Family Adventures in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
With a family of four boys, we have learned that adventure = happiness while travelling! With that in mind, here are a few activities that your kids will enjoy!
Desert Safari BBQ
I didn’t realize Land Cruisers could be like a surfboard on the sand. This was so fun!!! Our driver quickly tuned into what kind of experience would excite my boys and his fluid and thrilling driving on the dunes had us laughing and gripping our seats!
We had some great photo opps on the dunes. Our driver gave us suggestions that made us appear to be jumping above the sand much more like professional volleyball players than ourselves, and my oldest appear to be drop kicking his little brother out to the next dune. Both pictures are Holiday Card worthy!
Our arrival at the camp was welcomed by several camels waiting for us to ride, followed by sand surfing behind the camp, and my younger boys and I got beautiful and artistic henna tattoos. We were given the option to dress in customaryl Middle Eastern attire, and we ate a delicious BBQ buffet while a dancer dazzled us while spinning (probably 1000 times) in a tradional layered lighted dress. We understand that outside of Ramadan, the entertainment is belly dancing!
We all enjoyed this a lot! Exciting, unique and culturally interesting. A perfect combination!
Seawings Sea Plane Tour
Dubai is spectacular by air! Seawings offers a 40 minute flight capturing the highlights of the city. We had driven through The Palm several times, but then to see if from the air gave me an appreciation for just how over the top COOL it is. I also was fascinated by the World Islands…from up in the sky, it really does look like a world map, dotted with private islands that wealthy famous people are lining up to buy. And, of course the very unique architecture of the Dubai skyline would keep any child busy looking for the next building that looked upside town, twisted on its base, or taller than any other building in the world.
When you’re back on the ground, and now that you’ve seen it from the air, be sure to take a trip to “The Top” at the Burj Khalifa. The observation deck is on the 124th floor and gives a 360 degree orientation of Dubai. You’ll be riding up 1,654 ft. on the world’s tallest service elevator. At 2,716.5 feet and 160 stories, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper holds many world records including the world’s tallest man-made, freestanding structure and building. For tickets to the top, visit their website here.
And when you come back down to sea level, I highly recommend taking your family to Thiptara Thai restaurant and the Palace Downtown, right next to the lake at the base of the Burj Khalifa. You get a front row view of a fountain show bigger than Bellagio in Las Vegas, and a great vantage point to grab a family picture of the Burj! And the Thai cuisine is delicious.
We ordered a variety of dishes from phad thai to curry, and for dessert – mango sticky rice with coconut sauce. Elegant and romantic, but also a great restaurant for families. If it’s not too hot outside, ask to be seated outside, where you can dine al fresco next to the Dubai Fountains.
Abu Dhabi–Ferrari World and the Grand Mosque
Although we were staying in Dubai, it is an easy drive to Abu Dhabi and worth the trip! Once again, we contacted EET Destination Management and hired a driver to take us on our multi-stop excursion to Abu Dhabi. Coordination was hassle free, and when our driver arrived, he knew the exact itinerary for the day, and gave us helpful information on our stops, and the culture and customs of the UAE. If you ever need a driver while in Dubai, contact EET.
We took a drive to Abu Dhabi and experienced the Grand Mosque. This is a beautiful and impressive. The inlaid marble work is the most exquisite I’ve ever seen and absolutely worth a visit. Although the heat outside made this a bit uncomfortable, I still enjoyed wearing a abaya to get a better feel for the culture. We also took a stop at Emirates Palace which is the most gold-laden hotel I have ever seen! It’s no wonder it is the preferred hotel for the Shiekhs when they visit.
With the four boys, we thought we would then put things into high gear with a trip to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. We spent several fun-filled hours playing around Ferrari replicas and on indoor-outdoor roller coasters that beat the heat as well as the speed barrier. I thought perhaps is wasn’t crowded because it was Ramadan, but my friend went at a different time and agreed there were no long waits for the rides when she went either! This is a great bang for your buck!
Isn’t the the Abu Dhabi skyline incredible? And the Emirates palace is a must!
Global Adventuress thanks Desert Gate Tourism for hosting this family for a fabulous afternoon in the Dubai desert. For information about the Desert Safari or other services provided by Desert Gate Tourism see their site.
Also, a big thank you to Seawings for hosting us for an exciting flight — see their site for reservations.
And thank you for providing media discounts Burj Khalifa.
EET Destination Management we appreciated the media discount for the driver who did a fantastic job chauffeuring us throughout the UAE.
Thank you Ferrari World for hosting us — see more info on their website.