Where best to stay in Dubai with Virgin Holidays
Virgin holidays offers many hotels that are ideal for families because living like royalty shouldn't cost a king's randsom. With a wide range of free activities for the little ones, as well as exclusive kids' clubs and 'eat free' offers, you can let your whole family enjoy the regal treatment, without worrying about the bill.
And for added peace of mind, selected hotels also offer interconnecting rooms, as well as family room deals.
Check out our top three family hotels in Dubai:
Where best to start the adventure
Shoot to the top of the world’s tallest building in high speed elevators (traveling at 10 metres per second… faster than an Olympic sprinter in full-flow!) to take you up to the 124th floor observation deck ‘At The Top’ of the Burj Khalifa. The unobstructed 360 degree view of the city, desert and sea is a great starting point that will help you gather your bearings and decide which attractions you’ll head off to next.
Next...the awe-inspiring Dubai fountain in the huge, 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake stands in the shadows of the world’s tallest building and shoots water jets as high as 150 metres. Accompanied by music, the marvellous water and light show can be seen from more than 30 kilometres away.
Dubai is home to one of the world’s most imaginative children’s attractions: Kidzania, a huge city-like complex, is a place where children can get a taste of the adult world through roleplaying their future careers...which should help to answer the age old question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
The lovely Creekside Park has playgrounds, gardens, kiosks, restaurants and a 2.5km cable-car ride for fabulous vistas of the park and waterfront. Or, Za’abeel Park, which has gorgeous lakes, ponds, a jogging track, a skateboard park, a BMX track and fabulous views of the Sheikh Zayed Rd skyline make this park perfect for families. Also here is Stargate, a space-themed amusement park where they can race go-karts, ride a roller coaster, take a spin on a small ice rink or watch 3D movies.
Screech your way through Aquaventure water park at Atlantis, one of the world’s most advanced water-attractions, which features huge slides, ‘Master Blasters’, rivers, rapids, a dedicated children’s play area, lush tropical landscapes and a private beach.
For more wet and wild adventures, Wild Wadi water park has more than 30 rides and attractions for all the family. It is themed around the tale of Juha, a good friend of Sinbad the Sailor and a known character from Arabian folklore.
At Dolphin Bay, in the world-famous Atlantis resort on the man-wade wonder that is the Palm Jumeirah, all members of the family can get up-close to these wonderful animals, playing games and, of course, getting a photograph to remember the experience.
The Lost Chambers fantastical labyrinth of underwater halls, passageways and fish tanks recreates the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. Some 65,000 exotic marine creatures inhabit aquariums, where rays flutter and jellyfish dance, moray eels lurk, and pretty but poisonous lion fish float.
Stand back and enjoy the tranquillity of more than 33,000 fishes from 140 species swimming through the 10-million litre Dubai Aquarium in Dubai Mall.
Beaches and more
Enjoy the calm turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf at Dubai’s beaches. For a few dirhams, try Jumeirah Beach Park, with lifeguards on duty, a children’s play area, barbecues and picnic tables; or Al-Mamzar Beach Park, one of Dubai’s hidden gems for kids with play areas. Other free beaches include the popular Jumeirah Open Beach; Kite Beach, a quiet and pristine stretch of sand and Umm Suqueim Beach, with fabulous views of the Burj al-Arab.
Many visitors to Dubai are often surprised that, in addition to the rolling sand dunes and world-class beaches, the city is just a short drive away from the impressive Hajjar Mountains. These mountains play host to one of the locals’ favourite past times – ‘wadi bashing’. A bumpy 4x4 drive through the wadis (or ‘wadi bashing’) is great fun - and isolated rock pools filled with fresh mountain water provide the perfect place to cool off.
With miles upon miles of fine red sand, Dubai’s desert ‘outback’ features striking rolling sand dunes. The sandy slopes create the ideal backdrop for thrill seekers – either by racing through the sandy dunes in four-wheel drives or skiing and boarding down the powdery sand.
One of the coolest things to do in Dubai is to ski in desert! Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates is one of Dubai’s landmark attractions and the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort.
If parents are looking for a little respite from the children, Dubai Mall is also home to an Olympic sized ice rink where kids could play ice hockey or even attend a disco on ice! Alternatively, the SEGA Republic indoor theme park offers five zones of entertainment for all ages.