We recently spent an action packed 5 days visiting in Dubai. And to say we really had no idea what to expect, we had a wonderful time. There are so many things to do with kids in Dubai, and what we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. But here is my mini guide of great family activities in Dubai.
Go To The Top Of The Burj Khalifa
Based in Downtown Dubai the Burj Khalifa is a crazy 160 levels high. Offering observation decks on levels 124/5 and 148. And wow it is incredible, you can see for miles from the observation decks. A huge part of the fun is the super high-speed elevator, which only takes seconds to wiz you up over 100 floors. Yet you hardly feel you are moving.
At roughly £80.00 for a family of four it is well worth doing. Once you are up on the observation decks there is no one rushing you to leave. We spent ages looking and photographing the view. It really is something special.
Should you get peckish there is also a small cafe and gift shop, and lots of photographers to get a family shot.
Visit The Dubai Fountains
The Dubai fountains are free to watch and run ever half an hour and are a not to be missed activity. There are several ways to see the fountains, you can stand by the lake and watch for a close up view. It can get busy but the atmosphere is great. Or book a meal at one of the restaurants surrounding the lake and enjoy dinner whilst watching the fountains. We dined at the Thiptara at the Palace Hotel; the food was as spectacular as the view. It made it a very special evening.
Visit Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai all based at the Mall of the Emirates. It is huge, and so much fun. It feels so odd going from one extreme temperature to another, and when you arrive you welcome the sub-zero temperatures. There is so much at Ski Dubai to keep the family occupied for hours including ski lifts, tubbing, zorbing and zip wires. In fact we were so busy having fun in the slopes me missed the penguins. But faced with going up a mini mountain on a ski lift, or the penguins Joe chose the ski lift.
At around £240 for a family of four for a Polar pass which gives you unlimited access to the Snow Park, Giant Ball and Mountain thriller along with a ride on our chairlift and a pair of fleece gloves, it may feel expensive, but I would say it is worth every penny. And where else can you experience family snow fun in the desert.
Visit Dubai Aquarium And Underwater Zoo
The Dubai Aquarium is based at the Dubai Mall and is a great distraction during a shopping trip. Costing £82 for a family of 4, the aquarium is home to some stunning sea life. Including beavers and otters, many varieties of fish. And for Nemo fans the chance to get a look at Nemo, Dory and many other favourites from the movies. The shark and stingray tunnel although not as long as I expected is beautiful. Joe spent ages just stood watching them swim over his head.
And Jack was busy watching the otters fighting over whose turn it was on the water slide, I kids you not. Whilst I was conscious to give the king crock a wide berth. I found the beauty of the jellyfish totally captivated me; there really is something for all the family.
Visit Sega Republic
Sega Republic is every young gamers dream. It is like a larger scale amusement arcade, but with rides, and lots and lots of video games. Joe was in his element and could not make his mind up what to do first. We did quite a few rides, but they are not for the faint hearted. If you suffer from motion sickness then avoid the rides. But the boys loved them. And Joe spent ages playing on all the arcade driving games so was in his element.
It can be pricy at £180 for a platinum pass for the whole family, but if like Chris and I you are not into gaming, you can purchase passes for the kids at £35 each and they can have hours of fun whilst you spectate. As I am sure this is an activity Joe would not have wanted to miss. And being located in the Dubai Mall means you get a little retail therapy time too.
Spend A Day At Atlantis The Palm
Atlantis the Palm is incredible, a wonderful family day out. I was just blown away by the scale and beauty of Atlantis. A one-day pass to Aquaventure and The Lost Chambers costs around £240 for a family of 4 off-peak but it is so worth it. With access to the Water Park, beach and aquarium there really is so much to do. We did not want to leave at the end of the day. There are also lots of extras you can book such as animal experiences and dolphin swims. Which is something we have on the list for next time.
Aquaventure has areas to suit all ages, with mini water areas, lazy rivers to chill out and huge slides perfect for crazy teens. And as the site is so huge, there are golf buggies available to take you back and forth along the front of the park, which is much-needed in 45 degrees heat.
I am going to share more about where we dined in my next post. However there are lots of dining options at Atlantis to suit all budgets and tastes. From food stalls to restaurants and cafes you will not struggle to find food you will all enjoy. And to keep hydrated there are drinks and fruit stalls everywhere. Which is exactly what you want on a hot day.
This is only touching the surface, there is so much to see and do in Dubai, so much, that we know we will return there are so many more adventures for us to enjoy. The biggest problem with Dubai is choosing how to fill you time when you are there. Because if ever there was place that had to much choice, then its in Dubai. Although what a great problem to have and all the more reason to return.