Dubai Family Resorts
Dubai is a haven for family resorts. Think big – these are large properties with plenty of facilities, including kids clubs, water parks, and more. Here are some of our favourite resorts and activities:
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
Madinat Jumeirah is a hotel complex made up of four luxury hotels: Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, and Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf, also connecting to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Golf buggies run between the properties, making the whole resort accessible to all. Irrespective of which hotel you choose, you will have views of the famous sail shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, access to the private two kilometre beach, over 50 restaurants and bars, the lively Madinat Jumeirah Souk area, and unlimited complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark also located in the complex.
Of Jumeirah’s beachside resorts, Jumeirah Beach Hotel is the classic for families, and this is a resort where the facilities are specifically designed with families in mind including a great kids club, tennis academy, several pools and Wild Wadi Waterpark on your doorstep. The whole ambience of the hotel revolves around a happy kids, happy family vibe. This is a large hotel of classic Arabesque design, and all 600 rooms and suites have been newly renovated.
Jumeirah Al Naseem is also worth considering for families looking for a slightly sleeker, more contemporary design and feel. The hotel has a kids club and is certainly super family friendly, though here you will find more of a mix of couples and families.
Lastly, if you are travelling as an intergenerational family group, or group of friends, the summerhouses of Jumeirah Day Al Masyaf could be a suitable fit. Arabian style summerhouses are akin to hotel rooms booked individually but can also be booked together around the same landscaped garden courtyard and semi-private pools.
One & Only Royal Mirage: The Palace
If you’re looking for both sophistication and family fun, this could be your answer. The One & Only is akin to an extensive Oriental palace set within more than sixty acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. As such it perhaps offers a more intimate feel, with the considerable grounds creating the impression of space and privacy. The hotel sits on a kilometre of private beach and offers the outstanding service which the One & Only brand is known for. The Palace is the most family friendly accommodation option within the resort and offers connecting rooms, a kids club and heated pools and sports facilities. The resort offers a plethora of dining options including excellent choices for kids such as a pizza restaurant, and Arabian Nights themed outdoor dining.
The Atlantis resort is a mammoth extravaganza fantasy land for kids and families – be prepared, it is packed full with fun, absolutely huge, teeming with activity, and not at all understated! The hotel houses its own Aquaventure Waterpark, Aquarium (which you can scuba dive in!), Dolphin Bay offering dolphin encounters, bowling alley, gaming area, sports facilities, several kids clubs, and huge array of top notch restaurants including Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street restaurant. The range of facilities is unparalleled and impressive at this kids heaven, and staying here is an experience!
If you are looking for practical family facilities such as a fully functioning kitchen, and a slightly lower price point, the new Caesars Residences are worth considering. They offer apartment style serviced accommodation with one, two, three or four bedrooms. Guests at the residences also have access to the facilities of the wider Caesars resort including beach, pool, spa, fitness centre and twelve restaurants and bars.
Uber Luxury & Couples
The UAE is home to a number of truly luxurious, out of the world properties, ranging from barefoot luxury to over the top opulence.
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Yes, yes, we know, Zighy Bay is technically Oman, but it’s just a two-hour scenic drive from Dubai airport. Alternatively, you can arrive at Zighy Bay by drive and boat combo – a scene-setting entrance, or take the more exhilarating option of paragliding in (!). Zighy Bay is one of our most loved properties in the whole region. Here you are truly isolated from the rest of the planet, and the place has a magic about it which somehow resets your entire being. True to the Six Senses philosophy, the resort is constructed of locally sourced, natural materials, making for an authentic ambience. Accommodation is certainly luxurious, but in an almost raw way which melds with the environment. The property is set on a mile-long pristine beach, and offers two swimming pools, one fresh water, the other salt, altogether creating a true oasis for body and soul. The cuisine is organic, locally sourced, and much of it grown in the nearby Six Senses farm which can be visited. The resort houses four restaurants, from upscale with stunning views, to traditional Middle Eastern with low seating, and there is always the option of having a private chef cook for you in your villa! The well know Six Senses spa and fitness programs speak for themselves, and if you can bear to leave the hotel the surrounding area offers plenty of hiking opportunities. While this is a sophisticated and tranquil hotel, children are welcome at Zigby Bay and the grow with six sense program offers activities such as archery, pizza making and gardening. In short, if you are in search of recharge, serenity, and stunning natural beauty, look no further than Zighy Bay.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah luxury hotel is one of Dubai’s most iconic building, and one of the tallest buildings in the world. Constructed to resemble the large sail shape of an Arabian dhow, and set against the reliably clear blue of sea and sky, this image has come to define modern Dubai’s success and excess. The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah sets the gold standard in Middle Eastern luxury, service and opulence. This all-suite hotel is Arabesque in style, rich in golds and purples, and sparing no extravagance. Indoor and outdoor pools provide stunning panoramic views of Dubai, and the Terrace juts out into the Arabian Gulf and hold a man-made beach and two pools. The restaurants are world-class, as you would expect, and an excellent afternoon tea is served in addition to fine dining breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’ve even wanted to experience seven-star luxury and the ultimate Dubai hype, this is the place for you.
One & Only Royal Mirage: Residence & Spa
In addition to The Palace accommodation set out above (see family section), the One & Only Royal Mirage also offers The Residence & Spa as a private haven ideal for couples. Rooms are spacious, classically oriental and sea facing. The hotel architecture is defined by beautiful courtyards and extensive ornamental gardens which makes for a romantic and peaceful ambience. The hotel offers an adult only pool, and a selection of fine dining options.
If you’re looking for something with more of a boutique and sophisticated feel, the Bulgari hotel is worth considering. It offers tastefully designed extremely spacious rooms and villas, a totally private beach, and an upscale and refined vibe. The hotel also offers its own beach and yacht clubs with pools, kids club (even the most sophisticated of Dubai hotels offer family facilities), bars and restaurants.
As per the Mandarin Oriental brand, this hotel exudes elegance and is well suited for couples in search of a relaxing luxury break. Situated along a beautiful beach and offering generously sized rooms, the service is excellent and guests feel absolutely taken care of. There is a small kids club here, but the emphasis on families is muted compared to the hotels noted in the above family section. Located north of the Jumeirah area, the hotel offers excellent access to some of Dubai’s finest restaurants and nightlife.
The UAE boasts some of the world’s most jaw dropping desert landscapes and we highly recommend putting aside a couple of nights for this unique experience.
Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara
Qasr Al Sarab is a special property. Set amidst the world’s largest sand dunes, here you achieve a true feeling of isolation and immersion in awe-inspiring nature and wilderness. Hotel rooms face the majestic dunes, and a stunning infinity pool quite literally creates a desert oasis for guests. Children are well taken care of with their kid’s pool and club. Stepping out of the hotel is a prime opportunity to learn about desert people and desert living, picking up skills such as falconry and archery. You can explore the desert by any of guided jeep, camel or hike. The hotel includes three restaurants offering a variety of flavours from traditional Middle Eastern to Mediterranean and is located a 3.5 hours drive from Dubai, or 1.5 hours from downtown Abu Dhabi.
This luxury hotel is designed around the theme of a Bedouin encampment, and while lacking the full grandeur of Qasr Al Sarab’s surroundings, this is still a compelling desert experience and a mere one-hour drive from Dubai. The hotel certainly offers a sense of desert adventure, offering a full range of desert activities and views of indigenous Arabian wildlife such as gazelles and oryx. Facilities also include a beautiful infinity pool and excellent dining options. The resort does not accept children aged below 10 years old.
Abu Dhabi is affectionately known as the ‘Garden City of the Gulf’ because of its green boulevards, beautiful gardens and parks, and a more interesting landscape with superb beaches, natural islands, and outstanding desertscape. In terms of cultural attractions, be sure to visit the impressive Louvre museum, whether on your own or with one of our expert art historian guides, and the architecturally stunning Grand Mosque – the third largest mosque in the world.
The Emirates Palace is iconic and opulent, and yes a bit brash (there is an ATM which spits out gold instead of cash!), but it is part of the Emirates experience and offers outstanding luxury, facilities and a great location for exploring Abu Dhabi’s cultural sites. The hotel has its own mile long private beach, endless landscaped gardens, a kids club, tennis courts, water sports centre, and ten restaurants.
St Regis Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat island offers six miles of long sandy beaches, as well as many of Abu Dhabi’s cultural attractions, and the St Regis Hotel is excellently located to take advantage of all this and more. As per St Regis standards, all rooms benefit from butler service. The hotel’s ambience, design and restaurants each incorporate both Oriental and Western elements. We recommend the St Regis for both families (there is a kids club) and couples looking for a relaxing beach break.
Park Hyatt Saadiyat Island
The Park Hyatt offers access to Saadiyat Island’s wonderful beaches and cultural aspects, and covers all the bases one could want in terms of facilities with four different pools (including a kids pool), three restaurants, gym, spa and more. In addition to hotel rooms, the Park Hyatt has a wonderful private villa option for those looking for a little more privacy.
Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts
Sir Bani Yas is a beautiful natural island and private nature reserve with stunning beaches on which the Anantara hotel group has developed three distinct hotel offerings. The island is the former private game reserve of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, the late founder of the UAE. While the island has now been developed for visitors, the wild game animals have remained in their habitat. Arrival to the island is by sea plane or boat. Al Yamm Villas is a boutique beach offering of thirty villas best suited for couples looking to enjoy a quiet and private beach break. Al Sahel Villas provide an African safari theme, set in the savannah wilderness of the nature reserve. Al Sahel also comprises just thirty villas for a secluded atmosphere. Game rides and walks are available on a daily basis, and an extraordinary array of wild animals are present and just waiting to be spotted. Lastly the Desert Islands Resort is the former lodge of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, and today offers 64 Arabesque rooms. This is the perfect place for a child’s entrée to the world of safari, without the hassle of malaria pills. Animals include Arabian Oryx and giraffes and large birds such as ostrich, and you may even see hyenas and cheetah.
Zaya Nurai Island
This is a luxury private island resort providing an isolated island world experience. Natural beauty surrounds you, and it is hard not to surrender to the sense of sand, sea and tranquillity. The resort offers villas from one to six bedrooms, ideal for couples, families, or groups. While you’re not contemplating the gentle waters, you can busy yourself with water sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, water skiing, or land based activities including beach volleyball, football, or exploring the island by bicycle. This island experience is a treat for both couples and families and houses a kids club and mini waterpark. Food is a feature with five restaurants covering Middle Eastern, Western and Asian feasts, as well as plenty of seafood. The island is also available for buyouts so if you’re planning a special celebration or a getaway, please do let us know!
For those seeking shopping, nightlife or visiting on business, you will most likely want to stay in the city centre.
The Address Boulevard
This hotel is a heaven for shopping fanatics, it is connected directly to the famous Dubai mall – you can even send your shopping directly from the mall to the Address Boulevard hotel! As would be expected, this is a busy and sometimes noisy, bustling city hotel, yet it also offers the facilities of a pool and kids club, as well as a great restaurant.
Located at the iconic Burj Khalifa, and walking distance to the Dubai mall, sleek Armani design is offered amidst Dubai’s high rises. Facilities include a restaurant with panoramic city views, the Armani Prive nightclub, a spa and fitness centre, and rooftop pool.
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