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 its 'soulless' and 'has no culture'. It has sort of sprung up in the desert overnight – but Dubai holidays aren’t so much about history and culture. Its positioned itself well as not only an international flight hub but as a family holiday destination in its own right. Its theme and water park portfolio has grown to become a serious contender to Orlando – the theme park king – and being located on the Gulf means plenty of accommodation options have private beaches (those that don’t have easy access to public beach space).

Besides, an excursion out into the Bedouin is enough to quell anyone’s 'lack-of-culture' grumblings. Top it off with a nice and easy four hour time difference (easy even for kids) and Dubai all inclusive hotels that have more restaurants than seems necessary and it all comes into focus: Sun, beaches, food and family fun.

Read on to find out what to do with the family on Dubai breaks and take a look at some of our offers for cheap holidays to Dubai – handpicked for families.

What to do

water park

There’s plenty to do. From days in the city spent brunching and shopping, to relaxing along the coastline at night. Kids will find a home away from home on the Dubai beaches and in the Dubai parks and plenty of hotels cater to their entertainment and dining requirements too.

We say for kids but Dubai theme parks are a hit with the adults too. In the Middle Eastern heat, Dubai water parks are the way to go for obvious reasons. The Aquaventure Waterpark Atlantis is what you’d expect from a destination hell bent on being top of the list – record breaking slides and rides like The Leap of Faith’, the Splashers Kid’s Play Area, complete with tipping buckets and climbing frames and 700 metres of beachfront.

Thanks to Dubai’s relaxed laws (compared to neighbours) the evening scene in Downtown isn’t always family friendly. La Mer, however, is a safe bet for adults and the kids –a beachfront development that launched late last year. There are restaurants along the seafront like a Greek joint serving Mediterranean food (Mr. Greek), an Italian gelato café (Amorino) and even an all day breakfast outfit (HQ’s 459) plus the spread of shops behind. And there's a water park – Laguna Waterpark – another one to add to the list.

Bedouin adventure: Kids will love this one so don’t miss it off the itinerary. There’s plenty to do from wildlife watching in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve to adrenaline pumping activities like sand boarding and dune bashing (some of which have height restrictions). But the real fun is taking a meal in a Bedouin camp at the end of the day. Take a look at our Dubai tours to learn more.

Where to stay

grand hyatt dubai

Travelbag’s got some great Dubai packages for families. Below are our top three picks for family hotels in Dubai selected by or travel experts.

The Dubai Wyndham Marina has a rooftop pool, rooms offer views of the Arabian Sea and the Dubai Marina and its nice and close to Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. Rooms are simply but sleekly decorated, there are two restaurants on site (a third opening soon) and a pool bar. Stay here if you want to be in easy touching distance with the major sites and you’ll be dead close to the Dubai Marina Beach too.

The Grand Hyatt, Dubai is second pick. It’s further back from the beachfront but is closer to the airport and 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. Adults should head to the jazz bar for a late night drink, once the kids are in bed.

When to go

dubai sun

Hands down the best time to visit Dubai is from November to March – the winter months. The humidity is low, unlike the summer months which can be unbearable, and so it’s the best time to make the most of the beaches and the developed parts of the coastline. It’s busy at this time of year but the even hotter summer months really should be avoided – especially by families with young children.


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