Here at Brisbane Kids, we are all about building memories with your families. BK writer, Kelly, recently came back from a trip to Dubai where she hunted out some of the best places for families to visit on a stop over. She was sponsored to go on this trip thanks to Dubai Tourism and Nuffnang Australia.
5 Fun Places for Families to Visit in Dubai
I don’t think there was a bare palm tree anywhere! When I commented to our guide at all the fairy lights on the trees, he said, “This is Dubai!”
This is Dubai. That phrase kept coming back to me as I travelled around during a week in the city, experiencing as much as possible. I hadn’t thought about Dubai as a destination for a family getaway, but after visiting, I found many family friendly attractions and I’m listing five.
1. The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is like a city in itself! And it’s not just shopping: there are many fun activities available in the mall for the entire family.
KidZania: It’s the ultimate place for role-play! KidZania is a child-sized city especially for kids. There are shops, banks, restaurants and places of work like you would find in any regular city. Children (aged from four to sixteen) may choose to be a firefigher, surgeon, chef or do one of 80 other jobs and earn ‘money’ to spend on activities around the centre, all the while learning while they play.
Idea: Keep this idea for back at home: grab a heap of recycled cardboard boxes, draw on doors and windows with drawing pens and make your own city.
SEGA Republic: Just next door to KidZania is an exciting indoor theme park for older kids. With two floors of thrilling rides and attractions, it’s a popular place for the teenage group.
Dubai Ice Rink: From seasonal shows to general ice skating, Dubai Ice Rink is a fun place to escape the heat.
Dubai Aquarium: Want to see one of the world’s largest fish tanks? With shops all around, it’s surreal to stare at a wall of 10 million litres! Inside the epic tank are over 140 aquatic species.
Tip: Don’t forget to walk through the tunnel and watch sharks swim above you.
Underwater Zoo: Adjoining the aquarium is the Underwater Zoo with different habitats including rainforests, rocky shores and a Penguin colony. It’s an interactive place to learn more about the creatures that live in the rivers and ocean.
Reel Cinemas: Fancy a movie? With 22 screens, the theatre always has a wide variety of movies showing.
2. Burj Khalifa – At The Top
A visit to Dubai would not complete without visiting the highest observation deck in the world at the famous Burj Khalifa. Travel at 10 metres a second to the 124th floor of the building and out to the most incredible view of Dubai. You look out over the city to the ocean and desert.
Tip: Burj Khalifa Lake lies at the base of the tower and there are fountain displays on each night.
3. Ski Dubai
It’s where I met a penguin! Ski Dubai is a blast! Located inside Mall of the Emirates, it’s a place to sing Do you want to build a snowman? again. There are tube slides, ski slopes, snowboarding jumps, penguin encounters and spots to just play. All the gear you need is supplied which makes it easy. Nearby are chalet-style restaurants and cafes, and while I sipped coffee after enjoying the snow, I couldn’t help but feel like I was somewhere in the Swiss Alps!
The Dubai desert is an incredible contrast to the city and my favourite attraction. More geared towards families with older children, there are many different safaris and activities to choose from so you can search for a tour that’s suitable for your family’s needs. Possible activities include sand tobogganing, camel rides, falconry demonstrations, 4-wheel drive rides and more. I did a sunset tour with Platinum Heritage.
5. Aquaventure (on The Palm)
Situated on the tip of the man-made Palm Jumeirah, Aquaventure is a place where you could spend all day as a family. Ride the slides, meander down the rapids or enjoy the private beach. There’s so much to do on the 42-acre water wonderland. Would you be game to take the Leap of Faith slide? I did!
Tip: Not far from Aquaventure is a small (free) public beach called Umm Suqeim Beach, which backs on to the iconic Burj Al Arab. Worth a quick visit!
If your family is travelling from Brisbane overseas, Dubai is a great spot to stop for a few days. Pack in a number of fun family adventures in a short space of time; in one day you could go from the desert, to the snow to the water. Because: this is Dubai!
If you’re looking for a travel activity for a trip to Dubai, you can print Dubai Paper City for the kids here.