Say hello to Dubai and bring the whole family along for the ride.
Dubai, the dazzling city in the heart of the United Arab Emirates, is often associated with opulence, futuristic architecture and its thriving business hub. But is it a family-friendly destination? The answer is a resounding yes.
Dubai has successfully transformed itself into a haven for families, offering a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation and luxury. From water parks to afternoon teas, Dubai is brimming with activities in close succession ensuring a memorable getaway for a diverse range of ages.
W Dubai – The Palm
W Dubai Beachside Opulence on Palm Jumeirah with Daily Breakfast, Nightly Dinner & Two Kids Stay Free
Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Five-Star Palm Jumeirah Luxury with Sea-View Room Upgrade, Daily Breakfast & Nightly Dinner across 100+ Dubai Restaurants
Rixos Premium Dubai JBR
Rixos Dubai Beachfront Luxury in the Heart of Jumeirah Beach Residence with Daily Breakfast
Atlantis, The Palm Dubai
Five-Star Atlantis Dubai Luxury on Palm Island with World's Largest Waterpark & The Lost Chambers Aquarium
Shangri-La Hotel Dubai
Five-Star Shangri-La Dubai Escape near Burj Khalifa with Rooftop Pool & Swim-Up Bar
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Opulent Beachfront Dubai Escape on The Palm Jumeirah
Atlantis The Royal
Next-Level Atlantis The Royal Dubai Palm Island Luxury with Eight Celebrity-Chef Restaurants & Sky Pool
Jumeirah Al Naseem
Five-Star Beachfront Jumeirah Dubai Escape with Nine Restaurants & Five Pools
Top Family Activities in Dubai
On the grounds of Atlantis, The Palm, Aquaventure Waterpark is the world's largest aquatic playground. With record-breaking slides, a dedicated splash area for young children and a private beach, it's a water wonderland suitable for all ages. Spend a day here and swim with a playful pod of dolphins, conquer some of the world's tallest drops, discover thousands of species of marine animals at the aquarium, and after the excitement, retreat to a private cabana for a touch of tranquility.
A quintessential part of any Dubai visit, the city hosts afternoon teas in abundance with sweets sure to please. Treat your kids to an imaginative array of pastries after making a splash at Aquaventure at Atlantis The Royal’s grand tearoom. Savour scrumptious apple cinnamon tarts, crepes and mille-feuille with milk chocolate at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk. And for the ultimate kid-friendly tea, visit The Ritz-Carlton in the Jumeirah Beach Residence where parents can enjoy an assortment of Arabian delights while children feast on chocolate lollipops and miniature desserts.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
The world's second-largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure, offers an immersive experience. Featuring generational favourites like Spiderman, Hulk, The Powerpuff Girls and some newer Cartoon Network personalities, five ‘adventure zones’ are sure to entice the whole family. With high-speed rollercoasters, carousels, live entertainment and a haunted hotel, there’s plenty to fill a whole day of an itinerary.
Escape the desert heat and experience a winter wonderland at Ski Dubai, located within the Mall of the Emirates. Children can learn the slopes at the ski academy, create snow angels at the snow park and meet King and Gentoo penguins. With routes for all ages and skill levels, a chairlift and more than 6000 tonnes of snow, cool down with a unique skiing adventure in the heart of the desert before exploring the rest of the Mall of the Emirates.
The Green Planet & Dubai Miracle Garden
For a metropolis full of man-made wonders, there’s no shortage of green space in Dubai. Discover a fascinating world of tropical rainforests at The Green Planet. Located at City Walk, this bio-dome houses a diverse array of flora and fauna that is both educational and engaging. For a burst of vibrant colour, families can visit the Dubai Miracle Garden. This botanical paradise showcases millions of flowers arranged in captivating designs like a giant teddy bear, an Emirates A380 Airbus and a small village.
Covering more than 545,000 square metres (about twice the area of The Vatican), the Dubai Mall houses an aquarium and underwater zoo, SEGA Republic indoor theme park, an ice rink, plus over 1200 stores from designer to tech and everything in between. For a unique adventure, look to KidZania, a scaled-down city with a functioning economy where children can play grown-up and be firefighters, doctors, chefs and journalists. Whether you’re keeping up with your trendy tween or entertaining young ones, it’s just as much a playground as it is a trendsetter’s haven.
Best Family-Friendly Hotels in Dubai
Atlantis, The Palm
With its iconic architecture and extensive family-friendly amenities, Atlantis, The Palm is a top choice. From the Aquaventure Waterpark to the Lost Chambers Aquarium, families can enjoy unparalleled luxury and entertainment. There are plenty of child-friendly packages to choose from including daily access to Aquaventure and the aquarium, plus convenient afternoon sessions at the Atlantis Explorers Club and The Zone for when mum and dad want to enjoy a romantic dinner or an indulgent spa treatment. Each luxe water-themed room includes enough space for the family to stretch out, separate ensuite, and uninterrupted views of Palm Island below.
Raffles The Palm Dubai
Raffles The Palm Dubai, located on the fascinating Palm Jumeirah, offers five-star opulence to the grandest scale, and facilities to delight both parents and young ones. Step into this over-the-top oasis and be amazed by 40,000 Swarovski crystals hanging from the gold-leaf lobby ceiling and treat the family to an exquisite Italian meal at Piatti by the Beach including kids' menu options like gnocchi and Bolognese. With a cinema onsite, a children’s pool and the Young Voyager Kids’ Club complimentary with every family-friendly package, you won't need to venture far from the hotel on your next stay in Dubai.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel offers stunning views of the Burj Al Arab from its towering ocean wave design and a host of fun activities. Multiple suites have enough room for the whole family, complete with the signature Dubai-luxury feeling. With Sinbad's Kids Club, four dedicated pools and an expansive private beach, it's a haven for families seeking both relaxation and adventure.
Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk
Towering above Dubai's glittering skyline, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk is positioned within reach of the city's best family-friendly destinations. Opt for the elegantly appointed One-Bedroom Suite where one child stays and eats free sleeping on existing bedding. Enjoy club access with endless afternoon tea, venture out to a fun city attraction or unwind with a treatment at the Sofitel Spa while the kids have fun at the Kids' Club.
Looking for more Dubai inspiration? Check out Miguel Maestre & Jane Hall’s Guide to Dubai.
Feature image: Aquaventure Water Park, Dubai. Shutterstock.