- 1 How to Plan a Family Holiday to The Pearl of UAE: Dubai
- 2 What to do in Dubai with kids
- 3 How to save money with kids in Dubai
We discuss where to stay and what you do to help you plan your family holiday to the Pearl of the UAE Dubai.
When you think family holiday, perhaps the United Arab Emirates isn’t the first destination that comes to mind. But, if you’re looking to make unique travel memories, it definitely should be. Dubai is a wonderful place for a family holiday. The bustling modern city is home to luxury shopping, relaxing resorts, and awesome parks that the kids will love—there’s truly something for everyone in the family.
If you’ve never been to Dubai before, much less with children, it may seem like a daunting task figuring out where to go and what to do and how to keep everyone happy. That’s why this article will begin with a short introduction to Dubai, and then you’ll be filled in on where to stay and what you do to help you plan your family holiday to the Pearl of the UAE.
How to Plan a Family Holiday to The Pearl of UAE: Dubai
There are seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai is probably the most modernized and progressive of the seven.
Dubai has invested lots of money into its tourism industry in the past few years, so its popularity as a travel destination is definitely on the rise.
Strip away the infrastructure, and you’re essentially left with desert, so climate makes it an ideal place to go on holiday, especially to escape the cold of winter.
How to get to Dubai
Dubai conveniently is home to the Dubai International Airport, the largest airport in the Middle East.
When you should go
When you are planning your trip to Dubai, you can expect hot weather pretty much year-round.
That being said, the best time to travel to Dubai is probably from November to March.
During winter, the heat will be tolerable, and the beach will be the place to be.
Of course, if you want to miss the crowds, then you should think about going in the summer.
But first, you need to make sure that everyone in your family is up to facing lots of humidity and much hotter temperatures than you are probably used to.
You’ll definitely be spending most of your time in the air-conditioned indoors.
How long you should stay
Dubai is a very large city with tons of things to do and see.
If you want to feel relatively relaxed, consider spending a full week in Dubai, and don’t forget to get amazing full body massage after all excursions and sightseeing.
That way, you can also fit in any excursions outside of Dubai, like a trip to the desert or to nearby towns and cities like Sharjah or Abu Dhabi.
Getting your visa
If you’re from the UK, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia, or the United States, you can get a visa upon arrival.
Your visa will be valid for 30 days, but you can extend it by paying a fee.
If you have Israeli stamps in your passport, you should be able to get in, although it’s possible that you will be refused entry.
Where to stay
Dubai has plenty to offer families in terms of accommodation.
You can book apartments for longer stays or hotels in the center for shorter stays.
Have a look at some of the following options and see if any seem like a good fit:
This is a comfortable hotel at a budget price, making it a popular choice for families.
It’s not close to the beaches so if that’s your aim, maybe don’t choose Aloft, but it is a short drive away from downtown.
Atlantis the Palm:
Here you have a luxury option for the family looking to spend some dough!
This five-star hotel is built on a man-made island! It even has a waterpark and an aquarium.
Emirates Grand Hotel:
This is another luxury option located near the center of activity in Dubai.
It has an outdoor pool and is next to the metro station. You are also within walking distance of a plethora of restaurants.
What to do in Dubai with kids
Now here’s the most important part, what will you and your family do in Dubai?
Worry not, for there are awesome activities for everyone.
But in case you need some help getting started to check out these following activities:
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Head to the Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the whole world (move over Mall of America!) and discover the world’s largest aquarium.
The Dubai Aquarium is home to 33,000 animals, including 400 sharks and rays.
If you feel like you’ve already spent enough money on the 5-star hotel, you can view the aquarium through a large window for free, or for a price you can walk through the viewing tunnel and see all of the other exhibits too.
A trip to Dubai should also be about learning about another culture and history.
So make sure dedicated some time to visiting the Jumeirah Mosque.
This should be especially easy if you have chosen to stay at the Atlantis the Palm hotel since the mosque shares the same island.
This is the only mosque in Dubai that is open to the public, meaning that non-Muslims are welcome to enter.
While you’re there, you can stop by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, which offers daily mosque tours which include water, Arabic coffee, tea, dates, and pastries.
When visiting the mosque, please make sure to wear modest attire.
Dubai is home to a lot of the largest and biggest things.
So it’s no surprise that it’s home to one of the world’s tallest towers.
The Burj Khalifa measures 828 meters and has observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors.
Make sure to get your tickets well in advance since they are more expensive at the door, not to mention they sell pretty fast.
If you go to the aquarium, you can kill two birds with one stone by also visiting the mall.
As mentioned above, the Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world, featuring 1,200 retail outlets.
You’ll find global brands and artisanal clothing made locally.
There are plenty of luxury spots, as well. If you want to ditch the kids for a bit, you can drop them off at KidZania where they will be monitored while they play.
If you really want a cultural immersion (highly recommended by the way), you should make sure to spend some time in one of Dubai’s many souks or markets.
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time, whether you go to a traditional spice souk or a jewelry souk.
Make sure to try your hand at haggling, because the first prices you get might be a little too high!
How to save money with kids in Dubai
Often, when you go on a family vacation, how much you spend, can be a large source of anxiety.
Unfortunately, if you plan to travel, especially internationally with your kids, you must accept the fact that you will spend more money than you want to.
That being said, there some things you can always do not to go bankrupt:
Fly a budget airline:
In general, you can find pretty good deals on bargain flights by looking at airlines like Flynas.
Stay at a budget hotel:
If you’re with your kids, it’s time to forego luxuries you might otherwise enjoy and stay at a cheaper hotel like Aloft Me’aisam, as mentioned above.
Focus on the things you can do that don’t actually cost money; stroll through the markets, integrate yourself walking the streets of downtown, or enjoy a simple day at the beach.
There’s a reason that Dubai is considered to be the pearl of the United Arab Emirates.
It has ancient roots and rich traditions—the perfect place to go back in time and learn about another culture.
At the same time, it’s modern and young and is home to many of the world’s leading feats in architecture and smart city design.
Just make sure you plan well ahead before you and the family head there, that way you can spend more time enjoying yourself at the moment.