11 Best things to do in Dubai with kids

11 Best things to do in Dubai with kids

Dubai is one of the most visited cities on earth, characterised by its man-made islands, huge skyscrapers and shopping malls. According to the latest Mastercard rankings, more tourists now go to Dubai than New York, Tokyo or Barcelona. A city that never sleeps, it is known for its constantly evolving, modern skyline and endless opportunities to explore new and exciting attractions every year.  There are so many things to do in Dubai that it can be difficult to plan your time there. Based on our experiences, here are the best things to do in Dubai on your first visit there. We did them with our kids, so it's also a great list of things to do in Dubai with kids.

11 of the best things to do in Dubai (with kids or without kids)

1. Get on top of the world at the Burj Khalifa

The top attraction in Dubai, according to Tripadvisor, is the Burj Khalifa, followed by the Dubai Fountains and the Dubai Mall.  All of them are within the same complex.  My family has a penchant for seeing the views from tall buildings, so ascending the Burj Khalifa was high up on our Dubai bucket list.

We shot up 125 floors within 1 minute in one of the fastest elevators in the world, and spent over an hour savouring the views from the tallest building in the world. The panoramic city skyline views extend to the deserts and the ocean.  At the top, you can take drool-worthy Instagram selfies to brag with, and buy refreshments and souvenirs. This is definitely one for the bucket list. Book your tickets here.

Burj Khalifa At The Top

View from the top of Burj Khalifa

2. Learn about the history of Dubai at the Dubai Museum

Although we visited the Dubai Museum with the City Sightseeing Bus, it is a must-see attraction even if you are not travelling with the bus. The museum was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. Housed in the Al Fahidi Fort which is near the Al-Fahidi Souk, it has some fascinating exhibits of life in Dubai before the oil boom.

Best things to do in Dubai- Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum

3. Explore the city with City Sightseeing Dubai

I’m a big fan of hop-on hop-off buses around the world. So naturally, the City Sightseeing Dubai bus was one of the first activities on my Dubai itinerary. It was a great way to see Dubai’s main attractions in a short period of time and the informative on-board commentary taught us several things about Dubai that we didn’t know. We drove through the old and new parts of Dubai and saw most of Dubai’s most iconic symbols, like the Burj-Al-Arab, The Palm, the Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Mosque and more.

City Sightseeing Bus Dubai

City Sightseeing Bus Dubai

4. Enjoy a delicious dinner while cruising

One of my most memorable experiences from my first visit to Dubai, back in 2006, was a dinner cruise. When I returned to Dubai with my children, I wanted them to experience it too. JA Bateaux is a highly rated dinner cruise offering fine dining on a luxury glass-walled boat. We had a five-star dinner cruise experience where we sailed on the Dubai Creek and got to see old Dubai by night. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable and there was live entertainment on board. This is a must do in Dubai.


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5. Cool down in the water @ Aquaventure - Atlantis The Palm

Atlantis The Palm is one of the most recognisable symbols of Dubai. It is situated on the furthest tip of The Palm, a man-made palm-shaped island. The magnificent palm tree-lined resort spans 46 hectares. It is also home to the Aquaventure Waterpark, which has won the award for the Middle East's Leading Waterpark in the World Travel Awards, several times. We spent many fun-filled hours at Aquaventure and ended our day there with a delicious late lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen. Book your tickets here.

Atlantis The Palm

Tower of Neptune

6. Feel enchanted at the Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world's largest natural flower garden and one of the most Instagram-worthy too. I had seen umpteen pictures of the beautiful landscaped garden on social media over the past few years and it had been on my Dubai bucket list for ages. The popular garden consists of floral sculptures and installation of all shapes and sizes, including a life-size Emirates A380 airbus. It is only open during Dubai’s cooler months, between November and April. What makes this garden most unusual though is that it was built on desert land. My daughter and I walked around admiring the blooms while my husband and son sipped karak chai at a shaded outdoor café. Book your tickets here.

Dubai in one day Miracle Gardens

Miracle Gardens

7. Be mesmerised at La Perle

La Perle is a permanent live show which takes place in a state-of-the-art 1300 seat aqua-theatre at the V Hotel Dubai. Launched in September 2017, it was created by Franco Dragone who is known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion. In less than six months, the show was ranked as Dubai’s number one show on TripAdvisor. We first heard about the show on a BBC documentary before we went to Dubai and it was promptly added to our itinerary. We watched mesmerised as talented artists, death-defying stunts and amazing special effects combined to transport us to a magical world. Book your tickets here.

Things to do in Dubai

La Perle

8. Experience the world's largest mall - the Dubai Mall & marvel at the Dubai Fountains

Dubai is known for its shopping but I am no mall rat. However, I had to visit Dubai Mall - not to shop - but to experience some of its more unique attractions. Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total area. It contains one of the largest suspended indoor aquariums in the world, and an indoor waterfall adorned with silver sculptures of divers. Between the mall and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, are the Dubai Fountains, the world's largest choreographed fountains, which attract hundreds of visitors every evening.

9. Go dune bashing on a Desert Safari

A desert safari is a must-do when in the UAE. Although, we did ours from Abu Dhabi on this trip, a Dubai desert safari is pretty similar. It typically combines dune-bashing in the desert, with desert activities like sand-boarding and quad-biking, followed by a Bedouin-style dinner in a desert camp with live entertainment. It certainly was one of the highlights of our trip and the kids especially loved it. Book your desert safari here.

best Things to do in Dubai

Desert Safari

10. Get your adrenaline pumping at the many theme parks

Dubai is a theme-park lover's paradise. There are so many to choose from. The most popular theme parks there are IMG Worlds of Adventure, the largest indoor theme park in the world, Legoland Dubai, which is great for younger kids, and Bollywood Park Dubai, which is the world’s only Bollywood theme park.

11. Get inspired by the Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future is one of Dubai's newest attractions. Opened in February 2022 after a long delay, the eye-catching oval-shaped structure features an Arabic poem in calligraphy on its facade. Inside, it predicts what life will be like in 2071 using innovative technology and design and a range of interactive exhibits which focus on issues like sustainability, climate change and global warming.. Kids will love the Future Heroes space where are encouraged to develop useful future-proof skills through exploration and play.

Museum of the Future

Museum of the Future

See more cool things to do in Dubai.

See here for the best things to do in Dubai in summer .

Where to stay in Dubai

Habtoor Grand Resort - Great location, service, rooms and food

Hilton Dubai – Al Habtoor City , a popular family-friendly hotel

Or check out more accommodation options on Cozycozy , the largest holiday rental and hotel search comparison site on the internet.

Where to eat in Dubai

PF Changs - for their authentic Asian cuisine

Shake Shack & Five Guys – for their delicious burgers

Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen - because Gordon Ramsay is a legendary chef who makes great food

Luciano's at Habtoor Grand Resort for delicious authentic Italian food.

Find accommodation in Dubai.

See how to apply for a UAE visa online .

See things to do in Abu Dhabi.

Download the app guide here.

Have you been there? What are your favourite things to do in Dubai ?

Best things to do in Dubaithings to do in Dubai with kids

13 comments on “11 Best things to do in Dubai with kids”

  1. What an insightful listicle of top things to do in Dubai! I've never been before but I'd love to visit some day. Thanks for sharing all your recommendations!

  2. My parents took me to Dubai when I was younger, so I agree that it is a great family destination. I remember all of us kids having so much fun dune bashing. The Safari is a must do for sure!

  3. Hello,

    You've got a great list of things to do in Dubai with kids here.

    My personal favorite as an adult is Dubai Miracle Garden. The flower park is just otherworldly. However, children will really love Aquaventure and dune bashing in Dubai's desert as they're exhilarating.

    Thank you for taking your time on this wonderful destination.

  4. Great list. So many interesting things to do in Dubai, I think your list even works for those of us without kids.

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