Contemplating a holiday abroad with kids and don’t want to travel too far? Then, you should definitely consider Dubai.
Dubai, with its beautiful beaches, fascinating skyline, and year-round sunshine, makes for a great family destination. Kids will adore the desert city for the amazing entertainment options it offers. What’s more, it’s only a pleasant 3.5 hours flight from India. BuzzingBubs recommends the must-see places and must-do activities for a truly wow-some experience.
Best time to visit: Since the summers in Dubai can be unbearable for outdoor activities, the best time to visit would be between November and April. If you’d like to catch the Dubai festival, then January and February would be your best bet.
Here are top ten activities that you can pick and choose to include in your travel itinerary.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
1. Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
Located at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, the Ferrari World is the largest indoor theme park in the world and is about a 90-minute drive from Dubai. With its imposing building draped in the crimson red colours of the Ferrari, the theme park will charm everyone regardless of their age. For the little ones you have the Junior GT, Grand Prix, while the older racing enthusiasts can have an adrenaline rush with all things motorsport. Other attractions include a 4D fantasy cinema show, an awesome display of Ferrari car models, rollercoasters, a gondola ride with a twist, and some fun shows.
- Tip- It takes an entire day to cover the Ferarri World, hence we recommend you are well rested the day before and start early.
Image Courtesy: Flickr_Bob McCaffrey_Del’sPictures
2. SKI DUBAI
Situated in the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is an indoor ski center that offers an amazing setting whether you’re an amateur or a professional in skiing or snowboarding. It’s fun even if you just want to build snowmen or throw snowballs at each other.
You can enjoy Twin Track Bobsled runs, a Snow Cavern filled with interactive experiences, ride down the slopes on the Giant Ball or jump on the chairlift for a spectacular bird’s eye view of the entire park. Don’t miss the Penguin show that happens at regular intervals throughout the day.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
3. MALL of EMIRATES
Apart from Ski Dubai, the mall provides a plethora of other entertainment, shopping, and eating options. You could explore the Magic Planet for some bowling, joy rides or games, shop for toys or clothes and eat your heart’s content. There’s also a non-profit creative center called The Dubai Community Theatre and Art Centre (DUCTAC) for the ones inclined towards cultural programs. Parents with very young kids take note that the mall also rents out baby strollers.
- Food tip: ‘The Cheesecake Factory’ is what we recommend for a delectable lunch fare. If it’s dessert, then it has to be at the ‘Cold Stone Creamery’.
Image Courtsey: Wikipedia
Located at another famous mall, The Dubai Mall, Kidzania provides your kids a unique and an interactive environment that allows them to role-play adult characters that they fancy. Whether your child is a four-year-old preschooler or a sixteen-year-old teen, this place is apt for them. They get to choose their pick from over 80 roles that include a firefighter, a model, and even a radio jockey. They could even earn their money by role playing or make their own pizzas and cookies while at it. Sounds interesting?
Now, we let you in a secret for the parents. You can absolutely leave your kids to their world of fun, without worrying about their safety and shop around the mall totally guilt-free! Now, isn’t that a win-win situation?
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
5. Dancing Fountain at Dubai Mall
While you can lose track of time with the usual trappings of shopping and eating associated with malls, we strongly suggest not missing the Dubai Fountain show.
With water jets rising high as 140 meters, from the creators of the fountain at Bellagio, Las Vegas, the light and music fountain show here will surely delight you. And, what’s more, you can view this amazing show against the backdrop of the hugely imposing ‘BURJ KHALIFAH’, the tallest man-made skyscraper in the world. Now, that’s a double whammy, don’t you think?
Image Courtesy: Youtube – Atlantis
6. Atlantis, The Palm
This is a luxurious resort located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island. It’s perfect for a day-long outing where you can explore the Dolphin bay, Adventure Water Park, and the Lost Chambers aquarium to get up close and personal with the amazing marine life.
- Tip: We recommend a tram ride from Atlantis to the city to get a spectacular view of the island.
Image Courtsey: Flickr_Sarah_Ackerman
7. WILD WADI WATERPARK
Go wild, get wet in this fun-filled water park. While the kids are bound to go crazy in the adrenaline-soaked rides, we are sure it’s a pleasure for the adults too. Choose the themed rides of Sinbad or the aquatic roller-coasters, the River Flyer or the Rushing Rapids, be prepared to get shocked with the twists and turns, and scream out (in fun, of course!)
The Wild Wadi is located in the Jumeirah, next to the Burj Al Arab and the famous Jumeirah Beach hotel.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
8. Sand Dunes
A visit to a desert city cannot be complete without experiencing the vast landscapes of golden sands. The safari generally includes sand dune bashing. The experience is exhilarating but you need to have an adventurous bone for it is literally stunt-driving through the dunes, bashing them at odd angles in a 4X4 wheeler. However, it’s not recommended for infants and children below 3 years.
If that scared you, fret not. You can still enjoy some belly dancing, barbeque dinners, camel rides, and spectacular sunsets.
Image Courtsey: Flickr_ADTeasdale _ Jumeirah Beach Hotel
9. The Beaches
Dubai is not all desert, it has some very lovely beaches too! There are some wonderful kids-friendly beach club resorts that you can consider for a luxurious and chilled-out experience. The Jumeirah Beach hotel and The Jebel Ali Golf Resort are some options if you prefer the resort facilities; the Kite beach is more private and peaceful to lounge and view the Burj Al Arab; Riva Beach club is a private beach club that offers the facilities and is open to all for a small fee.
Image Courtesy: Flickr
10. Observation Deck at Burj Al Khalifa
Fancy viewing the spectacular Dubai skyline and amazing landscape from atop the tallest point of the imposing Burj Khalifa monument? Then, this is surely for you. Spread across levels 125 and 148, it’s a heady feeling to experience the architecture and luxurious lounges. And, trust us, the whole experience is totally worth every penny spent (the tickets are on the higher side, in case you’re wondering). Also, don’t forget your camera!
*Tip: Do book the tickets well in advance and, preferably, online.
Some general pointers
- Weekends here mean Friday and Saturday and not Sunday.
- While you can dress down at beaches, at other places you are advised to dress a bit conservatively.
- Taxis are the most preferred mode of transport as they are cheaper and faster. You could opt for the public bus if you have time on hand.
- The Abra water taxi provides a unique experience if you fancy exploring old Dubai.
- Book the entrance tickets to adventure parks and popular entertainment shows in advance or online to avoid delays and also to avail some holiday discounts.
While you enjoy the sights, do not forget to also indulge your taste buds. The Arabian cuisine with the quintessential Falafel and hummus must be tried and so also the local Shwarma if you prefer meat.
We hope our pointers are helpful and add to your holiday fun. Do not forget to write in to us with your experiences.