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

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.


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


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.