This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure you have an easy, quick and reliable experience whilst using the Virgin 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 - 5:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

Hidden delights beyond Dubai

Hidden delights beyond Dubai

Don’t choose your UAE vacation on autopilot. Dubai is famously fabulous — but there’s a world beyond where you’ll find untold pleasures for less than you might imagine. Perhaps you’ll drive an hour along the coast to Ras Al Khaimah, for trekking, water parks and views of the dramatic Hajar Mountains. Maybe you’ll walk amongst the ancient forts and whitewashed mosques of Fujairah. Or find your own personal Middle East in Ajman: the pocket-sized emirate where palm-sprinkled beaches and competitive hotels offer non-millionaires a holiday less ordinary.

 

Ajman

Keep Ajman under your hat. Just a half-hour from Dubai Airport, this relaxed and budget-conscious enclave is as close as the UAE gets to a hideaway. With 16 km of perfect shoreline, an 18th century fort and a wetland centre, it’s the emirate with intrigue and elbowroom.

 

Ras al Khaimah

Ras al Khaimah is the fourth largest emirate in the UAE, but without a cloud-piercing Dubai-style skyscraper in sight. Here you’ll find a traditional fishing village and 18th-century fort, plus the historic Old Town. Soak in desert springs or take in the view on a mountain trek — Ras al Khaimah is full of magical experiences like these.



 

The area features swathes of beautiful beaches, and is a centre for watersports. No surprise, then, that it’s now home to some wonderful resorts. And if that’s not enough to warrant your undivided attention, there are plenty of unforgettable experiences to enjoy in Ras Al Khaimah, too, such as camel racing, horse riding or falcon shows where the local mastery of these beautiful hunting birds is shown off to thrilling effect.

 

Abu Dhabi

While not quite as internationally renowned with travellers as Dubai, Abu Dhabi easily holds its own alongside its famous neighbour. You’ve got truly awe-inspiring architecture, including the Yas Viceroy hotel — known best as the backdrop for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with its futuristic design and unique LED canopy; the majestic Emirates Palace and the amazing Capital Gate building.



 

There are magnificent malls, the unmissable Ferrari World theme park (boasting Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster), and wide, pristine beaches. Abu Dhabi has a rich past, too: Qasr Al Hosn is a stone fort dating from 1760, and the epic Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an essential visit, featuring space for some 40,000 worshippers at a time.

 

Fujairah

Beyond the desert, explore Fujairah, a stunning spot that rolls from the red rock Hajar Mountains in the west to the golden sands of the east. Fetch your flippers as Fujairah is known for some of the best diving spots in the UAE. Marvel at turtles, rays and of course an abundance of reef fish, which thrive in the Indian Ocean’s warm waters.




Desert region

The spectacular desert landscapes surrounding Dubai are waiting to be explored. Take an exhilarating trip across the rolling dunes and witness dramatic sunsets as the desert changes colour from gold to pink. Enjoy traditional Middle Eastern cuisine under the stars, witness the hunting skills of falcons, or take a trek by camel.



 

Musandam Peninsula

The Musandam Peninsula on the northernmost tip of Arabia is part of Oman but is bordered by the UAE on both sides. This means it’s actually easier to fly into Dubai to access this pristine wilderness — which also happens to make for an outstanding multi-destination holiday.

Tagged in:

  • Middle East
  • Oman
  • Ras al Khaimah
  • Our picks
  • Abu Dhabi
  • City and shopping breaks
  • Dubai, Beaches and Beyond
  • Luxury
  • Favourite
  • Beach
  • Travel tips
  • Off the beaten track
05 Apr 2019 | Virgin Holidays

Whatsapp

There has been an error

Please try again

Text Message

There has been an error

Please try again

Telephone

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

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK have advised against all but essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

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.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 May 2020 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge up to 31 December 2021.

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?

Important information: We are working hard to help all of our customers, particularly those already on holiday or due to travel in the next 72 hours.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


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

We are currently contacting all customers whose holidays have been affected to discuss their options. This means we’re only able to accept calls and messages from those due to travel in the next 72 hours. 

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

Let’s talk


If you still need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel in the next 72 hours, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us.  You are our immediate priority.

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. 

You can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. 

If you’re struggling to pay, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel. 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 good to go


Currently, your holiday will be going ahead as planned.

Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by travel restrictions or cancellations.

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

Thank you for your patience and understanding


We’re sorry to say that it’s taking much longer than usual to process your refund. It’s taking longer than we’d like as well. This is due to the number of requests being sent to us and our teams working from home.

We’re doing our best to help every customer, but we’re not able to always meet the 15, 45 or 90-day timeframes we originally stated for every customer. As always, we’re grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding. It means the world to us.

We'll be in touch soon


We’re keen to help you rearrange your holiday plans and our team are currently working through requests in order of departure. We’re helping those customers in June at the moment so please bear with us, someone will call you back.

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
XXXX@virginholidays.com
We will try to respond to your email within 24 hours.