Happy New Year! Wings of Oman looks at ten trend-setting destinations that you should absolutely keep on your travel radar for 2020…
1) Dubai & Abu Dhabi: The home of Expo 2020
From 20 October 2020 until 10 April 2021, Dubai and Abu Dhabi will welcome 190 participating countries and millions of visitors from across the globe to Expo Dubai 2020. Located over a massive exhibition space across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Expo will be organised around three central themes: Opportunity: Unlocking the potential within us; Mobility: Creating smarter and better connections; and Sustainability: Living in balance with the world around us. Hundreds of country pavilions – including a magnificent pavilion from Oman –will feature interactive exhibits, live entertainment, memorable meeting spaces and more.
2) Sri Lanka: Pearl of the Indian Ocean
Voted Number 1 on Travel + Leisure magazine’s Best Islands in the World list for 2019, Sri Lanka is a relatively small country that is rather big on experiences. From the capital of Colombo, travellers can head out to explore this pearl of the Indian Ocean, which is teeming with exotic wildlife, blessed with beautiful beaches and infused with a fascinating culture. It’s also home to a number of luxury lodges and hotels, and plenty of accommodation options for the budget-minded traveller.
3) Thailand: Travel green
Thailand continues to deliver travel experiences that attract people from all over the world. It’s a truly beautiful place to visit, with a huge diversity of attractions – beaches and islands, tasty Thai food, vibrant nightlife, busy marketplaces, trekking, diving, rock-climbing, temples and more. In 2020, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is working harder than ever to ensure that the Thai tourism industry is aligned with sustainability principles. If you’re looking to travel cleaner and greener in 2020, Thailand looks forward to welcoming you.
4) Jordan: Desert wonderland
The desert wonderland of Jordan was recently listed on the prestigious Condé Nast Traveller list of Best Trips to Take in 2020. Indeed, it is a magnificent Middle East destination with lots to discover – including the ancient city of Petra, which is carved into the rose-red rock of Jordan’s desert; the Red Sea resort town of Aqaba; and the wellness-enhancing, mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea. You can also head into the stunning desert landscape of Wadi Rum for rock-climbing, epic photography opportunities, camel safaris and four-wheel drive adventures – and nights spent under the desert stars next to a Bedouin tented camp and fireplace.
5) Philippines: Diver’s paradise
Recently awarded the World’s Leading Dive Destination 2019 at the World Travel Awards, the Philippines certainly is a world class destination for scuba diving, snorkelling and freediving. The archipelago’s thousands of islands offer around 40,000 square kilometres of coral reefs which are home to a huge variety of colourful marine life. There’s also excellent year-round visibility, world-class dive resorts and schools, and plenty of the Philippines’ friendliness and hospitality to be enjoyed on land, after your day at sea.
6) Cairo: Grand Egyptian Museum opening
In 2020, anyone interested in ancient Egyptian history can look forward to the long-awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, just a couple kilometres from the Giza Pyramids. It promises to be home to an incredible collection of ancient artefacts, including the first exhibition of the full tomb collection of King Tutankhamun.
7) Kenya: Theatre of the wild
Another World Travel Awards winner, for 2019 Best Safari Destination, Kenya will continue to offer spectacular wilderness and wildlife experiences in 2020. According to the award-winning eco-tourism operator Wilderness Safaris, “One of Kenya’s most spectacular geological features is the Great Rift Valley which divides the country, while its biodiversity is equally striking. Endless savannah plains and parched deserts are punctuated by snow-capped mountains, cool highlands and equatorial forests. The scenic coastline has all the beauty of a tropical paradise island with the added appeal of the fascinating Swahili culture”. Of course, Kenya also hosts the remarkable wildebeest migration – the planet’s largest single movement of herd animals – which is one of the world’s spectacular sights to see.
8) Jodhpur: Indian colour and culture
Jodhpur is known as one of the most colourful cities in the world, with thousands of blue houses transforming the urban landscape into a sea of ocean-coloured buildings. Aside from its vibrant setting, Jodhpur is home to the Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace and the Mandore Gardens, which makes it ideal for culture vultures interested in architecture, museums, and markets. It’s also a place where you can indulge in authentic Rajasthan cuisine. With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that online platform Booking.com recently included Jodhpur in its list of 10 Top Trending Destinations for Travelers to Explore in 2020.
9) Moscow: “World’s Leading City Destination”
At the recently held World Travel Awards, the Russian capital of Moscow was named the World’s Leading City Destination for 2019. From its grand palaces and government buildings, colourful cathedrals and mosques to its art galleries and museums housing many spectacular works; world-class theatres hosting unforgettable performances; exquisite parks and gardens; countless places for great food and drink; and a vibrant shopping and nightlife scene, Moscow offers an exceptional collection of opportunities for visitors. To learn more about all the things to see and do in Moscow right now, take a look at the Family Traveller feature in this edition of Wings of Oman.
10) Athens: The gateway to Greece
Listed by Big 7 Travel as one of the 7 hottest European destinations in 2020, the ancient city of Athens is more exciting than ever. The unique, ancient city offers travellers rich history, delicious food, a year-round calendar of events and some very trendy shopping spots. Much as the city itself is a delightful destination, it’s also the gateway to all the wonders of Greece.
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To book a flight to these top ten destinations in 2020, and many other destinations across the globe, visit www.omanair.com
Images: © Shutterstock; www.expo2020dubai.com