Skipper Graeme Shinnie will jet off to Dubai with the Dons tomorrow – less than 24 hours after returning home from the United Arab Emirates’ city.
The midfielder spent the last week on holiday with his wife and daughter in Dubai but today flew back to the Granite City.
Shinnie, 27, opted to make the extra 7,200-mile round journey instead of staying in the sun and meeting the Dons out in Dubai as his wife hates flying.
Now he will again take the 10-and-a-half-hour flight through four time zones back to the Middle East with his team-mates for the week long winter training camp.
After a gruelling December where nine games were packed into 27 days, Shinnie insists it is an overseas trip the players are grateful to the club for providing.
And the Scotland international is convinced a week in the sun will have the Dons revitalised and ready to go for glory in the second half of the campaign.
Shinnie said: “I went out to Dubai the day after the Livingston game.
“However, the missus doesn’t like flying and we also have the little one, so I flew back and then went out with the team the next day.
“The missus gets nervous in airports so I would rather be with them and get them home safe.
“It was a case of drop them off at home then head out to Dubai again.
“I am looking forward to the training camp.
“This is the first year where I feel I properly needed a break.
“I had a week of just switching off from the football in Dubai and getting away to recharge the batteries.
“I am looking forward to the training camp in Dubai as it will be good for us.”
Shinnie is out of contract in the summer, with the Dons currently waiting to hear if he will sign an extended deal at Pittodrie or move on.
English Championship clubs Hull City and Brentford are said to be monitoring his contract situation.
This winter more than ever Shinnie needed a break as he had very little time off during the summer.
He travelled to South America with the Scotland squad at the end of last season and was rewarded with his debut cap as a substitute in a 2-0 loss to Peru in Lima.
Aberdonian Shinnie then started the next game of mini tour in a 1-0 loss to Mexico at the legendary Estadio Azteca in front of 87,000 fans.
Shinnie cancelled his stag trip to Marbella to jet out with the Scots and it was a sacrifice which paid off as he has cemented himself in Alex McLeish’s Scots’ squad, earning five caps.
He said: “It’s definitely been the most gruelling spell of my career, but it’s been one of the most rewarding.
“In the summer I managed to get my first cap for Scotland, got married, then it was straight back to football. I was away with Scotland so had a two-week break in the summer, which is just like a blip between seasons.
“It had been a gruelling first half of the season in terms of having only a short break in the summer.
“There were also no breaks through the season so far due to international matches, although I obviously enjoyed being away with the Scotland squad.
“With the build up of nine games in December, it was tough on the body.
“However, that run of games gave us the platform to climb back up the league and we’ve used it to win games and get back to where we want to be.
“It was a tough, demanding time, but rewarding.”
Aberdeen will train at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence, the facility they have used in the Dubai training camps in the previous two winters.
The complex is situated in the desert on the outskirts of Dubai, where the Dons will sweat it out in 25 to 30 degree heat. Having gone into the Premiership winter shutdown just three points off league leaders Celtic and Rangers, Shinnie is confident the time in Dubai will have the Reds ready for an assault on the league.
“The warm weather training camp in Dubai will be good for us,” he said.
“It has worked well in recent years.
“The club gives us the best possible breaks and help with recovery.
“They give us what we need, so it’s up to us to then go and perform our best.
“Results show the break in Dubai has given us a platform to go and get good results.
“It’s brilliant the club do it and the players use it to their advantage.
“We knew that would pick us right up the league and we’ve managed to put ourselves back in a good position.
“There’s a big second half of the season to go now.
“Hopefully we come back from Dubai fresh for the second half of the season.”
Aberdeen will stay at the five-star Jebel Ali Beach Resort Hotel, which is located on the Arabian Gulf and boasts an exclusive, private beach.
The hotel also has a golf course established as one of the most prestigious in the UAE. It has been played by legends Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Greg Norman.
The Dons’ luxury hotel is only a five-minute drive from the training pitches they will use for the duration of their stay.
Shinnie insists the players appreciate the club taking them to Dubai.
He said: “The club no matter what always look out for the players.
“They always give the players the best platform to go and do their job.
“As players we look forward to it so much. The club always does the best it can to help us.
“Even after the League Cup final we stayed down in Glasgow ahead of the Rangers game three days later.
“We were down there preparing and that is so important for the team and all the boys appreciate what the club give us.”