Winter Sun in Dubai
With Baby Kerr due in June- only 5 weeks now!-we knew a summer holiday was going to be out of the question. So we decided that a winter sun break to Dubai in March would be the perfect trip for us- sunshine, lots of activities for the toddler. Dubai is known for being an adult playground but it is brilliant for families.
Scroll down for tips on where to stay. eat and do!
We flew British Airways via London and they’re so great with kids. One tip to pass on is you can request a kids meal on the plane! i had no idea this was possible but will definitely do it next time, meals can be ordered via their website before you fly. Penelope was given a ‘adventurer’ lanyard, a kids pack on the plane and her toy duckie even got his very own travel tag.
Most return flights are at night- 2am departure time did not sound appealing with a toddler but thankfully she was amazing. We did a late nap that day and she stayed awake until our flight left. There was so much happening at the airport that it kept her entertained and it wasn’t until i changed her into pyjamas on the plane that she relaxed and fell asleep.
With a two year old who goes to bed by 7.30/8pm we prefer to stay in apartments rather than hotels to benefit from a separate bedroom. That way once she sleeps we can still enjoy an evening watching a movie, sitting on a balcony whatever without having to be silent all in the same room! Theres also the added benefit of a kitchen to make breakfast in and we only ate in twice for dinner but having the space and option to do so was perfect for us. We stayed at City Premiere Dubai Marina in a one bed apartment which was huge! There was more than enough room to play in the lounge, the bedroom very comfortably fitted us and her blowup bed and we had two balconies as well to sit outside in an evening. The complex had a pool, a restaurant, room service and got cleaned every day - its basically a hotel but with apartments rather than rooms
Dubai Marina was a perfect central location for our stay. We had the marina walk (play parks under the bridges- entertainment & shade which is perfect), not far to Marina Mall or Jumeriah Beach Walk and lots of express supermarkets nearby.
WHAT WE DID
Where do I even begin, Dubai has something for everyone including little ones.
Dubai Marina, J
Umm Sequiem Park,
Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa,
Dubai Miracle Garden.
Phew! We had a week to fill but i didn’t want us to be running about trying to ‘fit stuff in’ for the sake of it. Its a holiday so a more relaxed pace was the plan! Penelope still has a nap most days and that would really be our only downtime on holiday to relax. The other limiting factor we had was my pregnancy. We had plans to do a day at a waterpark but after our experience with Legoland-where I couldn’t even go on the worlds slowest kids train- we didn’t want to pay for me to get in to then not be able to even take Penelope round the kids slides.
I would say the top three for P were Legoland, Aquarium and OliOli. I really liked Green Planet, OliOli and Dubai Miracle Garden.
I would have liked to go to Dubai Creek and the older part of the city but there wasn’t time. Our friends went to Dubai a few months before us and also recommended Dinosaur Park and Glow Park. Next time I would also love to do a day trip to Abu Dhabi, only an hour in the car.
Middle Eastern food is one of my favourites. Being pregnant and not being able to drink for once didn’t feel as big of an issue. Alcohol is prohibited, most restaurants have incredible drink menus of fresh juices, teas and mocktails. Everywhere we went was delicious and also very child friendly. I hadn’t anticipated that going to Dubai and was pleasantly surprised. Penelope got such a fuss made over her that we joked she would hate going home and not having half a restaurant waving goodbye to her!
Dubai is big on Friday brunch (their weekend is Friday/Saturday) and there’s pretty much a brunch to suit everyone. The malls also have loads of options, yes a lot are chains but the Dubai Mall also has some great local restaurants by the fountain- perfect to watch the half hourly water shows.
My biggest tip is to download the Entertainer app to get half price or discounted meals. The majority of restaurants are on there -as are some of the attractions we went to- and you’ll save a ton, especially if you do brunch.
I highly recommend going to Dubai, especially with kids.. Theres so much to do , so many places to explore and the city is constantly growing with new attractions. We will definitely be going back! I hope that next time both kids are old enough to go to a kids club and we can enjoy a morning or afternoon child free!!