This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure you have an easy, quick and reliable experience whilst using the Virgin Atlantic Holidays website. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details, see our cookie policy.

Skip to main content Virgin holidays logo
  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

Dubai-ers Guide

Dubaiers Guide

Dubai is huge. At 17 miles (that’s half as wide as Greater London) from the Palm Jumeirah in the west to Deira in the east, it’s best to know where you’re going before you go there. Largely a car city, and with temperatures rising to over 40C in the summer, it’s not a place you can wander for miles. Here are some of the spots you need to know:


Souk it up

Dubai souk

Located around Dubai creek, this is the oldest part of town. Where the creek meets the sea, you can find the gold and spice souks, take a boat ride, and have your pick from the dozens of fabric shops in the area.

Metro – Al Ras. Taxi – Spice Souk in Al Ras.


The highest sunset

At the other end of the creek is the Burj Khalifa - the world’s tallest building. Book in advance for an hour before sunset as you may need to queue, and get the best of both views of the city – day and night. Grab the best spots while it’s still light to get your photos. At its base is the world’s second-largest mall – Dubai Mall. For those who’d rather skip the shopping, the mall contains a large ice-rink, aquarium, and SEGA theme park.

Metro – Burj Khalifa (15 mins away by sky-bridge).  Taxi – Dubai Mall.

Dubai mall


Spot of Gulf?

Palm Jumeirah

The majority of the public beaches are between the Palm Jumeirah and the Creek. Try the one just next to the famous sail-shaped Burj-al Arab and you’ll be in walking distance from the Wild Wadi Waterpark.

Taxi - Jumeirah beach park.

For a relaxed wander, great food, and a cooling swim; head down to Marina Beach, just past the Palm.

Metro - Jumeirah Beach Residence Tram Station 2. Taxi – Hilton Dubai Jumeirah.


Over the sea

To get away from it all and enjoy a romantic dinner, check out the 101 Dining Lounge and Bar at the One&Only Hotel. Set on stilts over the waters of the Arabian Gulf, you can see the lights of the city while enjoying delicious French and Arabian food. For a similar (but more expensive) vibe, check out Pierchic, which serves seafood at the end of a private pier near the Burj al-Arab.

Taxi – One&Only Hotel (101), Madinat Jumeirah (Pierchic).


Desert Dubai

Just inland from the city are acres of rolling sand dunes – and the best way to explore these is in a jeep. Skip the cultural experience and brief camel rides, and focus on the adventure.

Desert Dubai


Dine like a local

Although it might seem it, not everybody who lives in Dubai has a mansion. For some local character, head to al Difayah Road or 2nd of December Street and check out one of the local eateries serving Indian, Chinese, or Arabic food. Ravi Restaurant serves cheap, dependable curries at rock-bottom prices.

Metro – World Trade Center 1 (1 mile walk). Taxi – Ravi Restaurant, al Difayah Road.  


Joe Adams works for Virgin Holidays and, as well as just returning from Dubai, has travelled all over the world in his quest for adventure; including to China, Guatemala, Belize, and Iceland.

To see more about Dubai and plan your own adventure, check out our Dubai Holidays.

Tagged in:

  • Middle East
  • Our picks
  • City and shopping breaks
  • Dubai, Beaches and Beyond
  • Beach
  • Travel tips
  • Shopping
  • Travel Blogger stories
  • Staff Travels
05 Jul 2016 | Joe Adams


There has been an error

Please try again

Text Message

There has been an error

Please try again


Thanks, we'll be in touch soon

How can we help?

Let’s get started. Please choose an option below.

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9646.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice

Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by email. 

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Let’s talk

If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646 or chat to us on SMS/Whatspp via Manage my booking.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility

Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans

We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned

If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding

Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon

To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?

You can contact our team by emailing to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

I am currently on holiday and I need to speak to someone

The easiest way to contact us while you are away is via WhatsApp. To get the conversation started, click the link and type "hello” .

or you can get in touch with our in-resort team during local opening hours

Find contact details for your location

Outside of local resort office hours you can call us in the UK +44 (0) 344 472 9626 (option 2) or email us

If you are in the USA or Canada please email:

We're flying you to

Explaination text....

Continue to

Need help?

Talk to an expert

Call us directly

Feel free to call us directly on
01234 567784
Our travel experts are on hand to help you book your next holiday.

Send us an email

Feel free to email us directly on
We will try to respond to your email within 24 hours.