Best family fun & food in Dubai – tourist in my own city

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Living as an expat in a warm sunny paradise like Dubai means lots of outdoor time and lots of happy visitors! Of course we miss our family and friends all year around but when we are lucky enough to get visitors from home we get a full week of cosy quality time and holiday atmosphere. Last week I was so lucky to have my sister here with partner and my niece and nephew 6 and 3 years old. We had a crazy busy week and our small 2BR apt were full but it was also an amazing fun and exciting week!! Best of all were to see the kids enjoying spending lots of time together despite the age gaps. It was so cute and really fantastic for James to get to know his cousins! It’s very quiet after they have gone and James misses the little ones SO much! And so do we 😦

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However we can look back on lots of beautiful memories that will stay with us forever. As usual it didn’t matter so much what the adults wanted to do – it was all about ‘what will the kids like to do’ 😉 So I was considering what to do with a 7 months old, 3 and 6 years old in Dubai!? Some would think that it is not easy in Dubai to find things for the kids to do, especially with a baby – is it? But actually you can do quite a lot. Of course your baby needs to be cooperative with the plans and you also need to be flexible but when all is said and done I find Dubai to be extremely kids friendly and even though my 7 month old is actually happy to just sit in his buggy and play with his toys, he really doesn’t know how lucky he is to have so many amazing things to do 😉 Here are some of the best activities this week:

10981396_799914860090018_3572631825502697468_nBeach: Kids don’t really need much more than water, sand and a few inflatables and they are entertained for hours and that’s including baby James! For our little man water is just the most fun he can have right now and to be honest we didn’t need to do much else other than laying on the beach all week and they would be more than happy, and with the beautiful weather we have at this time of the year it really is the perfect time! Make sure to pack lots of sun cream and when the sand gets too much, just go to the pool at home 😉 (Dubai life!!). As it is the Dubai Food festival at the moment, we went to Kitebeach in Jumeirah to check out The beach canteen, this is a pop up selection of restaurants offering some really yummy food for lunch, the Burgers were amazing 🙂

Malls: Well it is true to say that nowhere else in the world has more retail space per person than is on offer in Dubai, the malls are an easy and convenient trips with kids! Of course they don’t like just any old shop but once you show them some of the huge toy stores, super hero stores and Sega world then im sure they will be very pleased! The only downside is that unlike the beach the mall usually involves spending money and sometimes there can be to many people in evening and weekends… especially Dubai Mall which has some great entertainment and of course not to forget the fountains, the shark aquarium and a tourist favourite; taking your photo at the Burj Khalifa! The Kidzania (the little city for the older kids) is super cool and makes me want to be 8 years old again!image

Playgrounds: All the parks have great playgrounds and its easy and cheap with a picnic! In Marina we have a few under the bridges and of course on The Beach Mall area in Jumeirah.

Ripe market: Cosy Friday family trip! Love the new Zabeel venue, so much bigger and better! Great for a nice breakfast, shopping for the whole family or just to enjoy the nice “winter” weather! Now also open in Al Barsha Pond park Saturday evening!

‘The Beach Dubai’ in JBR: Our new neighbour which we visit at least once a week, great for strolls, beaching, lunch or to just people watching  😉 lots of baby facilities, playground and yummy food places.

Bab al Shams: We went for an afternoon to Bab Al Shams and stayed for the evening, but a pool day would also be great. Its only 40 min drive from Dubai and they have a playground, a heritage village, huge buffet, lots of small alleys and corners in the traditional building style and best of all a free camel riding and falcon show for the kids! You also get to see a bit of the real desert without doing the typical desert safari which is not so good for small kids anyway.

Mussandam trip: To see a bit nature this Oman trip is just excellent. It certainly feels like being far away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and yes it’s bit of a drive for the small ones, but with lots of entertainment and snacks in the car they will cope with the 3 hour drive. But to be honest the drive is definitely worth it, sailing, swimming and seeing wild dolphins. All ages will like this one, we went with Khasab tours and had great day which all ages enjoyed, we drove ourselves and therefore only paid (including food!) 200 AED for adults, 100 AED for my 6 years old niece and my 3-year-old nephew and James was for free! An added bonus is that the little ones sleep so nicely after a long day in the sea air 😉

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Seasonal entertainment: At this time of the year there’s always something on every weekend and usually they have great stuff for the kids; Dubai food festival, Dubai cycling tour, beach canteens at Kitesurf beach, Boat show, Taste of Dubai and many more – often for free or at a small charge.

Restaurants: Dinning out with the little ones can be stressful and messy but these places were very kids friendly. Most of them have had kids menu, toys and brought out the food quicker for the kids – not to pricey and overall more relaxing for the adult as well 😉 Carlucios, More cafe, Vapiano, Rainforest Cafe, Limetree Cafe, The Cheesecake factory & Ihop. Yeeep I gained two kg this week 😉

This is only really the tip of the ice berg of what there is to do, we didn’t even visit the numerous water parks and of course Ferrari world, and I also know that with the projects that are currently under construction such as Lego land (Danish!!) Marvel comics world and the Dinosaur theme park Dubai is just going to get more and more appealing for those families looking for a great holiday with the kids.

Thanks for a great week, we miss you and hopefully we see you soon xx

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