Keeping our boys and girls engaged in activities outside school is at the top of most parents’ list. It is during our children’s formative years where their minds are open to new challenges, and signing them up for afterschool activities help to hone in on their passions. Luckily for our youngsters, Dubai and Abu Dhabi…Read More
Just five days into the new year, and we’re ready to top up your UAE bucket list. It’s all about ditching the ordinary and aiming for the extraordinary, whether it’s with family or friends. That’s why we’re bringing you an extraordinary round-up of unique and unconventional fun in the UAE that you absolutely must try in 2021!
1. See Dubai From A Different Perspective
You haven’t “Dubai-ed” properly if you’ve never seen the city’s gorgeous skyline from a boat. Good news is that The Yellow Boats will take you and your little ones on a spectacular sightseeing tour, on a journey through the most exclusive waterfront developments in Dubai; from Dubai Marina and JBR, to Atlantis and the Burj Al Arab. The tours are guaranteed to leave you in awe of Dubai’s enchanting islands, amazing architecture and beaches.
Hop on their 99 minute Premium Tour that starts your trip around the stunning vista of Dubai Marina and then into the open water where you will see Ain Dubai, cruise around the amazing Palm Jumeirah and pause for a perfect photo opportunity at Atlantis and Burj Al Arab. You will then head back along the coast with the spectacles of the Royal Palaces, Palm Lagoon and on to the Marina.
You can also embark on a 75 minute magical tour of the Arabian Gulf, past enchanting islands, stretches of white sandy beaches and amazing architectural structures. This Atlantis Tour takes you and your kiddos to the most exclusive waterfront developments in the region from Dubai Marina and JBR, to Palm Jumeirah and the World renowned Atlantis The Palm!
Finally, you can enjoy a slow-paced, panoramic evening tour of Dubai Marina and Palm Lagoon, featuring its beautiful skyline, magnificent 21st century modern architecture and the sheer exhilaration and vibrancy of a chic, waterfront city. Not only will you and your family witness an unforgettable sunset, but you will also watch as the city comes alive for the night, lighting up the marina in an array of mesmerizing colours.
The big bonus? Book with Kidzapp and get 25% off the boat tours!
2. Step Into A Magical World
What if we said that you could find a little slice of absolute wonder right in the heart of Dubai? This seasonal, must-try family attraction brings you four themed parks all in one place.
First up, the Dinosaur Park. Definitely the place to be if you’ve got dino fans at home. You and your littles will enjoy walking among life-sized animatronic dinosaurs such as the ever popular Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Spinosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Carnotaurus, Ankylosaurus and many more pre-historic favourites.
If you’re into the art of science, the Magic Park is sure to surprise you and your kids with over 25 fun exhibits and 3D artworks. It’s a world of mesmerizing optical illusions using unique art to create hypnotic optical effects.
Eco-conscious families will especially enjoy the Art Park which is a unique display of Notes of Happiness, Cultural Values, Beliefs and Identity, Overall Paradise of All Colours of Life through varied eco-friendly art installations.
And last but not least, the main attraction – Glow Garden – a large glow-in-dark park made of millions of energy-saving bulbs and yards of recycled luminous fabric. From grand-scale light art, whimsical and out-of-this-world landscapes to mesmerizing light tunnels, it’s an experience not to be missed!
3. Quirk Up Your Family Portraits
The element of awe and surprise is at the forefront at The Selfie Kingdom, so we won’t be spilling too many beans here. What we can say is that you will most likely be taking the best and quirky family shots in 15 unique pop-up rooms with the perfect lighting.
So grab your friends and family, dress up in your finest or most comfortable and get ready to spend an hour wandering through vibrant themed rooms. What’s cool is that the rooms are continually being updated to make sure they stay fresh and interesting so you can keep returning for new shots.
You are free to take as many photos as you like, and can even hire a professional photographer at an additional cost of AED 750 per hour.
4. Jump Aboard A Pirate Ship
Back from its adventures on the seven seas, The Black Pearl has made it all the way over to Dubai Creek Harbour! It’s your familiar take on a creek tour but with a splendid pirate twist.
An absolutely fantastic (and affordable) choice for a family day out, this sightseeing tour is fun for adults and children alike. The one hour cruise will take you from the Dubai Creek Harbour through the Mangroves, passing by the Flamingos at Ras Al Khor Sanctuary, into the Dubai Canal, and so much more before returning to port.
The tour comes with free coffee and you can buy refreshments such as soda and ice cream onboard. Plus, don’t worry about mobility because the ship is both stroller and wheelchair accessible.
The venue sometimes has special offers when you buy your tickets at the door. Call ahead before purchasing your tickets online.
In Abu Dhabi
5. Take A Stroll Through The Mangroves
The capital is home to a stunning mangrove sanctuary where you can take a stroll on a meandering boardwalk to witness some exciting views of nature. Venture on with three routes to choose from (the shortest is 1km, and the longest is 2km long) and stop at six educational sections, which include a floating platform with a see-through net to catch a glimpse of the marine life underfoot, a viewing tower and a beach platform where you can get your feet wet.
On your journey, you may be lucky to encounter different types of birds, fish and crabs, and you can even look down into the clear water with its unblocked views of mangrove roots and marine life. Along with a play area for your littlest members of your family, you can find viewing terraces for great family photos and kayaking as well.
6. Kayak at the Museum
Hop onto a kayak and learn about Louvre Abu Dhabi’s architecture from a different perspective. It’s a fantastic way to get a different view of the Louvre Museum while you float on kayaks on the still Arabian Sea.
No prior experience is necessary. You will be accompanied by professional instructors and given a safety and paddle briefing prior to the 60 minute tour.
In Ras Al Khaimah
7. Test Your Fearlessness
Not for the faint-hearted, this is the place to get your adrenaline rushing at a new obstacle maze on the UAE’s highest mountain! Your sense of adventure will be tested as you soar 10 meters above the ground and navigate through several obstacles including rope swings, wobbly bridges, swinging loops and so much more!
With two levels of endless fun, the Jais Sky Maze is a self-guided rope course where you will navigate different obstacles located 10 meters above the ground. The course is split into two levels; the first level is at a lower height and includes easy challenges that are suitable for children aged 6 years and above. The second level is 10 meters above the ground, and features slightly more challenging obstacles that teenagers and adults can enjoy.
8. Explore A Haunted Palace
Is ghost hunting on your bucket list? Then it’s Ras Al Khaimah where you need to go. Not only can you pop over to the ghost town over at Al Jazirat Al Hamra, but the allegedly haunted Al Qassimi Palace is open to all thrill-seeking individuals, big and small.
This mysterious, 4-story palace has remained empty for 35 years. It was abandoned after the home-owners claimed it to be haunted.
Inside the Palace, you’ll be amazed by the stunning artifacts and paintings that add charm to all the 35 rooms. The four-story structure is designed with glass chandeliers and marble floors, with a mix of Islamic, Moroccan and Persian influences. Plus, don’t miss the room with a huge pyramid structure, at the top of the mansion!
So grab your camera, Proton Pack and get going!
9. Head Out For A Family Adventure In The Mountains
The mountains of Ras Al Khaimah are the perfect backdrop for a fun family weekend adventure. Whether you’re looking for half day, full day or even overnight activities, Challenging Adventure gives you and your family the opportunity to engage with RAK nature.
Choose from a wide range of fun adventures including Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Kayaking, Trekking, and so much more – plus you’ll be accompanied by a qualified instructor who will make sure you and your kiddos enjoy your time in absolute safety.
If you’re up for a camping experience like no other, opt for the overnight package.
10. Level Up Your Thrill Game
Take a road trip to the picturesque mountains of Hatta. Only and hour and a half away from Dubai, the Hatta Wadi Hub is a perfect escape if you’re seeking adventure. There, you and your family are spoilt for choice with the many activities available at the Hatta Wadi Hub activity centre.
The activities on offer include both paid and free options that range from mountain bike coaching and rentals, to downhill mountain biking, downhill carting, a human sling shot, axe throwing, archery, freefall jumps, Dr Rock station, adventure rope courses, rope bridge, wall climbing, kids and adult’s trampolines, as well as twin and kids’ zip lines. Plus, new activities include a climbing wall, zip line, slingshot, paragliding and more.
You can also find attractions and activities such as the Hatta Zorbing, Hatta Drop-in, Asia’s first water jump park, with a crazy jump, crazy slide, drop-in donuts and drop-in tracks. Head down to the dam for some kayaking fun, and definitely sign up for a hiking experience for the entire family.
Want to make a vacation of it? Overnight it at the Hatta Sedr Trailers which offer vintage trailers repurposed as boutique hospitality experiences, the Hatta Damani Lodges, or opt for staying at Riad Hatta which is inspired by the traditional Riad, or even bring your own tents and camp at Hatta Wadi Hub.
For a spot of culture, you can visit the Hatta Heritage Village where you’ll find craft shops, heritage centre and the Emirati restaurant, Al Hajarain.