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Holiday hot list: Family fun in Dubai

Fri, October 6, 2023

Theme parks, beaches, play centres and more! Find out what makes Dubai the ideal family holiday destination.

Theme parks, beaches, play centres and more! Find out what makes Dubai the ideal family holiday destination.


Theme park thrills at Dubai Parks and Resorts


An entertainment wonderland for both the young and young at heart, Dubai Parks and Resorts is home to three incredible theme parks and a waterpark. Spend the day dancing with the lovable Smurfs at Motiongate Dubai, go on record-breaking rides at Real Madrid World, build unforgettable memories with little ones at Legoland Dubai, splash about at Legoland Water Park or chill out and grab some tasty bites at Riverland Dubai (which is also home to JumpX, the world's largest inflatable park and indoor play area Neon Galaxy). One day is never enough, with a huge array of rides, shows and attractions to explore.


Delight for little ones at OliOli

Child playing at OliOli

Since launching in 2017, this interactive children’s museum has redefined the playtime rulebook. Deriving its name from the Hawaiian word for “joy”, OliOli comprises eight interactive galleries for children aged two to 11. There are dozens of activities for kids to engage in and learn from, including launching rockets, creating 3D models and building forts. There’s also a gallery dedicated to toddlers, designed to stimulate their curiosity and sense of wonder.


Animal encounters at The Green Planet

Animal Encounters at The Green Planet in Dubai
Take a walk through a tropical rainforest right here in Dubai. Head to The Green Planet in the chic open-air shopping district of City Walk to be transported into a natural ecosystem filled with flora, fauna and fun. Here you'll encounter 3,000 plants and animals, from brightly-coloured toucans and elusive geckos to butterflies and even a porcupine – oh and don't miss the resident sloth! The immersive vertical biodome is a treat for any budding environmentalist.

Sunshine sessions at Kite Beach


Visit one of Dubai's favourite spots for a beach day and a great view of Burj Al Arab. Named after the numerous kite surfers that enjoy the perfect wind and waves at this destination, Kite Beach is also ideal for a family beach day. You can indulge in a quick bite at the many outlets here, including sliders and milkshakes at the the famous food truck Salt. Or simply sit back and enjoy the kite surf show while your children enjoy the many play areas.


Non-stop action at IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure offers a world of thrills for the whole family. Give your youngest children a multi-sensory adventure at this indoor theme park with Ben 10, Gumball, The Powerpuff Girls and LazyTown, while the big kids can enter Marvel's universe with characters like Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers. Don't miss Jurassic thrills in the Lost Valley, where you can interact with life-size dinosaurs.

Winter wonders at Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai

A shopping spree with a side of real snow? Only at Mall of the Emirates’ Ski Dubai! Brave the challenging slopes as a family with skis, toboggans or snowboards, or build a snowman in the popular snowpark. You can also make friends with the resident penguins and sip on a creamy hot chocolate, all year round. It's a truly unforgettable experience.


Indoor skydiving at iFLY Dubai

Indoor Skydiving at iFLY Dubai

 At iFLY Dubai in City Centre Mirdif, children and adults get the chance to experience the thrill of skydiving, without ever going more than three metres from the ground. Strap on the special suit and enter the facility’s technologically advanced vertical wind tunnel for a truly thrilling experience. Almost anyone can try it (starting from age three), which makes iFLY a fun experience for the whole family.


A day at The Beach

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is famous as one of Dubai’s most popular beachfronts, and sits in close proximity to a whole host of restaurants, cafes and shops. On the same strip is The Beach, which features excellent dining and shopping options, plus a cinema, play areas and even a mini children's splash zone. Don't miss AquaFun, an inflatable floating obstacle course that drifts just offshore for those wanting to test their balance and skills on water.

Magical moments at Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden in Dubai
Amid the Dubai desert is a lush garden filled with greenery and flowers – a real-life oasis that's open seasonally. Just a few minutes’ drive out of the main city, Dubai Miracle Garden features more than 150 million blooming flowers, and is the world’s largest natural flower garden. For those who thrive on nature’s bounty, this is very much the place to be.

High-energy fun at Aventura Parks

Aventura Parks in Dubai

Hit the heights at Aventura Parks, Dubai’s one-of-a-kind adventure course at Mushrif Park. Spanning over 35,000sqm, the attraction offers experiences like ziplining, rope climbing and even a Tarzan swing from the treetops. The parks offer five different levels of fun for individuals, ranging from new explorers to thrill seekers. The lowest height option caters to children between the ages of four and seven at 30cms off the ground, while the Thriller experience is for adult adrenaline-seekers wanting to fly high from eight metres up.


New adventures await at Hatta


Hatta is the city’s go-to destination for adventure enthusiasts, located about 100km from Dubai’s city centre. Take in views of the Hajar Mountains while following dedicated hiking trails that wind along the rugged landscape – there’s something for visitors of all abilities, including children. For more fun, check-in to Hatta Wadi Hub, home to thrills both big and small. Spend the day mountain biking, kayaking or even zorbing down a hill. This is also where you’ll find the region's first water jump park – Hatta Drop-In.


Dubai Safari Park


Following a huge renovation to offer even more exceptional experiences, the 119-hectare wildlife sanctuary in Dubai is home to nearly 3,000 animals from all over the world. The eco-friendly park, which is primarily powered by solar energy, now aims to be one of the top 10 zoos in the world, thanks to its commitment to animal conservation, protection and education.


Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Want to explore one of the largest and most stunning aquariums in the world? Don’t miss the giant 10 million-litre tank at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, which contains more than 33,000 aquatic animals and the largest collection of sand tiger sharks anywhere (except the ocean). There are numerous ways for visitors to experience the main aquarium tank, which measures 51 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 11 metres in height, and is one of the largest suspended aquariums on the planet.


Dubai Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden Dubai
Home to more than 15,000 butterflies from over 50 varieties and located inside Dubai Miracle Garden is Dubai Butterfly Garden. It's also the largest butterfly park in the UAE. With 10 custom-made domes, the destination spans 6,673sqm in total. You can see for yourself how these fascinating insects develop from crawling caterpillars to winged wonders. Don’t miss the Butterfly and Insect Museum onsite, which features in-depth analysis and information about thousands of colourful butterfly species from around the world. 

Aquaventure Waterpark

Aquaventure water park

For waterpark fans, Aquaventure is an absolute must-see Dubai attraction. The largest waterpark in the world, it's packed with 105 slides and rides, including some of the highest and fastest in the world. Located next to Atlantis, The Palm, Aquaventure Waterpark has become an iconic part of the city's theme park scene. The waterpark's legendary rides include Medusa's Lair, Shockwave and the River Rapids – its attractions are spread across three towers, and the park also features marine and watersports experiences, animal encounters, private beaches and children's play areas.

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