20 Things To Book For A Great Family Holiday In Dubai
20 Things To Book For A Great Family Holiday In Dubai

20 Things To Book For A Great Family Holiday In Dubai

Planning a family holiday to the UAE? These SheerLuxe Middle East parent-approved hotels, adventure parks and activities will keep the kids entertained – and mums and dads relaxed – on family trips to Dubai and beyond.
Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf
Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf


Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Best For Family Accommodation

Jumeirah has 12 hotels and residences in Dubai, and we like Jumeirah Beach best for a family trip. Having recently undergone an extensive refurbishment, the hotel now has state-of-the-art facilities and understated yet chic décor. Set on a private white-sand beach with views of the Arabian Gulf, the main hotel has a clever wave-like design, meaning every room has an excellent view of the Burj Al Arab (see below). Inside, guests can make use of 11 restaurants and bars, as well as an impressive spa – simply drop children off at the kids’ club, which has a huge range of fully supervised activities for all ages. Guests can also access the Wild Wadi water park, which has more than 30 rides, as well as activities like kite surfing, kayaking, sailing and water skiing.

Visit Jumeirah.com

At The Top

Best For Striking Views

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building on the planet by such a large margin that you wonder what the rest of the world has been doing. It’s getting on for three times taller than the Shard – and it’s also the building Tom Cruise scaled with suction gloves for a famous Mission Impossible stunt. For a smoother experience than his, take the lift. A standard trip takes you to the 125th floor, but there’s also the 148th-floor observation deck (At The Top) and, above that, the ‘World’s Highest Lounge’ – a luxe option with an outdoor terrace and complimentary bubbles for parents. Our tip? Buy fast-track tickets ahead of time.

Visit AtTheTop.ae

Madinat Jumeirah

Best For A Whole-Day Experience

Madinat Jumeirah is an Arabian mini-city in Dubai, comprising five-star hotels, ornate souks and beachfront hotspots. A destination within a destination, you’ll find several grand hotels, including Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and Jumeirah Al Naseem, alongside a cluster of traditional summerhouses at Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf and seven grand homes at Jumeirah Malakiya Villas. There is an entire river system complete with its own fleet of traditional abra boats. You can take a tour around the property on one of these in-house abras and have lunch in the middle of your day out. For children, there are two kids’ clubs, a waterpark, beach games and calendar of family events – don’t miss the turtle sanctuary. We really rate French Riviera Beach at Jumeirah Al Qasr for a great day out.

Visit Jumeirah.com

Madinat Jumeirah
Madinat Jumeirah

Aya Universe

Best For Teens

Teens especially will love the Insta-appeal of Aya, an immersive entertainment park where natural beauty meets a mysterious cosmos. Inside, visitors will find ‘vibrant worlds enfolded within its chambers’ as they move between spaces – one is full of stars, another shows gardens blooming in light, and one allows visitors to traverse infinite rivers. We suggest families book a group pass in advance.

Visit Aya-Universe.com

Infinity des Lumières

Best For A Tech-Led Excursion

Another tech-centred gallery, Infinity des Lumières opened in 2021 and comprises three immersive, multi-sensory exhibitions designed to activate and engage all the senses, stimulate critical thinking, expand world views and explore different perspectives. Pioneering digital art in the region, InfinityArt was founded with the aim of helping art play an active role in the digital revolution taking place in the cultural sector. An exciting fusion of art, music, architecture, science, state-of-the-art technology and high-tech engineering, in each gallery images come to life through incredible animation, movement, sound and rhythm.

Visit InfinityArt.ae

Museum Of The Future

Best For An Educational Visit

You won’t miss the Museum of the Future – its landmark new building is a curvaceous counterpoint to the vertical towers that dominate the Dubai skyline. Inside, the museum wrestles with a big question: what will life look like in 2071? Its answers span a space station and a digitally recreated rainforest. There’s also Future Heroes, the museum’s dedicated space for the children. Within an open world of exploration and play, children are encouraged to develop skills that will always be useful down the line. The exhibition’s three main experiences, Imagine, Design and Build, give children the opportunity to play and learn through activities that encourage communication, collaboration and creativity.

Visit MuseumOfTheFuture.ae

Roll DXB

Best For Active Kids

Roll DXB is a fresh roller-skating concept born in Dubai, where the team hosts everything from roller discos to skate jams – plus public and private lessons. The venue lays on daily and nightly roller disco sessions for kids, with live DJs and themed events. If your children haven’t tried roller-skating before, this is the perfect place to give it a go.

Visit RollDXB.com

Ripe Market
Ripe Market
Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf
Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf

Ignite Watersports

Best For Water Activities

The Ignite Inflatable Water Park is part of the Palm Jumeirah, but is also open to non-residents. The water park is tailored for children and young teens, aged six to 16, and is filled with thrilling bouncy slides and inflatable challenges. In collaboration with SUP Kids, the team also offers an experience at Riva Beach Club. Designed for kids aged six and above, the water sports club takes place each Saturday, and is crammed with outdoor activities and water sports such as open-water kayaking.

Visit IgniteWatersports.com

Museum Of Illusions

Best For Something New

In the middle of the heritage area at Al Seef, Museum of Illusions is a one-of-a-kind ‘edutainment’ destination where visitors can immerse themselves in a world of illusions. Guests can experience more than 60 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions and immersive rooms that are designed to tease the senses and trick the mind. A variety of exhibits use visual tricks and hands-on interactive displays to create a playful environment that engages visitors of all ages.

Visit MuseumOfIllusions.ae

Oli Oli

Best For Younger Children

With numerous awards and accolades under its belt – including being named TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice every year from 2019 to 2023 – Oli Oli invites kids to step into a world of wonder. In a spacious indoor sanctuary where hands-on activities inspire positive play, children are free to wander and discover in spaces designed to foster creativity, curiosity and imagination. All ages are welcome, but we think this is an especially great place for those with younger children.

Visit OliOli.ae

Aventura Parks

Best For Outdoor Fun

This is another spot where fast-track passes are essential. Aventura Parks in Mushrif Park is the largest adventure park with a zipline in Dubai, spanning 35,000sq m of Ghaf tree forest – and encompassing 1,640 different games. Families can navigate five circuit-style obstacle courses and 24 ziplines, or head out on a nature walk showcasing the flora and fauna of the UAE. The Discovery Play Area is a beautifully designed kids play area based on the pyramid of learning. This outdoor playground is packed with interesting activities for toddlers and kids up to 1.25m tall.

Visit AventuraParks.com

Dubai Safari Park
Dubai Safari Park

Ripe Market

Best For Getting Hands-On

It sounds like a fruit and veg market – and that’s what it was originally – but Ripe today is much more than that. Local artisans now host stalls showcasing their fashion, homewares and jewellery amid the stellar fresh and street food offerings. It’s also a great place to take children. The Ripe Stables by Al Jihad Stables is a new central hub for horse and pony riding, open seven days a week for all ages and abilities. FitKidz encourages children to explore the power of fitness and play, while at the petting zoo, children can meet everything from rabbits and ducklings to parrots and reptiles.

Visit RipeEvents.com


Best For A Bit Of Everything

Found at Dubai mega hotel Atlantis The Palm, Wavehouse is focused on food and family entertainment. Inside, you’ll find a state-of-the-art bowling alley, games arcade and Surf's Up wave rider. Once you've all worked up an appetite, the restaurant serves crowd-pleasing burgers and pizzas, plus there’s an outdoor terrace where live music, swinging seats and a festival vibe make this one of the city’s liveliest dining and entertainment hubs for families.

Visit Atlantis.com

Best For Animal Lovers

Dubai Safari Park

Dubai Safari Park is home to around 3,000 animals, with 78 species of mammals, 50 types of reptiles, 111 kinds of birds plus amphibians and invertebrates, all living on the 300-acre site. For a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, book in advance to go behind the scenes with the park carers to feed the white rhinos, which are close to extinction. Otherwise, visitors to the Kids’ Farm can feed and touch a selection of the animals and birds that call the farm home. A mix between a farm and a petting zoo, Dubai Safari Park staff will lead visitors on educational tours to learn more about the farm’s animals and the birds that live in its Aviary.

Visit DubaiSafari.ae

Sonara Desert Camp
Sonara Desert Camp
Sonara Desert Camp
Sonara Desert Camp


Bab Al Shams, Dubai

Best For A Weekend Escape

Bab Al Shams offers the best of both worlds. Just a short drive outside the city, it is surrounded by sand dunes and feels secluded and private – ideal for a family getaway in the desert. Plus, the resort recently had an extensive renovation with the addition of new restaurant. After entering the resort through tall wooden arches, you’ll find three large swimming pools with desert views. The rooms and suites are inspired by traditional Arabian villages – expect plush furnishings, Persian rugs and neutral colours. Elsewhere, there’s an open-air Middle Eastern restaurant with belly dancers, as well as all-day eateries and a pool bar for snacks and cocktails. One of the best parts? The range of guest experiences – think desert drive tours, horse riding, camelback trekking, falconry and private hot air balloon rides.

Visit BabAlShams.com

Nara Desert Camp, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Best For Adventure

Nara offers another way to see the desert that lies just beyond Dubai’s city limits. It has a private camp within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, surrounded by gazelles and other wildlife. Luxury tents that blend harmoniously with the sand dunes are the highlight of a stay at Sonara Desert Camp on the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, which is a 40-minute drive from the city. Enjoy the tranquillity of desert life at The Nest – 14 tents designed by award-winning architect Gianni Ranaulo. An array of modern and traditional activities helps guests immerse themselves in Bedouin heritage. Look up and learn about the stars with a trained astronomer on a sky safari; take a camel or a horse for a ride; go up in a hot air balloon; take to the dunes on a nature walk, or speed things up by dune bashing in a buggy. The beauty of this sustainable resort is the solace it offers, but if you crave some night-time activity, the main Sonara Camp nearby offers falcon shows, buffet dinners, live music and after-dark movie screenings. 

Visit Nara.ae

Casa Mikoko, Umm Al Quwain

Best For A Resort Experience

This eco-friendly boutique hotel in Umm Al Quwain on the Arabian Gulf offers a luxury getaway, with each of its bungalows thoughtfully designed to blend into the surrounding mangrove forests – and offer those all-important views of the sea. Away from their private pools, guests can discover a range of activities aimed at all interests and levels of adventure, from kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to kite surfing and trips on a traditional African boat.

Visit CasaMikoko.ae

Jebel Jais Adventure Park, Jebel Jais

Best For A High-Octane Trip

The Jebel Jais mountain peak is part of the spectacular Hajar range. The mountains extend from Ras Al Khaimah on the eastern side of the UAE to the Musandam Peninsula on the north-eastern side of Oman. These dramatic mountainscapes are home to the Jebel Jais Adventure Park, which offers adrenaline-pumping, cloud-piercing experiences. These include the Jais Flight, the world’s longest zipline, the Jais Sky Zipline Tour, or an overnight stay at the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp. Whichever you pick, make sure to book a table at 1484 By Puro, the highest restaurant in the UAE.

Visit VisitJebelJais.com


British Airways offers 20 flights to Dubai from London Heathrow each week, so you can travel to the UAE in style. To book your flights and holiday, visit BA.com.

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