Not many children enjoy traipsing around shopping centres, and so you may be surprised that we rate the Dubai Mall as one of the top tourist attractions for families in Dubai.
That’s because the Dubai Mall is not your average shopping centre… it’s the largest and most-visited retail and entertainment destination in the world.
There are more than 1200 retail outlets and 200 food and beverage outlets, but there’s also a number of amazing attractions for families, spread over 5.9 million square feet of internal floor area. Incredibly, the mall is currently undergoing a massive expansion, so it can only get bigger and better!
Here’s our picks of the family friendly activities located within the Dubai Mall:
KidZania at Dubai Mall
In the world of KidZania, children between the ages of four and sixteen can role-play in the occupation of their choice (such as fireman, doctor, police officer, chef, journalist, beautician, etc.). By performing their “job”, kids can earn KidZanian currency and use their money to shop or be entertained. KidZania looks like a real city, and is built to scale for children, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles, a functioning economy, and recognisable destinations such as Mcdonald’s. KidZania also provides a separate area for toddlers to play in a safe and engaging environment. Mums, Dads and carers can relax in the parent lounge with a coffee or a cold drink while the children work and play. It’s a great way for kids to learn the value of money.
SEGA Republic at Dubai Mall
Spread over two levels, SEGA Republic is a really cool indoor theme park with attractions for adrenaline junkies, tiny tots, and everyone in between. There’s ropes courses, roller coasters, simulators and arcade games. You could easily spend a lot of time in this place!
Dubai Aquarium at Dubai Mall
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo features thousands of aquatic animals and a 270-degree walk-through tunnel. The King Croc from Queensland is also a popular attraction, as are the aquatic experiences, such as the shark dive. There are also opportunities for children to be a “marine biologist” for a day as part of their aquarist program. Book online to avoid waiting in the queue.
DubaiDino at Dubai Mall
On display within the Dubai Mall is the original skeleton of a long-necked, whip-tailed sauropod that is over 155 million years old. Named by scientists as the Amphicoelias brontodiplodocus, DubaiDino is an impressive sight as it has nearly all the original bones in the skeleton. The skeleton is a whopping 24.4 metres long and 7.6 metre high and is really worth checking out.
Dubai Ice Rink at Dubai Mall
If it’s hot outside, you and your kids can cool down with a glide around the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink within the Dubai Mall. There’s public sessions, and you can even take lessons. For children, there are stability penguins or snowmen to hold onto to make it easier to stay upright!
Reel Cinemas at Dubai Mall
The 22-screen Reel Cinemas megaplex in Dubai Mall has a total capacity of 2,800 seats, meaning there’s always a family friendly movie playing. Check out their web site for current session times and information on how to book.
The Dubai Fountain
When you’re visiting the Dubai Mall, be sure to step outside to see the Dubai Fountain, which is set on the 24 acre Burj Lake. It is the world’s largest choreographed fountain and it performs in sync with classical, Arabic and popular music in the afternoons and evenings. With 22 000 gallons of airborne water, it is a spectacle that is worth seeing. It also claims to be the brightest spot in the Middle East, and is even visible from Space!
At the Top, Burj Khalifa
Kids will love to tell their friends that they’ve been to the top of the world’s tallest building. On level 124 of this extraordinary structure, you can look out over the city of Dubai, the Gulf and the Arabian Desert. The high speed journey in one of the world’s fastest elevators is also a thrill for kids. Entry to the Burj Khalifa is through the Dubai Mall.
Getting to the Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is easily accessible via bus or the Dubai Metro. The nearest station is the Burj Khalifa Station where feeder buses direct to the Dubai Mall are frequently available. You can also access the Dubai Mall by car on Sheikh Zayed Road, and park in one of the 14000 car parks.
The Dubai Mall is open from 10 am until 11 pm from Sunday to Wednesday, and from 10 am until 12 midnight from Thursday to Saturday. For more information, visit www.thedubaimall.com.