With top-class shopping, dining, golf and entertainment, Dubai has carved a reputation as one of the world’s premier playgrounds. Yet this dynamic and cosmopolitan Emirate holds endless appeal for youngsters, too. In fact, thanks to glorious beaches and epic attractions – plus excellent kids’ clubs and child-friendly dining – few holiday hot spots serve families’ needs quite as well as Dubai.

Dubai’s pristine beaches, lapped by the Arabian Gulf, are ideal for family fun. When it comes to keeping children happy, parents know that the ultimate secret is clean sands on which to play and warm water in which to splash. Jumeirah Beach and Al Mamzar Beach are among the most popular public stretches, most of which are free to use or charge just a nominal fee.

For something more exclusive, many hotels (such as Atlantis, The Palm) have private beaches where staff deliver drinks and fresh fruit to your deckchair. But whichever option suits your mood, you’ll find showers, shade and other facilities.

For watery fun beyond the beach, try splashing out on a day at Aquaventure or Wild Wadi, Dubai's outstanding water parks. Promising a one-ofa- kind experience, Aquaventure’s 40 acres of rides and slides include the 100ft-high Ziggurat and recently opened Tower of Poseidon zip-line circuit. The park also features The Lost Chambers Aquarium, a spectacular attraction where visitors can go backstage to help feed the fish. Wild Wadi’s 30 awesome rides include FlowRider surf simulators and Jumeirah Sceirah, a waterslide with speeds of up to 50mph.

For guests keen to maximise holiday budgets, both Aquaventure and Wild Wadi are linked to beach hotels, with free admission for hotel guests. The same is true of hotel beaches, which may otherwise charge non-guests an entrance fee. Getting wet isn’t the only way for kids to beat the heat. Air-conditioned indoor attractions are an equally fun place to cool down. Favourites include Dubai Aquarium, Sega Republic (a computergame
theme park with more than 170 rides and games) and KidZania Dubai - a grown-up world in miniature where children can play being adults for a day.



At Ski Dubai, kids can ski, toboggan, play in the snow or enjoy close encounters with penguins. But perhaps the coolest family attraction – in both senses of the word – is the indoor winter wonderland, Ski Dubai. Here, kids can ski, toboggan, play in the snow or enjoy close encounters with penguins.

Although some hotels (such as JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel) offer horseriding, tennis, archery and other activities, more family adventures await in the desert. Safaris into the impressive outback on sturdy 4x4 vehicles present opportunities to try dune-bashing, sand-boarding or watch a falconry display – an ancient Arabian tradition – and a hot-air balloon ride is an unforgettable experience. Back on the shore, there are water sports galore, with kayaking, parasailing and power-boating – often at surprisingly affordable prices.

Most of Dubai's hotels are extraordinarily child-friendly. The Emirate currently has more than 60,000 hotel rooms, with 20,000 more in the pipeline – and with everything from self-catering to all-inclusive options, there’s something for every budget and style. Among the most popular with families are Atlantis, The Palm (with its aquarium and access to Aquaventure) and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, with Wild Wadi on its doorstep. Even iconic Burj Al Arab, one of the world’s most luxurious hotels, caters to families with Sinbad’s Kids’Club plus The Hub for teenage guests.

Animal-loving kids, meanwhile, would relish staying at a desert retreat such as Al Maha (in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve) or discovering Jumeirah Group's Turtle Rehabilitation Project. And with recent openings from such famous names as Oberoi, Sofitel, Anantara, Mövenpick, Jumeirah and Waldorf Astoria, Dubai's outstanding hotel portfolio continues to rapidly evolve.

What other destination offers skiing, sea and sand, all in the same day; or meeting both penguins and camels, or whizzing down waterslides by day and spending the night beneath desert skies?

Add in excellent service, brilliant beaches and hotels with kids’ clubs, babysitting and lifeguards, and parents will find that Dubai has the makings of
a truly incredible family holiday.


Record-breaking architecture stands alongside traditional quarters, while manmade islands jut out of the coastline.

The speed of Dubai’s metamorphosis is unparalleled, creating a thriving metropolis in the heart of the desert in less than half a century. Many people are likely to be dazzled by the whiteness of the sand and the scale of the skyscrapers, but it’s also still possible to step back in time with a desert safari or boat trip on the creek.

Make your holiday even more memorable, along with soaking up the sun on the prominent beaches of Dubai, enjoy limitless culinary delights in award- winning Michelin starred restaurants, some with awe-inspiring iconic views of the city. Watch your sporting heroes take part in some of the most prestigious international sporting events around the year. Alternatively, shop till you drop in any one of Dubai’s 96 malls or souks.


From beaches that fringe the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf bathed in yearround sunshine, to the architectural marvels that punctuate the skyline and define the destination, Dubai is irresistibly dynamic, with some of the world’s most unique and modern attractions. Wander the laneways of the atmospheric gold and spice souks of old Dubai, piled high with aromatic and glittering treats.

Visit Downtown Dubai, packed with incredible sites, including an actual dinosaur skeleton inside a shopping mall and the highest building on the planet, Burj Khalifa.


International restaurants and top global chefs are in abundance, but if you want to try Emirati cuisine, you’ll sense a range of regional influences. Most likely, you will find roast lamb with rice and nuts (ghuzi), stuffed vine leaves (warak enab), chickpea and sesame paste (hummus), bulghur wheat with mint and parsley (tabbouleh), spitcooked meat in pitta bread with garlic sauce (shawama), cooked balls of chickpeas with herbs (falafel) and plenty of fish. Goat meat may also be on the menu, but no pork, in accordance with Muslim beliefs. Alcohol is tolerated and drinking is possible in the plentiful hotel bars and restaurants.


Culture in Dubai is rooted in Islamic traditions. Emirati men tend to dress in traditional dishdasha or khandura (long white shirt-dress), with ghutra (a white headdress) and agal (a rope worn to keep the ghutra in place), while women tend to wear an abaya (a long black cloak), with a sheyla or hijab (a scarf used to wrap around the face and head). The most religious time of the year is Ramadan, when Muslims fast for approximately a month and a festival atmosphere can be found in the evening when the locals break their fast. But as well as the minarets of mosques, you will also see temples and churches. A new opera house is also set to open this year. winter travel collection 2017/18.


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