Dubai’s skyline shimmers like a mirage in the desert – it is a dream city where great wealth has erupted upwards from the sand and interwoven into a futuristic playground for adults and children alike. Palm-shaped islands, soaring business towers and trains that will soon rocket around the Hyperloop. Yet for all the fun an adult can have, soaking-up the high life, there’s a whole world of little wonders and games for children as well. Find out what’s on offer with our pick of amazing things to do with kids In Dubai.
1. Wild Wadi Waterpark
There’s no place like a waterpark when you’re baking under the desert sun. A short walk from Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Wild Wadi Waterpark is one of Dubai’s best. With rides and attractions for the whole family, this waterpark offers the perfect day out. Themed with characters inspired from Arabian folklore, the younger ones will love the kids’ activities in Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon which includes five slides and water guns. Relax in a rubber ring and experience the surge of the Flood River’s metre high waves or enjoy the more relaxed and laidback Juha's Journey. Thrill seekers can hurtle down the adrenaline fuelled 120-metre high Jumeirah Sceirah at speeds of 80km/h, or join friends in giant rings for the fast and furious Tantrum Alley and Burj Surj. Budding surfers can show off their skills on the Wipeout and Riptide Flowriders that shoot out seven tonnes of water per second to create real waves!
2. Kite Beach
As the names suggests, Kite Beach is Dubai’s best beach for extreme sports. Expect flocks of kite surfer, aspiring flyers at Wire World and many more thrill-seekers spread across the Skate Park, outdoor trampolines, adventure gym and playground. Teens will run wild and there’s plenty to do for the more sedentary grown-ups. Walk the sand, collect shells and pick up treats from the food trucks and canteens that line the running track.
These little plastic bricks have helped shape childhoods for three generations. Now they’ve hit the big time in Dubai, with the year-round Legoland opposite Palm Jebel Ali. Inside you’ll be spoilt with 40 Lego-themed rides and attractions across six themed lands, surrounded by 15,000 Lego models – that’s over 60 million Lego bricks!
4.Burj Khalifa Light Show
Sundown doesn’t have to mean the fun is over for children in Dubai. Every half-hour there’s a spectacular music-and-light show over the lake and fountains outside The Dubai Mall, under the world’s tallest building – the 830m Burj Khalifa skyscraper.
Let your creative monsters loose at the OliOli interactive play museum. There’s a selection of interactive games for children, designed to “engage and inspire”, across eight themed galleries in the deceptively industrial area of Al Quoz. All activities are organised for children between the ages of 2-11, including the colourful crocheted nets of Toshi’s Net, created by Japanese artist, Toshiko MacAdam.
Have you ever imaged an entire city run by children? In Dubai they did, and they also went ahead and built it. Now they have KidZania – the ultimate kid-zone, with little paved streets, buildings and even its own functioning economy. Experience award-winning mini-adventures inside The Dubai Mall, where kids can play as firemen, chefs, perfumers and even Emirates pilots. Now there’s also the KidZania Space Centre – a shrunken version of a real-life space centre where your little ones can reimagine themselves as astronauts and escape beyond the ether with virtual reality experiences.
7. VR Park
There’s endless fun to be had at Dubai Mall’s newest attraction, right beside the Dubai Fountain – the world’s largest Virtual Reality Park, filled with augmented and virtual reality rides, journeys and games. Propel down the world’s tallest tower in the Burj Drop experience or pitch your quickest draws against an onslaught of zombies in The Walking Dead Outbreak game.
8. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Discover a watery world apart at The Dubai Aquarium in the underbelly of the Dubai Mall. Follow a submerged tunnel through a huge tank patrolled by rays and sharks. Descend in diving cages, feed shark babies and learn about the aquarium breeding programme. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more ‘Jurassic Park’, meet the aquarium’s new scaly resident and peer into the unblinking reptilian eye of the salty King Croc. This hulking saltwater crocodile weighs in at 750kg (the same as 10 full-grown men) and is 5 metres in length. It has the highest bite force of any animal, smiling with 60 razor-sharp pearly whites – each one the same length as your average index finger.
Stay at Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts and explore these kid-friendly activities just a short taxi ride away.