your carbon guilt and forget spending endless hours on a plane. There are so many amazing summer destinations on our doorstep

It’s no surprise that our choice of summer destinations play a critical role in reducing our carbon footprint when studies suggest that a single long-haul flight can generate more carbon emissions than many people do in an entire year.

While ditching flying isn’t a realistic option for most of us in the UAE, choosing short-haul holiday destinations over long hauls is a quick and easy way of lowering your carbon footprint.

Spanning everything from idyllic white-sand islands, to ancient cities and green mountains, below are some of the many amazing countries that can be reached within four hours or less from the UAE.   

Bahrain – Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort and Spa

sunset over a summer desinations holiday in Bahrain

Less than an hour away, the Kingdom of Bahrain is one of the most unwisely overlooked corners of the Gulf as a summer destination. Offering a charming crumbling old town, and a surprisingly lively nightlife scene, it’s ideal for a quick weekend break. With plenty of flights to choose from, you can even go Friday night to Sunday and avoid taking any leave. Located 45 minutes south of the city, the serene Jumeirah Gulf of Bahrain Resort and Spa feels like it’s the middle of nowhere – and that’s all part of its charm. Surrounded by green gardens, its huge beach attracts plenty of birds and marine life, and the restaurants use heaps of local ingredients.


Cyprus City of Dreams Mediterranean

aerial view of a hotel pool

Home to sandy beaches, quaint harbours, and characterful narrow streets, the city of Limassol is brimming with history and heritage. Away from the city the hillsides are littered with ancient terracotta-roofed villages, vineyards, ancient temples and castles, and with summer temperatures reaching no higher than the low 30s, it offers just the right climate for sightseeing. For a sustainable stay that also has tonnes of kids’ activities, the City of Dreams Mediterranean hotel uses only grey (reused) water on its vast green gardens, and its 4,000 solar panels that produce more than 1.2 megawatts of clean energy.


Maldives  – Various 

maldives resort room over the indian ocean
Sheraton Maldives

The Maldives always guarantees a dreamy fix of sun, sea, and sand. A seemingly endless scattering of tiny paradise islands and sensational snorkelling opportunities, its choice of incredible hotels is expanding every year. Complete with a huge 140sqm onsite hydrofarm, the floating villas of OZEN LIFE MAADHOO offer a unique blend of sustainability and glamour, while the Green Globe-certified Sheraton Full Moon Resort & Spa invites guests to take part in coral planting activities, and the luxurious Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani are powered by 50 percent solar energy.

@ozenlifemaadhoo, @sheratonmaldives, @soneva


desert resort on the sea in qatar

While its summer temperatures are no less sizzling than the UAE’s, the unspoilt desert regions of Qatar still offer a blissful summer destination escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Nestled on the edge of the UNESCO-protected Al-Reem Biosphere Reserve, the new Habitas Ras Abrouq embodies an enticing blend of comfort and culture. Quiet and peaceful, you can spend your days hiking amongst roaming Arabian oryx and gazelles, dolphin spotting, or taking part in yoga and art classes. It also hosts installations and performances from local Qatari artists, and all the villas are built from natural materials, and meticulously designed to blend in with the surrounding dunes.   


Rajasthan, India  

royal palace hotel overlooking water

Famous for its fairytale palaces and tiger reserves, the northern Indian region of Rajasthan is an explosion of colours, culture, and history. Just a three-hour flight from Dubai, the opulent and ultra-Instagrammable city of Jaipur (nicknamed the ‘pink city’ and ‘the Paris of India’), is the perfect summer destination. From here, you can take a one-hour flight to ethereal Udaipur, and enjoy a rejuvenating stay at the city’s stunning Raffles hotel. Set on the banks of a huge glistening lake, its World of Wellness package offers the ultimate summer reset. Including traditional healing therapies, spa treatments, yoga classes, temple treks, and healthy personalised meals, it offers a seamless compromise between adventure and relaxation.  


Salalah, Oman    

contemporary hotel room with trees in pool

Between June and September, Salalah transforms into a green and lush oasis that feels most un-Middle Eastern. Known as the Khareef season, the annual monsoon sees the southern region become filled with roaring waterfalls, blue freshwater lagoons, and moss-covered hillsides. Authentic and undeveloped, you’ll find camels strolling along the highway, and natural wonders around every corner. Highly sustainable, Anantara Al Baleed Resort in Salalah is committed to supporting local businesses and promoting Omani culture. Along with maintaining its own onsite vegetable garden, many of the fabulous spa treatments are infused with locally produced Omani Frankincense. A fabulous summer destination!



aerial view of lush green resort in the Seychelles

One for wildlife lovers, the islands of the Seychelles are inhabited by some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. While its underwater landscapes include thousands of colourful fish and mammoth green turtles, its land animals are equally rare and precious. Scattered with forests and protected national parks, the coco de mer (sea coconut) is featured in various local legends, while the Seychelles black parrot is one of the world’s rarest endemic birds.

However, the giant tortoise is definitely its most famous resident. Critically endangered, and able to grow up to 1.3m and live to 200 years old, staying at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island allows you to feed (and even adopt) giant tortoises at the neighbouring tortoise sanctuary. Adding further sustainable appeal, Desroches contains the second biggest solar farm in the Seychelles, while the Four Seasons sources almost all its seafood from the local fishermen, and supports reef restoration projects.


Newsletter signup