We love a little mini-break – a change of scene and quick break from the daily grind without needing to round up passports, schedule holiday vaccinations or pack a mountain of suitcases. If you’re not jetting off across the world this summer or want to explore some of the regions best family-friendly hotel options, we’ve put together some of our favourite staycations in Dubai. From fun-packed kids clubs to overnight stays in water parks and kids-eat-free promotions, it’s time to get planning mamas!
Psssst …. our friends at The Entertainer are offering at Hot Summer Nights promotion at over 65 hotel partners, allowing their members to book 1 night, get 1 free; book 2 nights get 2 free or even book 3 nights and get 3 free from 1st June to 31st August 2014. Check it out mamas!
Anatara Desert Islands
Get back to nature at this beachside Abu Dhabi resort (no slumming it here though, as the hotel is seriously luxe!) The offshore island retreat is known for its natural and rugged beauty – and organized walks and drives allow you to discover the local wildlife as a family (by foot, kayak, or car!) And if that wasn’t enough to keep the kids happy, the Teens & Kids Club and large infinity pool should just about do it!
Anatara Desert Islands, Al Ruwais, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Tel: (+971) (0) 28015400
Atlantis The Palm
Atlantis isn’t just a hotel; it’s a fun-packed theme park with endless things to do to keep the kids entertained! From rushing down steep water slides in Aquaventure (there’s a toddler-friendly area too!), to gazing at the incredible fish in The Lost Chambers, to swimming with dolphins! And did we mention there’s also a nanny service available so you can put your feet up too? You’re welcome, Mama!
Atlantis The Palm Hotel, Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 44262000
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
As the sun sets at Bab Al Shams desert resort, kids can ride camels over the burnt orange sand dunes (don’t forget your camera, Mama!) You can also meet falcons as you watch the sun disappear over the horizon – and when darkness falls, you are invited to follow the line of lanterns into the desert for a feast of Arabic cuisine and exciting cultural show (you’ll enjoy it as much as the kids!)
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, just off Al Qudra Road (follow signs for Endurance Village), Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 48096100
Banyan Tree Al Wadi
None of the family will forget a stay at this luxury resort. The kids will love swimming in their own private pool (every villa has one!) whilst spotting antelope trotting across the sand. They’ll also love the kids club, falcon display, and play area. And you, mama? You will love the stylish interiors of the villas, the fabulous spa, and the fact you can put the kids to bed and sit outside your villa to eat and drink every evening. Relaxation at its best!
Banyan Tree Al Wadi, Al Mazraa, Ras al Khaimah
Tel: (+971) (0) 72067777
Entertainer Hot Summer Nights Offer: Get up to 3 nights free at Banyan Tree Al Wadi (save up to AED 5620)
Dreamlands Aqua Park
Tired of all the glitz and glamour of Dubai? Want to return to the simple life? Head to Dreamlands Aqua Park in Umm Al Quwain for a family camping trip! You can choose between cabanas or tents, with facilities to BBQ your dinner alongside your lodgings! And during the day? Spend time at the whopping water park (the biggest in the UAE at 250,000 square meters!) The kids will enjoy every second!
Dreamland Aqua Park, Etihad Road (next to Barracuda Beach Hotel and Resort), Umm Al Quwain
Tel: (+971) (0) 67681888
Fairmont The Palm
If you are planning to check the little ones into the hotel kids club, you might as well make it one of the biggest and best in Dubai – and Fairmont The Palm’s 6000 square foot facility (Fairmont Falcon’s Junior Club) will ensure they are kept busy from sunrise to sunset! They’ll spend their days building sandcastles, negotiating climbing walls, and getting involved in arts and crafts. And you, mama? There’s a sunbed with your name on it!
Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0)4573388
Entertainer Hot Summer Nights Offer: Get up to 3 nights free at Fairmont The Palm (save up to AED 3000)
Escape the high-rises and head to the mountains with a stay at this Hajar Mountain resort! Think along the lines of quaint chalet-style rooms, rock feature swimming pools, and an array of activities to keep the whole family busy (including mini-golf, tennis, and archery). And as an added bonus, it’s always a few degrees cooler in the mountains during the summer months, so you can escape the heat too!
Hatta Fort Hotel, Just off Dubai-Hatta Road, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 48099333
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort
Not only does this resort have great facilities, with a large pool and stretch of private sand, but it’s located right next to the new The Beach at JBR complex (and believe us Mama, this place is buzzing!) There’s lots to keep a smile on little one’s faces, including the Splash Zone play area, open-air cinema, sand sculptures, and play park (remember hats and SPF, as the kids aren’t going to want to head indoors any time soon!)
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, JBR, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 43991111
Holiday Inn Al Barsha
Does it feel like your kids area always eating? Holiday Inn Al Barsha is the perfect choice for your staycation, as little guests are invited to dine for free throughout their stay! With three restaurants to choose from, it’s the perfect way to stop tummies from rumbling! And with a shuttle bus service to the beach – and Mall of the Emirates within walking distance (Ski Dubai or Magic Planet, anyone?) – there’s a lot to keep them entertained too!
Holiday Inn Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: (+971)(0) 43234333
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa
You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world when you arrive at this sprawling beach resort and discover peacocks strutting around the car park – and the kids will be equally impressed when they clock the facilities (you just need to decide which of the five swimming pools to jump into first!) The resort has a laid-back family-friendly vibe – but if you want some ‘me time’ there’s a crèche, kids club, and teens club, catering for kids from just 4 months old!
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Jebel Ali (adjacent to Jebel Ali Free Zone), Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 48145555
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
You’ll have driven past this vast hotel plenty of times, but have you ever taken the kids inside? We can guarantee you they will love it, with no less than six swimming pools, a private beach, a kid’s club, and a teen’s club. But the highlight for adrenaline junkies will be the complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark next door (and it’s not just for kids, so get ready to plunge down that slide, Mama!)
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Road (next door to Burj al Arab), Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 43480000
Kempsinki Mall of the Emirates
Craving a trip away to the slopes? No problem – the snow can come to you! Kempinski Mall of the Emirates is the perfect location to enjoy a skiing staycation right here in Dubai! Hit the slopes, meet the penguins (perfect for the smallest family members!) and enjoy a steaming mug of hot chocolate to warm up! And if you all still have energy after that, why not head to Magic Planet, the cinema, or take a dip in the infinity pool? Boredom banished!
Kempsinki Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Tel: (+971) 43410000
Marjan Island Resort & Spa
This brand new Ras Al Khaimah hotel will keep a smile on your brood’s face with the large swimming pool and stretch of soft, white sand (pack your swimsuit Mama, as this one is all about the pool, sea, and sand!) There are some very affordable opening rates, so this is the perfect choice if you want a bargain staycation! The staff couldn’t be friendlier and kids will love the relaxed, holiday vibe.
Marjan Island Resort & Spa, Marjan Island Boulevard, Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
Telephone: (+971) (0) 72036500
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort
You’ve probably heard about the luxurious Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, so why not find out what the fuss is all about? While you enjoy dips in your private villa pool (watch out for wildlife in the surrounding desert!), the younger members of the family will be entertained at the Teens and Kids Club. And when you have summoned up some energy, you can try Dune Bashing, Archery, Tennis, Camel Trekking or Cycling (or just head to the spa for more ‘me time’!)
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Liwa Desert, UAE
Tel: (+971) (0) 28862088
Ritz Carlton, JBR
Worry what your kids get up to at the kids club? Worry no more, Mama! Ritz Carlton JBR offers the Ritz Kids programme at their kids club, which promises to teach little guests about the rich cultural traditions of the UAE and the beauty of the world we live in! So you can rest easy knowing the kids are learning as you relax on a sun-lounger! This is the life!
Ritz Carlton Dubai, JBR Walk (opposite JBR Murjan and Boutique 1), Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 43994000
Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Children are the stars of the show at Rosewood Abu Dhabi! From baby-proofing the bedrooms (no sharp corners here!), to kiddie toiletries and bathrobes waiting in the bathroom, to wireless baby monitors provided in the rooms. There’s also a dedicated kids club so they can have some fun too! These little details make a family stay at the hotel very relaxing – and that’s the most important thing, right Mama?
Roeswood Abu Dhabi, Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
Tel: (+971) (0) 28135550
Sheraton Dubai Creek
How many times have you taken the family to the cultural side of Dubai? It’s never too late Mama, as a staycation at Sheraton Dubai Creek will allow you to visit Dubai Museum, ride abras across the creek, and visit the souks for a browse (any excuse for shopping!). The perfect way to immerse yourself in culture and teach the kids about the city they live in – and just imagine the stories they will have to tell when they are back at school!
Sheraton Dubai Creek, Baniyas Street, Dubai
Tel: (+971) (0) 42281111
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Want to head to the most luxurious resort in the region? You’ll be hard pushed to beat Zighy Bay in Oman for the comfort factor (and don’t panic Mama, it’s only two hours drive from Dubai!) With private pools and dedicated butlers, you may not want to leave the comfort of your private villa – but if you can muster the energy (maybe your butler could bring you a coffee?), you can explore the coastline by dhow. And the Kids Club and Teen Club will keep the younger members of the family just as busy!
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Musandam Peninsula, Oman (head towards Dibba, Fujairah
Tel: (+968) (0) 2673 5555
The Cove Rotana
Are your kids water babies? They will be bursting with excitement when they arrive at this beachside resort, as the first thing you notice is the bright turquoise sea! Beach babes will be just as happy, as the resort boasts 600m of pristine sand to build sandcastles on. There’s also a kids club, large pool, and plenty of activities to get involved in. You might only be an hour’s drive down the road in Ras Al Khaimah, but you’ll feel a million miles away (another cocktail, Mama?)
The Cove Rotana Resort, E11 (take service road at ADNOC Petrol Station), Ras Al Khaimah
Tel: (+971) (0) 72066000
Turtle Beach Resort
Want more from your staycation? How about an experience the whole family will remember forever? It’s very possible at Oman’s Turtle Beach Resort, where you are invited to watch turtles come onto the beach to lay their eggs! That’s not all Mama, as the family can spend the day relaxing and playing on the beach, head out on dhow cruises, try water sports, and hang out at the kid’s play area. Happiness guaranteed!
Turtle Beach Resort, Sur, Oman
Tel: (+968) 25543400
Happy staycationing mamas!