What to do as a family in Dubai

An oil rich city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities and has become a dream holiday location for some. Due to its rise in popularity it is often misperceived as a country by some and the cosmopolitan metropolis is now seen as a global city. But, with all the fancy hotels and shopping malls it’s easy to forget that it has all the credentials for a top family holiday too.

Wild Wadi Waterpark, Dubai

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Wild Wadi Water Park

This outdoor water park is one of the most popular destinations in Dubai – not to mention the biggest. Great for couples or families with children, there are 23 water rides to enjoy. You’ll need at least half a day – probably pre lunch, the extra money for a large locker is well worth it for families and the BurjSurj ride should be your first stop. Operated by the hotelier Jumeirah International, the food and drink is good while there are three pools to use. Just don’t forget your stylish swimwear, sun cream and a towel!

Palm Islands

While these islands may have housing and accommodation that only the rich and famous can dream of, you can take a day trip to enjoy the island with the Dubai cruises, which I have to say are not very expensive. The palm tree shape of the man-made islands makes them unique and it has become one of the biggest things to do in the whole of the emirate. Some say this is the Eighth Wonder of the World and you can witness the beauty of all three: Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira and Palm Jeleb Ali. Some will tell you it is better enjoyed from the sky or high up!


The tallest building in the world makes for a world-class centrepiece in the middle of the city. Entertainment, shopping and hotels surround this skyscraper in Downtown Dubai. Amazing for all the family from the plane, booking in advance saves a lot of money and while there’s some walking involved, the view from the 124th floor is simply breathtaking. A top tip would be going for sunset.

Jumeirah Mosque

The most photographed mosque in the entire emirate is well worth seeing for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Add a bit of culture to your family holiday by learning more about the religion. A grand mosque with love architecture, it is beautiful and very popular. Be sure to get there just before 10am to get the tour.

Sand boarding and Camel Rides

A desert safari is all about riding over the dunes with an SUV. This is an exhilarating and unique experience that the children will love. Called ‘dune bashing’ in Dubai, you can go on quad bikes and try sand boarding while it usually ends in a camel farm.

Best of the rest

Aside from this, don’t forget to hit the beach at Habtoor Grand Beach, Jumeirah Beach or Al Mamzer. In addition, Children’s City is a brilliant educational destination for children, Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates offers snowballs and skiing while a hot air balloon ride is a treat with all the architecture in the city.

What to do as a family in Dubai