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The founders of finesse

Set upon miles of glorious golden sand, Dubai’s spectacular resorts allow you to luxuriate in five-star glamour, while still reaching the bright lights of the city. The nearby desert is a treasure trove of falconry, sand boarding and dune bashing, perfect for magical adventures on your Dubai holiday.

Climate averages

Where to stay in Dubai, Beaches and Beyond

Hotels in Dubai, Beaches and Beyond


Fairmont Ajman 3 nights B&B from £623pp


30 minutes from Dubai airport and overlooking the Arabian Gulf, this luxury beachfront retreat offers a grand getaway with gourmet dining, an alluring infinity pool and an activity list that covers everyone in the family, including Ajman's first ever floating water park.


Dubai and Maldives

The Middle East and Indian Ocean lend themselves very well to a multi-destination holiday, a stop over in Dubai en-route to the Maldives is a very popular option. Combine a few days hitting the shops in Dubai City before heading to the idyllic island resorts and white sand beaches of the Maldives.

Essential information for Dubai, Beaches and Beyond

Local time


Flag of the United Arab Emirates


UAE Dirham
Official currency of United Arab Emirates

Flight information

7h 5m
Dubai (DXB)
Direct flight

Flight schedule

  • Regional flights from the UK are available with Emirates direct. Flights also available with Qatar Airways to Dubai via Doha.

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 24th April – 23rd May 2020 (followed immediately by Eid). Ramadan is a festival like no other, and visiting during this period offers a fascinating insight into Emirati culture and religious traditions.

From the desert to the city: Discover Dubai

If you want pure, unadulterated luxury, a holiday in Dubai is perfect for you. With miles of golden sand and a manmade island shaped like a giant palm tree, a trip to Dubai ticks every holiday box – from five-star resorts and spas to the world’s tallest buildings and idyllic beaches. Here’s a list of things not to miss whilst you enjoy a Dubai holiday.

Is there a better to place to indulge in a little luxury? If you’re looking to spoil yourself on your package holiday to Dubai, then these a few luxurious highlights:

  • The Waldorf Astoria Dubai: Enjoy brunch Prohibition style at this beautiful hotel on Dubai’s iconic Palm Island. Classic brunch dishes can be served poolside. An experience made even more luxe with the addition of live jazz.
  • Waldorf Astoria Spa: While at the hotel, don’t miss pampering yourself at the spa. There are over 50 treatments to indulge in – from serene massages to rejuvenating facials. It was named Best Luxury Destination Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2016, so you can be sure your relaxation is in good hands.
  • Want some privacy? Then pay a visit to the secluded cabanas at Nasimi Beach or The Palm Jumeirah’s RIVA Beach Club – the perfect romantic spot for those on honeymoon in Dubai. All you need is a cocktail and a good book.

Dubai Parks and Resorts is the region’s largest integrated theme park destination comprising three theme parks: MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, a movie inspired theme park showcasing some of Hollywood’s most beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate; Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, a first-of-its-kind family theme park that will showcase rides and attractions based on the authentic Bollywood experience; as well as LEGOLAND® Dubai, a unique, interactive theme park for families which will bring the well-known LEGO® brick to life in a playful learning environment; and LEGOLAND® Water Park, the region’s first water park catering to families with children 2-12 years old.

The entire destination is connected by Riverland™ Dubai – a uniquely themed retail and dining destination at the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts, and guests can stay at the Lapita™ Hotel, a Polynesian themed family hotel part of the Marriott Autograph Collection.

Dubai is home to some of the world’s biggest shopping malls. Spend the day wandering the gilded halls and pick up some souvenirs for friends and family back home, or treat yourself instead. Here are some shopping experiences to look out for:

  • The Dubai Mall: This shopping and leisure complex is the largest in the world at a whopping 12 million square feet. Featuring high fashion boutiques, department stores and artisan stalls, you’re bound to find everything you need (and probably a few things you don’t). Alongside the shopping, you can marvel at the fish in the Dubai Aquarium or cool off in the Dubai Ice Rink.  
  • Mall of the Emirates: It may offer an incredible 560 shops, but the Mall of the Emirates is so much more than a shopping centre. Underneath its huge roof, you’ll also find a ski resort and snow park, cinema screens, the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Complex and 90 eateries. The sheer wealth of things to do makes it the perfect place to visit on a family holiday to Dubai.

The truth is, there are almost too many beaches to count in Dubai. There’s one to satisfy your every mood – whether you want a quiet spot to chill out in or a lively atmosphere complete with bars and restaurants. These are a few highlights to narrow the search down a little:

  • Jumeirah Beach: This is the longest beach in Dubai. Parts of it are sectioned off as private beaches, but there are plenty of idyllic public spots too, including Wollongong Beach. It’s adjacent to a playground, meaning little ones will be happy all afternoon – perfect for fun family holidays to Dubai – and volleyball nets, tennis courts and kite surfing opportunities for sports-lovers.
  • Sunset Beach: Located next to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, this is the place to try your hand at water sports. Take lessons or rent a board for a couple of hours to test out the waves.

Dubai’s unique location in the middle of the desert presents some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Here are just a couple of them:

  • On an exciting desert safari across the sand dunes (don’t forget to pack and charge your camera) you’ll sample authentic Middle Eastern cuisine and watch belly dancing at a Bedouin camp. It’ll be an unforgettable part of your holiday, whether you choose to go early and catch the sunrise or stay overnight to witness the majesty of the desert at night.
  • The Al Maha Dubai Desert Resort and Spa is unlike any hotel you’ve ever stayed in before. A desert conservation reserve nestled deep in the sand dunes, it’s dedicated to protecting the surrounding area – there are 6,000 plant and animal species – as well as the Bedouin way of life.

During your Dubai holiday, take advantage of all of that coastline by getting out on the water. Learn to dive, try something new or head to the waterpark.

  • Dubai's a great place to take your PADI Open Water Diving Course. There are plenty of diving schools to choose from, catering to every age and level – try Aqua Diving and Marine Services or Dolphin Diving Services. On your underwater explorations, you’ll find old shipwrecks, an artificial reef completely made of cars and unique coral islands.
  • For a truly thrilling experience, go to the Dubai Aquarium, where you can even dive with Tiger Sharks in a safe environment.
  • If you have children – or want to embrace your inner child – visit the Wild Wadi Waterpark, which offers 30 rides. It also has a stunning view of the Burj al Arab, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.

There’s no bad time to take a holiday to Dubai, but to get the most out of your trip you might coordinate it with one of the exciting events occurring throughout the year:

  • March: The International Kite Fest takes place on Jumeirah Beach and the sky fills with colour. Watch the spectacular display from the vantage point of the beach.
  • March: The Dubai International Boat Festival is also on this month. It’s the world’s number one luxury, leisure and lifestyle event. Watch as huge, impressive superyachts take to the water.
  • May: Visit in May, and you’ll get to witness the Al Gaffal Traditional 60-foot Dhow Race, which honours this region’s rich and fascinating pearl-diving history.

Ready to indulge, relax on the beach or discover the desert on your Dubai holiday? Check out our range of Virgin Holidays hotels in Dubai now.

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