Futuristic skyscrapers and thrilling theme parks mean that a holiday to Dubai is high on many teenagers’ bucket list. From Hunger Games-themed rollercoasters to snowboarding lessons, check out our top Dubai teen attractions to turn teenage frowns upside down.
1/9 Scream if you want to go faster at MOTIONGATE
Dubai Parks and Resorts is a sprawling theme park, hotel and entertainment complex just south of Dubai. If you’re travelling with teens, maybe swerve the primary-coloured attractions of LEGOLAND Dubai and head straight to the Hollywood-themed MOTIONGATE theme park. This autumn, it opens the new Lionsgate zone which features two Hunger Games’ themed rides; the Capitol Bullet Train rollercoaster, and the Panem Aerial Tour, a super high-tech motion simulator ride over Panem and the Capitol.
Find out more about MOTIONGATE Dubai
2/9 For more OMGs head to IMG
Opened in August 2016, IMG Worlds of Adventure in the City of Arabia area of Dubai is the world’s largest indoor theme park. It has four different zones, including the Jurassic-themed Lost Valley: Dinosaur Adventure, which features the pant-wettingly fast Velociraptor, Dubai’s fastest and tallest rollercoaster. Head to the Marvel zone for the stomach-churning Thor Thunder Spin, and Avengers Battle of Ultron, a slick motion simulator ride. Older teens (15+) can brave the ghoulish Haunted Hotel, a live-action ‘spooktacular’ experience through a maze of scary corridors but be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Find out more about IMG Worlds of Adventure
3/9 Water wild way to spend the day
Wild in name and wild in nature, Wild Wadi water park is a magnet for thrill-seeking teenagers. Overlooking the iconic sail of the Burj Al Arab, fearless teens come to conquer the Burj Surj, a pair of twisting high-speed slides, and Jumeirah Sceirah, 32-metre-high twin drop slides which reach 80 kph. Over in Atlantis, The Palm and the sprawling Aquaventure waterpark, you need nerves of steel to tackle the Tower of Neptune, an almost vertical slide which speeds through a shark-infested pool.
4/9 Carve up the slopes at Ski Dubai
In Dubai, you can expect the unexpected. And what’s more unexpected than finding a ski slope in the Arabian Desert? Set in the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is the UAE’s largest indoor ski resort. It has more than 22,000 square metres of undulating real-snow slopes, plus chairlifts, jumps and alpine-themed cafes. From nursery slopes to black runs, Ski Dubai caters for all abilities. Book private 1-2-1 lessons on the slopes or join one of the group snowboarding or skiing classes. Don’t miss a royal audience with the resident colony of king penguins in the Penguin Encounter.
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5/9 Go from zero to hero in 2.4 seconds
Hub Zero, Dubai’s first immersive gaming theme park, is a guaranteed winner when it comes to teen entertainment. Situated in City Walk, this interactive gaming zone features all the latest video games from Pro-Evolution soccer to Resident Evil, plus unique virtual reality experiences, karaoke booths and a retro arcade. Aside from the 70 different gaming stations, kids can play laser tag battles like Gears of War Laser Siege, or try the 4D cinema experiences, Asura’s Wrath, Dragon Age, and Flight of the Wardens.
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6/9 It’s safari so-goody in the Arabian Desert
One day, try and drag the teenager away from Dubai’s many theme parks and shopping malls and head out to the vast sandy plains of the Arabian Desert for an unbeatable desert experience. A Dubai safari is a must-do on any Dubai holiday. Spot desert wildlife like Arabian oryx and gazelle, ride a camel over the dunes or watch falcons catch their prey. After dark, kick back with a traditional Bedouin-style feast under a blanket of twinkling stars.
Find out more about planning your Dubai safari in the Arabian Desert
7/9 Get ready to rumble at the Dubai Autodrome
The Dubai Autodrome is a great day out for all the family. A 25-minute drive from Downtown Dubai in Dubailand, the motor racing circuit hosts the emirate’s biggest motorsports events including the Dubai 24-Hour endurance race. Teen petrolheads with a need for speed can try out the 12km international circuit at the Dubai Kartdrome. No pre-booking is required and all gear is included, so just turn up and drive. Even the oldies can get in on the act with a Formula DXB racing car experience on the main track.
Find out more about the Dubai Autodrome
8/9 Dinner with a difference on Dubai Creek
Only in Dubai can you dine out while floating down a creek on a giant inflatable donut. The Boardwalk restaurant at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht club offers a unique dining experience aboard one of their BBQ donuts. Each sea-faring vessel seats up to eight and comes with a charcoal barbecue grill and a hamper of marinated meats, fresh seafood and sides. If you don’t fancy cooking, book a captain who’s also handy with the barbecue tongs and they will cook up a feast as you float down Dubai Creek.
Find out more about dining on Dubai Creek
9/9 Old Dubai, turning teenagers into culture vultures
Dubai is not all about dazzling skyscrapers and designer shopping, this former fishing village has a long and fascinating history. South of Dubai Creek in Bur Dubai is the Dubai Museum housed in Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in the city. While the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), which opened in Bur Dubai in 1998, explores the culture and customs of the UAE, it also offers interactive experiences from Arabic classes and walking tours to guided visits of Dubai’s mosques. For a more recent history lesson, visit the Etihad Museum, which was built on the foundations of Union House, where the treaty to unify all seven emirates was signed in 1971.