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Abu Dhabi
Holidays in Abu Dhabi

The capital of enchantment

As the capital of the UAE, a holiday in Abu Dhabi combines a 21st Century cityscape with traditional values and hospitality style. Magnificent skyscrapers and water parks rub shoulders with pristine gardens and palatial hotels and mosques. The cultural desert excursions are spectacular.

Abu Dhabi

Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Retrieving our hand picked hotels...

Essential information for Abu Dhabi

Local Time
+ 4hrs
Currently
Language
Flag of the United Arab Emirates
Arabic
Currency
UAE Dirham
Official currency of Abu Dhabi
Flight information
7h 20m
Abu Dhabi (AUH)
Direct flight
Flight schedule
Flights are available with Etihad direct to Abu Dhabi. Regional flights from the UK are available with Emirates direct.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re travelling on a British Citizen passport, you can get a visitor’s visa on arrival in the UAE. This visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE for up to 30 days. The visa terminates automatically on departure and a new visa is issued on arrival each time the visitor returns to the UAE.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

When is Ramadan?

Ramadan is estimated to be from 23rd April – 23rd May 2020 (followed by Eid in July). Ramadan is a festival like no other, and visiting during this period offers a fascinating insight into Emirati culture and religious traditions.

Abu Dhabi Holidays: where the old meets the new

Ancient traditions live side-by-side with contemporary architecture and world record-breaking feats in Abu Dhabi. Constantly developing, renovating and changing, the city always has something new to offer. From its sun-kissed white beaches to an ultra-modern skyline, holidays in Abu Dhabi are where city trips and beach breaks come together.

Abu Dhabi is the UAE's showcase of glamour and luxury, and the its hotels are no different, famous for their extravagant interiors and world-class personal service.

  • For a relaxing break, head to St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. The waterfront hotel has a Mediterranean theme and is very stylish and elegant. If Mediterranean décor weren’t enough, their menus offer food from all around the world. If you're relaxing on the beach, don't be surprised if you get to see a bottlenose dolphin – the clear blue waters are home to all sorts of marine wildlife.
  • Get the royal treatment at Emirates Palace. Famous for its opulent architecture (the ceiling alone is gold leaf), everything about the hotel is the epitome of regal. A prime example of old-meets-new in Abu Dhabi, its design contrasts with the hi-tech facilities, with iPad controls in every room. Be sure to stop by for high tea if you want a relaxing afternoon.
  • Discover island life at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Start the day with archery and then finish up in the spa (we recommend making full use of the massages on offer).

When you take a holiday to Abu Dhabi, you're never far from the beach or one of the many inlets which criss-cross the city. From party beaches with bars and DJs to relaxing sunspots, there’s no shortage of coastline to choose from. And the breathtaking city skyline makes a slick setting for sunset.

  • Saadiyat Public Beach is an unmodified nature spot that’s quiet enough  to relax with a book for a few hours. If you’re lucky, you might even spot hawksbill turtles nesting.
  • The best spot to watch the sun go down is Yas beach. Here, you can enjoy watersports and a DJ during the day; it gets quite lively in the evening, so it's perfect when you’re in the mood to party.
  • For a photo op with the most famous Abu Dhabi landmarks, head to Corniche beach. This stretch of white sands along the northwest shore is the peaceful in the evenings, making it ideal for a walk or a jog.

If you're looking for something more adrenaline-fuelled, Abu Dhabi's got plenty to offer, from roller coasters for thrill-seekers to waterparks for a more relaxing choice.

  • Booking a driver experience at the Yas Marina Circuit Tour is a must for F1 fans. Take a tour or get out on the track in anything from a Chevy Camaro to a Formula 3000 car.
  • Ferrari World is home to the fastest roller coaster in the world, but if that's not your thing, you can browse the ranks of classic cars instead. There’s enough to fill a whole day with fast-paced fun, so get there early to make the most of this amusement park.
  • Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi is an indoor, fully air conditioned theme park, home to 29 rides, family attractions and live entertainment all themed around the characters from Warner Bros.. from Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and Fred Flintstone. It also has great dining and shopping outlets. Its suitable for all the family and is a great day out.
  • Yas Waterworld is the perfect spot to let off steam for an afternoon, with shallow play pools for little ones and relaxing spots for the adults. Queues for rides aren’t as long as other amusements either, so dropping by for a few hours is an option.
  • For a more relaxing choice, head to Murjan Splash Park. With shallow pools, it’s ideal for infrequent swimmers and young children. It’s worth noting that this park is cash only, so leave your cards at home.
  • Make some feathered friends at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. Located a short drive out of the city, this wildlife reserve is a serene place to spend an afternoon and learn about the birds. The tour lasts two hours and if you’re feeling brave you can have a photo taken with one on your arm.

Abu Dhabi's skyline is world-renowned, with the famous Corniche home to awe-inspiring modern skyscrapers, including the Sky Tower at over 1000 feet high. But look a little closer and you’ll find plenty of traditional Gulf-style buildings – should you want to discover the city’s traditional side.

  • The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the ten largest mosques in the world. You can lose hours marvelling at the attention paid to detail in its intricate carvings and perfect symmetry. If you have time, visit once during the day and again at night to see it in an entirely different light. The dress code is strict, but you can borrow appropriate cover-ups from the office before you head inside. There’s a free guided tour that lasts around 45 minutes to discover more about the mosque’s history.
  • Observation Deck 300 is the highest place to have high tea, based on the 74th floor of the Jumeirah building, where you can take in a stunning 360-degree view of the city and its unique skyline.
  • Once you’ve seen the modern architecture of Abu Dhabi, learn about the city’s history at the Qasr Al Hosn museum. Entrance is free and it’s a great way to get out of the sun for a few hours during the day. If possible, go in February for the Abu Dhabi festival, celebrating classical art and music.

An Abu Dhabi holiday is a tranquil way to discover the storied history of the United Arab Emirates and discover its ever-changing modern architecture and cityscapes. Book in at one of our Abu Dhabi hotels today. 

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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.
 

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 9499.

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 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

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.  

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.

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

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.

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 feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com 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.

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