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Things to see and do in Dubai, Beaches and beyond

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 Dubai Beaches and Beyond

Don’t be fooled by the gleaming skyscrapers, Dubai City is steeped in history and culture. Take a traditional abra along Dubai Creek or explore the winding alleyways of the Bastikia Quarter. Marvel at the enormous gold and spice souks; bartering is a must. Dubai city represents the best value for money in Dubai and perfect as a base to explore the city or for a stopover.

Home to the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building) and the famous Dubai Mall, the Downtown district is the perfect place for a short city break or a stopover en route to the Indian Ocean for a perfect mix of city and beach. Marvel at the amazing Dubai Fountains – the UAE’s answer to the Bellagio – and find plush skybars, Michelin-starred restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

Fountains in Dubai

Located off the coast of Jumeirah beach, it’s a magnet for the rich and famous and home to many luxury hotels. It’s also been hailed the ‘8th Wonder of the World’.

The Palm, Jumeirah

Jebel Ali is far enough away from the hustle and bustle of central Dubai to provide a relaxing beach holiday but still close enough to explore all the sights and delights. Jebel Ali is great for families and there are loads of activities to keep all ages amused. It’s also the only place in Dubai where you can enjoy an All Inclusive beach holiday.

Jebel Ali, Dubai

Jumeirah Beach, or JBR as you might call it, is Dubai’s most popular stretch of beach. With plenty of top notch hotels and pristine beaches, it’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy the Arabian shores. Hit up JBR’s cobbled beachfront promenade known as ‘The Walk’. You’ll find lavish restaurants, boutiques and a bustling market, not to mention loads of cruising supercars.

Jumeirah Beach hotel

Away from the man-made wonders of the city there are rolling sand dunes and Bedouin camps within a short drive. Sand boarding, camel riding and dune bashing by 4WD are just some of the things you can get up to in the desert. Consider combining a stay in the city with one of our desert camps.

Dubai sand dunes

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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 August 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.

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 in the next 14 days. 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.  

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel in the next 14 days. 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.

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 14 days, 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.

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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