Aberdeen will make a 7,200-mile round trip to the Middle East to boost the bid to secure a 150-mile drive to Hampden for the Scottish Cup final in May.
Manager Derek McInnes will today jet out with his squad for a week-long warm-weather training camp in Dubai.
One of the targets he has laid down for the Reds is to secure a second cup final to end the season.
Having lost the Betfred Cup final 1-0 to Celtic at the national stadium, McInnes aims to engineer another crack at winning silverware.
The first step towards that target is a fourth-round clash against League One Stenhousemuir on Saturday January 19, the first game after returning from the heat of the Persian Gulf.
It may be a week in the sun, but McInnes insists it is no holiday. It will be straight down to business in Dubai, sweating it out with hard training to prepare for the cup tie.
He said: “We want to kick on in 2019 and get to the Scottish Cup final and compete for that.
“That is always the way.
“We lost the Betfred Cup final, but we gave ourselves a chance of winning that.
“The players did ever so well to try to win that game.
“You need a lot of things to go for you in a final, especially playing against a team with the quality of Celtic.
“It was a decent cup run and we want to get to a final again this season.
“Hopefully we can keep that winning formula the players have found and that confidence that is there – take that on into the rest of the season.
“In the previous two seasons we went out to Dubai and returned home refreshed and with added impetus.
“We normally hit decent form when we come back from Dubai.
“Coming back, we have done pretty well in January, February and March and are looking for something similar.”
There is some irony that Aberdeen will begin their bid for silverware in Dubai, also known as the City of Gold.
This city, in fact, is awash with gold. The famous Gold Souk in the Deira area, Dubai’s oldest gold market, is home to more than 300 jewellery retailers.
Dubai also has ATMs solely for dispensing gold bars, located at Atlantis, The Palm Hotel and Dubai Mall.
With the Dons’ last Scottish Cup triumph almost three decades ago in 1990, McInnes is in the hunt for a different precious metal.
But amid this millionaires’ paradise on the Persian Gulf, he will remain a realist and accept all that glitters is not gold.
Silverware comes through hard graft and that starts again at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence training facility where the Dons will be based.
McInnes is ready to work the Reds hard after the squad had a week off to relax following the 2-1 defeat of Livingston on December 29.
He said: “It was important, especially after the December period where we had nine games, that there was that chance to recharge with families for a week.
“Then we get straight back to business with the work in Dubai. Being out in Dubai offers the chance to refocus on our targets.
“The training camp we have had there over the last two seasons has really paid dividends and we have felt the benefit of it.
“It is an environment most of the players are used to so we know what we are getting.
“There are one or two new players with us from the start of the season and being in Dubai can help them integrate further.”
For McInnes and the Dons, it is a case of “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” with the week in Dubai. They will stay at the same Jebel Ali Beach Resort five-star hotel as they have in the previous two winters and use the same training facility, just a five- minute drive away.
He said: “The training camp where we are, we are all familiar with it now. We are going to familiar surroundings by using the same hotel, the same training pitches and will have the same set-up and routine of training.
“We will be doing it in a good environment, which reinvigorates the players. Training in the heat picks them back up again. The hotel caters for us brilliantly and the pitches are fantastic.
“It is important we are back on it again and we go to Dubai to refocus on what we want to do for the second half of the season.
“Being in a warm environment allows us to train at a relaxed tempo, but we also get significant work into the players to fire them back up again. It has always been a worthwhile trip.”