Dubai is a popular holiday spot for all age groups, meaning you can never go wrong with a family trip to Dubai. There are plenty of things to do in Dubai with kids, from theme parks to shopping malls to outdoor activities. But how do you create a vacation the entire family will love? Check out our list of exciting things to do in Dubai with kids. These are the best places kids of all ages will enjoy.
Where is Dubai?
Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates on the Persian Gulf. It is bordered by Abu Dhabi, Oman, and Sharjah. The city is known for its stunning architecture and luxury shopping, but this doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to children. Bring them along and discover Dubai through their eyes.
Best Activities for Kids in Dubai
1. Head to the tallest buildings in Dubai
There is a lot to see and experience in Dubai, but the best way to get an overview of the city is to head up to the observation deck of Burj Khalifa. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world at 2722 feet (just over half a mile). Your kids will absolutely love seeing the city skyline, desert and ocean all at once. Tell them this is what it feels like to be on top of the world! There are three observation decks: on its 124th, 125th and 148th floors.
Be sure not to miss the Dubai Fountain as the foot of Burj Khalifa. This is the world’s largest performing water fountain at over 900 feet in length. The stunning light and music extravaganza takes place every evening.
Another Dubai lookout point you should not miss is the View at the Palm. Located on 52nd floor of Palm Tower, it is first-of-its-kind facility that offers the entire display of the iconic man-made island of Palm Jumeirah which is well-known for its massive palm-tree like design.
Want to add a bit of fun and thrill to your sky-high sightseeing? Don’t miss the recently launched Skywalk Dubai, featuring three thrilling experiences: Observatory, Sky Slide and Edge Walk.
2. Enjoy a fun-packed day at the Dubai Mall
Walking around a mall may not sound like a great thing to do with kids, but this is no ordinary mall. Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest malls and it can take hours to explore. We are sure your kids will have a great time .
Let your kids make the most of the kid-centric attractions such as KidZania Dubai, VR Park (all about virtual reality), Dubai Ice Skating Rink, Trampo Extreme, and Ekart Zabeel while you endlessly browse through its 1200 stores. Apart from these fun activities, one definite must visit is Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo with a massive 10 million liter tank with over 33,000 marine creatures.
Note: Dubai Mall is attached to Burj Khalifa, so plan on buying your timed ticket in advance and then spending the rest of the day enjoying the mall.
If you are looking for Ski Dubai (an indoor ski resort!), Magic Planet arcade, movies, or bowling, you’ll want to head to Mall of the Emirates. It’s a little smaller with only 900 stores, but it offers a large variety of entertainment as well.
3. Visit Motiongate Dubai
Motiongate Dubai is the region’s first Hollywood themed amusement park. With four areas inspired by the celebrated motion picture studios (including Dreamworks Animation, Lionsgate, Columbia Pictures and Smurfs), you can imagine the amount of action, fun and entertainment that await your active teens and young children here.
Motiongate is a part of Dubai Parks and Resorts based in the Middle East. They also manage three other parks: Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park, plus three hotels and a dedicated retail and dining zone (Riverland Dubai.) In fact, it boasts of everything you need for an enjoyable family holiday.
4. Have a Picnic at Dubai’s Green Parks
Dubai has some stunning parks with impeccably manicured lawns throughout the city. They are quite peaceful and filled with family friendly attractions. The best thing is that they are affordable. Entry tickets not more than AED 5 per person, and the majority of these parks offer free entry for children under 3.
Be sure to visit Dubai Creek Park which is home to the kids’ favorite Dubai Dolphinarium and Children’s City. For an action and fun based outing, head to visit Mushrif Park, with attractions like Aventura Parks and World Village on its grounds. Other Dubai parks including Umm Suqeim Park, Al Ittihad Park, Burj Park and Jumeirah Beach are equally worth visiting.
5. Check out the Museum of Illusions
This might be the only museum your kids will ask to visit over and over again. The Museum of Illusion has some astonishingly mind-bending exhibits. From the Chair Illusion, Turntables and Clone Table to Ames Room, Anti-Gravity Room and Head on the Platter, this place is sure to amuse and confuse your brain at the same time. This is one place the whole family is sure to enjoy.
6. Take a Desert Safari
If you have any concerns about traveling to Dubai’s isolated desert, don’t give it a second thought. A desert safari Dubai combines exhilarating action, adventure, culture and entertainment all rolled into one package.
It starts with a 4X4 dune bash and a wobbly camel ride to the Bedouin-inspired activities like henna tattooing, there is never a dull moment on your desert escape. Depending on your chosen desert safari, you will get to savor a BBQ dinner and watch traditional performances including Belly Dance and Tanura show. Both younger and older kids will enjoy every bit of this off-the-beaten-track tour.
7. See Amazing Wildlife at Dubai Safari Park
Not far from Dubai’s glistening sights is the understated yet marvelous Dubai Safari Park – a truly unique attraction especially designed for wildlife enthusiasts. It features over 3000 animals representing close to 80 rare species in its four zones: Asian Village, Arabian Desert Safari, African Village and Explorer Village. This allows you to see rare and endangered creatures from around the world up close.
There are opportunities to see live shows, go behind the scenes, learn from the guides, and sign up for activities like Breakfast with Birds or King of Safari.
8. Spin on Ain Dubai
Ain Dubai is one of Dubai’s newest attractions; soaring to a height of 750 feet, it is the world’s largest observation wheel. A rotation in one of its 48 air-conditioned capsules is sure to delight enthrall adults and small children alike.
The wheel offers the most astonishing 360 degree views over Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai Marina and more. For an intimate and exclusive experience, choose a premium cabin which comes with a welcome drink, chocolates, and more.
9. Cruise the Creek or Marina
Set out on a laid-back dhow cruise on the historic Dubai Creek or the stylish Dubai Marina! This is an alternative sightseeing experience which also allows everyone to rest.
For an unforgettable cruise experience, choose an evening dhow cruise which lets you see the splendidly lit nighttime skyline from a different perspective. Some tours offer a lavish buffet meal and live entertainment like Tanura onboard. No matter the boat ride you choose, kids are sure to enjoy their time on the water.
10. Spend the day enjoying Endless Water Fun
One of the latest kids friendly attractions in Dubai is AquaFun Dubai, the largest inflatable water park in the world. With over 70 cool obstacles in its 5000 square meters space (completely outdoors), a visit here is super thrilling for adults and amazingly fun for young kids and teens. Beyond exhilarating water fun, it stands out for its spellbinding location, with the spectacular sights and attractions like Bluewaters Island, Ain Dubai, and JBR in the backdrop.
Dubai also has some of the best water parks in the world, like Aquaventure Waterpark with a beach, a water play area, and over 100 water slides and experiences. Wild Wadi Water Park is another good option with thrilling rides, slides, and a lazy river.
11. Stroll through the stunning Dubai Miracle Garden
You’ve never seen a garden quite like this. Every season, flower displays come to life in the Dubai Miracle Garden. With over 150 million flowers spanning over 17 acres, younger kids, teens, and adults will all love exploring this park.
There’s an Instagrammable moment around every corner with a floral castle, heart tunnel, giant floral teddy bear, and even an Emirates A380 airliner covered in flowers! The park also offers dining and entertainment, so plan on spending at least half a day here.
If you have time, don’t miss the Dubai Butterfly Garden next door. There are over 15,000 butterflies and kids will love it!
Where to Stay in Dubai with kids
Dubai is a wonderful destination to visit with your family. Bring the kids along and let them create some beautiful childhood memories in this magical Arabian city. Don’t forget to get your Dubai visa (if essential), pre-book your accommodation, and add some or all above attractions on your Dubai checklist. After that, you’re ready to go! And if you’re looking for more things to do, don’t miss these best day trips from Dubai.
About the author: Neha is a writer by passion and profession. She has visited 5 countries and 32 cities across various cultures and landscapes. She enjoys meeting locals and learning from them. In her free time, she loves singing, painting, and playing tennis.