Just a few years ago, who would have thought about heading to Abu Dhabi for a family break? Now this Arabian gem is one of the most happening destinations with new theme parks, desert adventures and extravagant family friendly hotels –all just a seven-hour flight from the UK. Lucy McGuire reveals the best places to stay with kids

8/8 Qasr Al Sarab

Located in the vast expanse of desert known as The Empty Quarter, Qasr al Sarab rises out of the sand like an oasis, with majestic dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s easily one of the most mythical family resorts you’ll find.

The Empty Quarter, or ‘Rub’ al Khali’ as it’s known in Arabic, is the world’s largest contiguous sand desert. This family friendly hotel is a two-hour transfer from the airport and the magic you find when you arrive is well worth waiting for.

Facilities and food
You’ll find both Middle Eastern and international food here. All seven restaurants are child friendly and highchairs are available. Aside from the spa, gym, tennis courts and freeform swimming pool, there are child friendly cooking classes and spectacular excursions that allow you to explore the desert!

Qasr Al Sarab is one of the best places to stay for a palatial, Arabic feel and the Anantara Suites come with connecting rooms for families, twinkly Arabic lanterns and a luxurious design. For a little more space, private villas come with their own plunge pool, heaps of space and a butler.

Why it's great for families
From camel riding and learning about Bedouin culture to falconry shows, this hotel offers unforgettable family experiences. When they’re not camel trekking, little ones can enjoy the small kids’ club (ages 3-12), or you can take advantage of their babysitting service.

Price: £503 based on their Family desert getaway package