WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI WITH CHILDREN
Are you planning a family vacation and wondering about the best things to do in Dubai with kids? Holidays in Dubai with kids might seem like a crazy idea initially, but it is actually not a bad place to visit with your family.
When you think of Dubai, you probably only think about the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, or the most expensive hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab, you should know that it is also a great destination for families.
The more often I visit Dubai, the more often I realize how great it is for kids and how much to do it. The options seem endless, so I will focus on the best things to do with kids – from babies to teenagers. Though I do not have kids myself, I visited Dubai with my two nephews and also teach kids between 10-18 years, so I think I have a good feeling about what children enjoy.
So, if you plan to visit Dubai as a family, you have definitely come to the right place to find out about the best things to do in Dubai with kids.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR DUBAI WITH CHILDREN
Before I tell you about the most fun things to do in Dubai with kids, here are some pre-travel tips.
Dubai is a great place to visit between October and April. You can also visit in September or May, but it might become a little too hot for children, and a few activities may not be available, so Dubai in winter is the best idea.
In general, people in Dubai or the Middle East are very child-friendly, so I’m sure your kids will love it. Read on to find out what to do in Dubai with kids.
How to Get Around Dubai With Children
Getting around is actually not expensive. Whether you pick a taxi or public transportation – prices are moderate. Your kids, especially the younger ones, might enjoy metro rides more than taxi rides (at least my nephews do). If you plan on using the metro more often, buy get a NOL card at the metro station. This smart card helps you save even more.
However, metros are often very crowded, so my tip (especially with kids) avoid rush hour and try to get a window seat – kids will love that.
Taxis are roughly about 0,5€ per kilometer (but there is a minimum fare), and if you are a family of four, a tax might even come cheaper. Being stuck in traffic is a big problem, though (Dubai’s roads are actually always busy).
Rent a car: Renting a car is an option but personally, not my top tip when you are with kids. While you can store many things in the car, you would have to rent child seats, etc., separately, and other means of transport might be the better option. You can check out prices for renting a car in Dubai here.
Sightseeing buses are probably the best way of transportation – fun, safe and several attractions are included in the tickets.
Where to Stay With KIds
In general, I recommend staying at the beachfront. Whether you opt for Jumeirah or JBR- The Walk. The hotels in Dubai tend to be very child-friendly – if you don’t book a hotel at the beach, I suggest booking a hotel with a pool (many hotels have an outdoor pool in Dubai).
More Tips For Visiting Dubai With Kids
- Dubai can be really sunny. So make sure to bring suncream, hats, etc., with you. If you are a female traveler, you should check out the dress code for females in Dubai.
- Booking tours in Dubai: Kids under two years rarely have to pay for any attraction, sometimes kids under 4 years have free entry (e.g., for Burj Khalifa), so it really depends on the activity and the age of the kids. When booking tours, I mostly use GetYourGuide – especially with kids. It is the best option because the cancellation policy is good.
- Some of the mentioned activities are free. Some are paid activities. If you are on a budget (Dubai is not cheap), read my tips on saving money in Dubai.
- Dubai is home to some fantastic fine dining restaurants – but many different restaurants and cafes have more kid-friendly dishes. So, food will not be a problem when traveling to Dubai with your families (the malls probably have the widest variety of cuisines – for each budget).
- Dubai is NOT stroller-friendly. The more modern areas are better, but if you plan to stroll – what I normally do, even with my nephews, you might see that not every place is pedestrian-friendly, let alone stroller-friendly. However, you can visit most places even with a stroller.
FUN FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN DUBAI WITH KIDS
So, now you’ll find some activities your kids will love!
Visit the Desert With Kids
Kid’s activities in Dubai don’t just have to be fun for them. They can be fun for you too.
I visited the desert several times, and each time, I somehow was accompanied by kids (not my own but strangers sitting in a car with me).
They always enjoyed whatever we decided to do, whether it was taking advantage of the variety of desert safaris, trying sandboarding, camel riding, or dune bashing. However, children under the age of 5 years are normally not allowed to participate in the tour.
So, if you are traveling to Dubai with younger kids, this might not be the best thing to do with your family.
The dune bashing would probably even make my top ten things to do in Dubai with children, and though it is probably best not to take tiny children, there are so many other things to enjoy there that they are sure to love anything they do.
Prices depend on the exact tour and the participants’ age (one car can normally seat up to seven people, so even medium-sized and biggish-families can sit in one car together).
Find some of the best Dubai Safari tours here:
La Mer With Children
La Mer is a new area that was just created a while ago and opened about two years ago.
La Mer has something for everyone, so it does not surprise it has become a hot spot for locals and tourists.
Spend the day at the free beach (cabanas and umbrellas for a fee) and enjoy the pristine water while enjoying great views of Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) and the Dubai skyline.
The kids will love this area of Dubai, and there are plenty of activities to do for kids of all ages.
Watersports, restaurants, street art, and so on – this is the best place to visit with kids, and it is easy to spend a full day there without getting bored at all. One of those perfect “family things to do in Dubai” – none of your children will dislike the place and probably none of the grown-ups neither).
Entry is free. If you bring your own water toys and snacks, it can even be a cheap activity for the family in Dubai. The waterpark and some activities like Haha Haha Bouncing charge money.
Check out their website for detailed kids’ activities.
Dubai Ice Rink With Children
Apart from skiing, people can also actually ice skate in Dubai, and this is always a thing that my students and all kinds of kids love and enjoy, so I’m sure your kids will as well.
It is located in Dubai Mall, so if you do not have to supervise your kids. If you prefer not skating yourself, you can head to the shops or numerous cafes/restaurants there. Find out more about prices.
Miracle Garden With Kids
Miracle Garden is a spectacular paradise made of huge floral sculptures.
It’s pretty magical for both adults and children – so it’s one of the best Dubai attractions for families. Miracle garden will definitely fascinate your children and give them lots of lovely memories to take home.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the giant teddy bear and the adorable mushroom houses!
Prices: The garden is located a bit further (so perfect to combine with a trip to Global Village, RTA bus No. 105 will take you there). Entry for adults is about 12€, kids aged between 3-12years pay about 10€ and kids under 2 years don’t have to pay).
Global Village With Kids
Global Village is one of the best places to visit in Dubai for kids because this huge theme park is open in the winter months for a minimal entry fee. It is perfect to combine with a trip to Miracle Garden.
It tries to bring lots of different cultures together, and there are also lots of different roller coasters which your kids can ride for an additional fee.
Prices: The entrance fee about 5€, each ride costs extra.
Boat Tours With Kids
With kids, a boat tour might be a perfect activity.
A boat tour will definitely be fun for the kids and the adults (unless they get seasick).
So, if you take a dhow cruise along the creek, they will have a great time, and if anything, kids normally enjoy it the most! You can book a speedboat tour for the older kids so they can enjoy some thrilling activities, and those children who like it calmer can book a dhow cruise or just a Marina or Palm Cruise.
Prices depend on the tour. Of course, you can book the most luxurious boat cruise, but if you have to watch your budget more closely (like most of us), you can do a dhow boat cruise (traditional wooden boats) which is not that expensive.
Check out different tours and prices here
- Find out more about prices for a speedboat tour
- Click here to find out about prices for a private yacht cruise
- Tip: If you have a sightseeing bus ticket, a boat cruise is already included in the ticket price. Click here to find the prices for a sightseeing bus tour.
Dubai Fountain For Children
Dubai Fountain is located at Dubai Mall, and several times a day (after 6 pm, on Fridays also at 1 pm and 2 pm), there is a water dance which includes music, so kids normally love it as much as adults do. Check out times here.
It’s best to either visit in the morning or after six o’clock so you can enjoy a spectacular water show.
The fountain show is free to watch – you can get on the platform, which you have to pay for, or you can get on a little boat to get close to the fountain. However, this is probably one of the best free things to do in Dubai with kids.
Family Go-Kart Bicycles
One of the great things to do in Dubai with children is hopping on a family go-kart bicycle and explore it with these fun bikes.
They can be rented at many places, but especially at Dubai Marina, you will see kids driving them (you do not have to get a family go-kart, you can also get single ones).
If you stroll along the Marina, you will notice some little go-kart/bicycle hybrids where kids and adults can hop on and race through on the little karts together.
Burj Khalifa With Kids
Personally, this is not my top recommendation for a visit to Dubai with tiny kids – though it will definitely be something that the older ones (six and over) will enjoy.
Be warned: Strollers are not allowed. So, this means you might have to carry your 1-year-old baby (or so) for quite a long time. Looking back, bringing an active one-year-old was probably not the best idea as we did. However, the 4-year old boy loved the views.
If you get a ticket for level 124 and 125 but don’t get it fast access, you will have to stand in line. Normally, with kids, you can skip the line and have the fast track option to get up there.
I’m sure the kids will be amazed by the view from the tallest building in the world, and thus, I have added it as one of the best things to do in Dubai with children.
Click here for my detailed guide on how to enjoy the view from the top of Burj Khalifa (including ticket prices, the best choices for you, and more),
Find out about ticket prices and more info:
Aquarium With Kids
If you’re looking for more family things to do in Dubai, why not try one of its famous aquariums, the Lost Chambers Aquarium in Atlantis (The Palm) and Dubai Aquarium, which is located inside Dubai Mall.
You can see some of the Dubai Aquarium for free, but if you are with kids, they will probably want to go inside and have an amazing time at the Dubai Aquarium.
There is also an underwater zoo visit included in the basic ticket, so if your kids want to see some underwater animals, this is the place to go.
P.S. I visited twice myself, and I know it is a very popular Instagram spot in Dubai – but I do not think it would be worth the entry fee. The entrance fee is quite high – but I visited both times (and once with my nephews) because I had my Hop-on and hop-ooff ticket, and the entrance fee was included.
JBR Walk With Children
JBR Walk / The Beach is another awesome place your kids of all ages will love.
There is the beach, many playgrounds, and even a new Flying Cup attraction, where you can see JBR from above (included in the City Sightseeing Bus Tour).
People under 105 cm are not allowed to get on it, but those who are not afraid of heights will enjoy this activity which is the most fun to be done with a few people.
My both nephews LOVED JBR, and kids and teenagers will love the funny and cute street art that you can find along JBR walk, and since it is located directly by the beach, it is another fun thing to do there so you can combine a day at the beach with checking out street art.
Prices: The beach access is free, and many activities don’t cost anything, but some do, so bring along some change.
Souks With Children
Take a trip around the souks with your kids.
The souks either in Bur Dubai or Deira are little markets with lots of little shops, and the owners are very nice, so if your kids like to dress up and try out Arabian clothes, they can do it for free.
Very small kids might be overwhelmed but not enjoy it as much, but especially teenage girls will find affordable fun clothes and souvenirs to buy. While it might be too busy for the little ones, older kids will enjoy experiencing the different flavors or enjoy sampling Arabic snacks.
Ski With CHildren
Of all of the things to do with children in Dubai, I bet you weren’t expecting this one! You may not know it, but Dubai is also home to a ski hall, so if the heat is getting the better of you or if you want to do something really crazy, you could hit the slopes and spend a day at the ski hall.
It is located in the Mall of Emirates, and if your kids do not need supervision, you can leave them there and enjoy some time in the air-conditioned mall.
- Click here to find out about prices for skiing in Dubai
IMG World of Adventure
IMG World of Adventure has recently opened, and it is perfect for kids. It is one of the newest theme parks, and they have loads of different thrill rides to enjoy. You can spend a whole day there, and it’s especially great for younger kids. It surely is one of the top Dubai attractions for families who enjoy theme parks.
- Click here to find the best rates for your day at the theme park
City Walk With Kids
Yes, kids often don’t like shopping malls, but there is one shopping district called City Walk, which is extremely kid-friendly in Dubai and has areas where they can play and have a great time.
Younger kids will love the little sightseeing bus and stuffed animals which they can “drive,” and there is a fun laser show in the evening that is loved by the kids (and adults like me, probably less popular amongst the teenagers, but some might also like it as it includes some water elements, too).
If your kids are older, they will love the illuminated walkways in the evening (evenings start early in Dubai, so depending on the season, it can start between 5-7 pm).
Strolling the area and watching some shows are free. Other activities vary heavily on the price.
If you have small kids, you might want to visit KidZania.
This is a place that I haven’t checked out myself, but it is one of the kid’s attractions in Dubai Mall, where there is a mini town where kids can play grown-up, playing doctors and firefighters or pilots. They get to run their own little town there, which is very cute and lots of fun for them.
- Check out rates for a day at KidZania here
Water Parks For Families
Dubai has some amazing water parks which surely are perfect for children of all ages.
I have visited the Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis, and even as an adult, I had a great time there. And I am sure that if your kids like water, fun, and adventure, they will love a water park.
If you are staying at one of the Jumeirah hotels, then you will have complimentary access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark next to Burj al Arab (updated: I have just visited it and think both are fun, though I probably enjoyed the Aquaventure in Atlantis a bit more).
If you are a guest of one of the Jumeirah hotels, you will have free access to the Wild Wadi Park, and as a guest of the Atlantis, you will have free access to the Aquaventure.
I definitely recommend visiting the Aquaventure water Park and would plan a whole day for it.
- Find out more about the newest waterpark in Dubai – Laguna Waterpark
My little nephew is the biggest fan of jumping, and if it were up to him, he would love to spend all day at a place where he has trampolines as he can never get enough!
There is one place called Bounce Dubai with hundreds of interconnected trampolines.
It is not very close to other main attractions – like Burj Khalifa – but you could probably combine it with a trip to the Mall of Emirates.
Ok, this is probably not as popular with older kids, but for smaller ones 4-year old nephew, it can be one of the most fun things to do in Dubai with kids. He loves to ride the tram or metro in Germany and definitely loved the metro in Dubai.
In Dubai, the metro is over-ground, so they get to see a lot – if you take the red metro line, your kids can admire the Burj Khalifa and many other builds from the train. The only downside is that it is busy, and the metro gets crowded often.
So, avoid busy times to make sure your kids have a great view and get a seat.
It is also fast, modern, and clean, so it really is a great thing to do with kids in Dubai, and the stations look like little space shuttles-
Of all of the Dubai children’s attractions, this one is always a hit!
Kids love theme parks, and Legoland is probably one of the most popular children’s Dubai activities, so you should definitely plan a visit! Find out more about prices by clicking here.
Beach With Kids
Dubai has some very nice beaches, and when it’s hot, it’s one of the best places for kids in Dubai.
Some beaches are free to the public, so anyone can visit, even if your hotel doesn’t have a beach.
As mentioned, JBR and La Mer have some nice beaches, but if you prefer a place where the kids are not distracted by activities that cost money, head to Kite Beach (Jumeirah beach), where it is really only about the beach.
The stunning Burj al Arab view might be less popular by the kids (though older ones will love the interesting architecture), but this view is popular with the parents.
This includes Kite Beach, so why not head there and spend a day in the water.
If you are at one of the luxury hotels at Jumeirah Beach or The Palm, you will normally have hotel beaches that are most likely even quieter and stunningly beautiful. But believe me, even the public beaches, JBR Walk, and Jumeirah Beach are lovely places to visit in Dubai with kids.
PIN ME FOR LATER – DUBAI ACTIVITIES WITH KIDS
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Dubai with children is actually a lot of fun. As you can see, Dubai is not only for adults who like to go shopping and enjoy nice dinners. It is also fun because there are so many fun activities for families and people of all ages and a family trip surely isn’t a bad idea! Read about 50 fun things to do in Dubai (if you need some more travel inspiration).