After experiencing KidZania London in February of this year, KidZania Dubai was a must for my children on our recent trip to Dubai. KidZania is a city built to scale for children offering over 80 educational real life role play experience designed for 4-14 year olds. It is so realistic and must be so thrilling for children as they enter this magical city, with its paved streets and buildings, many of which are instantly recognisable.
Like KidZania London many of the attractions were sponsored by big brands such as Dettol, Kinder, McDonalds, Pizza Express, Waitrose, Coca Cola, DHL, Kellogg’s, Colgate and Rotana Hotels, which I feel makes each experience seem more authentic and real for the children.
KidZania is one of Dubai’s most popular attractions for children and it has won the 2014 and 2015 Time Out Dubai Kids Award for best kids entertainment venue. We loved the motto as soon as you walk into the mini city “Get ready for a better world”.
KidZania has its own currency called KidZos which forms a central part of the make-believe world. At check in, every child aged four and above is given a 50 KidZos cheque (the currency of KidZania) before they enter the specially built kids city.
The first place the children needed to visit was the Al Hilal bank to change their cheque into money KidZos.
It was exciting to see the different jobs they had on offer at KidZania Dubai compared to those available in London.
At each activity there is an information board advising you of the time duration, what the activity is and if you will earn KidZos or pay KidZos to take part in. KidZania Dubai is huge, with the many activities on offer spread over two floors. We used the map to check where certain attractions were upon entering but we didn’t need the detailed planning required as in London because it was relatively quiet during our visit.
Based on their experience flying for British Airways at KidZania London, they were eager to become a pilot and cabin crew on Fly Dubai. They thought this was great and we could see them trying to land the plane in the simulator and then doing the safety briefing wearing their life jackets as cabin crew on board. By trying out both activities they earned double the KidZos.
During our visit the girls loved making their own bottle of perfume at Swiss Arabia Perfumes. This involved choosing their fragrance, mixing it together and bottling it ready to take home. To see the joy and sense of achievement when they walked out of there, and asking us if we liked the perfume they had designed, is priceless.
The Fire Department is one of the most popular activities in KidZania Dubai, and is very similar to the London experience where they learn about fire safety before becoming firefighters.
This involved riding through the streets of KidZania on a fire engine before putting the fire out at the Flamingo Hotel.
What was great about KidZania Dubai was that many of the activities were different to what is offered at KidZania London. They had the chance to make and design their own biscuits at the Tiffany Biscuit Factory and bottling Coca Cola at the Coca Cola factory.
They also got to make their own Kinder chocolate bars at the Kinder factory and learned how to make a bed whilst working as housekeepers and spa therapists at the Rotana hotel.
Chloe also loved getting her driving licence at the driving academy before being allowed to become a racing car driver. Holly also passed her driving test and was put through her paces on the driving school.
One of the girls’ favourite activities was working in McDonalds at KidZania which is a real working restaurant.
We paid for a happy meal (15UAE Dirham = £3.00) and then the girls went into the restaurant kitchen to help prepare their own happy meal. It was very realistic as the children were given a McDonald’s uniform to wear consisting of apron, hair net and hat.
They did not earn KidZos but the experience was priceless and they also get to take their own McDonalds uniform home with them.
We had an amazing day and before we left the girls had the chance to become doctors at the hospital.
Followed by jobs as production engineers making their own juice in the Masafi Juice Factory.
There are many activities to choose from and each activity lasts between 10 to 30 minutes. All of which were amazing and the attention to detail was superb on each activity. The girls loved dressing up in the appropriate uniform for each task they took part in. The girls walked out of every activity so happy and excited, and especially when they got paid!
Children above 120cms in height can be left alone inside KidZania. However children under 120cms in height must be accompanied by an adult/guardian. Adults are not allowed into KidZania unless accompanied by a child.
While you might be tempted to drop your kids off and enjoy some adult time shopping in the fantastic Dubai Mall, I would thoroughly recommend experiencing KidZania with them as you learn so much about them after hours of seeing them explore, discover and learn during their journey at KidZania.
It is slightly different from the 4 hour time slot offered at KidZania London as there are two sessions at KidZania Dubai. A morning session runs from 10am until 4pm and an evening session from 4pm until 10pm. We spent around 4 hours during a morning session which was relatively quiet, meaning the children could whizz around many of the activities the attraction offered. The evening session is busier.
KidZania is easy to find, located on the second floor of the Dubai Mall, next to SEGA Republic. It is the perfect place to take children and watch them become mini adults. By the end of the attraction my youngest daughter told me that she wanted to become an artist when she grew up.
The kids would have loved to stay longer or go again to try everything they missed but time was against us. There really isn’t anything else like KidZania. The great attention to detail and well thought out conception is what makes it a fun educational experience. It was an excellent day out for children and we loved watching the girls having so much fun.
The girls enjoyed their experience at KidZania Dubai so much they said it was better than the KidZania in London. There is no better endorsement than that!
Thank you to Maria from Emaar Entertainment who organised our visit to enable us to review KidZania Dubai.