Lots of people assume that Dubai is just one big giant concrete jungle and therefore keeping the kids entertained must be a nightmare. But actually, we’re really lucky with lots of outdoor green space just perfect for your little ones to run around and burn off all that excess energy. Here’s my round-up of the best parks in Dubai.
With lakeside views, boat rides, sports courts, BBQ areas and picnic tables, Zabeel Park has all the ingredients for a perfect day in the gorgeous winter sunshine. Head there on a Friday morning and make the most of the beautiful Ripe Market where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat at one of the many food trucks. Then let your kids loose on one of the many play areas. And don’t forget to check out the petting zoo… Just check your kid’s pockets before they leave in case they’ve smuggled a guinea pig.
With stunning views of the Dubai Creek this park has enough outdoor space and dedicated play areas to keep even those with the shortest attention spans happy. Those who love Thomas The Tank Engine will enjoy the miniature train, and for the budding golfers there’s a mini golf course. Or, how about taking to the air in the Creek Park Cable Car for a bird’s-eye view of the city. Then, when your feet are firmly back on the ground, head to the Dubai Dolphinarium where visitors can get up close and personal with bottle-nose dolphins and playful seals at the action-packed shows. Watch in wonder as the dolphins and seals dance, sing, juggle, play ball, jump through hoops and even paint.
JBR really is a huge playground for kids and a place where you can spend the whole day. Start your day building sandcastles on the beach, collecting shells and chasing waves, then discover the play area where your little ones can explore to their heart’s content. After, when they’re feeling a little bit hot and bothered from all the running around, head to one of the many restaurants for a slap up meal. I love Counter Burger, Leopold’s of London, and Big Chefs Studio. Then if you still have room (and there’s always room for pudding!) enjoy a spot of Morelli’s Gelato.
Ok, this park is HUGE. This vast park covers 5.25 sq.km and is so big you can even drive through it. Take a stroll through the stunning park and see what species of animals you can see, let the kids climb and swing in the play areas dotted around the park, enjoy the sports areas where you can play basketball, volleyball and handball, or have a go at camel and horse riding. This park really does have it all!
Al Mamzar Beach
Al Mamzar Beach may be a little bit of a drive for most of us but this one is not to be missed! Grab loads of your friends together and enjoy the 106 hectares made up of powder soft sand and Maldive like clear seas, a swimming pool, lots of BBQ areas, games areas, and green lawns. Al Mamzar is so lovely you’ll find yourself returning again and again.
Al Ittihad Park
Al Ittihad Park located on The Golden Mile and starting under The Palm Monorail is a great choice for those who want to grab a bit of exercise as well as letting your kids have a runaround. Jog along the 3.2km palm tree-lined track with your little ones safely tucked up in his/hers pram, tone up with the exercise equipment dotted along the way, and then let your children loose in the kid’s play areas. Then, when you’re all exercised out head to the lovely Shakespeare and Co. or Tim Horton’s for a bite to eat.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a whole host of outdoor sports. You’ll find basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, full-sized football pitches, rubberised jogging track (in case you want to get in a little exercise yourself) and facilities for special needs children.
There you have it, tiring your kids out has never been easier! Enjoy!