CYPRUS: AN IDEAL EID HOLIDAY DESTINATION FROM THE GULF
All-weather Mediterranean getaway proves increasingly popular with Middle Eastern visitors
Aphrodite’s island of love, Cyprus is an ideal Eid holiday destination for the whole family with diverse attractions that are certain to please everyone. There will be something for everyone, whether it is cultural relics or locations replete with glories of the historical past or for those seeking to relax in idyllic beaches and other scenic attractions of the island.
“Cyprus can be summed up as a ideal short-haul destination from most parts of the Arab world, which offers fantastic beaches, stunning nature, culture and history and is very safe,” said Mr. Vassilis Theocharides, Director CTO Middle East & Arabian Gulf Office.
Outlining why Cyprus is such an attractive destination for its Middle Eastern neighbours, Theocharides said: “Cyprus has been a traditional destination for the Middle East for many years. Being relatively close for the countries of the region allows travellers to choose Cyprus for short escapes, the average stay from our latest statistics is four days,” Theocharides said.
Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers starting in mid-May and lasting until mid-September and rainy, quite mild winters from November to mid-March. Spring and autumn are effectively short intervals in between, characterised by smooth weather.
There is a significant seasonal difference between mid-summer and mid-winter temperatures that ranges from 18°C inland to about 14°C on the coast. The difference in daily maximum and night minimum temperatures is also quite significant. In winter they range from 8° to 10°C in the lowlands and 5°to 6°C in the mountains. In summer it can range from 16°C on the central plain and 9°to 12° C elsewhere.
Not unsurprisingly on a Island full of resorts, Cyprus has plenty of places where you can enjoy water sports. There's also at least one diving site in each of the big resorts. Mountain biking and hiking are possible, with specially marked trails, on the Akamas Peninsula and in the Troodos moountains, where also in winter Cyprus' only ski resort can be found on the north-eastern face of Mount Olympus. Plus, what Mediterranean resort these days would not be without a golf course or two - there are several courses that have been completed or under construction, with the most
popular in the Paphos district. There are a number of businesses based in and around the Paphos Harbour area, that offer water sports and other water based activities, such as glass bottom boat trips.
Many Middle East nationals and residents have visited Cyprus before as there are a large number of visitors from the region to the islands. There’s always a new world to discover. Cyprus lies at the crossroads of three continents, where East meets West and a new experience awaits the visitor under the sun every day.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation has been active with new tourism measures in the Middle East market which include initiatives of joint promotions with tour operators and airlines. These measures have paid off as Cyprus has become a key destination in the region and increased flight accessibility.
On a local note, the Cyprus embassy in Abu Dhabi is now fully operational and is capable of issuing visas for travellers in two working days, Cyprus also accepts multiple entry Schengen visas. the opening of a new visa processing centre in Dubai recenetly also facilitates tourists and fast track the visa processing. Customers based in Dubai and the surrounding areas can apply for their visas without having to travel to Abu Dhabi.
The visa application centre is located in Atrium Centre, next to CitiBank on Bank Street in Bur Dubai. VFS Global, a specialist partner for diplomatic missions worldwide and part of the Zurich based Kuoni Travel Group, will provide support services for those requiring visas to travel to Cyprus from Dubai.