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Dubai Family Holidays: Top 12 Experiences

A lovely walk on Dubai family holidays

Neha takes the guest blogging chair today with a parent’s guide to Dubai family holidays. Here are the top things to do, and a bit about each one. After reading about the post, you might make Dubai the destination for your next trip with the kids! 

What to Expect from Dubai Family Holidays

While Dubai doesn’t have lush mountains, waterfalls, and canyons, it has something else. It’s an incredible city carved out of the blistering desert. This city is all set to show the world that it can be bigger, more modern, and more spectacular than any other city.

Take the Burj Khalifa for example, or the Palm Islands. Or, the Dubai Eye, which is still under construction. Dubai aims to wow the world and has been doing so consistently for the last couple of decades.

It’s an exciting city for singles, couples and for families, with tons of fun on offer for each group. Come with and explore the dazzling things Dubai has in store for you and your family!

1. The Green Planet

A lush tropical rainforest right in the middle of Dubai. What? Yes. The Green Planet transports you into the natural rainforest ecosystem, housing over 3,000 indigenous plants and animals.

Enjoy the sights of colourful toucans, butterflies of every hue, elusive geckos, and more. Watch the sloth move from branch to branch. The Green Planet is a huge vertical bio-dome that’s a treat for the whole family.

2. Waterparks for Dubai Family Holidays

Don’t miss out on Dubai’s excellent waterparks either. The main ones are Wild Wadi and Aquaventure in Atlantis. Both of these water parks have some wild rides and some scary ones, plus easy rides for young kids.

So, what are the best waterparks to visit on Dubai family holidays? The Lost World of Atlantis is a delightful aquarium with an entire pseudo city buried underwater. Under Dubai’s blazing heat, it’s great to simply soak up the cool water in any of the waterparks.

Your kids will probably want to stay there all day. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping outlets to keep parents happy too.

3. The Burj Khalifa

You cannot miss a visit to the top of the world’s tallest building when in Dubai with family. Whether you take in the views during the day or evening, you’ll find them beyond compare.

The best views are of the sunset from the observatory deck on the 124th floor. Don’t miss the sight of the Dubai Fountain directly below either. If you want to experience the top of the world feeling with your family, then this is it.

Dubai family holidays include watching the Dubai Fountain
The dancing waters of Dubai Fountain are fun for the whole family to watch. Photo via danheap77, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.

4. The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain features dancing water, and the choreographed shows are free to watch. There are a couple of shows in the afternoon, but the evening ones, from 6pm to 11pm, are the best.

At night, the incredible colours and the fluorescence of the water reaching up to 150 levels are something else indeed. The best places to watch the Dubai Fountains are from out in the Burj Lake on a boat. Or, go close by, watching from Burj Khalifa’s boulevard.

5. On Dubai Family Holidays, Include a Desert Safari

Whether it’s dune snowboarding or an adrenalin-jerking dune bashing experience, the Dubai desert safari is one of the best things to do on Dubai family holidays. If you want a bit of culture thrown in, sign up for an evening or overnight safari.

There’ll be a fabulous buffet dinner, plus in-tent belly dancing and Tanura dancing. Henna artists can tattoo your hands and legs, while servers will hand you fragrant shisha pipes.

6. Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum is a cool place to visit with your family. Check out the ancient weaponry, jewellery, and other effects that once belonged to the royal tribes.

There are colourful dioramas and many historic exhibits that tell you the story of the Arabs. The museum is housed in Dubai’s oldest building, the Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787. The museum’s galleries present a credible recreation of old mosques, houses, souqs, and marine life.

Examine the old, well-preserved weights and other instruments pertaining to pearl diving. The museum contains objects from as far back as 3000 B.C.

7. Dubai Spice and Gold Souqs

Kids love colours, smells, and the freedom to run around and explore things. Your kids can do all of these on Dubai family holidays at the old spice and gold souqs of Bur Dubai and Deira.

Let them explore the spice souqs with their piles of spices, including:

  • Saffron
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Mace
  • Nutmeg

At the gold souq, you will be stunned by the display of ostentatious gold jewellery, all made out of 24 carat gold. The Deira souq also has a textile market where you can pick up some cool fabrics and pashmina shawls.

8. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Next, find the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo within the Dubai Mall. The aquarium houses thousands of exotic marine life belonging to over 140 species including dangerous sharks in a 10-million litre suspended tank.

The aquarium also includes the world’s largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks. If you dive, you can enjoy shark encounters within the tank, coming face-to-face with the most dangerous predators in the ocean.

9. The Dubai Dhow Cruise

The dhow cruise is one of Dubai’s most delightful experiences. You can sign up for a dhow cruise along the Dubai Marina, the Dubai Canal or the Dubai Creek. The cruise includes fascinating cultural entertainment, such as belly dancing and Tanura dancing.

There’ll be henna tattoo artists along with a fabulous buffet dinner too. Enjoy watching the lovely, beautifully-lit Dubai coastline float by slowly as you savour the delights of Arabia.

10. Marina Walk during Dubai Family Holidays

The Dubai Marina Walk is a long stretch of almost 7 km. It’s ideal for:

  • People watching
  • Skateboarding
  • Skating
  • Yacht-watching

You can also relax on beaches, a peaceful experience that rivals Malaysia. The marina coastline is one of the best places to unwind during the evenings too while on Dubai family holidays.

Plus, the kids will want to check out the many playgrounds there. See the super yachts moored along the marina; they might wow your kids too.

Legoland for Dubai family holidays
Don’t miss going to Legoland Dubai with your kids! Photo via Roller Coaster Philosophy, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr.

11. Dubai Theme Parks

Dubai has a number of theme parks, including Bollywood Parks, Motiongate Dubai, LEGOLAND, IMG World Dubai, and VR Park. At Bollywood Parks, for example, dance to the tunes of Bollywood and enjoy immersive rides, as well as shows.

Then there’s LEGOLAND, offering unlimited fun and adventure for kids of all ages. At Motiongate Dubai, you’ll see the world of Hollywood through performances, rides, and other experiences. IMG Dubai is the world’s biggest indoor theme park, populated with several zones, each showcasing characters from Cartoon Network and Marvel Comics.

12. Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is the largest indoor ski resort in the UAE, located at the Emirates Mall. Here you’ll find several slopes of different difficulties. If you’re a beginner, no problem; you can easily get pointers Ski Dubai’s experienced guides.

You can toboggan, ski, or snowboard down the slopes. Kids can build a snowman in the snow park, play with penguins, and enjoy the Ice Cave. Take your family to enjoy some hot chocolate in the café on top of the mountain too.


Dubai is an exciting place for families. You’ll find so many enchanting experiences and adventures here that you’ll run short of time. Every young-at-heart attraction holds so many treats that it can take days to fully experience each one. Plan a long trip if you want to have the most fun possible on Dubai family holidays!

About Today’s Writer

An avid trekker, explorer, and a true foodie, Neha finds happiness in small endeavours of life and loves to pen them down as cherished memories. A firm believer that “we have just one life to live and so much to do,” Neha lives every moment to the fullest.

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