x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

How to beat the heat

I can't bear the thought of sitting inside for the next three months to escape the heat. Can you suggest places where I might seek refuge and venture outdoors?

I can't bear the thought of sitting inside for the next three months to escape the heat. Can you suggest places where I might seek refuge and venture outdoors? The UAE can be sweltering during the summer months but luckily there are several cool or temperate destinations only a short plane ride away. Situated amid the highest mountain range in the Gulf, Sanaa in Yemen features a highland climate with daily temperatures this time of year hovering around 30°C. The Old City is remarkably atmospheric, with well-preserved historic buildings and lively souqs to shop for antiques, local honey and street food. Air Arabia (www.airarabia.com) has direct flights from Sharjah or else Jazeera Airways (www.jazeeraairways.com) and Emirates (www.emirates.com) operate routes from Dubai.

Parts of Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, rise to over 3,000m and this time of year sees frequent rain and daily temperatures of around 20°C. In fact, if it gets too chilly, visitors can enjoy traditional Ethiopian coffee service at dozens of cafes and restaurants around the city. Ethiopian Airlines (www.ethiopianairlines.com) and Emirates fly direct from Dubai. India's northern state of Jammu and Kashmir features several interesting destinations in cooler climes such as Srinagar, the geographic heart of Indian Kashmir, where you can rent a houseboat on Dal Lake and make excursions to Sufi and Hindu religious sites (see A Weekend Guide to Srinagar, page 2); and then on to Leh where visitors can explore Tibetan Buddhist culture in the Indian Himalayas. Air India Express (www.airindiaexpress.in) offers direct flights from Dubai to Srinagar. Onward flights to Leh are available on Air India (www.indianairlines.in).

The Lebanon Mountain Trail, the longest hiking trail in the country, goes through more than 75 rural towns over a range of altitudes from about 1,000m up to 1,800m, and features mild weather, beautiful scenery, Roman ruins and magnificent vistas overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Several carriers offer direct flights from Abu Dhabi, including Etihad Airways (www.etihadairways.com). For those wishing to take a long road trip, Salalah in the south of Oman, is about a 17-hour drive from Abu Dhabi. Though it is situated along the low-lying coast of the Arabian Sea, during the summer months the city is cooled by monsoon rains and offers a tropical climate with lower temperatures than its neighbours in the Gulf. Visitors can enjoy its beaches, wildlife, scuba diving and the nearby ruins.

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