Dubai is a popular destination for families, offering some of the largest attractions tailor-made for kids. Here’s my perfect travel guide to family holidays in Dubai for parents wondering how to spend a family vacation in the city, with my pick of the Top 10 Things To Do in Dubai with Kids:
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Things to Do in Dubai with Kids
#1. Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai Parks and Resorts offer children and the young at heart an amazing array of mega theme parks like Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland. Dubai Parks and Resorts is the Middle East’s largest integrated leisure and theme park destination located on Sheikh Zayed road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
You will find options for the whole family at the centrally located Riverland entertainment and dining boulevard. Guests can also stay at the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed family resort located inside the park.
#2. Dubai Ice Rink
Yes an ice rink in Dubai! For those looking to experience ice skating for the first time to those keen to master their skills, Dubai Ice Rink makes a great destination for families, with its Olympic-sized rink. It’s located inside the Dubai Mall, the largest mall in Dubai and the Middle East – with plenty of options for dining and entertainment.
You can try public skating sessions run every day in 1¾ hour slots from 10 am until late in the evening. Disco sessions are also available in the evenings. Mums and young children can also avail of reduced prices for the first skating slot of the day. Beginner when it comes to skating? A skating coach is available to provide assistance and advice.
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#3. Kite Beach
Kite Beach features a Skate Park, outdoor trampolines, an adventure gym and a play area for your little ones. Enjoy the kite surf show and stunning views of Burj Al Arab while the kids play in the sand or on the adventure course.
Hungry? Grab a bite at Salt – one of the city’s most sought-after casual dining spots which is open from 9 am to 3 am, or enjoy breakfast or lunch at one of the many beach canteens along the running track.
A fun and inventive playground, OliOli is a perfect place for kids to make a home, hideaway, castle or anything else. Use everyday materials to learn what it means to shape a community. They can also design, construct, race and jump their own vehicles as they test the laws of mass and motion.
It’s open from 9am to 7pm from Saturdays to Wednesdays and 9am to 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Each visit will allow 2 hours of play – from building a robot at the creative lab, climbing the huge Toshi’s nets, and building forts and dens.
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#5. City Walk
City Walk is an fun outdoor destination with a unique mix of innovative retail and upscale gourmet outlets. Choose from over 50 dining and shopping options, as well as entertainment options for geeks and nature friendly enthusiasts. The Green Planet is the region’s first biodome recreating the captivating world of a tropical forest with a rich biodiversity of over 3,000 plants and animals.
City Walk also features a Mattel Play Town, a fun, safe and interactive indoor ‘eduplay’ attraction themed around five popular children’s characters from Mattel. Geek Nation will appeal to anyone with a penchant for comics, movies or video games, while Level Kids is a fun storytelling sensorial retail journey that is enchanting and whimsical.
#6. IMG Worlds of Adventure
Dubai’s first mega themed entertainment destination, the IMG Worlds of Adventure is an indoor amusement park in the United Arab Emirates. IMG WOA spans 1.5 million square feet of temperature-controlled environment, that’s the size of 28 football fields!
There are four main zones which include Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley and IMG Boulevard, and contains 17 attractions from kids playgrounds to high-tech 5D attractions and rollercoasters, together with immersive theming and details. You’ll also find shops, cinema and plenty of dining options for a full day out.
TIP: Get the Fast Track Pass as the queues build up quickly in the afternoon.
#7. Dubai Desert
No trip to Dubai is complete without visiting Dubai desert. Famous for its red sand dunes, you and your kids can try a lot of desert activities such as sandboarding, camel or horseback riding, or going on a desert safari.
There are many travel agencies in Dubai offering desert safari packages which typically include dune bashing, a desert show with belly dancers and tanoura dance, camel ride, and the opportunity to try some Arabic food. Expect to pay 27 USD per person for a Desert Safari Package.
KidZania is an interactive city made especially for children 2-14 that combines inspiration, fun and learning through realistic role-play. Kids can independently explore a scaled indoor city of over 7,000 square meters with more than 100 exciting careers that they can try.
The mini-city provides children and their parents a safe, unique and very realistic educational environment that allows kids between the ages of four to sixteen to do what comes naturally to them; role-playing by mimicking activities done by adults in real life.
NOTE: For safety purposes in some establishments, your child must be 90 cm to 120 cm to drive the car in Driving Street and 120 cm to 160 cm in Race Track.
Tip: You’ll want to allow a minimum of 2 hours for a KidZania experience.
#9. Dolphin Bay
Splash alongside one of nature’s friendliest mammals at Dolphin Bay in Atlantis, The Palm, a palm-fringed lagoon with supervised opportunities to get close to dolphins, touch & swim with them.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to swim! There are trainers who can assist you while you play with the dolphins. Once at the bay, there is a check in area with Starbucks and other dining options, a gift shop, the photo experience area where you pick up the photos after your swim.
#10. Dubai Safari Park
The latest addition to Dubai’s best destinations for families is the Dubai Safari Park. It houses 2000 animals of 250 different species from around the world. The park is also home to the world’s first drive-thru crocodile exhibit, the UAE’s largest aviary exhibit, and the UAE’s only drive-thru hippo and tiger exhibit.
A train picks you up at the entrance and takes you to the giraffe feeding area, and the Safari Village – where you’ll find lions, hyenas, baboons, ostriches, buffalos and Siberian tigers. After your safari experience you can choose from 7 restaurants or opt for a street food experience.
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