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Things to see and do in the Middle East

Blog posts

Hidden delights beyond Dubai

Dubai dominates our view of the UAE, but there are more to be discovered by the discerning traveller.

Our top places to go in 2019

Forget the wet weather and whet your appetite for adventure with our top destinations for 2019.

10 things you might not know about Dubai Parks and Resorts

Get a taste of all the awesome on offer at Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Dubai-ers 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:

A (long) weekend in… Abu Dhabi

As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi boasts a host of attractions, catering for adults and children alike, which can help to create a fun experience whether you’re visiting for work, pleasure, or a bit of both.

A (long) weekend in… Oman

Oman is a fascinating destination, enjoying some of the renovation seen extensively in neighbouring Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but still offering plenty of opportunities to enjoy traditional Middle Eastern culture.

Lowdown on Dubai during Ramadan

Dubai – the home of gleaming skyscrapers, man-made islands, and epic waterparks. It’s a gem in the United Arab Emirates that everyone should experience. But what should you do if you are visiting the UAE during Ramadan? Here’s our essential guide to visiting Dubai during this traditional holy month.

Middle Eastern Retail Therapy

A thriving hub for fashion fiends, a paradise for those who covet couture, and a wondrous haven for label-lovers – the Middle East is the perfect place for shopping enthusiasts to do what they do best.

The lap of Middle Eastern luxury

If you’re looking for luxury – you found it. Indulge in the finest international cuisine in some of the Middle East’s most highly regarded restaurants, recline on the shimmering golden sands, basking in the scorching Middle Eastern sun, and exercise your credit card in the region’s most exclusive designer shopping malls and boutiques. Unlock the secrets of the Middle East with our ultimate guide to all that is opulence and luxury in this stunning part of the world.

Dubai Unleashed

Discover Dubai for a perfect winter getaway. From the wonderful to the unexpected, amazing adventures are waiting, just for you. 40 years ago it was just desert and a fishing village. Today, Dubai is a gleaming super-city. From man-made islands to exhilarating water parks, this city in the sun can feel like a dream. But this is no mirage. Dubai truly is the real deal.

Dubai for families

Dubai’s best family experiences With an exciting mix of things to do for kids and adults alike, Dubai is the ultimate family friendly holiday destination. Dubai offers top class family hotels with a huge range of family orientated facilities from kids pools to kids clubs. Once settled into your hotel it will then be time to explore. Dubai also offers a diverse range of activities, sights and culture for all for the family to enjoy.

Dubai for couples

Dubai’s best couple experiences Run of the mill? That ain't us - and it certainly isn't you. So unleash your mojo with some of our hand picked holiday exclusives as well as some of our magical moment experiences to offer you both a holiday of a life time.

Beaches of the Middle East

The Middle East is a rich and exotic place, home to glittering cities studded with bold skyscrapers on the edge of the desert. With an opulent urban culture, it’s easy to forget this part of the region is also home to some truly stunning beaches.

Affordable Dubai - Dubai in five days

Make the most of your time in Dubai, without breaking the bank!

48 hours in Dubai

Sumptuous hotels, designer shopping, stunning beaches and even the odd camel or two make Dubai a stand-out holiday destination. Here’s your ultimate 48-hour itinerary.

More about Middle East

Home to some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, Jumeirah Beach offers stunning beaches, delicious al fresco dining at The Walk, and the world’s longest Souk at Madinat Jumeirah. Hotels along the beach offer the ultimate in luxury and service too.

Whether you’re a big kid, or you’ve got little ones of your own, Dubai’s water parks offer a fun-filled aquatic adventure for everyone. Check out uphill water roller coasters, never-ending river rapids or catapult yourself down slides that travel through shark filled lagoons.

Water parks

Man-made islands? Shaped like palm trees? It could only happen in Dubai. Visit the amazing Palm Jumeirah and go wild at Aquaventure Water Park, experience the Lost Chambers Aquarium and get your fill of shopping and food at The Avenues.

Atlantis, The Palm

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.

Jebel Ali

Leave behind the desert for a different kind of breathtaking scene. This Emirate is the only one lying on the Indian Ocean and provides excellent opportunities if SCUBA diving is one of your passions. Fujairah tumbles from the peaks of the Hajar Mountains into a desert of beautiful sunset colours.

Fujairah

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!

Dubai Desert

With the Burj Khalifa as the stunning backdrop, experience the magical dancing waters at the Dubai Mall. More than 6,600 lights and 25 colour projectors light up the 22,000 gallons (83,000 litres) of water that can shoot 240 feet in the air.

Dubai Fountains

Best reached via a traditional wooden abra boat along the Dubai Creek, you can immerse yourself in the winding alleyways of the Bastikia Quarter. Make sure visit the various souks that specialise in spices, gold or textiles and haggle for some great prices.

Dubai Souks

Festival City, near Dubai Creek, is a 1600 acre waterfront project and offers alfresco dining, over 1,000 shops and even live music on the floating stage every Friday and Saturday night!

Dubai Festival City

Shopaholic? With over 520 international brands, the stunning Mall of the Emirates might just be your style heaven. And if you fancy a little fun, Ski Dubai’s indoor ski slope lets you enjoy the thrill of snow in the heart of the desert. There’s also Dubai Mall, home to hundreds of shops and one of the world’s largest aquariums.

Shopping in Dubai

It’s the eat-your-heart-out part of your Dubai experience. Top chefs from all over the world will be competing for your taste buds’ attention. Street food, like a Shawarma (Arab kebab) might be the most delicious thing you’ll eat all trip.

Dine like a Sheikh

Downtown Dubai is at the heart of the city with incredible hotels ranging from 4-7 stars, over 150 International restaurants and the biggest malls in the country if not the entire world! It’s also home to lots of world record breaking phenomena!

Downtown Dubai

Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marina in the world and is situated in a district in the heart of what has become known as "New Dubai".

Dubai Marina

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Your holiday may be affected by the government’s travel restrictions

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.

Your holiday will not be going ahead as planned

Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the Foreign Commonwealth Office have advised against all but essential travel. Therefore, with known airline cancellations, the following holidays will not go ahead as planned:

  • Any holidays departing before 27th April 2020.
  • Any Caribbean holidays departing before 1 May 2020.

We’re flexible with your holiday plans

We understand you may want to change your holiday plans. You can postpone your holiday to any time before 31 December 2021, and even choose a different destination. We won’t charge you to make these changes.

For now, we do ask you not to contact us. As a priority, we are currently supporting those customers whose holidays have already been directly affected by cancellations. We will contact you as soon as we can, or if there are any further changes that could affect your holiday.

We know you’ll want to get this sorted as soon as possible, and we’re very grateful for your understanding.

Please look out for an email from us in the coming days and weeks with our latest advice. See our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for latest updates.

You’re good to go

In line with the advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office UK, and known airline cancellations, all trips booked from June onwards are currently going ahead as planned.

As a priority, we are currently supporting those customers whose holidays have been directly affected by cancellations.

So, for now, we ask you not to contact us. Rest assured we are contacting all of our customers by email in departure date order to support them with options, and we will absolutely let you know if your situation changes.

If your remaining balance is due within two weeks, and you’d like to know what your options are, please log into Manage my Booking for further information.

Please look out for an email from us in the coming weeks. See our Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for latest updates.

Rebook your holiday


We are sending all affected customers a voucher by email that is valid for the full value of your cancelled holiday. When you rebook, we’d like to gift you with 4,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles too.

There’s no rush. You can redeem your holiday voucher on a new booking with us any time before 31 July 2020.

We know you’ll be wanting to get this sorted as soon as possible. So please look out for our email for more details of how to amend your holiday plans.

Cancel your holiday


We're sending all affected customers a voucher by email that is valid for the full value of your cancelled holiday.  

Rather than cancel, if you’d like to travel with us sometime in the future, we would still love to find a great holiday for you (and gift you with 4,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles as a thank you).

If you'd prefer to cancel completely, we understand. We will refund you in full. We’re currently dealing with a huge volume of enquiries from our customers, including refund requests. Because of this, it’s likely it will take much longer than usual to process your refund. We’re very grateful for your continued patience, and we’ll work as quickly as we can to get to you.

We know you’ll be wanting to get this sorted as soon as possible. So please look out for our email for more details of how to amend your holiday plans.

Your holiday is in safe hands


No need to contact us. Be assured, that if the situation changes, we will contact you as soon as this happens with the options available to you.

Change it up


You can postpone your holiday to travel any time before 31 December 2021, and even choose a different destination. We won’t charge you to make these changes and our Service Team are there to help – just give us a call.

Please bear in mind our wait times are currently longer than usual due to high demand.

Your holiday is in safe hands


Your holiday is scheduled to depart as booked. Continue to pay off your holiday balance with the assurance that your money is fully protected through ATOL. Be assured, that if the situation changes, we will contact you as soon as this happens with the options available to you.

The choice is yours


No problem! To amend your holiday dates, just give us a call. Any amendments to your booking can be made for £50pp, and our Service Team can help you decide on dates, or even a different destination.

Please bear in mind our wait times are currently longer than usual due to high demand.

Register yourself as away from home


If you’re abroad and your flight home has been cancelled please let us know, as relief flights will end soon.

Register as away from home

Alternatively, call our UK Duty Office on +44 0344 472 9646 (option 3) to discuss your options for getting home.

Book online


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

Help is at hand


Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types online and save your faves to your very own Wishlist

If you’re ready to book but can’t find the information you need on our website, just call our travel experts who will be happy to help.

To redeem your holiday voucher on a new booking with us, just give us a call and quote your old booking reference.

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.

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 into Manage my Booking to call or message us. You are our immediate priority.