Five last-minute travel destinations for an unforgettable New Year

Five last-minute travel destinations for an unforgettable New Year

Five last-minute travel destinations for an unforgettable New Year
Mzaar Kfardebian Ski Resort in mount Lebanon. Picture: REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

Yasmin Harake


With 2019 almost upon us, it’s nearly time to bid farewell to another year and welcome the next one. And if you haven’t been excited by the events being planned in your hometown, why not opt for a last-minute trip somewhere nearby? Here are a few to consider.


Known for its stunning landscapes and majestic cedar trees, Lebanon is a haven for explorers. A little more than 40 km from the country’s capital, Kfardebian attracts both local and international visitors. Home to Faraya, Lebanon’s renowned skiing getaway, the town is a welcome retreat for those familiar with city life; the natural wonders and local shops make for a refreshing alternative during the holidays. There’s an array of nearby restaurants that serve halal food, and The Urban Faqra Hotel’s breakfast menu includes both vegetarian and halal options. If you prefer self-catering, don’t worry; there’s a wide selection of chalets for you to make yourself feel at home in. Those who haven’t experienced this part of Lebanon should know that there are mosques dotted around the area too, making this winter wonderland a favourite for Muslim travellers.



Zanzibar. Picture by Chen Hu on Unsplash.


With various attractions and things to do for young and old alike, Zanzibar is the perfect place to jet to for a New Year’s Eve to cherish. Home to a large Muslim population, the region boasts a variety of halal options when it comes to dining out, and that’s not all: Zanzibar caters to Muslim travellers by way of prayer facilities as well, so you can relax and explore knowing you can pray in suitable conditions. Be sure to check out the Dhow Palace Hotel in Zanzibar City when you book your accommodation; all food served at the premises is halal, and it’s completely alcohol-free.


South Africa Cape Town waterfront and harbour

Photo: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and harbour


Home to a number of mosques and halal venues, it’s not surprising why Cape Town is popular with Muslim explorers. The Hilton Cape Town hotel is an excellent choice for Muslims as it features halal restaurants and prayer areas, and it even has prayer directions marked out in the rooms.

Heard of Table Mountain? Head there for a New Year’s Eve fireworks display to remember. Oh, and watch out for the penguins: there’s a lot of them!



Home to many mosques, prayer areas and halal restaurants, Tokyo is another lesser-known go-to destination for Muslim travellers. With a variety of activities to suit people of all ages and amazing options for NYE celebrations, Tokyo caters to people from all over the world. For accommodation, check out the Park Hyatt Hotel. As well as serving halal food, the hotel prides itself on its ability to prepare meals and drinks to suit religious requirements. Looking for a nearby mosque? Simply ask the hotel staff, and they’ll happily point you in the right direction.


If you haven’t been to Bangkok, it might be time to change that. With many different halal restaurants to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice; there’s a range of cuisines available. Book your stay at the Al Meroz Hotel, Bangkok’s first completely halal hotel designed with Muslim guests in mind. Featuring enchanting gold domes and intricate details, the hotel’s exterior is reminiscent of the architecture found in Muslim countries: welcome to your home away from home! Start the year by enjoying a delicious NYE dinner at one of Bangkok’s breath-taking rooftop restaurants while the sky lights up.

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