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Middle East

United Arab Emirates holidays

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UAE? Like ABC.

Holidays to the United Arab Emirates offer the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. Across the seven Emirates, grand mosques sit alongside soaring skyscrapers, fragrant souks meander past gigantic malls, and classic dhow boats bob next to gleaming super-yachts.

Whether you’re hoping to go on a shopping spree, a sightseeing trip or a relaxing beach break, a holiday to the UAE has you covered. And you can look forward to uninterrupted sunshine, all year round. The summer months are scorching hot, though, so it’s best to visit the United Arab Emirates in winter. Between November and April, you can look forward to blue skies and sunny days, with temperatures hovering between 26°C and 33°C.

The hardest part of your UAE trip will be choosing where to go, because each Emirate is different. The capital, Abu Dhabi, is home to family-friendly theme parks and cultural attractions, including the incredible Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Holidays to Dubai, meanwhile, give you a taste of the VIP lifestyle thanks to the luxury hotels, label-filled malls and gourmet dining scene. And, once you’ve seen all the city sights, you can head into the dunes on a desert safari.

Elsewhere, lesser-known Emirates offer a slow-paced getaway. The northernmost Emirate, sleepy Ras al Khaimah serves up fantastic beaches, the dramatic Hajar Mountains and some fascinating sites, including a centuries-old fort and the National Museum. On the east coast, Fujairah is a combination of mountains and beach. You can relax on the sands, go snorkelling and visit the 17th-century Fujairah Fort. Last, but certainly not least, is petite Ajman. Just north of Dubai, this charming Emirate offers a peaceful retreat, with sandy beaches, museums and watersports aplenty.

The Emirates are all within driving distance of each other, so it’s easy to explore. You could split your time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, or perhaps you’d like to compare the beaches of Ajman and Ras al Khaimah? However you want to spend your holiday to the UAE, our experts will help you plan every detail.

Dubai

Abu Dhabi

Beaches

Local customs

Essential Info

Dubai

Dubai holidays have soared in popularity over recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. The ‘City of Gold’ is filled with record-breaking attractions and five-star hotels – and it’s soaked in sunshine all year round.  You can be as busy or as relaxed as you like in this much-loved Emirate. Visit the tallest building in the world, the sky-scraping Burj Khalifa.

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Browse the 1,300 shops in Dubai Mall and search for authentic souvenirs in the Gold Souk. Enjoy a family day out at Dubai Parks and Resorts, where you’ll find thrilling rollercoasters and waterparks. Or simply go beach-hopping – you can unwind on the powdery sands of man-made Palm Jumeirah, try your hand at watersports, or recline in a beach club by the sea.

In the evenings, watch the dancing Dubai Fountain come to life, sip cocktails in a swish rooftop bar, and treat yourself to dinner in one of Dubai’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

Show More
Show Less

Abu Dhabi

When you think of a holiday to the UAE, you probably imagine five-star resorts, sleek malls and decadent restaurants. But, when you visit Abu Dhabi, you’ll soon discover that there’s more to the glittering capital than meets the eye.

Behind all the glitz, Abu Dhabi is a place of cultural landmarks and unexpected activities. You can see art by Picasso and Manet in the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and marvel at the vast Sheikh Zayed Mosque. This immense building has 82 domes, 24 carat-gold gilded chandeliers, and can comfortably fit 40,000 worshippers inside. But you don’t need to be Muslim to enter – the mosque is open to everyone and free to visit.

Show More
Show Less

Another major Abu Dhabi attraction is Yas Island – a whole isle dedicated to theme parks and entertainment. Kids will enjoy Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld, while adrenaline junkies will love the record-breaking rides at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

And no holiday to Abu Dhabi would be complete without a spot of retail therapy. Abu Dhabi Mall has over 200 shops, while the famous Marina Mall has more than 400 stores, ranging from high street favourites to designer labels.

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Show Less

Beaches

Holidays to the United Arab Emirates tick all the boxes for beach-lovers – soft sands, warm seas and fantastic weather. While the beaches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are probably the most famous in the UAE, some of the sandy stretches in the other states shouldn’t be overlooked.   

Just north of Dubai, you’ll find the smallest Emirate. Pint-sized Ajman has a 16-kilometre swathe of golden sand, brushed by the Arabian Gulf. As well as offering decent snorkelling, Ajman Beach is a great surfing spot.

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If you like your beaches to be crowd-free, consider a holiday to Ras al Khaimah. Just 45 minutes from Dubai, this relatively unknown Emirate offers quiet, pristine sands. Backed by luxury resorts, Ras al Khaimah’s beaches are dotted with sun loungers and parasols, and there are lots of watersports to choose from.

Finally, over on the east coast, there’s Fujairah. Lapped by the Gulf of Oman and lined by rugged mountains, the beaches here are some of the most scenic in the UAE. The snorkelling and diving opportunities are top-notch, too.

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Show Less

Local customs

On any holiday, it’s important to respect the local way of life. The United Arab Emirates has a number of different customs to the UK but, as long as you’re familiar with local laws and etiquette, it’s easy to enjoy your trip to the UAE without causing offence.

There are a few things to be aware of. Contrary to popular belief, you can drink alcohol in the UAE. If you’re in a licensed venue – like a bar, hotel or restaurant – you can certainly enjoy a tipple or two, but remember that drinking in public places is not permitted.

Show More
Show Less

You should also be mindful of your holiday outfits. Women should dress modestly in public, with their shoulders and knees covered. When visiting a religious site, both men and women will need to wear respectful clothing – women should cover their arms, legs and head, while men should wear long trousers. If you’re visiting a mosque, you’ll also be asked to remove your shoes.

You should only wear swimwear on the beach or by the pool, so pop a set of clothes in your beach bag – then you’ve got them if you need them.

Show More
Show Less

Essential Information

  • Visa: UK passport holders can visit the UAE for up to 30 days without a visa
  • Language: Arabic
  • Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)
  • Time difference: GMT +4 hours
  • Flight duration from London: Direct flights take around seven hours
  • Capital city: Abu Dhabi
Show More
Show Less

Dubai

Dubai

Dubai holidays have soared in popularity over recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. The ‘City of Gold’ is filled with record-breaking attractions and five-star hotels – and it’s soaked in sunshine all year round.  You can be as busy or as relaxed as you like in this much-loved Emirate. Visit the tallest building in the world, the sky-scraping Burj Khalifa.

Show More
Show Less

Browse the 1,300 shops in Dubai Mall and search for authentic souvenirs in the Gold Souk. Enjoy a family day out at Dubai Parks and Resorts, where you’ll find thrilling rollercoasters and waterparks. Or simply go beach-hopping – you can unwind on the powdery sands of man-made Palm Jumeirah, try your hand at watersports, or recline in a beach club by the sea.

In the evenings, watch the dancing Dubai Fountain come to life, sip cocktails in a swish rooftop bar, and treat yourself to dinner in one of Dubai’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

Show More
Show Less

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

When you think of a holiday to the UAE, you probably imagine five-star resorts, sleek malls and decadent restaurants. But, when you visit Abu Dhabi, you’ll soon discover that there’s more to the glittering capital than meets the eye.

Behind all the glitz, Abu Dhabi is a place of cultural landmarks and unexpected activities. You can see art by Picasso and Manet in the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and marvel at the vast Sheikh Zayed Mosque. This immense building has 82 domes, 24 carat-gold gilded chandeliers, and can comfortably fit 40,000 worshippers inside. But you don’t need to be Muslim to enter – the mosque is open to everyone and free to visit.

Show More
Show Less

Another major Abu Dhabi attraction is Yas Island – a whole isle dedicated to theme parks and entertainment. Kids will enjoy Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld, while adrenaline junkies will love the record-breaking rides at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

And no holiday to Abu Dhabi would be complete without a spot of retail therapy. Abu Dhabi Mall has over 200 shops, while the famous Marina Mall has more than 400 stores, ranging from high street favourites to designer labels.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches

Beaches

Holidays to the United Arab Emirates tick all the boxes for beach-lovers – soft sands, warm seas and fantastic weather. While the beaches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are probably the most famous in the UAE, some of the sandy stretches in the other states shouldn’t be overlooked.   

Just north of Dubai, you’ll find the smallest Emirate. Pint-sized Ajman has a 16-kilometre swathe of golden sand, brushed by the Arabian Gulf. As well as offering decent snorkelling, Ajman Beach is a great surfing spot.

Show More
Show Less

If you like your beaches to be crowd-free, consider a holiday to Ras al Khaimah. Just 45 minutes from Dubai, this relatively unknown Emirate offers quiet, pristine sands. Backed by luxury resorts, Ras al Khaimah’s beaches are dotted with sun loungers and parasols, and there are lots of watersports to choose from.

Finally, over on the east coast, there’s Fujairah. Lapped by the Gulf of Oman and lined by rugged mountains, the beaches here are some of the most scenic in the UAE. The snorkelling and diving opportunities are top-notch, too.

Show More
Show Less

Local customs

Local customs

On any holiday, it’s important to respect the local way of life. The United Arab Emirates has a number of different customs to the UK but, as long as you’re familiar with local laws and etiquette, it’s easy to enjoy your trip to the UAE without causing offence.

There are a few things to be aware of. Contrary to popular belief, you can drink alcohol in the UAE. If you’re in a licensed venue – like a bar, hotel or restaurant – you can certainly enjoy a tipple or two, but remember that drinking in public places is not permitted.

Show More
Show Less

You should also be mindful of your holiday outfits. Women should dress modestly in public, with their shoulders and knees covered. When visiting a religious site, both men and women will need to wear respectful clothing – women should cover their arms, legs and head, while men should wear long trousers. If you’re visiting a mosque, you’ll also be asked to remove your shoes.

You should only wear swimwear on the beach or by the pool, so pop a set of clothes in your beach bag – then you’ve got them if you need them.

Show More
Show Less

Essential Info

Essential Information

  • Visa: UK passport holders can visit the UAE for up to 30 days without a visa
  • Language: Arabic
  • Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham (AED)
  • Time difference: GMT +4 hours
  • Flight duration from London: Direct flights take around seven hours
  • Capital city: Abu Dhabi
Show More
Show Less

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Ease

Our tailor made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

Value

Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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