Originally a quiet fishing village, today’s Dubai has souks or open-air marketplaces around every corner, including inside the huge Mall of the Emirates, which boasts an indoor ski slope. Beyond Dubai’s beaches lie the marvels of the other Emirates that make up this fascinating country.
Ras Al Khaimah
We recommend that you include a visit to this Emirate in your itinerary. It contains all the natural beauty that the country is justifiably famous for. You can travel from the excellent beaches to the Al Jeer Mountains, with a stop to marvel at the desert on the way. The stunning fjords are found here as well, something many visitors miss because they just don’t expect to see them in this country. Ras Al Khaimah borders Oman and has an ancient history that is illustrated at the museums, and by the standing ancient relics seen throughout the Emirate.
This Emirate is the only one lying on the Indian Ocean and provides excellent opportunities if SCUBA diving is one of your passions. Less desert and more stunning scenery, Fujairah tumbles from the peaks of the Hajar Mountains into a desert of beautiful sunset colours. Visit in October when the Power Boat Racing World Championships are held and enjoy the spectacle of the world’s fastest boats competing for honours.
Another favourite attraction is the Dubai Fountain, which is actually a series of massive fountains near downtown Dubai. The water movements are set to music and cleverly choreographed, creating a magical display, especially at night when they are lit from below. Enjoy a late-night snack or beverage at one of the many cafes and restaurants that ring Burj Khalifa Lake - sit back and take in the free show.
One of the sights for which Dubai holidays are most famous is the string of man-made islands just off the beach. The Palm Jumeirah was the first, and it is appropriately shaped like a palm tree surrounded by a circle of sand. Another one is named, The World, appropriately shaped like a map of the world - each “country” of which is for sale if you’d like to live there, and can afford it!
Come marvel at the largest man-made marina in the world, and view some of the most stunning yachts you’ll see gathered together in one multi-billion dollar display.
This port city just south of Dubai is home to many ex-pats as well as the Jebel Ali Free Zone, providing the companies situated there with a special tax-free status. The beautiful beaches and resort hotels make this a lovely place to stay whilst on holiday in Dubai.
The deserts that once threatened everyone but the Bedouin are now very inviting. Desert safaris via Jeep, or the more sedate but grumpy camels, allow visitors to experience the beauty and the thrill of the desert. Resorts like the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa offer luxurious services, while those who long for the excitement of the open spaces can try sand skiing or dune driving. In addition, be sure to allow enough time to view the incomparable sunsets in the desert, when it seems as if the world stops for just a few seconds. You will only then really appreciate the stunning beauty of this exceptional place.
Video of Dubai Beaches and Beyond
Check out our great video of Dubai Beaches and Beyond below.
- World-Class Resorts
- Deserted Beaches
- Contrasting Scenery
- Diving and Water Sports
- Desert Safaris
– Al Marmoum Camel Racing Season /Dubai Shopping Festival / Dubai Latin Festival / Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon
– Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships / Dubai International Jazz Festival
– Arts and Culture Festival / Dubai World Cup / Dubai International Boat Show
- Dubai Summer Surprises
Jun – Jul
– Eid in Dubai festival
Jul – Aug
– Ramadan in Dubai
– Dubai International Dance Festival
- Dubai International Film Festival
Please note: all events listed are for helpful information only and many are subject to entrance fees and/or prior reservation, and may be cancelled at any time. Please check with the relevant tourist office if you need further information on these or any of the other events in this region.
Watch our Dubai Beaches and Beyond video for inspiration here.
Different destinations have different magic touches so make sure to check them out to see what makes your holiday with us so special.
Flight Details - Virgin Atlantic flights to Dubai depart daily from London Heathrow. Flights are also available with Emirates direct and Qatar Airways to Dubai via Doha.
Flying Time - Approx 7 hours to Dubai.
Flight Upgrades - available on all airlines, please call us for details.
Time - GMT +4 hours in Winter and +3 in Summer
Currency - UAE Dirham (Dhs)
Visa Requirements - British citizens do not require a visa.
Language - The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken.
Alcohol - Legal drinking age is 21.
Dubai Flight Arrivals - Virgin Holidays' transfers in Dubai are direct to your chosen hotel. Transfer times may vary due to traffic conditions. The Virgin Atlantic flight to Dubai arrives early in the morning. Hotel check-in times start at 2.00pm. You will be able to store your bags at the hotel and use the hotel facilities until your room becomes available. If you would like to check in on arrival, you will need to pay for an additional night's accommodation.
Religious Periods - The holy month of Ramadan is celebrated between 9th July - 7th August 2013 and for 2014 28th June – 27th July 2014. During these dates there are restrictions on alcohol, food consumption and entertainment for local Muslims between sunrise and sunset when they must fast. Restrictions within hotels with international guests tend to be more relaxed, however you should be aware that the consumption of alcohol in public areas is prohibited within daylight hours and services maybe reduced in some food outlets. However at nightfall there are many lively traditional celebrations, known as Iftah, where hotels often arrange lavish buffet feasts. Whilst visitors are asked to respect these traditions it is also a great time to see the real Dubai and experience local customs and it should not impact the enjoyment of your stay.
Weather - can be extremely hot in the summer months; average temperature in Aug is around 41 degrees Celsius, however most hotels offer shaded pool and outdoor areas and there are many fantastic attractions which are under cover and full air-conditioned.
Virgin Holidays Concierge Lounge at the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort, Spa and Villas and Atlantis, The Palm
Pick up on emails, surf the net or catch up on the latest UK news on the state-of-the-art iMacs. With iPads loaded with all the latest apps, relax on the sofas and take your pick from any of the apps. Ideal for kids and adults alike, we've also included a Playstation® with a variety of the latest games to test out your skills.
Average costs at an exchange rate of 5.7AED
Wine by the glass £7.90
Can of soft drink £1.75
Meal in a reasonably priced restaurant £60.00 per person
Meal in an expensive restaurant £175.00 per person
Prices are a guidline only and are subject to change.
Concierge Service - exclusive to Virgin Holidays customers
This exclusive service puts you in touch with our resort reps before you even leave the UK, allowing you to ask questions, check out facts and purchase a complete range of excursion tickets from our experts on the ground.
Read more about our Concierge Service...