Five Reasons You Should Take A Family Holiday to Dubai

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Living in England, somewhere over the winter period I feel the need to get away for some much-needed sunshine and warmth. We’ve been to several winter sun destinations over the past few years including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Tenerife and Egypt . My main requirement for a winter sun holiday is that it is hassle-free and have guaranteed sunshine. Of these places, my favourite winter sun destination with the children is Dubai. Here are my five reasons you should take a family holiday to Dubai if you are chasing winter sunshine.

5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
Why you should consider Dubai beach holidays for winter sun

An Easy Destination

First and foremost, the weather is guaranteed sunshine.  In addition, there are many flights to Dubai from all over the world.  Dubai is served by two Emirati airlines, Emirates and Etihad, who are both on a push to increase their range of flights.  Getting around Dubai is easy, too because taxis are plentiful and cheap.

5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
The Dubai marina is full of expensive boats.

Choice of Accommodation

Accommodation in Dubai ranges from the extraordinary 7 star Burj al-Arab to your standard range of hotels on the whole gamut of 1-5 star range.  You also have holiday apartments or Airbnb rentals if you would like cooking options.  It’s easy to find something that suits all sorts of visitors from celebrities who want their every whim satisfied to people looking for cheap holidays in the sun.

5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
The sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab, the world’s only 7 star hotel, is an architectural marvel.

If you are not a planner, this extensive range of accommodation, means that you can leave booking until late and still have a good range of options.  Dubai’s popularity means it is also popular with tour operators. You can get some great deals to Dubai if you look around.

Family-Friendly Activities

You have a choice of water parks to keep you cool, including Atlantis Aquaventure and Wild Wadi Water Park. We stayed at the Atlantis Hotel and so we were able to nip and out of Aquaventure every day.  Staying at the Burj Al-Arab gives you free entry into the Wild Wadi Water Park.

Similar to the Disney concept, Dubai Parks and Resorts has four theme parks and a hotel within it.  Legoland, Motionland and Bollywood Park are already opened and the Legoland Water Park is under construction.

Dubai beach holidays wouldn’t be the same without time spent on the beach. Kite Beach and Jumeirah Beach are very user friendly.  There are nearby food trucks to keep hunger at bay and you can rent water sports equipment like stand up paddle boards at the beach.

5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
Hanging out on Jumeirah beach.

If you haven’t had your fill of sand, then head out into the desert for camel rides, dune bashing or even camping.

Many Restaurant Options

You can find pretty much any type of food in Dubai thanks to the city’s international population. If you are looking for cheap holiday options, you can eat in the food courts at one of the malls. As you would expect, the malls have an extensive choice of restaurants.

Friday and Saturday mornings are devoted to decadent brunches at the big hotels.  These brunch spreads are extensive buffets heaped with food of all types. They make the famous Las Vegas hotel buffets look like a Denny’s spread. The variety also extends to the types of cuisine served – Indian, Sushi, Rotisserie, Seafood – all in one ginormous hotel buffet.  The dessert buffet is likewise a diabetic’s delight.  My children were big fans of the chocolate fountains where they could dip marshmallows and fruit.

5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
The cheese selection at the Saturday brunch at Grosvenor House Hotel.

You also have lots of big-name chefs from all over the world opening restaurants in Dubai.  On one trip, we stayed at the Grosvenor House Hotel which has a great choice of restaurants.  The hotel’s restaurants included an outpost of the Buddha Bar, Indego by Michelin-starred British chef, Vineet Batia and Toro Toro by Latin American chef Richard Sandoval. One of the hotel restaurants at The Atlantis is Nobu. Like in Las Vegas, getting into one of these outposts of famous restaurants is much easier than trying to make a reservation at the main restaurant in London or elsewhere.

5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
The terrace at the Siddhartha Lounge by Buddha Bar provides a relaxing hangout for sundowners.

Experiences Like Nothing Else

Dubai is full of superlatives.  The amount of money in this little city is staggering. Some examples:

  • Where else can you go skiing in the desert? Ski Dubai is an indoor ski park located in the Mall of the Emirates.  Its got assorted ski runs, toboggan runs and sledding and even ski gear you can rent.
  • The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world with so much going on that you may not even find the time to shop.  Other than the 1000+ stores, you also have an indoor amusement park (Sega Republic) and the ever-popular kiddie city play area, KidZania.  Did I mention there is also the Dubai Aquarium and an ice rink?
  • The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural garden.  Yes, in the desert, it truly is a miracle to have 45 million flowers blooming where plants should don’t occur in nature.
  • The Palm Islands are a Dubai megaproject which just boggles the mind.  The best way to see the scale of this man-made colossus is from the air – perhaps with Skydive Dubai.
  • Check out the Burj Khalifa which is the tallest tower in the world.  Every evening the tower and the surrounding fountains put on a magical light show.
5 reasons to take a family holiday to Dubai for winter sun
Beach holidays to Dubai involve more than the beach!

Dubai does have its share of criticism, for example, that it is soulless and lacking in culture. The opening of the Dubai Opera House near the Burj Khalifa addressed some of the criticism about missing cultural pursuits. I think if you are looking for these things, there are other places in the world that are better suited to you.  On the other hand, if you want an easy sun, fun and beach vacation, a family holiday to Dubai is one of the best options available to you.

If you have been to Dubai, do you have any other reasons you can add to this list?

Practical Info To Know Before You Go

We have stayed at both the Atlantis Resort and Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai.  Although both are 5 star hotels, they are quite different from each other.  If you would like to look at other hotels that members of the Just Go Places community have recommended, you will find them on our Favourite Hotels List.

Atlantis Resort versus Grosvenor House Hotel

Atlantis Resort is obviously  more family friendly.  Grosvenor House does have an arrangement with its sister property Royal Meridien nearby which has pools for the family.  There is a regular shuttle bus that runs between the two hotels.  I would classify the pool at the Royal Meridien as fine.

The Atlantis Resort has more traditional decor and larger. Situated on the Palm Island, you are a bit stuck out at Atlantis.  It does have lots of kids’ facilities and a beach. Grosvenor House is more contemporary in style and is located in Dubai Marina.  You can walk around the Marina in the evening and there are restaurants close to hand as well as a wider array of restaurants in the hotel itself.

I would choose Atlantis with younger children because you really don’t want to drag them on a shuttle bus to get to the pool. If you have kids you will know that invariably someone has forgotten something back in the room!

Grosvenor House does have suite facilities so it’s quite easy to make food in your kitchenette. I can truthfully say that we never did. With the ease of taxis and the plethora of restaurants chances are that cooking in the suite is the last thing on your mind.


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17 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Should Take A Family Holiday to Dubai”

  1. I rarely hear anything but amazing things about Dubai. So, I can’t quite figure out why I don’t really want to go there! Now the Dubai Miracle Garden is something that’s pretty intriguing to me. If I make it there, then that will be a must! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

  2. I haven’t been to Dubai but I’m surprised at how family-friendly it is. It’s great that you choose unconventional vacation destinations for your kids to enjoy – I’m sure they have lots of fun and are collecting amazing travel memories!

    1. LOL. We did the Florida thing a couple of times too. They fit into our travelling style and on occasion we pacify them with a few kid-friendly options.

  3. Dubai has been on my list for so long. Would love to visit with family n friends for all of these reasons 🙂 Do you prefer it in winters? How expensive is it?

  4. I was surprised by how easy Dubai was as a travel destination! The public transit was fantastic and easy to navigate. Even places I was warned not to go felt totally safe, although lbh that most people are going there for the malls! I think every other tourist I saw had at least one extra suitcase for shopping!

  5. I actually didn’t like Dubai when I went a few years ago, but I suppose with kids there is a ton to do if you can stay in the pool or air conditioning! Perhaps I should go back and tick some of these off my list, I don’t like saying I don’t like somewhere!!

  6. I never thought of Dubai as a destination for kids so good to know! Although, I don’t have kids so the big draw here is the endless sunshine. It’s snowing right now in Amsterdam!

    1. It definitely has the reputation (rightly so) as party place but there is also a lot of family attractions too. They really don’t want it to be too much of a Las Vegas of the Middle East and so do encourage family visitors as well to keep a balance of different types of visitors.

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