From outdoor sports, to inspiring cooking classes, to culturally- enriching art exhibitions, read on for fresh ideas on how to make the most of your holiday in Dubai.
If you’re looking for ways to spend time together as a family this spring, think Dubai for all manner of exciting activities and experiences.
Tour The Town
A walking tour is a great way to discover the best of what a city has to offer. And now, thanks to a collaboration between Dubai Tourism and two digital tour apps, you can discover and learn more with what is, essentially, a virtual tour guide in your pocket – and it won’t cost you a dirham. The tours, titled ‘Metro Moments’ (available on the Voice Map app), and ‘Al Fahidi Architecture Tour’ (available on the on the Pocket Guide app), are available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play. They use GPS technology to provide users with audio guides to various points of interest in real time, as you progress from one to the next. The audio is available in English, Chinese and German, and also comes in text form, accompanied by a map for easy navigation.
If the thought of streams, waterfalls, fountains, trees and gardens, complete with tree houses, wooden bridges and climbing nets, not to mention a sandy play area, petting zoo, and even a “mud kitchen”, gets your kids excited, then it’s time to put Dubai’s new XPark Jr (www.xparkjr.com) on your “must visit” list. This adventure park was specially designed for little ones and families, to allow children to take healthy risks in an environment where they can build confidence, make friends, inspire their imagination, and defy their limits in a positive way.
Go On Safari
Hop over to Dubai Safari (www.dubaisafari.ae/en), where you and your family will be able to experience an incredible array of creatures, big and small. Not only is there a truly impressive collection of unique wildlife for the whole family to “meet”, there are also plenty of edutainment-focused activities that mean there’s heaps of learning and fun to be had, while specially-trained guides inform about the flora and fauna you come across.
Make A Splash
Few places do edutainment better than Legoland Dubai (www.legoland.com/dubai/), a park that was exclusively created to cater for families with children aged 2-12. Whether you’re exploring Miniland, an impressive array of structures and recreations of entire areas of Dubai and other famous landmarks around the world made entirely out of Lego bricks, heading to The Factory arena to see how some of the products are produced (and perhaps walking home with your own customized Lego brick), or just enjoying the wide variety of land- and water-based rides, you’re guaranteed to head home with satisfied, smiling faces, who might also have learned a new thing or two.
Cook Up A Storm
Whether you’ve got a budding chef on your hands or you just want to ensure your children are capable of putting together more than just a cheese sandwich, taking a cooking class is a great way to learn the essentials and perfect some useful life skills. Also, if you do it together, it’s a fun way to bond with your family. Culinary Boutique (www.culinaryboutique.com/booking) in Jumeirah is a cooking school and café featuring specialty classes dedicated to certain types of cuisine.
Paint A Picture
Head to The Jam Jar (www.thejamjardubai.com) in Dubai’s Al Quoz area, where you can rent all the painting equipment you need before unleashing your and your family’s creativity in the onsite studio. They supply everything – from brushes, paints and canvases, to helpful staff that assist you if you need help or inspiration – and you can, of course, take your artwork home at the end of the session.
Fun and Games
Calling all mini-golf fans! While golf often gets a bad rap as a private, exclusive sport, the miniature version is open to the entire family and promises fun for all – especially somewhere like Tee and Putt (www.teeandputt.com). It’s the only place in the UAE that offers a glow-in-the-dark golfing facility, and they’ve recently introduced a new concept that blends mini-golf with the ‘escape room’ concept, creating a unique puzzle-style golf challenge where participants have to solve nine puzzles on nine holes in one hour. Good luck!
Skate It Out
Dubai’s burgeoning skateboarding scene offers some truly impressive facilities for skateboarders (or hopeful skateboarders) where there are ramps to suit every ability, and lessons to help improve your technique. If you’re seeking an alfresco vibe, head to XDubai Skatepark (http://xdubai.com/skatepark/). Bonus: the beach opposite also has volleyball courts that are open to the public, so if you haven’t had your fill of activity after the skating is done, you can head over for a friendly match. For indoor skating, make your way to The Zoo Skatepark in Al Quoz – Dubai’s largest indoor skate venue and one of the city’s most extensive.
Run The Good Race
The racing track at Dubai Autodrome (www.dubaiautodrome.com/kartdrome-main/arrive-drive-2/) isn’t just a place for adrenaline-fuelled adults – it’s actually a great way to spend a day with the family, and it’s suitable for all ages. The Dubai Kartdrome has become a hub for kids’ parties and teen activities, and there’s no need to worry, since safety always comes first: all packages include helmets, overalls, gloves, marshals, mechanics, safety crews, medical support, timing, and a co-ordinator.
Text and photos courtesy of Dubai Tourism.