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Abu Dhabi for families? Child’s play.

The sunny and entertaining capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi feels like it’s been specifically designed for family holidays. Filled with beaches and exciting activities, this place is great for children of all ages. And a direct flight from the UK to Abu Dhabi take less than seven hours – perfect if you’re craving a winter sun holiday, but want to avoid flying long-haul with kids.

Adventure-packed Abu Dhabi boasts Arabian Gulf beaches, energetic urban hubs, wild desert landscapes and dramatic mountains. So, whatever you’re into, a family getaway to Abu Dhabi will have something for you. And you’ll be spoiled for choice of places to stay, as many family-friendly resorts offer innovative kids’ clubs, acres of pools and excellent activity programmes.

If you’re into waterparks and theme parks, you’ll be pleased to know that Abu Dhabi has several to choose from. There’s even an entire island dedicated to them. For fun of another sort, take the kids to Al Gharbia, where Rub Al Khali meets the Arabian Gulf. Little ones can dune walk on the largest, unbroken sand desert in the world, while teens can try out sandboarding or camel trekking. You could even send a night under the stars at a traditional Bedouin camp. Or simply hang out in the city, where you can tour Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, visit the incredible Louvre Abu Dhabi, and enjoy a spot of retail therapy in the monumental shopping malls.  

Of course, you expect sun and blue skies year-round in Abu Dhabi. But from May to October is extremely hot and probably best avoided if you’re travelling with young children. The weather from November to April is wonderfully warm and sunny – perfect for days on the beach, desert adventures or whatever else you have in mind for your Abu Dhabi family holiday.  

Activities

Family beaches

Days out

Best time to go

Family activities in Abu Dhabi

It’s hard to think of an activity that Abu Dhabi doesn’t have. From watersports and rollercoasters, to cultural attractions, this Emirate has something for all ages.

Spend an action-packed day on Yas Island, where the whole family can ride rollercoasters at Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, or splash down slides at Yas Waterworld. For something a little different, why not try indoor skydiving at Clymb, or zoom around Yas Marina Circuit in a racing car? Out of town, meanwhile, families can ski down mighty sand dunes in Rub Al Kahli, go white-water rafting, and enjoy camel riding at sunset.

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If you’re travelling with little ones, enjoy a ride on the soaring Marina Eye for great city views, or take a boat trip to see the city from the ocean. Kayaking in Mangrove National Park is another fun family adventure, with an eco-twist. A tour of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-do, and you could also take junior art lovers to the interactive Children’s Museum at Louvre Abu Dhabi.  

 

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Family beaches in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi isn’t short of oceanfront resorts with flawless private beaches. But if you can drag the kids away from your hotel’s private beach, you’ll find several fantastic public stretches of sand. Corniche Beach is big, beautiful and has sensational views of urban Abu Dhabi. Two out of its three zones are reserved just for families, and there’s also an abundance of playgrounds, boardwalks, cycle paths, games courts and waterfront restaurants.

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Saadiyat is another family beach, with the added bonus of eco-conscious watersports and nesting Hawksbill Turtles. Meanwhile, Yas Beach is close to Abu Dhabi’s theme parks and waterparks – but it’s also the best place to go kayaking through mangrove forests. Beaches on Sir Bani Yas Island are famous for their safe snorkelling, while Blue Flag-awarded Al Bateen Beach is laidback, pristine and never too crowded, making it a great choice for a family beach day. 

 

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Family days out in Abu Dhabi

Despite its dramatic desert landscape, Abu Dhabi is an incredibly easy Emirate to explore. The ancient city of Al Ain is a two-hour drive from Downtown Abu Dhabi, and kids can see the Hajar Mountains en route. When you arrive, you’ll find everything from camel markets and traditional souks, to Al Ain Zoo and surfing at Wadi Adventure.

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If your children love animals, a visit to Sir Bani Yas Island is a must-do. You can go on safari in the Arabian Wildlife Park and snorkel in protected waters off the coast. For a more laidback day out, head west to Al Gharbia for some of Abu Dhabi’s loveliest beaches. Or, since Abu Dhabi’s right on the fringe of legendary Rub Al Kahli, think about catching a desert falconry display, going on a camel trek, or trying a spot of sandboarding.

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Best time to visit Abu Dhabi

Clear skies and sunshine are constants here, but November to April is the best time for a family holiday to Abu Dhabi. Although this is technically winter, daytime temperatures rarely drop below 25°C. With dry, sunny weather, conditions are ideal for snorkelling, watersports and desert activities. And of course, it’s also the best time to relax and play on Abu Dhabi’s beaches.

Show More
Show Less

Temperatures hover in the forties between May and October, and often soar above 45°C in July and August. The air-conditioned malls and shaded pool cabanas come into their own at this time of year, but even locals retreat indoors to avoid the heat. So this probably isn’t the best time to visit, particularly if you’re travelling with very young children.

Show More
Show Less

Activities

Family activities in Abu Dhabi

It’s hard to think of an activity that Abu Dhabi doesn’t have. From watersports and rollercoasters, to cultural attractions, this Emirate has something for all ages.

Spend an action-packed day on Yas Island, where the whole family can ride rollercoasters at Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, or splash down slides at Yas Waterworld. For something a little different, why not try indoor skydiving at Clymb, or zoom around Yas Marina Circuit in a racing car? Out of town, meanwhile, families can ski down mighty sand dunes in Rub Al Kahli, go white-water rafting, and enjoy camel riding at sunset.

Show More
Show Less

If you’re travelling with little ones, enjoy a ride on the soaring Marina Eye for great city views, or take a boat trip to see the city from the ocean. Kayaking in Mangrove National Park is another fun family adventure, with an eco-twist. A tour of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-do, and you could also take junior art lovers to the interactive Children’s Museum at Louvre Abu Dhabi.  

 

Show More
Show Less

Family beaches

Family beaches in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi isn’t short of oceanfront resorts with flawless private beaches. But if you can drag the kids away from your hotel’s private beach, you’ll find several fantastic public stretches of sand. Corniche Beach is big, beautiful and has sensational views of urban Abu Dhabi. Two out of its three zones are reserved just for families, and there’s also an abundance of playgrounds, boardwalks, cycle paths, games courts and waterfront restaurants.

Show More
Show Less

Saadiyat is another family beach, with the added bonus of eco-conscious watersports and nesting Hawksbill Turtles. Meanwhile, Yas Beach is close to Abu Dhabi’s theme parks and waterparks – but it’s also the best place to go kayaking through mangrove forests. Beaches on Sir Bani Yas Island are famous for their safe snorkelling, while Blue Flag-awarded Al Bateen Beach is laidback, pristine and never too crowded, making it a great choice for a family beach day. 

 

Show More
Show Less

Days out

Family days out in Abu Dhabi

Despite its dramatic desert landscape, Abu Dhabi is an incredibly easy Emirate to explore. The ancient city of Al Ain is a two-hour drive from Downtown Abu Dhabi, and kids can see the Hajar Mountains en route. When you arrive, you’ll find everything from camel markets and traditional souks, to Al Ain Zoo and surfing at Wadi Adventure.

Show More
Show Less

If your children love animals, a visit to Sir Bani Yas Island is a must-do. You can go on safari in the Arabian Wildlife Park and snorkel in protected waters off the coast. For a more laidback day out, head west to Al Gharbia for some of Abu Dhabi’s loveliest beaches. Or, since Abu Dhabi’s right on the fringe of legendary Rub Al Kahli, think about catching a desert falconry display, going on a camel trek, or trying a spot of sandboarding.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Abu Dhabi

Clear skies and sunshine are constants here, but November to April is the best time for a family holiday to Abu Dhabi. Although this is technically winter, daytime temperatures rarely drop below 25°C. With dry, sunny weather, conditions are ideal for snorkelling, watersports and desert activities. And of course, it’s also the best time to relax and play on Abu Dhabi’s beaches.

Show More
Show Less

Temperatures hover in the forties between May and October, and often soar above 45°C in July and August. The air-conditioned malls and shaded pool cabanas come into their own at this time of year, but even locals retreat indoors to avoid the heat. So this probably isn’t the best time to visit, particularly if you’re travelling with very young children.

Show More
Show Less

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