Dubai has rightly earned its reputation as a leading family destination. There is a remarkable array of attractions and activities that will not just keep children occupied but will also inspire and excite youngsters during a family holiday in July/August.
All the major resorts offer excellent babysitting services and children’s clubs and parents will be reassured by the number of trained lifeguards on duty at the hotel pools and beaches, the family dining options, and the general friendliness of the staff.
Dubai Summer Surprises, 2nd August – 5th September: This month-long shopping festival is about so much more than shopping! Designed with families in mind, the event will see discounts and promotions at many of Dubai’s malls, as well as family fun entertainment all over town. Expect over 6,000 stores to be involved, with music and entertainment programmes laid on all month too.
Aquaventure (www.atlantisthepalm.com/thingstodo/aquaventure.aspx): This is the ultimate water adventure destination, with hectares of water-based attractions, the pinnacle of which is the 30-metre-high Ziggurat and the recently opened Tower of Poseidon attraction. Cost: €49 for adults, €41 for children for all-day access to all the attractions. (Free entry for guests of Atlantis, The Palm and One&Only Resorts.)
Wild Wadi (www.jumeirah.com/Jumeirah-Group/Wild-Wadi/): This water theme park is five hectares of pure, water-based fun with 30 adrenalin-pumping rides. Cost: €49 for adults, €38 for children for all-day access to all the attractions. (Free entry for guests of any Jumeirah hotel.)
Family Mall Attractions: Many shopping malls in Dubai are also world-class entertainment and dining complexes offering fantastic family attractions in beautiful air-conditioned environments:
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates (www.skidxb.com): Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and gives visitors the chance to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing on real snow. You might even meet a penguin. Cost: From €30 for adults, €28 for children.
KidZania, Dubai Mall (www.kidzania.ae): A city made for children and run by children, KidZania invites youngsters to take on ‘real jobs’ in a pint-sized world. Cost: Free for infants 0 -2 years, €19 for 2-3 year olds, €28 for 4-16 year olds, €19 for adults, for all-day access.
Sega Republic, Dubai Mall (www.segarepublic.com): There are five zones of entertainment at this computer game-inspired indoor adventure park. Cost: €35 for all-day pass.
Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Mall (www.thedubaiaquarium.com): With the world’s largest viewing panel, Dubai Aquarium is home to over 33,000 animals and more than 85 species, including over 400 sharks and rays. For the more adventurous, there are even snorkelling and scuba diving experiences on offer. Cost: From €13 for adults and €11 for children.