| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Family holiday tips

With yet more school holidays looming, what to do?

Gulp… Eid, followed by the National Day holiday, means some schools shut at the end of November only to reopen on December 6. Not sure if you can stand it? Break the monotony with a mini-break

Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa

Good for kids because... it’s a fabulous family resort, with three pools, a diving centre, camel rides, horse riding, a long stretch of beach and more water sports than you can fling a rubber ring at. The Peaco kids’ club keeps nippers aged four to 14 entertained, with evening movies for teens and tweens so mum and dad can relax with a cocktail. Twenty minutes down the road, you’ll feel like you’ve had a real holiday.

Nitty gritty: Dhs888 per person per night in a junior suite with breakfast and either lunch or dinner. Two kids under 12 stay and eat for free, valid Nov 26-28. 04 883 600; www.jebelali-international.com

Hatta Fort Hotel

Good for kids because... there’s plenty to keep them occupied, from two rock pools to crazy golf, archery, tennis and the resident camel (famed for his can- crushing capabilities). Take a hike in the Hajar mountains or learn about Arabian life in days gone by at the Heritage Village.

Nitty gritty: Dhs900 per person per night with breakfast and dinner. Two kids under six stay and eat for free, valid November 26-28. 04 852 3211; www.hattaforthotel.com

Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort

Good for kids because... parents can take a thoroughly relaxing break while the little darlings are kept busy in the Penguin kids’ club, where mini-golf, face painting, pizza-making competitions and a kids’ disco abound. Still some excess energy to burn? Check out the pool, the large playground or the gaming arcade.

Nitty gritty: From Dhs1,940 per night based on two adults sharing, including breakfast and a special Eid buffet lunch. Kids aged five to 12 years pay a Dhs111 supplement. 09 244 9000; www.lemeridien-alaqah.com

Al Suwaidi Beach Resort

Good for kids because... The ‘you-provide-the-tent, we’ll-provide-the-space’ concept means you get the thrill of the great outdoors with the resort’s excellent facilities thrown in. Take advantage of a pool, private beach, toilets, showers and nine restaurant outlets, as well as a kids’ adventure playground, mini-golf, volleyball, quad bikes and horse riding.

Nitty gritty: OMR30 (around Dhs300) per night, based on four people sharing a tent. +968 2 679 5545; www.alsuwadibeach.com

Sheraton Grande Laguna, Phuket

Good for kids because... Phuket has masses of things to do for families on land and sea. Go elephant trekking or kayaking, take a boat ride through the mangroves and enjoy superb swimming and snorkelling. At the resort, there’s a VIK (Very Important Kids’) club with a daily programme of games and crafts, including local batik painting, beading and jungle gym as well as daily visits by the resort’s baby elephants, Lucky and Lilly.

Nitty gritty: Dhs4,180 per adult (Dhs2,670 per child) for a three night stay including flights on Thai Airways, breakfast and transfers. 800 8118; dnataholidays@dnata.com; www.dnataholidays.com

Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa

Good for kids because... The hotel offers a Westin Kids’ workout where little ’uns walk through the rainforest, spotting birds and wildlife and learning how to take cool photos. Expand their palates with a ‘taste adventure’ or sign up for a raft of excursions and activities, such as eagle feeding, island hopping, sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, sunset cruises, waterfall trips, cultural tours, mountain biking, jungle treks, horseback riding, four-wheel drive experiences, go-karting and elephant riding... phew!

Nitty gritty: Book three nights for Dhs4,540 per person (Dhs2,480 per child) and get an extra night free. Includes flights with Singapore Airlines, breakfast and transfers. 800 8118; dnataholidays@dnata.com; www.dnataholidays.com

InterContinental Bali Resort

Good for kids because... Planet Trekkers, a mini-resort just for kids aged four to 12 years, has a packed daily programme, while the resort, set in 14 hectares of tropical landscape with its own white, sandy beach, has six swimming pools a fitness centre and spa and offers kayaking, bike tours, cooking and fitness lessons. Outside, Bali offers some great surfing beaches, plus a fascinating landscape of active volcanoes, fast-flowing rivers, deep ravines and tropical forests packed with exotic wildlife. Oh, there are a few thousand temples, too…

Nitty gritty: Dhs3,600 per person (Dhs2,630 for kids) for a three-night stay, including Qatar Airways flights, breakfast and transfer. 800 8118; dnataholidays@dnata.com; www.dnataholidays.com

By Karen Iley
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