Sparkling white sandy beaches, jaw-dropping attractions and simply bonkers water parks, Dubai has stacks of appeal for children young and old. Add in a bunch of great beach resorts, epic shopping malls and some top-notch child-friendly dining and the jewel of the UAE is the ideal family holiday. We’ve picked our favourite Dubai attractions suitable for young children.
1/8 Ace the adventure in Aventura Parks
Thrill-seekers beware, the tree-top walks, zip lines and Tarzan swings in Aventura Nature Adventure Park are highly addictive whatever age you are. Set in the Great Ghaf forest in Dubai’s Mushrif Park, this state-of-the-art high-ropes park is a great active day out for kids aged four and up. It features more than 80 different challenges across five levels, including dizzyingly high Tarzan swings, wobbly rope bridges and the longest tree-top zip-lines in the emirates.
Find out more about Aventura Nature Adventure Park
2/8 Go deep, deep down in the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Peep behind the glass of one of the world’s largest aquariums to find more than 400 different species of sea creatures. Housed in Dubai Mall, the 11-metre high fish tank also has a glass tunnel where kids can safely eyeball sharks and stingray. Don’t miss feeding time at the Underwater Zoo and witness the Zoo’s newest resident, King Croc, devour his enormous dinner. At seven metres long and over 750 kgs, he’s one of the largest reptiles on the planet.
Find out more about Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
3/8 Big dreams in a small city at KidZania
Who would have thought that a careers-themed amusement park would make such a great day out for kids? Aimed at children aged two to 14, KidZania is a fully interactive kid-sized city where children can enjoy all the fun of being a grown up. They can perform a variety of jobs, including being a dentist, an airline pilot or even a customs officer. Every session’s ‘work’ earns KidZos, the park’s currency, which can be spent in KidZania shops or in the KidZania souk in Heritage City.
Find out more about more about visiting Kidzania
4/8 Let’s get mythical in the Lost Chambers of Atlantis
Themed around the mythical Lost City of Atlantis, the Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm is so much more than your standard fish tank. Your little nippers can come face-to-face with big nippers, like baby alligators, silvery sharks and the mean-eyed stingray. Parents and older kids can also book a once-in-a-lifetime experience like diving with sharks, while all the family can try an Atlantis Aquatrek, where you wear a special helmet to walk and breathe underwater
Find out more about the Lost Chambers Aquarium
5/8 Get on down in Play! Town
High five Barney the Dinosaur, dance with Angelina Ballerina or build a wall with Bob at Mattel Play! Town in CityWalk Mall. It’s a bright and buzzy indoor theme park themed around five famous TV characters, Barney the Dinosaur, Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam. This highly interactive play centre offers a mix of live shows, interactive classes and 3D cinema experiences and is perfect for kids up to eight years.
Find out more about Mattel Play! Town
6/8 It’s a block party at LEGOLAND Dubai
A day at LEGOLAND Dubai is a must for little block-monsters. Visit MINILAND, for LEGO versions of Dubai’s iconic architecture, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The park is largely aimed at 2-12 year olds who come to ride the Dragon Coaster in KINGDOM, the knights and dragons themed land, or race pump-powered fire engines in LEGO City’s Rescue Academy. Don’t miss the cool submarine ride through an underwater world of tropical fish, zebra sharks and rays.
Find out more about LEGOLAND Dubai
7/8 Jump around at Bounce Dubai
Want to escape the sun for an hour or two? Head to Bounce in the Al Quoz District, Dubai’s biggest urban trampoline park. Inside the huge hangar-sized warehouse there are various zones, including Free Jump which has 50 interconnected trampolines to fling yourself around on. For more experienced bouncers, it has The Wall and a massive stunt airbag, while the Dodgeball Pit is for groups. Safety is paramount, and after the initial instruction children aged three and upwards can bounce to their heart’s content.
Find out more about trampolining at Bounce
9/8 Welcome to the jolly Green Planet
Only in Dubai can you find a living tropical rainforest in the middle of the desert. This vast futuristic biodome on CityWalk features an indoor living rainforest with over 3,000 plants and animals. Spread across four levels, you’ll wind up through the Forest Floor, the Flooded Rainforest and the Midstory to the canopy, some 45 metres above the ground. Kids will love meeting the resident sloth, saying hello to toucans and trying to spot the chameleons.