Thursday, 26 May 2016

Igniting our senses on a family holiday in Dubai

Most people wouldn't think that Dubai is an ideal place for a family holiday. You say the word Dubai and people think of the rich and famous, luxury resorts and expensive things. However, after having a very fleeting 2 day visit there on a stopover last year, I can honestly say it is one of the most child friendly countries we have ever been to.

On our visit it was hubby, myself (pregnant) and our daughter Eva who at the time was 2.5 years old. One of the first things that was apparent was that everyone was very friendly. They adore children and families and can't do enough for you. They make you feel very welcome wherever you go. With only a couple of days there, we barely scratched the surface of all that Dubai has to offer for a young family. It left us wanting to return.

As you know we are now a family of 4. Eva is currently 3.5 years old and Ophelia is 6 months old. Having children has never stopped us from travelling. When we travel we like to  visit cultures that can offer something for all of us. We like our children to have fun but be educated through travel. As the saying goes, travelling is great for the soul, so here are 5 things that we would love to do in Dubai to ignite our senses and make special memories to last a lifetime.

The Dubai fountain features a show that shoots water as high as 450ft and is on daily. The lights that are used in the show are actually visible from space which makes it the brightest spot in the middle east. It is the world's largest dancing fountain. It's a spectacle not to be missed and i'm sure all of us, especially the girls would find it mesmerising.

Smell - Kite Beach

There is no better smell than that of the beach and the sea. The scent of salty water, the sea breeze and the sun tan lotion provide a sense of calm and serenity. 
Kite beach offers plenty of activities if resting is not your thing. You can spot all the kitesurfers or have a go yourself, test your core strength with stand up paddling, get some exercise in the gym or play football. The beach is always a winner with our family.

Who isn't fascinated by animals? To be able to see them is a wonder itself but to be able to experience them up close and personal, gives a real insight into their nature and beauty. Dolphins are always guaranteed to put a smile on someone's face. We would love to be able to have an encounter with one and of course get a big huge kiss on the lips from these curious mammals.

This was one place we were lucky enough to visit before. Eva had a blast there, as did we. There are rides and adventure play areas for all ages. Hubby had a scary thrill on The Tower of Neptune and we all enjoyed the river rapids. One thing I can remember distinctively is the sounds on the day. The water being splashed as people ran through it, the squeals of delight from children as they tried to avoid the huge bucket of water soaking them, the screams from the adults as they raced down a slide and above all the laughter that was being enjoyed by all the family. 

Taste Al Mahara

Dubai is a foodie's paradise. You can experience any cuisine at the highest quality at whatever time of day. There is something for everyone. We are a foodie family that also enjoys fine dining. We would love to experience the restaurant 'Al Mahara'. Al Mahara translated is The Oyster Shell. Not only would we all have our taste buds tantalised but we would be surrounded by beautiful marine life making it an unforgettable family dining experience. It would leave Eva feeling like she was under the sea as a real life mermaid.

So there you have it. So much to see and do for a young family. I could have included so many more experiences as the list really is endless.

This is my entry into the Tots 100 Dubai Dreams blogger challenge where we can win a family trip to Dubai. But what is really amazing is that if you share your Dubai dreams with me in the comment section below, you too could also win a trip. 



  1. I love the shopping and sunshine of Dubai. Tempting food, great sightseeing and a host of attractions for the whole family. I would patticularly enjoy the dolphins

  2. I really like the way you have used the five senses for this post :) I am definitely with you on the fountain and the kites - what great photography they would make. Good luck x

  3. Wow the Dubai fountain looks absolutely amazing! I would love to go to Dubai just to see that yet there is so much more all in one place – it is almost too hard to imagine so I will have to go there to find out for myself 🙂 The beautiful beach beckons me, incredible concerts and entertainment, retail heaven and then relax and unwind by trying out traditional spa therapies at the hammam! The food in Dubai looks divine and I bet it is delicious. My husband would love the adventure sports, golf courses and falconry. There is something here for everyone. Dubai is my dream destination.

  4. You are so right, Dubai is so welcoming and great with children. I would say that the customer service their is above and beyond anywhere else we have visited. You would hear me screaming at the tower of neptune! I have said that if we go back I would do it. That restaurant looks amazing. We had some fantastic food in Dubai and not loads of chips and nuggets for the boys either! Suck a lovely place, now dreaming of returning.

  5. Dubai looks simply amazing. So much to do, so many different worlds all wrapped up in one gorgeous place. Looking at what Dubai has to offer, I've been really impressed by the range of family-friendly options - theme parks, indoor fun sessions, skate parks - as well as sports, stunning beaches, and entertainment.

    What I hadn't realised was how much variety there is in Dubai in terms of food and culture. Our son is a huge foodie, despite being only 10, and would love visiting some of the restaurants and tasting the new flavours.

    As a family we would love to be able to visit Dubai, and experience just a taste of what is on offer. Our elder son loves nature, so would enjoy the different wildlife on show. And dad... well, quad-biking in the sand dunes would suit him perfectly. As for mum... of course Dubai is a shopper's paradise! And I'm sure we would all enjoy a tour of historic Dubai, as well as the many museums. There truly is something for everyone.

    The hardest part will be choosing what to do. It really does seem that Dubai has it all, a wealth of opportunities to explore and experience.

    Dubai really is the city of possibilities and I want to 'Discover All That’s Possible In Dubai'.

  6. You really can 'Discover all that is possible in Dubai' with a family - and have the best time whilst you make some super memories. Eating underwater has to be top of my list but, at the other extreme, getting to the top of the tallest building in the world is also a dream. It has something for everyone - big kids and small kids. Good luck :)

  7. Good luck in the competition!! I have always wanted to go here! It looks amazing. Now my oldest 2 have left home going abroad is not far from the distance, just got to save up for 4 passports now!! Then a holiday :)

  8. I have been but before the children and I have to say my first impressions were how safe I felt and what an amazing place it would be to have children. Families were so visible and all out together late at night.

    It left a huge impression on me and I would love to take the children. We'd have to do a waterpark, go skiing, go to the beach and ride a camel but I'd be most excited to take them to see the fountains. We have a canvas of the fountains on our bedroom wall, made from a photograph I took. I tell the children you can see them from space but they don't believe me!

    I think Dubai would be an amazing sensory experience for children and I love the way you've framed your entry around the senses.

    Good luck!

  9. Al Mahara sounds, and looks, like a spectacular restaurant. However, it's not alone, as I have seen many eating establishments in Dubai, and they all look scrumptious. I like the look of Blue Orange's lobster BBQ. With the availability of spices I imagine a holiday to Dubai would be an experience for my taste buds too.
    I would also have to visit one of the water parks, perhaps Atlantis, and Dolphin Bay. After all that excitement I believe the Dubai Fountains would be a great activity to just sit and chill out to.
    Dubai really looks like a marvellous destination for the whole family.
    Good Luck with your entry.

  10. I would love to take my grandsons on a Dream Trip to Dubai – a clean, safe, family-friendly holiday destination, with plenty of activities to choose from for any age range. As well as relaxing on the beautiful golden sand of JBR Beach with its warm, calm and shallow waters we would all enjoy a dune-bashing safari followed by a camel ride and BBQ dinner in a Bedouin desert camp.

    We would visit the Dubai Museum in the Al Fahidi Fort to learn about life from a bygone era as a contrast to the amazing architecture of the modern city which we could view from the front or rear carriages of the driverless Dubai Metro system and then take it all in from the At The Top observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

    The free and impressive Dubai Fountain water, light and music show can be watched from one of many waterfront cafes just outside the Dubai Mall. The malls in Dubai have many family attractions to choose from. The boys could try ice-skating, helped by the ‘penguin pals’, visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and also see the giant 155 million year old dinosaur skeleton (DubaiDino), all in the Dubai Mall.

    The boys love theme parks and this summer Dubai will open the world’s largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure with four themed zones inside including Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley - Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard. This will be completely enclosed and temperature-controlled with 1.5 million square feet of entertainment space!

    Our only problem will be going home with so much more left for us to see and do in beautiful Dubai

  11. Al Mahara would be a must for us too as a foodie family who has had so many foodie adventures including Noma and meeting Mary Berry, this would be the ultimate icing on the cake. Dubai seems to have the perfect recipe for a family holiday...A good spoonful of food, culture and history, a big scoop of fun, family and adventure, a drizzle of adrenalin, a large cup of architecture and a sprinkling of magic to make the perfect family holiday!

  12. I haven't taken my boys who are 3 and 7 abroad yet, I think part of the reason for this is that I want them to have a really amazing experience the first time they leave the country not the normal kids club in a hotel in Europe. After seeing what Dubai has to offer I think it would be the perfect first holiday destination. As well as being a beautifully clean and safe environment it offers so much to delight parents and children alike.
    Both of my boys are currently shark obsessed so a trip to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo would be a must. Kidzania is an ingenious idea and would definitely be a hit, although I'm not sure I would ever get them out again. Once the kids have had some fun there's also the fabulous shopping available for Mum & Dad and the stunning kite beach to relax and take it all in before you find some delicious dinner in one of the amazing collection of restaurants to choose from... all in all an unforgettable experience

  13. You mentioned the word food. My husband would be sold. The end! :-)

  14. Great ideas to tickle the senses, you would so sell this to my kids who would jump at the chance for going to somewhere as random as this - they would want to try everyting on your list and more!

  15. It really would be an amazing holiday! Good luck it would be a once in a lifetime prize! x

  16. Dubai offers a quick way to short circuit the senses, doesn’t it?!

    I’d probably overload my eyes and my nose in the spice souk, though the gold souk looks pretty mind blowing too!

    I’d love a desert safari or a camel ride, but my youngest is still too wee, so I’d probably check out the turtle sanctuary - I think he’d be slack-jawed with awe. Amazingly, the sanctuary is free, just like the Dubai fountain - that’s one water show I could never miss!

    The big blowout for me would be going to Dolphin Bay/Aquaventure. Swimming with dolphins is a classic bucket list dream, and as for the water park - it’s world-class! I’ll be honest, Poseidon’s Revenge looks a bit much for me, but as I’d be looking after little ones, I’d have an excuse to chicken out, right?!

  17. Dubai has been at the top of my bucket list for many years now and reading you post has made me want to visit so much more! That restaurant looks amazing!

    Souks, skyscrapers, sand and sea, Dubai really has something for all the family and the possibility of visiting this incredible city is making me super excited.

    I’d love the opportunity to win our perfect family holiday in Dubai; a holiday for the four of us, that combines unlimited opportunities for fun and adventure. We’d be able to
    escape the ‘day to day’, making memories and recharging our batteries. And it would give us the chance to simply spend our days together as a family, enjoying each other’s company before Jack starts school in September.

    There are so many amazing adventures we’d like to experience, but our top 3 would have to be:

    1// A day of aquatic fun at Atlantis’ Aquaventure Waterpark to cool off in the Dubai heat. Aquaventure caters for all the family with its record-breaking rides and slides for thrill seekers and the Splashers’ Children’s Play Area, which is a haven for little ones with water cannons, slides and climbing frames.

    2 // A once-in-a-lifetime experience at Dolphin Bay. As there’s no age limit, we could enjoy this amazing experience as a family and I can only imagine the joy on the children’s faces when they get up close to these amazing creatures!

    3 // Experience the heady heights of Burj Khalifa. We couldn’t visit Dubai without venturing up the tallest building in the World, and although I’m afraid of heights, I’d still feel compelled to visit the observation deck on the 144th floor. As long as I don’t stand too close to the edge, nor look vertically down, I think I’d actually enjoy it.

    I’m now off to spend the day daydreaming about Dubai and all it has to offer…

    Best of luck with your entry! X

  18. Oh wow, this sounds like an incredible holiday destination! Though if I'm honest I hadn't considered Dubai got a family break, so it was very interesting to read this.

    It's always been on my list of places I'd like to visit, but you've encouraged me to check it out sooner! X

  19. Goodness Al Mahara looks amazing, imagine being able to eat with all that stunning marine life right next to you. My children would adore it! We've never been to Dubai and I am literally amazed at how much there is for families to see and do. I'm so impressed. We'd love to do a lot of the things you've mentioned in your post plus a visit to the souks (the writer in me is dying to get in there and absorb the atmosphere and the Instagrammer in me can just imagine the vibrancy of the colours) as well as a visit to the turtle rehabilitation centre for my daughter who wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up. But really, the list could just go on and on couldn't it? I'm fairly confident that if we were lucky enough to go we'd fall head over heels and probably never want to leave again! Good luck with your entry!

  20. Ah that photo of the Dolphin made me smile! That is my ultimate dream, to swim with Dolphins in Dubai. That would be so surreal but so amazing. I would also love to go to Atlantis as I am a big kid really and the marine/waterpark looks brilliant. I would obviously have to check out the big mall as it would be a crime not to! A day on the beach would be heaven too and lets face it who needs to spend a fortune on holiday when there are beaches like that in Dubai! I could happily spend most of the holiday playing on the beach with my little guy and splashing in the sea.

  21. Al Mahara looks beautiful. I have to admit that I hadn't thought of it as a location to take the younger children but the more posts I am reading the more I want to visit

  22. We would absolutely love to visit Dubai, it looks so incredible. Truly something for everyone. Kaz x

  23. Good luck with your entry, I have only seen Dubai via transit but it felt really hot and I want to experience that on a nice relaxing holiday plus lots of shopping