When planning a family vacation, Dubai probably isn't the first destination that comes to mind—but it should be! Now, I know what you're probably thinking: that's a very long flight for a family. While it's true that the flights to and from Dubai are long, airlines like Emirates take extra steps to make sure flying with children is a breeze. And once you do arrive, there are tons of activities and attractions you'll want to check off of your to-do list.
For starters, Dubai is home to unforgettable landmarks, from the world's tallest building—the Burj Khalifa—to...the world's tallest picture frame (). If history is more your thing, you can explore Old Dubai and do some shopping at the souks. It's also a short ride out to the desert, where you can try something a bit more adventurous, like sand surfing or riding a camel. If you're looking for something on the relaxing, Dubai has gorgeous sandy beaches along the Persian Gulf where you can soak up the sun. With the options to hit the city or the beach, there really is something for everyone in your family.
The only thing better than having all of these options is the weather. Dubai has a warm, summery climate year round. It can get pretty hot during the summer, but temperatures are ideal from October through March. And here's the best news: you never have to feel the anxiety of seeing rain in the forecast for your upcoming trip. It is very rare to experience rainfall in Dubai, and if you do, it's likely to be a shower that ends quickly. And honestly, nothing ruins a family vacation more than rain.
If I haven't fully convinced you yet, there are a few more attractions that should seal the deal. Below are seven of the best activities you and your family can enjoy in Dubai.
With fun rides, a massive waterpark, and a mini replica of downtown Dubai made entirely of Legos, Legoland Dubai has tons of activities to keep your family busy. Plus, there are plenty of food options, shops, and two other parks—MOTIONGATE and Bollywood—within walking distance.
There's nothing quite like walking through the suspended tank at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. It's over 167 feet long, and 65 feet wide, and houses more than 140 different species. Access to the zoo starts at 100 AED, or about $28 USD. When you're done at the aquarium, there's plenty of mall for you and your family to explore.
It gets pretty warm in Dubai, so what better way to cool off than a massive water park? Wild Wadi Waterpark has 30 slides and rides, and an incredible view of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. It's also right next door to the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel, one of the beach front properties of the Jumeirah resorts. It's the perfect spot for your family to stay and play.
The Museum of Illusions is less than a year old but it's already become a must-see attraction in Dubai. There are over 80 exhibits, and tons of mind boggling optical illusions, from an anti-gravity room to a chair that makes its occupants look like they've shrunk in size. There are surprises for you and your kids around every corner. The family ticket, which includes two adult tickets and two child tickets, is 205 AED, so just about $56 USD.
The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world's largest natural flower garden, so you know it's something you have to see. From blooming archways to massive flower sculptures (i.e. the giant Emirates airplane), there are 150 million flowers and so much to take in as you stroll through the different paths of the garden. The garden also offers weekly live shows and a trampoline park for kids to enjoy.
Skiing might not be at the top of your mind when you're planning a trip to Dubai, but you need to check out Dubai's indoor ski resort. Located inside Dubai's massive Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You and your family will enter into a winter wonderland where you can ski, sled, ride the chair lift, and tumble down a snowy hill inside a giant inflatable ball—all inside a mall. And you don't have to worry about packing snow gear—you can rent or buy gear on your way in.
From Marvel superheroes to Cartoon Network characters and even dinosaurs, IMG Worlds of Adventure brings all of your favorite tv shows and movies to life. This indoor amusement park is the size of 28 football fields and offers more than 20 rides for your family to try. There are also shops, restaurants, and a movie theater.