There is nothing the family enjoys more than sitting down together and planning for the next dream getaway. With a large number of tourist attractions to choose from, Dubai stands out with its scintillating activities that are tailor made for families and children.
With a plethora of water parks, exotic resorts in the desert and high end malls, the city offers the ultimate family break. Having said that, the offerings here are not just for children, they cater to the adults as well. Here are our top places to visit for the next family holiday in Dubai.
Go flamingo watching
Dubai is a city of skyscrapers, no doubt, but between these towering structures is a marshy wetland which has become the home of hundreds of pink flamingos, apart from other bird species. The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, so surprisingly close to the city is a Mecca for birdwatchers and toddlers who get fascinated by the sound of chirping and feeding birds in large numbers. Children love to get on the three viewing platforms, especially the Flamingo Hide, to get a good view of the park’s flamingo population. The other two hides offer good opportunities to get a glimpse of some of the 170 odd different bird species residing here. The park is located at the intersection of the Al Wasi and Oud Metha roads and entry to the sanctuary is free.
Get mesmerized at the Dubai Aquarium and Zoo.
The stunning Dubai Aquarium and Underground Zoo is located inside the Dubai Mall, where it occupies three whole floors. Children get awestruck by the sheer number of marine life species which can be viewed here. In addition, the Dubai Aquarium Tunnel showcases an amazing array of sealife. The Underwater Zoo houses stingrays, penguins, sharks and others apart from thousands of colorful fish. Be advised to buy tickets in advance to save time and money. Prices are almost half at online outlets than at the aquarium itself. Children below three go free.
Watch the world’s largest choreographed fountain.
Kids will literally get glued to the colorful Dubai Fountain and parents will have a tough time in dragging them back. Designed on the lines of the world famous Bellagio water show of Las Vegas by the same makers, the Dubai Fountain is said to be the largest choreographed fountain show on the planet with a soundtrack to match. Set against the backdrop of the equally majestic Burj Khalifa, the fountain soars to an incredible height of 50 m and captures the glitz and glamour of Dubai very aptly. Make sure to arrive early to get a good spot, as the show runs every half hour from 6 to 11pm daily.
Spend time at the kid friendly City Walk
This perfect family oriented neighborhood of Jumeirah is an ideal place to spend the afternoon watching movies, shopping, dining or just gazing at the fine street art. The Dubai Walls, an initiative put together by 16 street artists has its home in City Walk. Indulging in delicious food and walking around admiring the unique artwork will allow the kids to have a whale of a time.
Visit the Miracle Garden
The Miracle Garden, as the name suggests, is truly an astonishing display of nearly 150 million flowers, all uniquely arranged in different designs. It is one of the most beautiful places for children to visit, as with each passing season, the garden undergoes a change. The garden is only open to visitors when the flowers are in full bloom, which is between the months of November to May. Visitors are entertained by Disney characters, huge teddy bears and a full size Emirates A380 plane made of flowers. This fairytale like park allows children under three free entry.
Do not miss out on the Global Village.
The Global Village brings together food , culture, shopping and entertainment from 78 different countries of the world, all in one place. The sprawling area houses a giant ferris wheel, replicas of some of the best pieces of architecture of the world, stunt shows, monster cars and a floating market among others. Kids will have a gala time watching the puppet shows in the backdrop of the dancing fountains. The opening time of the village varies with season and usually opens in the cooler months from October onwards. Here also children under three are given free access.
Enjoy the various Theme Parks
Some of the best water parks and theme parks have sprung up in Dubai as compared to any in the Middle East. Places like Wadi Wadi World, Aquaventure, Legoland and Motiongate are all family friendly options. While some of these parks do have restrictions towards age and height, they have places set apart for all the kids. A great way to visit these parks is by obtaining a Dubai Park and Resort day pass to access all the four parks.
Swim at Jumeirah beach
There are a large number of beaches in Dubai to choose from, but the one which is most suitable for families with children is the lovely Jumeirah beach. This typically friendly offering has loads of outdoor activities ranging from jogging to volleyball so as to keep the fitness levels on a high all the time. Located next to Mercato shopping outlet the beach has all the infrastructure in place for a memorable family outing. Swimming is a major sport here, as the waters are sheltered and shallow.
Take the young ones to KidZania
KidZania is an out of the world concept as it allows children to actually enjoy the jobs of the grownups on an indoor activity stage. Here the kids are encouraged to learn as many as 80 different odd jobs ranging from working in hospitals,police stations, factories etc as are required in any modern city. KidZania is located in the Dubai Mall and is open seven days of the week from 10 am to 11 pm.
Get up close with dolphins
This is one activity which should not be missed by any child visiting Dubai. These friendly creatures can be experienced at close quarters at the Dubai Dolphinarium, where visitors can interact and get photos clicked these adorable animals. The five bottlenose dolphins here are very friendly and extremely well trained. The place is open from 1030 am to 730 pm(Sunday closed). Visitors can book on some dedicated sites to get a 20% discount.
Dubai is really an amazing city with an array of activities all action packed and suitable for all age groups. These excursions, will not only enhance the general knowledge of the children but will provide for a delightful outing as well.