Dubai inspires. The world’s tallest building, sand dunes dappled with strange antelopes, attractions that are bigger and brighter than anywhere else in the world. It’s a destination that excites and compels children. Yet Dubai is only belatedly receiving worldwide recognition as a premier family holiday destination.
For decades, there was a preconception that family and the Middle-East didn’t equate to child-friendly. Yet a Dubai family holiday is safe, easy, and filled with inspiring choices for the children. Oh, and then there’s the tropical white beaches and award-winning resorts. Here are some tips for settling into the complete Dubai family holiday experience.
1. Enjoy the Locals
One of the great and unexpected treats of a Dubai family holiday is how much the locals love children. Dubai has always grown as a city tailored towards children, from tropical parks in residential areas to hotels and resorts with creches and clubs for the younger ones. It’s a society that celebrates the next generation, epitomised by the variety of one-off events for families and children. Time Out Dubai has a dedicated kids page detailing upcoming events and attractions.
2. Avoid the Summer Heat
It’s difficult enough to handle 30ºC when you’re an adult. Imagine the scorching sun when you’re six years old and scream whenever the sunscreen bottle gets near. Thankfully, the intense Arabian heat slips away during the winter months. From December to February the daily highs are in the low-20s, while the surrounding months remain good for a Dubai family holiday.
3. Explore the Variety of Family-Friendly Dubai Resorts
A photo of the Dubai cityscape can be confusing. With all the shimmering skyscrapers and futuristic architecture, you can be forgiven for thinking that Dubai is merely an urban destination. Don’t worry, you don’t need to take the family to a 40th floor hotel room surrounded by traffic. Follow the city curves out to the Arabian Gulf and there’s dozens of family-friendly resorts along the beach. Most provide the archetypical oasis, filled with shady palms and shallow pools for the children to play. For something a little more exclusive, consider a personally tailored Dubai family holiday from Seawings Lifestyle.
4. Inspire the Children
Keeping the children occupied is usually the premier consideration on a family holiday. Dubai revels in its range of inspiring experiences. The question isn’t how to keep children entertained, but how to fit it all in to a Dubai family holiday. Hurtle up the world’s tallest building in the world’s fastest elevator and see the city from the Burj Khalifa. Explore a vibrant aquarium, take a yacht through the marina, swim with dolphins, go skiing in the desert (alongside penguins), ride a camel, and pick from a huge range of excursions.
5. An Exhilarating Seaplane Tour
Remember when you were a child and getting in a plane was a unique and exhilarating experience. That feeling returns when you fly in a seaplane. Take off from the water and soar through the famous skyline of Dubai, a 1500 ft cruising altitude ideal for experiencing Dubai’s scale and admiring the intimate detail. Every seat is a window seat, so there’s no arguing over who gets the best view. A 40-minute seaplane tour connects all the city highlights, ensuring you can all see the Burj, see the Palm, and see the sublime design of the city. And for a Dubai family holiday highlight it’s hard to beat flying over The World islands and picking out your home country.
6. Get Wet or Stay Dry at the Emirates’ Theme Parks
The Emirates delight in doing things bigger and brighter than anywhere else. And that particularly applies to the range of theme parks. Abu Dhabi Ferrari World is the world’s biggest indoor theme park, packed with hundreds of different rides, simulators, and places for the kids to play. Of course, they also have the world’s fastest roller coaster, that’s just the Emirates’ way. But there’s also an educational section about building cars. Across the road you’ll find Yas Waterworld, a complex of waterslides, shaded pools, and tailored family attractions. Seawings Lifestyle offer a range of packages that combine seaplane travel with VIP entrance to these two Abu Dhabi theme parks. You don’t need to leave Dubai to get wet though. Splash through the cooling waters of Aquaventure Atlantis or swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay Atlantis.
7. Find Some Down Time in the City
Sip from the cocktail, lie back on the sun lounger, and slumber in the sun. Yep, Dubai might be famed for its cityscape, but it’s flanked by long stretches of white sand and cooling Arabian waters. Resorts have private beaches, so yes, you can sunbathe in your swimsuits and don’t need to worry about covering up (no going topless though). A Dubai family holiday isn’t a city break. It’s a mix of city exploration, unique attractions, and finding some down time on the beach.
8. Find Time for Yourself
A Dubai family holiday is all about the shared moments; your toddler being in the water with a dolphin, young teenagers marvelling at Dubai from the air, exploring theme parks that offer ride after ride. Yet it’s also an opportunity to find time for yourself. Many of Dubai’s resorts provide kid’s clubs and tailored entertainment, so you can wallow on the white sand as the younger ones are kept busy. Or the young children can spend a few hours in the resort creche as you head out and indulge in Dubai’s finer experiences, like hi tea at the Burj Al Arab or a city heritage tour that brings Arabian tradition to life.
For more ideas about a Dubai family holiday check out Seawings Lifestyle and their customisable menu of excursions.
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