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14 best family attractions in Dubai

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Last updated: 23 April, 2024

By many standards Dubai is an exceptional place – when they do something here it’s usually either the biggest in the world, or a world first. Perhaps not surprising then that few, if any, cities can rival Dubai for a family holiday.

Hotels are exceptionally family-friendly, with plenty of bed and bedroom configurations, kids’ meals, space for play and facilities galore (including kids’ clubs). Then, there’s a prevalence of good weather, golden sand beaches and waterparks – a heady mix for any kid.

Even a trip to the shopping mall – usually an occasion of dread for the little nippers – can yield skiing, ice skating, giant aquariums, waterfalls, cinemas, oversized toy shops and more in Dubai’s mega shopping malls slash entertainment centres.

Last, but not least, there there are a ridiculous number of specialist family attractions and activities on offer. Here’s our round-up of some of the best.

Who to go with: tour operators

14

Aquaventure Waterpark

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Aquaventure Waterpark

Experience

Colossal marine and waterpark located at Atlantis The Palm, featuring adrenalin-pumping slides, including 12 new slides added at Trident Tower. Heaven for kids and big kids; only the bravest dare to try the near-vertical ‘Leap of Faith’ waterslide.

Adult price: £70

Good for age: 4+

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

aerial view of camels racing

Bucket List Experience

Camel Racing at Al Marmoom

Camels have always been an integral and essential part of Emirati life – for milk and meat, for transport, and for entertainment.

Like horse racing in other countries, camel racing is a hugely popular and traditional sport in Dubai – one dating back to the 7th century. Also like their equestrian peers, racing camels are big business. Prices start at $20,000 – the fastest can fetch bids over $2,000,000.

Dubai’s biggest camel racing track, Al Marmoom, located at the Dubai Camel Racing Club, is the best place to experience this lively tradition.

Races, with anything from 15-60 competing camels, last about 15 minutes, and range from 2.5 miles to 6 miles, depending on the weight, age and gender of the camels.

Thankfully, jockeys were banned in 2002 in UAE – the camels now spring in response to prompts from robot jockeys tied to their humps, with trainers following behind in 4x4s.

If you have time, and even if you’re not a typical fan of such sports, a visit to the track is well worth it for a fascinating insight into Emirati culture, tradition and rituals –  and the unique and thrilling spectacle.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: Half day

When: Oct-Apr

Freq: Selected dates

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

With a depth of 60 metres, Deep Dive Dubai adds a new superlative to the city’s attractions. It’s the world’s deepest diving pool.

But this is no ordinary pool. Themed like a post-apocalyptic sunken city, divers can explore a fully-furnished abandoned apartment, play arcade games, sit on a sofa, and shoot some pool, all underwater. It’s a fun, underwater theme park and unlike any other diving facility anywhere in the world.

Don’t worry if you’re not a diver – you can join a Discover Scuba session, or even just snorkel, to get a taste of the experience. Certified divers can explore the true depths, and there are a number of courses designed to help you improve your diving skills.

Especially for under 12s

Children aged 6 and upwards can book in for a special ‘kids experience’ – choose between snorkelling, free diving or tankless scuba diving. If they’re over 10 they can also do a ‘Scuba Discovery’ dive up to 12m.

Adult price: £90

Min age 6

Good for age: 6+

Duration: 2+ hours

Aqua Fun

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Aqua Fun

Experience

The name says it all – 110 inflatable games and challenges floating on water offering hours of energetic fun for kids and adults alike. The world’s largest inflatable waterpark at 2,700 sq m is 25m off the beach at the Jumeirah Beach Residence. Open all year round.

Adult price: £35

Min age 6

Good for age: 6+

Dubai Fountain

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai Fountain

Experience

Set in the 30-acre Burj Lake, at the foot of the Burj Khalifa next to Dubai Mall, this Bellagio-esque, 5-minute light, sound and water spectacular sees jets of water shoot up to 140m into the air, synchronised to music. It takes place every 30 minutes from 6pm, over an area covering 2 football pitches. Head to the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk for the best view.

Good for age: 4+

Duration: 5 minutes

When: Daily from 6pm

Freq: daily

Global Village

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Colorful Entrance to Global Village with crowd in Dubai, UAE. Brightly colouredl lights and highly detailed pavilion facades have helped make Global Village one of Dubai's most popular attractions

Experience

A family-friendly journey around the world in one evening, full of shopping, food and entertainment. Pick up honey from Yemen, kaftans from Morocco, Thai food from the floating market, and go for a spin on the fairground rides. Good – if slightly kitsch – fun.

Adult price: £5

Good for age: 8+

IMG Worlds of Adventure

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

IMG Worlds of Adventure

Experience

A monstrously large indoor amusement park, with five entertainment zones: two original concepts ‘IMG Boulevard’ and a dinosaur-themed ‘Lost valley’, and zones for international brands Marvel and Cartoon Network featuring the well-known characters and heroes. The fifth zone is a 12-screen cinema complex.

Adult price: £45

Good for age: 4+

Laguna Waterpark

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Laguna Waterpark

Experience

This small (by Dubai’s standards) waterpark – the newest of the bunch – is on the waterfront at La Mer, so also comes with a beach. Better for older, water chute-loving kids and infinity-pool-loving adults.

Adult price: £37

Good for age: 4+

Legoland Dubai

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Legoland Dubai

Experience

The Dubai outlet of this popular theme park – packed with jaw-dropping Lego constructions and over 40 Lego-themed rides – is a great day out for kids 2-12. The air-conditioned indoor mini-land has Lego models of all Dubai’s top landmarks.

Adult price: £55

Good for age: 4+

Motion Gate

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Motion Gate

Experience

This mega-theme park is inspired by Hollywood, with zones, shows, rides and characters themed around blockbuster movies such as Shrek and Madagascar for little ones –  there’s even a full-blown Smurf’s Village on-site – and Hunger Games for older children. There’s even an on-site, working movie studio for behind-the-scenes tours.

Adult price: £40

Good for age: 4+

Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai

Experience

A smallish waterpark inspired by Arabian myths/legends (Sinbad and Juha) popularised in children’s stories, with a reasonable fare of child-friendly water chutes, waterfalls and wave pools. It’s a great spot for families with younger kids – older kids will be bored after a couple of hours and would be better at the Aquaventure alternative.

Adult price: £46

Good for age: 4+

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

In a desert city where summer temperatures nudge 50°C, Dubai’s 60-plus shopping malls serve a similar function to city parks – vast open spaces where citizens can gather in comfort to wander and mingle, as well as to dine and shop.

The bigger malls also serve as entertainment hubs, with everything from cinema complexes and kids’ edutainment zones, to giant aquariums and regular live events. Even if you’re not a shopper, a visit to a mall is a quintessential Dubai experience – and one of the city’s favourite pastimes.

Good for age: 4+

Duration: -

Dubai Garden Glow

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai Garden Glow

Experience

An outdoor park featuring over 500 different displays and sculptures, illuminated by millions of lights. Highlights include famous monuments like the Taj Mahal, a Dinosaur Park with life-sized dinosaur models, the Underwater World, and the Magic Park, with interactive exhibits and optical illusions.

Adult price: £15

Good for age: 4+

Dubai Safari Park

  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Dubai Safari Park

Experience

This 119-hectare wildlife sanctuary is home to over 3,000 animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. Visitors can take a safari tour, watch animal shows, and explore the park’s various global habitats. Great for learning about the local desert wildlife too.

Adult price: £17

Good for age: 4+

Logistics

Price from: £15+
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around