Table of Contents Hide
- 1. A Feast of Favorite Ideas for Kids
- 2. The safety aspect in Dubai
- 3. A Shopping Haven
- 4. A juxtaposition of Cultures
- 5. Architectural Marvels
- 6. Endless Luxury Experiences
- 7. Desert Safari
- 8. Foodies happy place
- 9. Exciting Adventures
- 10. Day Trips to Other UAE states
- 11. Yachting and the Dubai boat show
- 12. World Class Entertainment
- 13. Beach Resorts
- 14. Old Dubai
For those for whom the love of travel runs deep, when it comes to choosing an exceptional holiday destination, Dubai is on everybody’s wish list.
1. A Feast of Favorite Ideas for Kids
If you’re visiting Dubai with kids, there are guaranteed to be countless things to do. Of course, the beach will provide hours of relaxed fun but there is just so much more.
Watery fun galore
There are other ways to get sopping wet on a hot day in Dubai and one fantastic way is at the splendid water parks of Dubai.
A popular one is Wild Wadi in front of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. It offers around 30 fun rides for all-age kids all day long. For younger children, there is Splash Island, and because it’s an indoor swimming facility, there is fun to be had even on a rainy day.
Check out our post on the Top 20 Dubai Tours
Connect with nature
There are also many playgrounds and amusement parks and plenty of activities where your children can connect with nature. You can wander around the Glow Garden with them or admire nature at any one of Dubai’s beautiful parks and resorts as well as wildlife sanctuaries.
If your kids are bursting with energy, the many shopping malls may not be their thing and then it will be a good idea to check out Aventura Parks where the kids can do rock climbing, scramble over all kinds of obstacles and even go zip-lining. Dubai is really known as a boredom-free playground for kids.
Dubai – a mecca for families
Visitors can expect lots of comfy accommodation suitable for families, couples, singles and business people. Forward-looking Dubai may well be a futuristic, glitzy city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates, known for its pulsating nightlife and luxury shopping, but it has recently rebranded itself as a mecca for families.
Dubai is packed full of scintillating attractions for kids, from theme parks to water parks, beach resorts, aquariums, desert duning, shopping malls and more.
Kids are going to have the time of their lives and there are heaps of attractions in Dubai that have been designed and built with children in mind. Dubai is a boredom-free playground for children and it’s open all year round.
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2. The safety aspect in Dubai
Travelers with kids in tow are flocking to Dubai Airport, and that in itself is proof of Dubai being seriously the hottest destination for all kinds of travelers. In fact, it is safe to say that the UAE is one of the top destinations in the world for riveting family vacations.
The heat can be an enemy
In terms of having a safe holiday, you just have to remember that Dubai is essentially the desert and for the best part of the year you can expect temperatures of about 36 – 45°C. With small kids, you have to be careful with heatstroke. Possibly, the best time to visit Dubai would be towards the end of October to the end of March.
Dubai – a safe city to travel around in
Generally, Dubai is rated as a very safe city to travel to with or without children. The UAE is among the safest countries in the world.
As in most countries, the biggest risk you might encounter in terms of crime is pickpocketing, particularly around tourist hotspot areas. It simply requires you being alert and careful with safeguarding your items.
3. A Shopping Haven
The shopping malls in Dubai are known as artistic gems. They aren’t just shopping centers but design- or leisure destinations, showcasing the very best in retail.
As one of Dubai’s most artistic retail hotspots, the Dubai Mall is thought to be the best mall in Dubai with millions upon millions of people visiting the mall each year as it is a shopping and entertainment haven.
It features a list of specialist brands and offers everything from banking, to jewelers to kids toys, electronics, clothing stores, plenty of cafes and restaurants and much more.
Dubai Shopping Festival
If you’re looking for the most astonishing, unbeatable deals as well as endless family fun, you want to be in Dubai over December and January. This is the time of the Dubai Shopping Festival, spread over a period of about 6 weeks. The motto of this out-and-about festival is ‘One World, One Family, One Festival’ and it’s a place to celebrate life and fun and the sheer pleasure of shopping. The 28th edition of Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is held from 15 December 2022 to 29 January 2023.
Stores are packed with the most awesome goodies going at the most amazing discounts. Browse between the stores selling a variety of goods or indulge in the many food shops offering an assortment of delicious treats.
As for the little ones, there is entertainment galore where they can take part in creative workshops, face painting, sand art and much more. Not only that, there are raffles, shows, markets, fireworks, concerts and entertainment non-stop and every day promises loads of unexpected surprises.
Who knows, you may even win a car! If you’re holidaying in Dubai with kids over this time, you should pencil this awesome event into your diary.
4. A juxtaposition of Cultures
Because of the many different cultures in Dubai, the city has a vibey, cosmopolitan culture. Of course, the UAE culture essentially revolves around traditional Arab culture and the religion of Islam and you see this influence in everything.
There are many nationalities and cultures from all over the world in Dubai for one or other reason, all contributing to the colorful, glitzy world of Dubai.
To ensure you have an exciting, carefree time in Dubai, you need to show respect to the local culture. While most of the women in Dubai wear a hijab and abaya and the men a long tunic and keffieh, as a visitor, nobody is asking you to do the same. As far as dress goes you will need to comply with local standards and dress modestly and appropriately.
It can take a bit of time to get used to the culture of Dubai. If you were looking forward to the weekend, you’ll be delighted to know that the weekend comes early in Dubai – on a Friday. Weekends are Friday and Saturday with the working week starting on Sunday. This is because Friday is a holy day and their day of rest.
5. Architectural Marvels
Tourism is a top industry of Dubai and the sparkly city has made sure that its extraordinary buildings give it a reputation of the biggest and the tallest.
Dubai’s architectural wonders are known the world over. Just look at one of its original 5-star properties, Jumeirah Beach Hotel. This shimmering architectural masterpiece that opened in 1997 was inspired by the shape of a cresting wave.
Not far off, in fact, within walking distance, is the magnificent and renowned iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Hotel. This is what Dubai is so well known for – creative, eye-catching buildings like nowhere else.
No wonder that so many of these splendid architectural marvels have been awarded accolades for their awesome designs and their green credentials
6. Endless Luxury Experiences
Dubai is full of must-attend events and must-see luxury attractions and experiences. Culinary magic takes place at the most opulent of restaurants and that means being party to the most decadently sumptuous dishes.
Why not try to create your favorite celeb look with a classic outfit that will complement any occasion and head to Billionaire Mansion, owned by F1 boss Flavio Briatore. The spectacular venue offers a luxurious Italian and Asian dining experience with equally spectacular entertainment and late-night dancing.
7. Desert Safari
A golden thread runs through every form of entertainment in Dubai. From the glitz and glamour of the city, you can’t leave the United Arab Emirates without first experiencing the desert city’s golden desert sands.
A desert safari on the outskirts of Dubai will see you strapped into a 4WD and riding the sand dunes. There will be times when you have to hold on for dear life with the dune bashing going on, but you’ll be rewarded, when with shaky hands from holding on so tightly, you get to take pictures of a splendid desert sunset.
Of course, a desert safari wouldn’t be complete without a camel-ride which is usually included in your desert-safari-package. With Arab music playing, a dinner is included and served while you’re entertained by dancers.
8. Foodies happy place
You won’t have to look far to discover that Dubai is dotted with heaps of culinary gems. There are many new restaurants that have opened in Dubai, after all Dubai isn’t a gastronomic destination for nothing.
Some restaurants in Dubai are super sophisticated and luxurious, while others turn dining into an adventurous place for all kinds of entertainment.
Look at Wavehouse at the Atlantis Dubai, a food, drinks and fun destination for the whole family. With sea views, waterfront activities, wifi, live sports screening, kids playing area, restaurant and bar, bowling alley and much more, it is one of Dubai’s hot spot foodie choices.
The Wavehouse Restaurant serves an eclectic menu to satisfy every kind of craving, from fresh salads to hamburgers dripping with every delectable, finger-lickin’ sauce you can imagine.
If parents want to supervise what their kids are eating, there is a special menu for kids. Once the savory part is behind you, it’s time to bring on sweet moments and switch to mouthwatering sweet treats such as waffles and cream or multi-flavored ice cream.
Dubai Food Festival
The Dubai Food Festival isn’t to be missed and for 2023 it is scheduled from 21 April to 7 May 2023. Don’t for one minute think that it all takes place inside restaurants. Not at all, and you will discover heaps of spots across the city – on the beach and elsewhere – that go all out with exciting foodie celebrations.
With a real hustle and bustle theme, there will be so much to see and do and of course to tantalize the tastebuds during the 17-day foodie celebration.
There will be oodles of fun for all the family during this spectacular celebration of food and drink and visitors will be able to feast on a vast array of Dubai culinary delights.
This is one of Dubai’s top social foodie events with top chefs whipping up impressive menus and allowing you to sample dishes from around the world.
9. Exciting Adventures
Dubai is an ‘experience-of-a-lifetime’ destination and more and more travelers to the city are being tempted away from lazy shopping days and opting for exciting adventures that challenge nerves.
Adventure travel horizons in Dubai are unlimited and you can be scuba-diving, kayaking down a wild river, skydiving or hot air ballooning. These cover only a spectrum of what all is up for grabs.
If you want to make Dubai an adventure-trip there is a bewildering array of offerings. Few areas of the world can offer the range of adventures and thrills that Dubai can, so why not opt for exciting adventures for the theme of your getaway?
For many people fearful of heights, just a visit to the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa – and seeing the views from the 148th floor may well be all the thrills they can stomach for a while.
Hot air ballooning
Why not float over the desert dunes of Dubai on a warm clear morning? You’ll know what it feels like to be a bird hovering over the earth. In fact some balloon rides include a falcon-display from the balloon. Later on you can also enjoy breakfast, turning these balloon trips into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you’ve always put skydiving down on your to-do list, you’ll be one of the many tourists who allow Dubai to fulfill this dream. Skydiving promises to be thrilling and safe when this exhilarating aerial sport is done with a reputable skydiving facility.
If freefall-fun over the desert is something you want to tell your friends and family about back home, then qualified instructors will be waiting for you to do a tandem jump. If that’s not thrilling enough for you, and if your time in Dubai allows, you can learn how to skydive solo and then take up your new hobby again when you get back home.
Whitewater kayaking and surfing
Never say never in Dubai, and when the heat is up it’s time to find out more about Dubai’s Whitewater Stadium and Surf Pool.
Ok, so true adventurers may not particularly like the idea of kayaking on an artificial watercourse, but Dubai is out to please and the surf pool and whitewater rafting comes pretty much close to the real thing.
Located at the base of Jebel Hafeet, Wadi Adventure offers everyone a super fun day out, and the white water channel for instance has a length of 1,2 kilometers. It also has the world’s biggest surf pool and you can even grab the opportunity to learn how to surf.
There are other amazing facilities for everyone such as beautiful swimming pools, obstacle course, retail stores and food and beverage outlets.
10. Day Trips to Other UAE states
If you thought the fun would never end in Dubai, what about seeing what lies beyond this tourist-friendly city? After, all Abu Dhabi, a neighboring emirate has made a firm mark for many on the tourist itinerary.
It rivals Dubai in terms of amazing infrastructure. It’s perfect for day trips from Dubai. F1 fans for instance would pay an arm and a leg to visit the Yas Island entertainment precinct and to get to Ferrari World and be able to experience the world-class rollercoasters to clock up the best lap time in a state-of-the-art simulator.
Apart from Ferrari World, you can see some of the other highlights with the benefit of a guide and enjoy guided commentary, making your day trip a richer travel experience. You can enjoy pickup and drop off at your hotel.
The neighboring city Sharjah
Not far from Dubai is another neighboring city – Sharjah. It is quite different from Dubai and for those who love culture, Sharjah is rich in culture, so much so that is has been named the Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO.
Its history goes back some 6,000 years. The emirate has many famous museums to explore and while there are many attractions to see, they can be all covered in a day trip.
If you happen to be in Dubai in February, then plan your trip to Sharjah to coincide with its Light Festival which happens over a 10 day period. You’ll marvel at the laser light shows and video projections.
If you’ve got kids with you, it’s a good excuse for you to use them to get yourself a ride on the ‘Eye of the Emirates’, an enormous Ferris wheel that will give you the most fabulous views.
11. Yachting and the Dubai boat show
You may have heard about the luxury yachts of Dubai, providing people with the opportunities to sail away to some paradisical destinations where you do nothing but relax.
You may want to visit the International Boat Show in Dubai where these magnificent vessels are showcased. Even if you can never own a yacht of your own, you can at least attend the marine show and organize a yacht charter.
Dubai is a major luxury yacht center and if you are holidaying in Dubai, what better way to chill than to either hire and charter your own yacht or join a yacht chartered by an experienced skipper and team.
Departures are from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club and you can benefit from relaxing on spacious sun decks while you sail into the Persian Gulf and literally soak up the most exquisite view of the coast. Look out for the likes of Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al-Arab and see them from another angle altogether.
12. World Class Entertainment
Simply put, Dubai has been designed for entertainment. The city has some of the finest venues for concerts and shows and many stars and celebrities have graced these venues.
Many glamorous theater productions result in the buildings coming alive with activity. Look at the La Perle Show for instance, a wonderful theater experience, Dubai’s first permanent show created by Franco Dragone.
The show is dedicated to the UAEs pearl diving history. The show offers awesome choreography and aqua theater where you will be blown away by the rain and waterfalls that magically drain away in just seconds.
If you fancy, your calendar will have many dates circled. Dubai Opera is found in Downtown Dubai, and it is often referred to as the shining pearl of Dubai in terms of arts and culture.
Shaped like a dhow or sailing vessel and spread over 3 levels, the 2000-seat multi-format theatre has seating arrangements that can be changed and adapted to the particular show on at the time. The venue is also wheelchair-friendly and has seats specially designed for wheelchair-bound patrons.
This international venue for performing arts is where you find the finest performances from Dubai and other parts of the world. There are always plenty of events happening throughout the year and some occur concurrently. Tickets for a show at Dubai Opera are available online and at the venue.
The Dubai Opera hosts a wide variety of performances and you can take your pick from opera, orchestral music, jazz, ballet, fashion shows, live entertainment – you name it.
It also has a wonderful rooftop restaurant and sky garden with views of The Dubai Fountain. Some shows lined up for the next few weeks include the likes of The Bootleg Beatles, Opera Spectacular, Verdi’s Aida, Giselle, Gipsey Kings and much more.
13. Beach Resorts
Dubai is also known as a seaside destination and it has plenty of opportunities for you to don your swimming suit and head for the shore. The beaches over the years have been upgraded so that they are fun, safe places to spend the day.
They come with lots of cool facilities such as beach showers, change-rooms, cafes and restaurants, beach loungers and umbrellas as well as food trucks for all kinds of tantalizingly tasty snacks and treats ideal for the beach.
Jumeirah Public Beach
Quite possibly, Jumeirah Public Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in Dubai. It is certainly one of the oldest and is a great choice for families with kids.
It’s a nice wide beach and you can sit back and watch a game of volleyball. What is particularly liked about this beach is that they have split the beach into two areas – one for swimming and one for water sports.
A 5-star resort – Four Seasons with private beach
There’s nothing like finding your own piece of heaven in Dubai to tan and swim, and the Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach is utter luxury. It’s a 5-star resort with its own private beach.
Nammos – glitzy beach bar club
One of Greece’s favorite beach destinations is Nammos on Mykonos, attracting many celebrities because of its awesome offerings. So Dubai has ensured its sun worshippers can expect nothing less than the same spectacular offerings.
Of course, the emirate’s Nammos is every bit as majestic as in Greece and you can celebrate the sheer bliss of the place with a glass or two of bubbly. Get your taste-buds revved up with the Greek-inspired menus and delicious drinks.
There are in fact, all kinds of eateries and Nammos also offers its signature seafood. As the sun goes out in a fiery ball and night falls, the beachfront comes alive with all manner of glamorous entertainment. With one of the world’s most famous beach clubs – Nammos – setting up in Dubai, the vibey tunes just add to the laidback beach atmosphere.
When you plan a getaway to Dubai, say what you like, it’s the finer details that make the experience, and Four Seasons Resort with its beach club and private beach promises to deliver an out-of-this-world experience.
14. Old Dubai
These days Dubai is better known for its shimmering skyscrapers and magnificent beach resorts – a truly modern metropolis, but for many people, the Old Dubai holds it own mix of fascination and magic.
In fact, it’s the ideal place to explore with a walking tour, giving you the chance to stroll along the water or better still, catch a ride in a wooden boat or Abra. You’ll find the Dubai Museum which can give you a glimpse into Dubai’s extraordinary rise from a small fishing village to the huge, teeming city it is today.
Restaurants too in Old Dubai, aren’t the luxurious set-ups they are in the newer part, These are old places packed with memories and wholesome food.
Some amazing buys
After you’ve refreshed yourself, it’s time to head to the souks – and between the spice-, perfume- and gold souks and the amazing aromas they offer, you’ll wonder what more can possibly delight you more than these amazingly lively markets.
The historic quarter of Al Bastakiya goes way back to the 19th century and today you can walk around this ancient residential quarter and see original architecture with old wind towers.
You’ll also fall under Dubai’s spell
When you visit Dubai, even without an itinerary, you are going to unearth a wealth of highlight things to see and do. For those who have fallen under the spell of Dubai, there is only one course open to them and that is to return.