Best things to do in Dubai with kids
Discover a world of excitement in this vibrant city that goes beyond just designer stores, fine dining, and cultural experiences. Brace yourself for a thrilling adventure as Dubai unveils its awe-inspiring attractions that are sure to captivate both the young and the young at heart! Whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, get ready to embark on a journey filled with endless fun and unforgettable memories.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Explore the enchanting Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, where your little ones can marvel at the incredible marine life and even go on a thrilling glass-bottom boat ride.
Bash some dunes on a desert safari
On the dunes in the Dubai desert (Alamy)
Embark on a desert safari adventure, where your family can experience the exhilaration of dune bashing, camel riding, and even try their hand at sandboarding.
Ideal for tiring out adrenaline-addicted kids, many local tour companies will take you out for a day of dune bashing, which involves taking a 4×4 vehicle full of gleefully shrieking families and hurling it at hourglass landscapes. Buckle up as your off-road vehicle burns through boundless, shifting vistas, and blasts up huge dunes; then strap on a sandboard to slide down precipitous sand drifts. For the full experience, try an evening’s desert safari package, which usually includes dune bashing, camel rides, sandboarding, henna painting and a barbecue feast fit for a Bedouin king, complete with live music. Don't forget to capture those Instagram-worthy sunset shots!
Dubai Miracle Garden
Take a trip to the magical Dubai Miracle Garden, a floral paradise that will leave your kids in awe. With over 50 million blooming flowers, including incredible displays like the Emirates A380 plane made entirely of flowers, it's a sight you won't want to miss.
Thrill them with theme parks
There are more than 40 rides at Legoland Dubai (Legoland Dubai)
Get your adrenaline pumping at IMG Worlds of Adventure, the largest indoor theme park in the world. From heart-pounding roller coasters to interactive Marvel superhero experiences, there's something for every thrill-seeker in your family.
Dubai Parks and Resorts combine three theme parks and a waterpark in one location. If you have children aged two to 12, you’re probably already familiar with Legoland, and Dubai’s version includes more than 40 rides, shows and attractions. Younger kids can also visit Legoland Water Park for the chance to build their own rafts before putting them through their paces. Elsewhere, colour, dance, music, melodrama, and rides collide at Bollywood Park, while Motiongate theme park might be more familiar to British kids, with its thrills based on the films of some of Hollywood’s favourite studios: DreamWorks, Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate. That means Ghostbusters, The Smurfs, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and even The Hunger Games. With scores of options to keep kids entertained, the odds have never been more in your favour.
Cool off in wild waterparks
Cool off at Wild Wadi Waterpark, where your kids can splash around in the wave pool, zoom down thrilling water slides, and even float along the lazy river. It's the perfect place to beat the heat and make unforgettable family memories.
Dubai offers sunshine and dry heat year-round and, accordingly, the city has elevated chilling out to an art form. Dubai’s waterparks are world class and — whether you want to relax on a lazy river ride or plummet towards the earth on an upright sluice — each offers a wide range of waterslides from the fun and family-friendly through to the frankly terrifying. Hang ten at Wild Wadi Waterpark (located beside Dubai’s skyline-defining, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel) where surfing simulators make impressive waves by blasting water into pools at more than seven tonnes per second. Over at Aquaventure waterpark (situated within the hotel complex of Atlantis, The Palm), the open-air Leap of Faith waterslide plunges down the side of a huge, replica Mayan pyramid in what feels like a near-vertical drop, ending with you zipping through a transparent tube inside a gigantic shark tank.
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The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis
Discover the wonders of the Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm. Your little explorers can come face-to-face with sharks, rays, and countless other marine creatures as they journey through the underwater tunnels.
Slope off to Ski Dubai
The indoor slope at Ski Dubai
Unleash your inner adventurer at Ski Dubai, the Middle East's first indoor ski resort. Whether your kids are beginners or seasoned pros, they'll have a blast skiing, snowboarding, or even building snowmen in this snowy wonderland.
The novelty of clapping eyes on a fully realised ski resort in the middle of the desert is almost worth the admission price alone, but this snow-globe winter wonderland — slap bang in the middle of a shopping mall — is good for more than just filling your kids’ social media feeds. Ski Dubai centres around a man-made, 85m (280ft) mountain that features five ski slopes, including the world’s first indoor black diamond run, so advanced skiers can still stretch themselves. Younger children and non-skiers can enjoy the snow play area, featuring toboggan runs, ice caves and real penguins.
Hit the beach or visit Dubai Frame
Kitesurfing in Dubai (Alamy)
Visit the Dubai Frame, an architectural marvel that offers panoramic views of the city. Your kids will love the interactive exhibits and the opportunity to see Dubai's stunning skyline from a whole new perspective.
Dubai might be best known for its skyscrapers, but its beaches are top class too, and most are free to access. The stretch of sand in front of Jumeirah Beach Residence, aka The Beach, is one of the most popular due to the sheer number of people who live in the area, but it also comes with great views of Ain Dubai and is easily accessible. Further down the coast you have La Mer, which is packed with beachfront dining if you want plenty of options for getting out of the sun. And for those with older kids or teens, Kite Beach, the Emirates’ top spot for kitesurfing, is your go-to spot for water sports.
Indulge in some retail therapy at the Dubai Mall, where your family can shop 'til they drop, catch a movie at the cinema, and even take a spin on the ice rink. With over 1,200 stores and endless entertainment options, it's a shopper's paradise.
Get some perspective at the Burj Khalifa
On the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa (Alamy)
Finally, don't forget to experience the thrill of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Take the high-speed elevator to the observation deck and marvel at the breathtaking views of Dubai's skyline and beyond. Dubai is a city that never fails to impress, and with these exciting activities, your family will have a truly unforgettable vacation. So pack your bags, gather the kids, and get ready for an adventure like no other in the dazzling city of Dubai!
The Dubai Baloon
Soar above Palm Jumeirah on the Dubai Balloon! The Dubai Balloon is inviting kids aged 12 and under to enjoy the 10-minute experience for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Prepare to be impressed as you float up to 300m above Palm Jumeirah in a hot air balloon. From Dhs175. Kids under 12 free until Aug 31. Atlantis Aquaventure, Palm Jumeirah.thedubaiballoon.com.
Take a day trip to the future at KidZania
Watch in awe as your little one’s step into a world of endless possibilities and become the masters of their own destiny. In this enchanting scaled-down city, your children will embark on an incredible journey of self-discovery. At KidZania, the magic of childhood meets the excitement of the adult world. So, buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable adventure, where dreams become reality and imaginations take flight. The future awaits, and it's all within reach at KidZania!
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