Dubai has amazing architecture to be praised. Every year, a flock of people move to the city for having quality...
Who doesn’t love the great outdoors? Whether you’re living in UAE for some time now or are just visiting for the first time, you might be wondering what there is so much to do with your kids when it comes to outdoor activities. The good news is that there are lots of fun places to log off from the digital world and connect while having fun at the same time.
So, take the kids outdoors. Nature changes our mood, attitudes, and perspective on life. Get involved in gardening, upcycle, recycle and learn how to give back to the earth by knowing sustainable practices and the importance of planting native species that require little water and can withstand heat.
For a better experience, book your tours with a reliable Dubai destination management company and have fun without any hustle.
If you don’t pick one of the beaches in Dubai with artificial waves or slides, you’ll have to find something else for your kids to do when they get bored of sitting around sunbathing.
The best way is to pack lots of water toys – buckets, spades, and inflatables – but even better is to know where you can go swimming. The sea can be dangerous at times, but there are also plenty of places where it is calm enough for kids to paddle in safety.
Water parks are a fun way to beat the heat, but not all of us want to pay for expensive water park tickets every weekend.
Luckily, there are several free public splash pads and swimming pools in the UAE that you can visit on weekends. The best part? They are usually open from 8 am until sunset, so your kids can play for hours.
Some of our favorites include:
The water parks in UAE are fun for all ages – remember to pack lots of sunscreens, hats, and drinking water.
Fancy seeing the Arabian wilderness without having to leave your car? A Sharjah safari park is a perfect way to get up close and personal with camels, gazelles, and wild deer. You can also go dune bashing, spot a herd of oryx (the UAE’s national animal), and enjoy sunset views over the desert.
The adventure-loving family is spoiled for choice for the UAE’s outdoors.
Camping or “glamping” (glamorous camping) are great ways to experience the UAE’s desert and taste nomadic life.
The camps are usually open from November to April, with accommodation offered in tents with comfortable beds, air conditioning, and bathrooms.
You can rent a tent and camp on your own, or if you’re not feeling quite so adventurous, there are plenty of options that come with guides who know the area well and can suggest activities.
If you’re looking for a rustic experience, there are a couple of campsites in Dubai, but the Desert Palm Resort has’ glamping’ if you’re looking for a little more luxury. It’s an hour’s drive from Dubai and is great for families with kids of all ages. There are activities such as horse riding and archery on offer, but one of the best things to do is take a walk through the polo fields and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
There’s nothing better than getting out on your bike or scooter and enjoying the freedom of the road.
You don’t need to go far for a good bike ride – there are plenty of parks in Dubai that have bike tracks, including Mushrif Park, Zabeel Park, and Al Qudra Cycling Track (which is 85km long).
We also like heading to one of Dubai’s beaches for a bike ride with the kids. In Abu Dhabi, there are cycle paths at Yas Island, Khor Al Maqta, or the Corniche.
You can also take your scooters to Al Qudra Cycle Path or head to Dubai’s Kite Beach between 7 am and 5 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays when the area is dedicated to scooters only.
This will be a fun and educational day out, as your kids can come face to face with animals they may have only previously seen on television.
In Dubai, head to the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at The Dubai Mall, where you’ll find a huge aquarium tank that houses more than 33,000 aquatic animals. There are also 10 different zones to explore, including the rainforest zone and the dangerous predator zone.
In Abu Dhabi, check out the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, where children can learn about Islam through interactive exhibits and questions about the religion.
It’s a great time of year for people-watching at a mall, and you’ll find lots of families walking around the air-conditioned corridors. Grab an ice cream or some sweets from one of the many stores and have a sit down on one of the benches. Or take some time to feed the fish or watch them swim around in The Dubai Mall’s underwater zoo or Yas Mall’s sea lions show. For something different, head to The Beach at JBR, where you can try your hand at beach sports or watch the street entertainers who regularly perform during summer.
Hatta has become a popular destination for those looking to escape the city. It’s just two hours drive from Dubai and offers beautiful scenery, lots of greenery, and some fantastic activities. The Hatta Pools are a great option for families with kids, as the pools are well maintained, and the water running through them is crystal clear. This pool is located right at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, so you’ll have an amazing view while you’re swimming. You can also try other sports like kayaking or mountain biking.
If it’s too hot or rainy for outdoor activities, why not take the family ice skating instead? Ice Park at Dubai Mall is open until Sunday, September 30, for its summer season, so there is plenty of time to go along.
The ice rink is open daily from 10 am until 10 pm, with sessions lasting two hours each. Tickets cost Dhs80 for adults and Dhs70 for children aged between five and 12 years old, while those under five can skate for free when accompanied by an adult.
Head to Dubai Autodrome for a fun kart race with the kids. The venue offers three different tracks for various age groups, and it’s a great place to get the adrenaline pumping. The venue also offers many other activities, such as karting and drag racing classes.
Go dune bashing in the desert for some off-road fun that the whole family can enjoy, or head to Al Qudra Lake to spot some flamingos and other migratory birds – you might even see a cheetah. There too!
A hot-air balloon ride over the desert is great fun for all the family. With gorgeous views and an exciting adventure, taking off over the dunes is a must-do activity for kids and adults alike. Companies such as Royal Balloon offer early morning rides that incorporate a sunrise breakfast at a Bedouin camp nearby.
This would be a great start! The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden. It currently has more than 50 million flowers planted over 72,000 square meters. If you want to take your kids to an amazing garden that they will love, this one is it! Kids can enjoy the amazing floral sculptures, view the waterfalls and lakes, and let their imagination run wild. There are plenty of photo opportunities too!
The souks are a great place to visit when you first arrive in Dubai, as you can find almost anything here. The spice souk is a colorful and aromatic experience for children; they will love the different colors and smells. The gold souk is also a must-visit in Dubai as there are hundreds of jewelry stores selling gold and other precious stones. You don’t have to buy anything, but it’s great entertainment for everyone.
Head to the Dubai Auto Drome and enjoy an adrenaline rush with kids by your side. Get behind the steering wheel on one of their driving experiences. Alternatively, if you want to sit back, relax and let someone else do all the hard work, they have an indoor go-karting track.
The Dubai Metro runs along Sheikh Zayed Road and is a great way to see some sights while saving on transportation costs. Please make sure to buy a Nol Silver (instead of Red) card at the station kiosk, as they are cheaper and can be used by kids. You can ride all day long for just Dh14 per person. Our favorite route is the one that takes you past the Burj Khalifa, which you can spot in the distance when riding northbound from any station between Emirates Towers and Business Bay.
The world’s largest observation wheel is already up and running on Bluewaters Island – so if you haven’t already done so, hop on board a ferry and take your family over for a spin. The views of Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and the desert are amazing – particularly as night falls and all the skyscrapers are lit up gloriously.
Overall, the outdoors is a wonderful place to play, with sights and sounds that will never get old. If your family or you as an individual is struggling to find something new to do in the UAE, consider heading out on any of these day trips. While the UAE might be one of the most expensive places for families to live in, it doesn’t mean that you should be huddled indoors during the summer. There are plenty of free and cheap things to do with kids outdoors in the sunshine if you know where to look.
There’s a little something out there for everyone, and no one has to spend their entire lives sitting indoors staring at walls. Play!