As the travel and hospitality industry rebounds after a sluggish last few years, the pent up demand has resulted in a boom for private jet charters, said an industry expert, listing five most popular destinations to visit by private jet.
“Dubai is perfectly positioned at the crossroads of east and west, with a number of wonderful destinations within a six to eight-hour flight radius,” added Dmitriy Korshunov, CEO of leading air charter brokers Delta World Charter (DWC).
“Travelers from the Middle East have a great appetite for luxury shopping, arts and culture, which makes certain destinations much more popular than others. While London has historically always been one of the most appealing holiday spots, we are seeing the rise of new regional favourites such as Al Ula.”
Dubai (DXB) to Milan (MXP): 6h on a heavy jet; up to 13 passengers from $60k
Known for its flair and elegance, its majestic architecture and the old school romanticism that runs through its streets, Milan can’t be missed. With fewer tourists than Venice and Rome, but just as much to see, Milan is the perfect urban break destination. Culture connoisseurs can delight in some of world’s most revered artwork in the world, from Umberto Boccioni and Lucio Fontana to ‘The Last Supper’, Leonardo da Vinci’s most iconic paintings.
Milan’s masterpieces spill over from into its streets: in the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a 19th-century shopping plaza; the Sforza castle, transporting you to another world; the legendary Teatro alla Scala opera house; not to mention the Naviglio Grande – the picture-perfect canals for a boat ride at sunset. September sees the city buzzing with Milan Fashion Week, the city’s biggest event of the year.
London, United Kingdom
Dubai (DXB) to London (LHR): 8h on a heavy jet; up to 13 passengers from $72K
Brimming with history and character on every street, London is never boring. It is the perfect melting pot of cultural influences from around the world, just like Dubai.
Go shopping on glamorous Oxford Street or the charming boutiques of Carnaby Street, head down to the West End to catch a world-famous musical or a ballet in Soho, marvel at the view of the winding Thames River, the famous Big Ben and Westminster from the top of the London Eye, or take a break from the crowds in marvellous Kew Gardens – a stone’s throw away from Central London.
Of course, nights in London are said to be just as interesting as the days, with plenty of fabulous shows, restaurants and clubs running till the early hours of dawn.
Al Ula, Saudi Arabia
Dubai (DXB) to Al Ula (ULH): 2h 40m on a midsize jet; up to 6 passengers from $30K
Soaked in 200,000 years of rich history, this surprisingly cool destination is a lush oasis in the desert; the perfect place for both rest and adventure. Whether it’s rest and relaxation amid palm trees and mountains, or hiking and adventure-sports, Al Ula offers a lot, including a state-of-the-art zipline and a helicopter ride with stunning views.
September marks the return of the Kingdom’s first music festival, Azimuth. The intimate three-day celebration of music, art and food focuses on sunrise and sunset performances and is a hot ticket for music and arts lovers. Winter at Tantora (Dec 21- Jan 21) is another big draw, and this year’s experiences include innovative dining, high-fashion, immersive arts, outdoor theatre and more.
During the day, visitors can explore Hegra’s monuments, sandstone outcrops and the famed ancient Nabataean tombs, the same civilisation that built Petra in Jordan. These resting places, intricately carved with inscriptions that remain to this day, carry the origins of the Arabic language, and offer insight into the Nabataean customs and lifestyles. A journey to Al Ula promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Dubai (DXB) to Male (MLE): 4h 10m on a midsize jet; up to 8 passengers from $56K
Come for the beaches, stay for the vibrant culture, history and cuisine! With crystal blue waters, sparkling white sand and swaying palm trees, The Maldives is where you experience magic. Every resort is a self-contained sanctuary on stilts in the Arabian Sea. A plethora of activities and water sports, such as kayaking, jet-skiing, snorkelling and deep-water diving give tourists a great view of coral reefs and friendly marine life, and for the thrill seekers, swimming with the sharks.
There’s a lot to experience in the Maldives: the excellent seafood and Bodu Beru dancing by the ocean to name a few. Spend at least one night on Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll – the bioluminescent bacteria that light up the water with millions of little blue flecks when you step into it give you the feeling that you are walking among the stars.
Dubai (DXB) to Cannes (CEQ): 6h 20m on a heavy jet; up to 13 passengers from $60K
Cannes’ world-famous film festival sees A-listers flocking to the seaside town in May. International boat shows later in the year that take place closer to Paris Fashion Week in October are also a big draw for Middle Eastern travellers.
How convenient that Paris is just an hour-long plane ride from Cannes. The city of love is perfect for everyone, with warm weather and cold, rain and sunshine, quiet corners and bustling streets, glitz and glamour everywhere. A dinner atop the romantic Eiffel Tour, traipsing around the beautiful Versailles gardens, taking in a show at Moulin Rouge, soaking in the breath-taking views from Montmartre and shopping at Galleries Lafayette are absolute musts, as is an obligatory visit to the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre. From café culture to haute couture, Paris is a world of its own – it contains multitudes.
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