Dubai is synonymous with elegance and relaxation, but as our Indian Ocean and Middle East Product Manager Zoe Saunders discovered, there are plenty of trips, attractions and activities catering to different tastes, with options for younger family members too. In fact, Dubai is the ideal location for a family getaway combining luxury and adventure…
Every other time I’ve travelled to Dubai I’ve visited grand resorts and hotels, and then spent the rest of the trip relaxing on beautiful beaches enjoying the sunshine and warmth. However, this time I took a tour of the city to find out more about all it has to offer and to find out why it’s the perfect location for couples and families alike.
Dubai Parks & Resorts, around 30 minutes from the Jumeirah Beach region, is fantastic for families. Motiongate, their Hollywood-inspired theme park has sections from Dreamworks, with rides inspired by ‘Shrek’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda’; Columbia Pictures where volunteers can help the ‘Ghostbusters’; and the Lionsgate section has a ‘Hunger Games’-inspired ride coming soon. Bollywood Parks has rides and attractions inspired by the biggest Bollywood blockbusters, and visitors can take part in street dances and experience 4D immersive cinema. The resort is a brilliant family day out with countless attractions and restaurants to enjoy.
The IMG Worlds of Adventure park is another excellent day out for families. The Cartoon Network section is a fun option for youngsters, while the Marvel and Lost Valley zones are perfect for entertaining older children. This indoor park is a particularly inviting prospect during the summer months when you need a break from the heat of the sun.
The Burj Khalifa is of course one of Dubai’s most famous attractions, and is one of my favourite ways to view this ever-changing city. Dubai is constantly evolving and growing with new roads, hotels and sights, constantly mixing the old with the new. The city is constantly striving to have the biggest and best attractions – new islands are built when beachfront runs out, and the city is building a new sky scraper taller than the Burj Khalifa before anyone else beats them to it.
• I would recommend trying to get up to the top of the tower as early as possible before the heat fog settles over the city and affects your view.
• Book with the Inspiring Travel Company Concierge team before you travel and receive discounts on the price of your ticket.
• Alongside the Burj, the Dubai Mall houses a host of attractions alongside over 1,200 retail stores, so truly has something for every family member. The Souk in the mall is also a top attraction for a taste of traditional Dubaian way of life.
• There's also an amazing restaurant at the top of the tower in the Armani Hotel where you can indulge in small à la carte plates or enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea with views over the fountains.
I would also highly recommend the Dubai Aquarium, which is entered via underwater tunnels! Once inside you get a real underwater experience with a huge variety of fish, sharks and rays swimming all around you as you walk through underwater tunnels. The Underwater Zoo is located on the floor above the aquarium, and offers visitors the chance to see the huge king crocodile up close and to learn about sustainability and underwater life. A trip to the aquarium and zoo is also a nice break to escape the heat of Dubai.
Another breath-taking underwater experience can be found at the Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis The Palm. Afterwards, head out to Aquaventure Water Park for a huge choice of rides and attractions, from the relaxing Lazy River to the drop-slide of Poseidon. Guests staying at Atlantis, The Palm receive complimentary unlimited access and guests at either of the One&Only properties receive day passes. Guests at other hotels can purchase day passes for the park from our Concierge team (book early for the best discounts).
Towards the end of the day I would recommend taking in the sunset views on a dune safari as you are driven up and down huge sand dunes in the vast desert. Afterwards, enjoy an Arabic feast whilst watching the Tanoura and Belly Dancers before being driven back into the city centre.
This trip showed me just how much there is to do in Dubai, and that there really is something here for everyone of any age to do. As luxe as the accommodation is in the city, it would be a shame to spend all your time by the pool or beach and miss out on all the fantastic attractions on offer.
Before your exploration of Dubai, our Concierge team can pre-book any of the activities mentioned above, because we have the most fantastic partners in Dubai who will tailor-make a superb break blending extravagance with adventure. To experience everything Dubai has to offer yourself, contact our Travel Specialists on 01244 355 570.