For many people, they wouldn’t think of Dubai as a great family-friendly destination. As a matter of fact, very few people even realize that the city is great for families to begin with. Maybe it’s the location, maybe it’s the fact that the city caters to the world’s rich and famous. However people may see Dubai, there’s one thing for certain: the city has something to offer everyone, regardless of age. The locals love young children and families so much so that they have dozens of different opportunities for families to visit some of their biggest attractions.
If that weren’t enough, the city is quickly becoming known as the Orlando of the Persian Gulf for a reason. They are rivalling all of the big cities with the fastest and tallest rollercoasters, some of the biggest indoor theme parks, and yes, more water parks than we can count. If that weren’t enough, they also have first-class shopping malls and an opportunity to go skiing – despite being in the middle of the desert. Yes, Dubai is all of this, plus so much more. Trust us. With that being said, here are 20 reasons why people should consider visiting Dubai with their family.
One of the best memories you can have with your children is visiting one of the tallest buildings in the world. And when it comes to the Burj Khalifa, nothing beats it in size, glamour, and appearance. In other words, the building is truly breathtaking and one-of-a-kind, and that’s why it’s on so many people’s bucket lists. Keep in mind, though, that once you reach the top, it can get pretty hot! After all, you are closer to the sun. One person wrote on Trip Advisor, “Well worth the visit in conjunction with the fountains. We had a bit of haze due to time of year we visited but still got a decent sunset. Crowds can be an issue so book early and get there early.”
For anyone who has visited Dubai in the past, they will know that the city absolutely loves to impress residents and visitors alike. And when they go big, they definitely go big. Another great family day out with little kids is to spend some time at the Dubai Miracle Garden. You can see everything there from a replica of an Emirates Planes, Mickey Mouse, and more. One person wrote on Trip Advisor, “It's a very good place to spend time with the beloved one or with the family. Kids would love it! If you like taking selfies, and I'm sure you do, that's the right place to go to.”
You don’t have to visit Copenhagen or Southern California to visit Legoland. In fact, there are several parks all over the world, including Dubai. But what makes the Dubai location so special is that you get to see one-of-a-kind building replicas from the region all made out of legos! If you thought the Burj Khalifa was impressive in real life, just wait until you see it in legos. Thrillopia writes, “Discover the wonderful world of Legoland with Lego Factory, Lego City, and dive into the breathtaking Lego Kingdoms, Lego Miniland and Lego Technic Twisters. Explore adventure on a captivating underwater submarine, dodging water blasts trying to recover the pharaoh’s stolen treasure.”
There’s no other place in this world that you can do a little luxury shopping, have dinner at one of your favorite restaurants and see a shark in the middle of a mall in the desert. The Dubai Aquarium is located inside The Dubai Mall, which is one of the biggest shopping centers in the world. According to MyKidsTime.com, “With everything from frogs to sharks to enjoy, visitors can also take part in cage snorkeling or shark dives (not for the feint hearted), or take a Glass Bottom Boat ride to experience the aquarium in all its glory.”
There’s also no way that you can travel all the way to Dubai and not participate in any of the area’s desert activites. From riding a camel, getting a thrill from riding inside a 4X4 in the middle of a sand dune or simply watching the sun go down, there’s something for everyone. One person said on Trip Advisor, “Loved every second of our Camel Safari with Dinner and Emirati Activities from the moment our guide Joel picked us up at our hotel until he dropped us off at the end of the night. Everything was just amazing."
This is another great place where kids can get to explore while using their imaginations to the fullest extent. KidZania is where kids can pretend to be anyone they want to be from doctors, health professionals, pilots, teachers, firemen, and so much more in a miniature world of their own. Thrillopia wrote, “Inside the Dubai Mall is a tiny replica of a real city where kids can role-play adult professions, from firefighters to car dealers and much more. [...] Let your little ones role-play in realistic settings at KidZania.”
You can’t think of water parks without thinking of the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai. Situated near the famous and luxurious Burj Al-Arab, this fun water park is great for families and kids of all ages. It’s also a great place to beat the heat, especially during the humid summer months. Thrillopia says, “If you want to have a thrilling, adrenaline pumping adventure performing some of the extreme sports in Dubai, then envisage yourself in the Arabian Folklore themed Wadi Waterpark and then return to reality to celebrate your trip. Wild Wadi offers 30 rides and attractions for people of all ages and sizes.”
Just when you have thought that Dubai can’t get any bigger, better, or more innovative, just wait until you see their indoor ski facilities. That’s right: Dubai is the only place in the world that you can go skiing, indoors, while inside a shopping mall and in the desert, no less. And it’s great for the entire family, too. Another parent wrote on Trip Advisor, “The activities were fully enjoyed by the children. They took each ride numerous times and was in no mood to come out. The Chairlift ride was excellent. The snow ball, the tobbogans, the car bumping were thoroughly enjoyed by us.”
When you visit Duabi, it’s almost impossible to get bored, especially when there is so much to do and see. Your kids won’t even have time to look at their electronic devices. Once you are done hitting the slopes at The Emirates Mall, grab your ice skates and head over back to the Dubai Mall for an afternoon of fun at their indoor ice skating rink. MyKidsTime.com says, “With year-round events to watch you don’t even have to take to the ice. But if you wish, 2 hour public sessions can be booked, or you can try an ice skating lesson.”
There is perhaps nothing more fascinating, exciting and aesthetically pleasing to watch than the Dancing Fountains. Located in the heart of Dubai, it doesn’t matter which angle you see it from. It truly is a great show to experience. One tourist wrote on Trip Advisor, “Even if you are a jaded misanthrope (read: me), this 15 minute show will make your heart whisper sweet nothings to your soul. We went at night and everything, including this show, amplifies at in Dubai at night. Note: it is very crowded but most spots will allow you to see most of the spectacle. We are not usually people who gravitate towards glitter, but this is one glitter-on-steroids that we really enjoyed.”
As we’ve mentioned above (and many locals can attest to this), when it gets hot in Dubai, it gets scorching hot. That’s why there’s so many fun indoor activities that you can choose from, including Bounce Dubai. It’s a great place for kids to get their wiggles out without having to run in the hot sun. Plus, families love to bounce and show off their gymnastics skills together in this state-of-the-art facility. VisitDubai.com writes, “Little ones can somersault their heart out at Mini Bounce while older kids practice their dunk in the basketball hoops and bounce off The Wall. As an added bonus, everyone is guaranteed to sleep well afterwards.”
What little kid doesn’t like hanging out at the beach? Luckily, Dubai has plenty of them, and they are also first class beaches that attract tourists from all over the world. Kite Beach is great because it’s got plenty of water activities available, a great restaurant and food truck scene and even a free public lending library! You can’t visit Dubai without visiting Kite Beach. MyKidsTime.com says, “The Kite Beach is also free to visit and has recently added trampolines and other free family activities so is definitely worth checking out. You can also enjoy paddle boarding, kite surfing, soap football and a beach gym.”
This is another local gem that many residents visit every week. If you’re not into any of the luxury boutiques at The Emirates and the Dubai malls (or if you simply don’t have the budget for it), then definitely check out the Ripe Food & Craft Market, where you will no doubt find plenty of crafts, clothing, and local merchandise to bring back home. One guest wrote on TripAdvisor, “We have been to The Ripe Markets every time we are in Dubai and we absolutely love it! It is one of the rare events in Dubai where everyone can find something fun to do! I usually have a stroll around the market while the kids are entertained (they had a lovely nursery there last time we went).”
Dubai’s City Walk is one of the world’s most modern and advanced outdoor shopping malls in the world. In other words, it’s about twenty years ahead of the rest. The mall just opened in 2017 and is another great reason to visit Dubai on any given afternoon. It’s also a great place for the kids to run around outdoors. VisitDubai.com writes, “City Walk is one of our most kid-friendly shopping districts with areas like Hub Zero — a virtual gaming experience with different zones for all ages and The Green Planet — an enclosed ecosystem recreating a tropical rainforest with more than 3,000 plants and animals.”
If you’ve got tweens or teenage kids, Dubai’s first Virtual Reality park is an absolute must during your stay. As a matter of fact, the attraction will blow your mind, regardless of what age you are. That’s because it’s got some of the most cutting-edge technologies that have ever been seen in the gaming world. VisitDubai.com says, “Try the fantastic Burj Drop experience, where you’ll propel down the side of the record-breaking Burj Khalifa. If that’s too tame for teens, try to [...] navigate a spaceship to safety.”
Dubai might be a young and modern city, but don’t doubt its culture, history or authenticity. It might have the biggest building in the world and an indoor ski slope, but it’s also got plenty of museums to explore, like the Children’s City Museum. This is where kids can learn all there is to know about Dubai with a lot of hands-on activities. Guide2Dubai.com says, “Children's City also features planetarium, cafeteria and a souvenir shop. The Children's city makes special accommodations for children with disabilities. Kids have the option of participating in workshops and entertainment programs in the theatre of the facility.”
Sure, a lot of people have visited the Atlantis resort in The Bahamas, but very few people have seen its replica in Dubai. Not only does it have some of the best water attractions and restaurants in the region, but if you are lucky, you can stay at one of the hotel’s luxury suites, complete with a great, indoor view of their life-sized aquarium. According to My Kids Time, “The Water Park at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeriah, is a large water park that has been designed so that you can move from ride to ride while staying in the water. Or you can relax on the private beach and play in the tidal pool or chill out on the sun-loungers.”
Yes, Dubai is also home to one of the world’s largest and fastest indoor rollercoasters in the world. IMG Worlds of Adventure is another theme park that will blow your mind. It’s half Cartoon Network, half Haunted House, and 100 percent fun! Think of it as Universal Studios, but the indoor version. Thrillopia puts it this way: “This is a world apart from the real one with a feel as if you are in space under the night sky with sparkling stars. IMG Worlds of Adventure is a perfect place to unlock your imagination and have a one-of-a-kind experience.”
A lot of people visit Dubai specifically for their Bollywood Park. After all, the region loves their Bollywood movies more than their Hollywood ones (just ask any of the locals!). If you are looking for the ultimate Bollywood experience – complete with glamour, glitz, and more – look no further than this theme park. It’s a family-friendly theme park styled like a Bollywood set, with rides and stunt shows. Guide2Dubai.com writes, “The park, which spans 1.7 million square feet in area, forms part of the Dh.10.5bn Dubai Parks and Resorts mega project. This first-of-its-kind theme park in Dubai, expected to open doors in October this year, will provide a true Bollywood experience.”
Last but not least, you must visit Motiongate Dubai before going home. Motiongate Dubai is a Hollywood-inspired theme park located in Dubai, showcasing themed areas and attractions based on DreamWorks Animation, Columbia and more.The theme park opened back in 2016. One person wrote on TripAdvisor, “Good place with Hollywood atmosphere, I love the show Step Up, and all of the characters are amazing... All rides and attractions are very good."