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Dubai Family Holidays: What to do & Where to Stay

by Travelbag on 28 June 2018, 12:06PM

family on beach

Dubai is still treated as the new kid on the block – name-callers say it's 'soulless' and 'has no culture'. Of course, it's a very futuristic city, and so 'culture' in the traditional sense is admittedly hard to come by. But that doesn't mean it should be overlooked, particularly as a family holiday destination. It may be a gleaming business hub, but Dubai has quietly – and very successfully – become a top destination for families.

There are a few reasons behind this success. For starters, the city's impressive portfolio of theme parks and water parks has grown and grown, to become a serious contender to rival Orlando. The weather and beaches are perfect for some family downtime, too. Dubai's postcode on the Persian Gulf means that plenty of the hotels and resorts have private beaches – and more restaurants than you can shake a stick at. To top it all off, Dubai has is just four hours ahead of the UK, so you can expect minimum disruption to kids' bedtimes and sleeping patterns. Intrigued? Read on to find out what your family can get up to in the City of Gold.


What to do with kids in Dubai

There are so many activities for families in Dubai, from brunching and shopping, to riding rollercoasters, to relaxing on the beach. Kids will love playing on Dubai's soft sands, gaping at the sky-scraping cityscape, and experiencing somewhere completely different to back home.

We say they're for kids, but Dubai's theme parks are a hit with the adults too. In fact, you could easily spend your entire holiday hopping between Dubai Parks and Resorts, Legoland Dubai and IMG Worlds of Adventure. Or take a breather from the Middle Eastern heat with a trip to one of the many water parks. Aquaventure Waterpark Atlantis will be a hit with the whole family. It has everything you’d expect from a city that's determined to be the best at everything – there are record-breaking slides and adrenaline-pumping rides like The Leap of Faith. Little ones can run wild in the Splashers Kid’s Play Area, complete with tipping buckets, climbing frames and a 700-metre beach.

Thanks to Dubai’s somewhat relaxed laws – compared to its neighbours – the evening scene Downtown is all about bars and restaurants, which you may think wouldn't be very family-friendly. La Mer, however, is a safe bet for adults and the kids. This beachfront development launched late last year. There are restaurants along the seafront like a Greek joint serving Mediterranean food, an Italian gelato café, and even an all-day breakfast outfit. And there's another splash park – Laguna Waterpark – which you can add to your list.

It's also worth spending a day in the desert. Children of all ages will love it, and parents will have a good time too. You can see wildlife in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, and try crazy activities like sand-boarding and dune bashing. But, if you're partial to a cultural experience, the highlight will definitely be having an evening meal in a traditional Bedouin camp – not so 'soulless' after all, eh? Take a look at our Dubai tours to find out more.

water park

Where to stay with kids

We've got some great Dubai packages for families, but there are two hotels that really stand out from the crowd. For starters, the Dubai Wyndham Marina has a rooftop pool. The sleek rooms here have views of the Arabian Sea and the Dubai Marina, and the hotel's nice and close to Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. There are two restaurants on site – with plans for a third – and a pool bar. But this place is really about location. Stay here if you want to be in touching distance of Dubai's major sites. You’ll be dead close to the Dubai Marina Beach too.

The other option is Grand Hyatt, Dubai. This family-friendly hotel is further back from the beachfront, but closer to the airport. And it has 13 restaurants and bars to choose from. Rooms offer views of the Dubai Creek, and the marble baths are a fine addition to this resort-style accommodation. Parents should head to the jazz bar for a late night drink, once the kids are tucked up in bed.

grand hyatt dubai

When to go to Dubai with kids

Hands down the best time to visit Dubai is from November to March – the winter months. The humidity is low, unlike in the sweaty summer months, so you can make the most of the beaches and the restaurants along the coastline. It’s busy at this time of year, but the super-hot summer months really should be avoided – especially if you're travelling with babies or young children.

dubai sun


Considering Dubai for your next family holiday? Take a look at our best family deals to Dubai.

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