10 brilliant things to do with kids in Dubai

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Think Dubai is an adults-only destination? Think again. While many visit this dazzling desert city for its soaring skyscrapers, swanky bars and superb shopping, Dubai has plenty to offer kids, be they tiny travellers or adventurous adolescents. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best things to do with kids in Dubai. From soaring heights to underwater wonders, read on to discover the family-friendly world of things to do in Dubai with kids!

1. Burj Khalifa: touch the sky

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.

Where else could we start our list of things to do in Dubai with kids than the one and only Burj Khalifa? Your smart little kiddos will have learnt at school that this jaw-dropping behemoth is the tallest building in the world. And a visit to Dubai is not complete without a trip to the top.

Enjoy high-speed high jinks as you whizz up to the observation deck on level 124 in the Burj’s legendary super-fast lift.

Once you get to the viewing deck, the views of the city are breathtaking. You’ll be amazed by the bird’s-eye view of the sprawling city below. It’s the perfect opportunity for budding photographers to snap perfect family pics all with the futuristic city in the background.

2. Atlantis Aquaventure: water park adventures

Aquaventure has the world’s largest water park kids-only zone and is one of the best things to do with kids in Dubai.

This cutting-edge city was built in the middle of a desert, and, unsurprisingly, things can get hot! What better way to pass a sizzling summer day than some seriously splashy fun at a water park?

Enjoy thrills and spills at the Atlantis Aquaventure water park! It even has a play area specially designed for kids – the Splashers Kids’ Play Area. Little thrill seekers and mini mermaids will have a blast at the world’s largest water park kids-only zone.

Your kids will go crazy with delight at this watery wonderland! Slide down the world’s tallest waterslide. Feel what it’s like to be weightless on a vertical wall. Even hurtle through a tube in a shark-filled underwater lagoon!

And when you’re ready for some R and R, float your cares away on the lazy river and relax in clear blue wave pools. There aren’t many better things to do with kids in Dubai on a scorcher of a day.

3. The Lost Chambers Aquarium: discover marine life

Dubai Lost Chambers Aquarium features over 65,000 aquatic animals.

For further aquatic adventures, glide on down to the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Modelled on the lost world of Atlantis, this subaquatic paradise features over 65,000 aquatic animals. Admire scary sharks, mesmerising jellyfish and elegant seahorses.

Mini explorers will enjoy clambering through the aquarium’s tunnels as if in an underwater cave. They can even touch and feed some of the animals – an amazing opportunity to educate your kids about marine life and conservation.

4. Sky Views Observatory: marvel at the cityscape

You'll get incredible views of Dubai from the Sky Views Observatory.

Dubai is a city of extremes. Go from the deepest depths of the ocean to the highest reaches of the sky at the Sky Views Observatory. This futuristic building is opposite the humungous Burj Khalifa.

Brace yourselves for an electrifying adventure right from the moment you step into the panoramic glass lift. You’ll zoom up nearly 220 metres into the sky! And the views are nothing short of mind-blowing. Dubai’s futuristic landscape sprawls before your eyes. Soaring skyscrapers and the towering Burj Khalifa dominate the scene.

If you’re the proud parent of a fledgling adrenaline junkie, get ready to give them the ultimate thrill on the heart-pounding glass slide. This transparent tube winds its way around the outside of the building with nothing but glass all around, above and even below you. We dare you to keep your eyes wide open as you whoosh down from the 53rd floor to the 52nd! Woohooooo!

5. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: up-close with marine life

The largest collection of sand tiger sharks lives in Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo features over 140 species of underwater life. That’s more than 33,000 aquatic animals! If you suffer from galeophobia (fear of sharks), you might want to steer clear. The largest collection of the most ferocious-looking sharks in the world lives here: gnarly-toothed sand tiger sharks!

Dare you wander through the 48-metre tunnel, surrounded by sand tiger sharks and stingrays? The tank itself is one of the largest suspended aquariums on the planet.

If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can choose from the aquarium’s impressively extensive list of experiences. Ever wanted to enter shark-infested waters in a snorkelling cage? Or handfeed fish to elegant rays? Whatever you choose, make sure you don’t leave without saying hello to King Croc, the aquarium’s 750kg superstar!

6. Dubai Mall: shop till you drop

This shopping centre is a colossal kids utopia and one of the top things to do with kids in Dubai.

You won’t have far to go from King Croc’s abode to the iconic Dubai Mall. The aquarium is housed in this giant building. Now, we all know that Dubai is full of incredible shopping malls. But Dubai Mall is one of the best for families.

This shopping centre is a colossal kids utopia! Feel the rush of adrenaline at VR Park, an indoor virtual reality playground. You can blast off to outer space, battle dragons or test your superhero skills. If you’re up for some brain-teasing fun, head to Sega Republic or KidZania for arcade games.

Outside the mall, the dazzling Dubai Fountain really makes an impression. Don’t miss its hypnotic show with dancing water jets choreographed to music.

7. Ski Dubai: snowy fun in the middle of the desert

Ski Dubai offers kids and adults of all ages the chance to whizz down snowy slopes.

Dubai’s other massive mall is the Mall of Emirates. And inside this shopping heaven, you’ll encounter the one thing you never expected to see in the middle of the desert… ski slopes!

Proving that you really can do it all in Dubai, Ski Dubai offers kids and adults of all ages the chance to whizz down snowy slopes. This family-friendly winter wonderland is one of the most unexpected things to do with kids in Dubai and is not to be missed!

No worries if you don’t know your cross-country from your slalom! There are different slopes catering to all levels. You and your kiddies will be zigzagging and gliding downhill before you know it.

And if you don’t fancy skiing or snowboarding, there’s snow end (sorry!) to the other activities you can get up to at Ski Dubai! Twist and turn your way down the bobsledding run, fly along the Tubing Run in an inflatable ring and have a go on the crazy Snow Bumpers. You can even build a snowman or have a good old-fashioned snowball fight!

8. Desert Safari: an Arabian adventure

Going on a desert safari is one of the most memorable things to do with kids in Dubai.

When you’re in glittering Dubai, it’s easy to forget that you are actually in the middle of a desert. And without a doubt, one of the most memorable things to do with kids in Dubai is go on a desert safari! You choose how extreme you want it to be: travel in style in a modern 4×4, jump over sand dunes on a quad or brave it on a camel’s back!

If you’ve got a family of desert daredevils on your hands, they might want to try something different. How about a spot of dune bashing (high-speed driving over sand dunes)? Or sandboarding (riding down sand dunes on a board)?

For those of you who want the full desert experience, you can even spend a night under the starry desert sky. Fall asleep under a blanket of spectacular stars and wake up to a desert sunrise. It’s truly unforgettable desert experience for you and your family!

9. Dhow Cruise on Dubai Creek: a peek into the city's history

A dhow is a traditional Arabian boat.

When the excitement all gets too much, take your family on a chill-out excursion along the peaceful Dubai Creek. You’ll love floating along this natural saltwater creek. And the views of bustling souks and beautiful buildings on the banks are wonderful! As you relax, your young adventurers will love exploring the dhow. This traditional Arabian boat could easily pass for a swashbuckling pirate ship!

Make sure your small swashbucklers keep their eyes peeled because, rare as a sighting may be, majestic dolphins swim in these waters! Many cruises come with a scrumptious buffet, live music and even onboard activities like henna painting or traditional dance performances. If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to wear the captain’s hat and steer the ship!

10. City Sightseeing Bus: a fun tour for the whole family

Our City Sightseeing Bus is a fantastic way to explore Dubai with kids.

And if you’re looking for the best way to get to know and get around Dubai, look no further; our City Sightseeing Bus is a fantastic way to explore Dubai with kids. We know from experience that kids absolutely love sitting on the top deck of our double-decker, open-top buses! And, of course, the views of the city are brilliant!

As you travel, learn all about the local sights and history from our onboard commentary. There are even special kids’ commentaries in English and Arabic designed to keep your wee ones entertained! It’s an excellent way to explore the city with your family without getting tired. And, as you can hop on and off at any stop you like, you get to explore the city at your own pace.

Do it all in Dubai!

Dubai is a city full of adventures and excitement for families. From skiing in the middle of the desert to exploring exotic marine life, there’s something for everyone, and every age, in this spectacular city. So, start planning your next family holiday to Dubai and say marhaba (hello) to this sensational city!            

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Frequently Asked Questions

Dubai offers a wide range of sporting and outdoor activities that are perfect for children. For thrill-seekers, there are adventure parks featuring ziplines, obstacle courses, and trampolines. If your little ones love water sports, head to Dubai Marina for aquatic activities. For a more relaxed outing, Dubai Creek Park is a great choice, offering bike rentals, mini-golf, and a picturesque waterfront for family picnics.

Remember to apply sunscreen regularly to protect children’s sensitive skin from the sun. It’s also a good idea to carry a basic first-aid kit with you, including any medications that your children may need. Keep in mind that Dubai can get very hot, so dress your kids in lightweight, breathable clothing and encourage them to stay hydrated throughout the day. Lastly, familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and locations of nearby hospitals or clinics, just in case the unexpected happens.

Dubai has a plethora of family-friendly restaurants to choose from. The Cheesecake Factory is a popular choice among families, with dishes ranging from burgers to pastas and, of course, cheesecake. Shake Shack: With its casual and laid-back atmosphere, Shake Shack is a great choice for families craving burgers, fries, and milkshakes. If your little ones are pasta lovers, Pasta-Fresco serves up homemade pasta dishes in a family-friendly atmosphere.

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