When we told friends that we were off to Dubai on a family holiday, many were shocked asking what is there to do for families. I’ll be honest I was also initially under the same impression. I thought that Dubai was always a place for luxurious shopping, supercars, lively nightlife, massive buildings etc. I never thought it would be ‘the place’ for a family holiday.
But my opinion changed when I started looking what is there for families to do whilst in Dubai. There seems to be so much to keep your family entertained whatever their ages in Dubai.
For our upcoming trip to Dubai here is our bucket list of things that we would love to do with the children. We won’t be able to do all of these activities but will be great to experience as many as we can.
- KidZania Dubai
Our first experience of KidZania was this year at KidZania London. The girls had so much fun they have been constantly asking when we could go back, as we couldn’t fit all the careers in during our 4 hour visit. When we told the girls that there was a KidZania in Dubai this was one of the first places that they wanted to visit.
KidZania Dubai is located in the world’s biggest shopping mall and features over 80 careers that the girls can enjoy. Many of these careers are different what is offered at KidZania London such as working at McDonalds and Pizza Express, even the supermarket is a Waitrose! It will be great for the girls to experience these different careers. The girls still have KidZos left over from their earnings at KidZania London so they can take the KidZania currency with them to use at KidZania Dubai. We are all so excited to visit KidZania Dubai and hope it’s as good as our experience in KidZania London.
- IMG Worlds
Everything in Dubai seems to be bigger and better than everywhere else and the brand new IMG Worlds theme park which is also the largest indoor theme park in the world is no different. At 1.5 million square feet – roughly the size of 28 football pitches, we are excited to visit this new attraction. Inside the park there are Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard themed areas. We just hope there are plenty of rides for smaller children. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the likes of the theme parks in Florida and the UK.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Having visited Seaworld in Florida along with the likes of Deep Sea World and the Sea Life centres in the UK we are expecting great things from one of the world’s biggest aquariums in the world’s biggest mall. We are really excited to walk through the shark tunnel. This will be an amazing experience for the girls to see the sharks as we have been told that it has over 140 different species of sharks at the aquarium. What they are most excited about seeing is the huge crocodile called King Croc at the Underwater Zoo.
- Burj Khalifa
The girls loved the experience of going to the top of the tallest building in the UK and Western Europe the Shard London, but at 310 metres tall it pales in comparison to the 830 metre height of the Burj Khalifa. The high speed journey in one of the world’s fastest elevators (you travel at 10 metres a second) will also be exciting for the children.
The only part that is putting us off is that it can be really busy with long queues. However it looks a fantastic experience and the views from the top look breathtaking. We just hope the experience is as child friendly and engaging as the Shard London.
- Ski Dubai
We have yet to go on a ski holiday, so this is the next best thing at the largest ski slope in the world. The mountain at Ski Dubai is 85 metres high and has 5 slopes of varying steepness for every level of skier with 22,500 square metres of snow. As we haven’t had much snow in the UK over the past few winters, when we told the girls that we could go skiing and play in the snow, they were so excited. They really want to be able to play with snowballs and riding sleds in a 3000-square metre play area. There are also super tubing style slides for the kids and adults! It will also be a nice way to cool off from the Dubai heat as it’s just 4 degrees inside! There is also a Disney Frozen area at Ski Dubai which is one of the girl’s favourite films and you can see the famous sauna from the film. Ski Dubai recently welcomed a colony of Gentoo and King Penguins to the resort where you can now get up-close to a snow penguin at the penguin encounter which looks fantastic.
Dubai has two great waterparks, Wild Wadi and Aqua Adventure.
We are looking forward to visiting UAE’s biggest theme park, Wild Wadi Waterpark is situated in Jumeriah, right opposite the iconic Burj Al Arab. This water park has 30 rides and has the fastest freefall waterslide outside America. There is also a 360-metre long lazy river that we are looking forward to relaxing on! Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon is an interactive play structure with more than 100 water activities for younger kids including slides, water guns and a large dumping bucket. If you have younger children like us then we have been told that Wild Wadi water park is more suited.
The second water park in Dubai is located in the iconic Atlantis the Palm Hotel. Aqua Adventure has been voted the best water park in the Middle East and Europe, and there’s plenty of attractions for visitors of all ages to enjoy from super fast slides, children’s splash zones and a lazy river. The world’s largest water slide – Aquaconda and another Shark Attack is a water slide through shark infested waters!
At Dolphin Bay you have the chance to get up close to Dolphins in deep or shallow water. There are a variety of interactive experiences that can be booked in advance.
This seems to be a must visit attraction in Dubai and it’s free. We have seen the fantastic fountains in front of the Bellagio Las Vegas and from what we have been told this is even better. Set on the 24 acre Burj Lake the Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain and light show and it performs in sync with classical, Arabic and popular music in the afternoons and evenings. We have been told that in the summer heat the best place to watch this is by pre booking one of the restaurants in the mall with views over the Burj Lake, so you are away from the crowds and the heat and humidity of summer.
- Sega Republic
Sega Republic is another massive indoor theme park featuring five zones of fun and over 170 games. It looks a great attraction and the girls are big Sonic the Hedgehog fans. There are attractions for all ages such as roller coasters, simulators and a massive choice of arcade games.
- Helicopter Tour
What better way to see the skyline of Dubai than with a 15 minute helicopter flight over the city. This has always been something I have wanted to do and it would be a great memory for the children. To be able to see the Burj Khalifa, the iconic Burj Al Arab, the spectacular The World and The Palm Jumeirah would be a spectacular experience for the family.
- Desert Safari
The deserts of Dubai are a big contrast to the gleaming city and the desert safari is very popular with families. Possible activities include sand tobogganing, camel rides, 4-wheel drive rides and more.