With a wide range of attractions for all ages, family-friendly hotels, and a geographically central location, Dubai is an ideal destination to visit with a multi-generational family and reconnect as one.
Those looking for adventure in a truly memorable destination ahead of the yuletide need not look further than the beautiful Emirati city which has everything for infants and toddlers right to parents.
Infants and toddlers
Dubai ensures a hassle-free trip for parents with little ones. In addition to easy access to baby-changing stations and strollers or push cars in all major malls and tourist attractions, the city is also easily accessible for families with some places even offering qualified baby-sitting services.
Dubai is home to a number of experiences that cater to families with young children, and a majority even offer free entry to infants below three years of age.
Play and learn at Olioli, an interactive children’s play museum of delights. It features eight galleries and over 40 exhibits inspired by the work of leading educators, artists and development psychologists.
Spend some quality time with little ones amidst green spaces at public parks around the city – some of the quieter and more infant-friendly parks include Al Barsha Pond Park, Al Khazzan Park and Zabeel Park.
Visit dedicated soft play areas across Dubai, including Fun City, Cheeky Monkeys, Bay Avenue in Business Bay, as well as Le Petit Palais and Caboodle Pamper and Play at The Dubai Mall.
For an easy commute, you can choose the ‘Careem Kids’ option when booking a cab through the Careem ride-hailing app for the option of a car seat for the little ones.
You can also catch a movie with little ones in special kid-friendly theatres across the city – including Vox Kids, Reel Junior and Roxy Mamas.
Head to Dubai Parks and Resorts to try out over 100 incredible indoor and outdoor rides and attractions at Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park – all connected by Riverland Dubai, an entertainment and dining zone.
Witness the Marvel Universe, Cartoon Network, and Lost Valley come alive at IMG Worlds of Adventure, which features state-of-the-art rides and multi-sensory adventure experiences across four exciting themed zones.
Enjoy a fun time at any of Dubai’s waterparks – choose from the thrilling Aquaventure at Atlantis, The Palm; the Arabian-themed Wild Wadi next to Burj Al Arab, and the beachside Laguna Waterpark located at La Mer.
For a taste of outdoor adventure, take your family to Aventura Nature Park, a one-of-a-kind rope treetop adventure destination – and try out ziplines, horizontal and vertical climbing walls, and a rope course challenge designed for families.
To help young children connect with nature, families can also try out tree houses, wooden bridges and climbing nets at XPark Jr, which also features a sandy play area, petting zoo, and a “mud kitchen”.
Kids looking to brave colder temperatures are welcome at Ski Dubai, where they can learn how to ski, snowboard or even play with the resident penguins; and skate on the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall.
Get up close and personal with ponies and horses at Dubai City Stable, which has a number of kid-safe activities including pony lessons and rides.
The entire family
For a truly relaxing experience, visit any of Dubai’s beautiful beaches and take in the gorgeous sight of the Arabian Gulf as you dig your toes in the golden sands. Visit The Beach at Jumeirah Beach Residence for a fun family day out, try out a variety of water sports at Kite Beach, or head to Sunset Beach in Umm Suqeim for the perfect photo with the iconic Burj Al Arab in the background.
Explore Old Dubai to see a glimpse of the city’s rich and vibrant history as a fishing village. Key highlights to visit include the Dubai Museum and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding – both within the Al Fahidi Historical District – as well as the Gold, Textile and Spice souks at the Dubai Creek.
Explore exotic flora and fauna at The Green Planet, an indoor tropical rainforest in City Walk with over 3,000 species of plants, animals and birds. Appealing to visitors of all ages, this spot is perfect for a family outing – with special interactions with resident sloths, sugar gliders and a vast array of birds.
Head to Hatta to be a beekeeper for a day at the Hatta Honey Bee Garden, and learn about the importance of bees to our environment.
Discover what makes Dubai’s desert truly fascinating by taking the family on a desert safari or enjoy a bird’s eye view of the desert on a hot air balloon.
Discover floral wonders at Dubai Miracle Garden, an expansive garden with over 50 million blooming flowers, during the winter months. The garden is also right next to the Dubai Butterfly Garden, which houses 15,000 butterflies in custom-built domes.
Dive into marine life like never before at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, home to thousands of aquatic animals across 140 species. There are plenty of aquatic experiences to choose from, ranging from guided tours to interactions with baby sharks and crocodiles. The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm, meanwhile, is home to sharks, stingrays, piranhas, lobsters, and the tiniest of seahorses.
Test your brain with 80 interactive exhibits at the Museum of Illusions – fun for the whole family.
Set within the lush, green surroundings of eco-friendly development Al Barari, The Farm is the perfect place for family bonding. The culinary haven in Dubai is nestled within an exquisite botanical and waterside backdrop, serving wholesome food in a relaxed and tranquil setting.
Kids and pizza always go well together. Several Italian eateries across the city offer a truly hearty Italian menu. Ronda Locatelli, Atlantis, The Palm, Eataly and Carluccio’s are perfect for the pickiest eaters.
Bustling bistro and deli Jones the Grocer offer an international menu with an Aussie twist. Lots of vegan and low-fat options can keep the grown-ups happy, while the kids can play in a dedicated area
At Café Bateel, a gourmet Mediterranean spot, little diners can munch on brekkie favourites such as pancakes with fresh berries throughout the day, or try out mains like pasta gratin with cheese sauce and beef fillet, and desserts including vanilla cheesecake, a mini date shake and more.
Family-friendly hotels and resorts
The iconic oceanfront luxury resort Atlantis, The Palm is amongst the most sought-after family friendly hotels in Dubai. The resort is home to the Atlantis Kids Club for children aged three to 12, The Zone for teens aged 13 to 18 years looking for a dedicated space to chill out with the latest in digital gaming, and even babysitting services. The whole family can also enjoy a wide variety of outdoor entertainment options and water-based activities at the Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium and The Ambassador Lagoon.
JA The Resort brings together three unique hotels, including the award-winning family hotel JA Beach Hotel and more than a million square metres of experiences from a championship nine-hole golf course to international-sized soccer pitches, tennis courts, watersports, and horse-riding stables. Guests also have access to an 800-meter stretch of private beach, seven different pools with swim-up bars, a floating seafood restaurant in a private marina and an acclaimed kids’ club with babysitting services.
Lapita Hotel is one of Dubai’s first theme park hotels, located at Dubai Parks and Resorts. The Polynesian-themed property is perfect for families planning to experience the activities and attractions of the nearby Hollywood, Bollywood and Legoland theme parks.
Rove Hotels offer smart, fuss-free hospitality, and fun for the entire family. The 3-star hotels have fast become trendy hotspots, designed with quirky, locally inspired art and a culturally connected soul.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel is instantly recognisable from its wave-like design, and has a plethora of activities for the whole family – from tennis and squash courts and a youth activity centre with musical instruments, to a kids’ club with a small water play area and a climbing wall.
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa boasts spectacular facilities with 504 luxurious rooms and suites with stunning views of the sea or Dubai Marina, three swimming pools, a splash pool and a kids pool, direct beach access, a range of recreational activities, water sports and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. The resort also hosts daily children’s events at the Kids Club.