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Activities And Things To Do In Dubai With Toddlers And Kids

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Plan your family trip to Dubai today

Dubai is not a big city, it is possible to see the whole Dubai in a couple of days. Rest assured this is a fantastic idea to plan a family trip to Dubai. There are a countless number of things to do in Dubai with toddlers and kids too! Plus, you can pay a visit to Abu Dhabi for a day and make a quick trip to Oman to spend a night on a boat with dolphins.

It really depends on what your purpose is and what activities for toddlers in Dubai you are planning to visit.


One of the best things to do in Dubai with family is to shop.

As before mentioned, Dubai heavily depends on tourism. I have never seen so many luxurious malls concentrated in such a tiny place, 23 to be exact. Dubai is a hub to shopping malls, retails, and souvenir shops. If you come to shop, you should go to Dubai Creek and visit Al Seef Marine route.


Dubai is split into a few routes. The main are

RED: cultural centre of Dubai (City tour);

BLUE: staggering skyscrapers and mind boggling man made islands, including Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab (Marina tour);

GREEN: marine and beach (Beach tour).

So, in case you wish to spend your family vacation in Dubai learning more about the cultural aspect, you should explore the city centre and take at least one day trip to Abu Dhabi.

Beach, swimming pools and SPA

Dubai has a lot of nice beaches to offer, most of them are man-made. I personally recommend Jumeirah Public Beach that is located near to Jumeirah Mosque.

The hotels are fairly cheap compared to the ones in Europe. You can easily get a 4-star hotel for the fair price including open buffet breakfast, swimming pool, lounge for sunbathing, saunas and spa. This will definitely make a difference to your family trip to Dubai!


There are lots of things to do in Dubai with toddlers and kids, including a wild safari, zoo, waterparks and various resorts. This city has a lot of fun to offer not only for children but the adults too. Dubai’s nightlife is a must to experience, especially when every hotel offers babysitting services.


Dubai has a lot of trade shows and exhibitions. It is one of the largest business hubs in the world. So, it is always good to mix business with pleasure.

Things to do in Dubai with toddlers and kids

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is where you can find all necessary bus connections for red and green lines. It is also a place where Dubai Mall and the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa are located.

Dubai Mall

Before coming to Dubai, I have heard people say a lot about Dubai Mall: “the largest mall in the world that has everything in it.” There is nothing close to what I have imagined in my crazy mind. Dubai Mall indeed has enough for you and your kids to have fun for a couple of days. It is also considered to be one of the main attractions in Dubai for kids. So, if you have got only a day of layover, this is a place to visit first.

Here are a short list of activities for toddlers in Dubai mall:

Dubai Aquarium + Rainforest Café

Indeed, we are talking about a real aquarium of enormous size located inside the mall. One part of the aquarium is open to the public for marketing purposes, I guess. It is always overcrowded, not to mention that you will find a Candylicious store right behind you full of sweets, treats and local morsels. It is definitely one of the top 10 things to do in Dubai with family while shopping at the same time.

Right next to it, you will find the Rainforest Café which is pretty amazing too. As you enter you can hear all those weird animal sounds and see various robotic creatures, which is one of the most attractive things to do in Dubai with a baby. They, of course, have got highchairs for babies and toddlers.

Dubai Ice Rink

Another great activity in Dubai for kids is an ice rink. Oh yes, a real ice rink is installed right in the centre of Dubai Mall, whose size literally blew my mind. It is way bigger than the size of Latvian outdoor ice rink that was pretty impressive.

The Dubai Fountain

The Fountain is one of the most famous attractions and popular things to do in Dubai with kids. It works from 7 pm to 11 pm with 30 minutes intervals. Every half an hour it plays one song picked randomly making a magnificent fountain show. My suggestion is to grab food in a nearby cafeteria or restaurant if you prefer and enjoy the show while having food. If you come 15 minutes before, you will surely get a good spot for your Instagram photo or video.

Personally, I enjoyed much more the fountain show much more in Spain but just because it was a real one-hour performance. Also, the one in Marianske Lazne in Czech Republic has its own uniqueness due to the music selection where it is a half an hour concert.

Dubai Waterfall with little human statues

On the other side of the mall you may see a huge waterfall coming out from the top of the ceiling with tiny silver statues diving into it which is quite impressive. Again, there are little cafes nearby for you to make a stop, enjoy the view and keep shopping.

Dubai Dino Display

One of the halls has a display of the massive dinosaur “Diplodocus Longus” which is 150-155 million years old and was discovered in 2008 in Wyoming, USA.

The Souk (=market)

I can carry on with all those secret places I found, including a hundred activities for toddlers in Dubai mall and probably devote the whole blog to it, this is how incredible the mall is. But I will leave this discovery to you. One last place I would like to mention is “The Souk”, which stands for “a market”. This is a special dedicated hall in the mall, and it is just amazing to wander around there taking pictures of camels and exploring the traditional Arabic market.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world rising to 829.8 m high. The word “Burj” means building, and Khalifa is the name of the ruler in the UAE.

What I was absolutely blown away with is how fast they managed to build it. Indeed, the first thing you see in Dubai is construction fields and hundreds of cranes all over the place. The cranes have special lightning at night, so the work never stops. 

The construction of Burj Khalifa started in 2005. In 2006, they built 50 levels, while in 2007 they managed to complete 150 levels in total, which made it officially the world’s tallest free-standing structure. In 2008, it was announced as the world’s tallest man-made structure and successfully completed in 2009. Impressive!

Although it is quite an expensive tour, it is totally worth it. The tickets are usually more expensive during the sunset time from 4 pm to 6 pm. Here is the trick! Book the 3:30 pm and you will still be able to enjoy the sunset paying less.

Dubai City Tour

If you are in Dubai, you must visit the city area to understand the culture of this place. The most beautiful and one of my favourite things to do in Dubai with a toddler was wandering in the city centre. I couldn’t just leave my phone taking all those fantastic pictures of each and every corner.

Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Museum and historical district

This was the highlight of our trip. Dubai Museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort, originally built in 1787. Although it is small, it was very insightful showcasing people’s lifestyle, culture diversity, traditions and history of Dubai. The cost of it is just 3 AED. You need around half an hour to visit the museum.

Bastakiya Dubai

Right near the Al Fahidi Fort, you will find the most beautiful area in the whole Dubai – Bastakiya. Back in the 19th century, Bastakiya was built by Iranians. Until today it remains one of the most amazing cultural places to visit. Every corner has its own café, market or free tiny museum called cultural foundation.

My strong advice: visit Arabian Tea house that is located just in front of the Bastakiya district. There are no words to describe what a lovely relaxing experience we had in this café.

Museum of Illusion in Dubai

This museum is just 5 minutes’ walk from Bastakiya. I highly recommend visiting it if you have planned to spend all day in the city area. It is also one of the best things to do in Dubai with toddlers. The museum is not massive, but has quite a few fun illusions that personally I have never experienced before, such as when you disappear, lightning tunnels, the reverse house and poker table.

Arabian Old Souk

Arabian Old Souk is a traditional Arabic market full of local sweets, clothes, and souvenirs. It is a short walk from Bastakiya, and I strongly recommend exploring the area by foot. I found lots of different mosques on the way. Every mosque looks absolutely stunning and so different from each other. You are not allowed to enter as a non-Muslim but admire it from outside.

Get ready for being yelled at and dragged to every little shop in the market. Everyone was calling me in, and I magically turned into an Aguilera singer. Not sure where the relation was found.

Heritage Village

Further the way, walk towards the Heritage Village. It has an amazing coastal view and lots of cultural buildings where the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum is located.

Spice & Gold Souk

Then take the boat near Heritage Village to cross the river and get to Spice & Gold Souk, which is a market full of spices and gold. Right next to the market, take the boat and enjoy one hour of the Arabian Dhow Cruise in Dubai Creek for around 100 AED which may be one of the greatest Dubai activities for families with kids!

Dubai Beach Tour

The beach tour or green line is not as vast to explore; however, it is enough for one day if you would like to spend it under the sun.

Jumeirah Mosque

Start your day with Jumeirah Mosque. It is one of the biggest mosques in Dubai and the only mosque that allows non-Muslim tourists inside with a guide and proper apparel. If you travel to Abu Dhabi, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it though.

Did you know that every mosque in the UAE must be 300 m away from each other? There are more than 500 mosques in Dubai only and all of them look stunning.

Jumeirah public beach

Jumeirah public beach is just two minutes away from the beach. It is one the nicest beach areas, called La Mer. It is filled with hammocks, playgrounds for kids, cafes, and restaurants. Some of the cafes impressed me by their “outside-the-box” unique style and offers. This area truly makes you relax and do nothing for the entire day.

Burj Al Arab

After a big day of sunbathing and swimming, it is a great idea to walk around famous hotel Burj Al Arab and enjoy the traditional Arabic market “Souk Madinat”.

Dubai Marine Tour

This is the furthest place from downtown, but it is very convenient to get here by metro. Alternatively, a cab may be a good solution too.

Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates is another huge mall in Dubai, where if you are touring by bus, you can easily switch from green to blue line buses.

But Mall of the Emirates has another incredible feature worth mentioning. You can find the real Ski Resort. Seriously? Get tired of the sun, just get in a car and within half an hour you will be skiing from the 85 m (279 ft) high slope with the longest run of 0.4 km (0.25 mi). They have got a chairlift, snow park and zorb ball too.

It is the perfect way for your kids to learn how to ski and encounter some penguins!

Marina Beach and the district

For beach lovers, it is highly suggested to try out Marina beach and JBR (Jumeirah Resort Beach) beach with the JBR walk. This is very pleasant for walks, scenery and relaxation. The vibe is quite different from the one in the city, so it is definitely worth spending at least a day in this area. I would recommend booking your hotel in this area too.

Marina Mall is a nice place to visit in case you wish to do shopping.

But the best area we truly enjoyed was the walk at night in the Tallest Block. It is very quiet and such an amazing district to be.

Atlantis The Palm and The Pointe

Atlantis The Palm is the waterfront complex of upscale shops, restaurants, and entertainment. It also has a few kilometres long seaside promenade. Again, it is an amazing area to be, have lunch or dinner and enjoy the promenade with absolutely mind-blowing views from the other side of Dubai.

And finally, among all the activities for toddlers in Dubai there is one in Arabic dessert that can’t be missed.

Dubai Desert Safari Red Dune

There are 4-hour and 7-hour program tours. I would definitely recommend taking the second one as there is not too much difference in the price but a lot more included. But keep in mind that kids under four are not allowed to go. I’d say there is nothing dangerous at all but the heat and general safety.

We were picked up in our hotel, which is no problem at all as everything in Dubai is located very near to each other. It took us half an hour to get to our first stop where we had some juice and went straight on a desert experience driving across the Red Arabian Desert in a 4WD vehicle. It wasn’t anything dangerous or extreme (as I would prefer), so it is no problem to take a risk.

In the desert we spent some time resting, taking photos and trying sandboarding, which was quite fun, except for sand climbing.

We then were taken to experience some local food, traditional apparel, dances, and feed camels. Sadly, camel rides are included too, but I just couldn’t bear the animal slavery at this point.

Things to do in Dubai with toddlers and kids for entertainment

There’s a huge number of things to do in Dubai with toddlers, babies, and kids.

Apart from things to do in malls, below is the full list of other activities for toddlers in Dubai.

What can you do in the malls of Dubai?

  • skating on the ice rink;
  • visiting the aquarium;
  • eating out at the rainforest café;
  • having fun at Dubai Fountain;
  • watching indoor waterfall, dinosaur and camel displays;
  • visiting many toy and sweets stores;
  • ride carousels;
  • skiing, snowboarding and zorbing;
  • visiting a massive indoor snow park with penguins.

The list is endless! Remember to take a boat cruise at Dubai Creek, visit the Museum of Illusions near Bastakiya or spend the whole day at the beach with playgrounds nearby.

There are many special places that are designed for a family vacation in Dubai.

Flamingo sanctuary (Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary)

Flamingo sanctuary is a nature preservation that is well-protected in the UAE with thousands of flamingos. It is an area of 6.2 sq. km featuring different salt flats, intertidal mudflats, mangroves, and lagoons that birds use for their nests and individual habitats. And the entrance is absolutely free!

It is a perfect way to discover and enjoy nature with your kids. You can book the visit here. And don’t forget the binoculars, with the visit reservation, staff normally show you special hides from where you can see more flocks. 

Dubai Wild Safari

Plan your family trip to Dubai by visiting Wild Safari. It was opened only in the beginning of 2018. It is fairly new, but the best thing about it is that it replaced Dubai Zoo. Now the park has 2.500 animals from more than 250 species. Also, the park’s major source of energy is solar energy.

The park is separated into different villages, such as African, Asian, and Arabic villages. This safari is spread on 119 hectares.

Wadi village is an amazing place where you can have a picnic and rest from the safari tour. Also, a fantastic feature for your babies and toddlers is Kids Farm, where your little ones can discover a variety of farm animals, collect chicken eggs and even milk cows.

The wild safari is located further from the city centre. If you do not drive, it is better to take a cab, it will cost you around AED 25-30. It is approximately a 25-minute drive away from Dubai Mall.

A full access Dubai Safari ticket will set you back by AED 85 for adults and AED 30 for children. Alternatively, if you wish to exclude Dubai Safari entry, you will pay AED 50 for an adult and AED 20 for a child.

Resorts and parks in Dubai for kids

Dubai Parks and resorts offer three theme parks and one water park. These are by far the best things to do in Dubai with toddlers.

The main parks are the following.

Legoland Dubai Park and waterpark

This is one of my favourite parks and definitely should be on your family trip to Dubai. It is all made out of Lego. Water park seems a bit small offering 20 slides, but it is perfect for kids aged 2 to 12. Our son had an amazing splash time in Legoland water park. The most brilliant idea is that kids can build their own raft or float out of Lego and go on a lazy river cruise.

Legoland park has a massive amount of Lego. It actually made our brain work creating different animals and a castle for at least half a day. There is a factory on site where you are free to build whatever you wish. Kids can ride their own Lego cars, participate in a kingdom quest and go underwater submarine adventure. Of course, my favourite spot was Miniland, because I love parks featuring miniatures, but also because it is absolutely breath-taking to admire all this work that has been done building Dubai’s iconic skyline and key landmarks from around the Middle East using 20 million Lego bricks.

Bollywood Park

Bollywood Park is one-of-a-kind parks in the entire world recreating and featuring Bollywood culture. If you are a Bollywood lover, this place is for you. Apart from the carousels and a variety of attractions, we enjoyed the recreation of Mumbai and other Indian streets, where we could try local Indian food and learn about Bollywood history. It felt oddly interesting to enjoy Indian culture while traveling to Dubai. Also, there were people dancing and singing wherever we went, and I could even try learning a bit of Bollywood dance.

Motiongate Dubai

For animation movie lovers, like my husband, there is an amazing park that features three largest motion picture studios: Columbia Pictures, Lionsgate, and DreamWorks Animation.

There are battles, attractions, roller coasters and water rides everywhere you go. Every studio is full of the staff dressed up in the most popular animation characters. My favourite place was Smurf Village with their special theatre performance and absolutely cite and charming Smurfs on each corner.

We personally believe that there is no time to visit all the parks in one day. Either you enjoy one or two activities per day or extend your trip to three days. This is why Dubai Parks and resorts offer accommodation on site which is very helpful. You can enjoy all the features and avoid wasting your time on the road.

The best choice is to spend two nights at Lapita Hotel. It is fairly priced, and the location is just fantastic to enjoy all theme parks. Rooms are very spacious with a terrace or balcony. Plus, after a day filled with attractions with your babies and kids, the best thing to do is to enjoy Ola Spa and three swimming pools of this gorgeous hotel.

Alternatively, there is another budget option, Rove At The Park that is located near the parks and resorts offering free shuttle buses.

Laguna Waterpark

If you are up to surfing and bigger slides, Laguna water park is the best option for you and your kids. Laguna water park is located in the La Mer area, so it is a perfect addition to your vacation if you stay at Jumeirah public beach area. I would say it is more suitable for older kids starting from age 5 to 6. Surfing area is brilliant! Plus, one child goes for free with every paying adult. How sweet is that!

Dubai miracle garden

This garden is a true miracle indeed. It is gorgeous and an absolutely must visit. Although, please check if it works at the time of your travel as the garden is purely seasonal, opening in mid-November and closing by mid-May depending on the weather conditions.

The Dubai miracle is massive, a total of 72.000 sq.m. covered with 50 million flowers and 250 million plants officially making it the world’s largest natural flower garden.

My favourite garden so far was Gardens by the Bay in Singapore; however, this Dubai miracle garden beat all my expectations. One thing I was impressed about is that everything was covered with flowers and plants: houses, boats, tunnels et cetera. On top of that, little statues and other features were set up based on the environment itself. Give it a day of a true miracle. It was one of the most peaceful and pleasant walks to spend in Dubai. Not to mention the attractions this garden had to offer.

Butterfly garden

Right across the road from the Dubai miracle garden, there is a small butterfly garden. If you have got extra time, it is totally doable to visit both places on the same day as they are literally located 100 m from each other.

The Butterfly Garden consists of four domes, inside there are some stunning tropical plants and thousands of butterflies. Your kids will love it!

Dubai holidays for families by budget

Budget friendly (£40-£100)

Savoy Central Hotel Apartments

Great location near city centre, plus, it is an apartment with a fitted kitchen and washing machine which is perfect for a family vacation with kids. Swimming pool is included!

Golden Sands Hotel Apartments

Very similar option to the first one, same location, you choose the style!

Gevora Hotel

It has THREE swimming pools, including sauna and SPA, airport shuttle and cribs upon request. The location is very near to the city centre too.

Mid-range price, although still luxury (around £150)

Grand Hyatt Dubai

I personally love Hyatts wherever I travel, especially for business. This is one of the most luxurious I have ever seen. It is also located just next to Dubai Dolphinarium and seal show, and not far away from Flamingo sanctuary. Check the level of luxuriousness for yourself.

JA Beach Hotel

It just has everything you need for the family vacation. It will be difficult to get out of the premises too as it features an 800 m private beach with swimming pools, three kids’ clubs, babysitting services, and a private golf course: you name it!

Luxury (£250)

Fairmont The Palm

Private beach, four swimming pools, free shuttle services and it is all combined with incredibly gorgeous views. Check out the location, it speaks for itself!

Resort Atlantis The Palm

Forget about everything you have just read. This hotel provides an underwater aquarium, swimming with dolphins and free access to the Aquaventure water park that is the largest water park in the Middle East featuring some of the most well-known waterslides in the world. Not to mention that to call room service we needed to talk to a giant poking finger cushion which turned out to be a telephone (big trouble to avoid calling room service as our 2-year-old absolutely adored that cushion), and our bathroom mirror had a touch screen computer playing kid’s rhymes on Youtube. 

Enjoy the family vacation in Dubai!

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