The top stuff for kids to do this week in Dubai...
Carols at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (04 295 6000) Join in the carol singing and snack on fresh mince pies and warming mulled beverages at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. It’s the perfect Christmas Eve treat for little ones before they put out carrots for the reindeer and go to bed to wait for Santa. Ho ho ho – merry Christmas! Festive cheer starts at 6.45pm.
Christmas lunch at the Renaissance (04 262 5555) Burnt the Christmas dinner? Tuck into a turkey feast for just Dhs380 for four, including trimmings and house beverages at the Renaissance hotel in Deira.
Gulf Ventures Festive Desert Camp (04 404 5880) Take them sand-skiing and sledging in the dunes at this very festive desert camp. Kids will love the belly dancing, barbecue and whirling dervish, as well as the special Christmassy activities. (Also on December 24 and 27.)
Sleeping Beauty (04 366 6546; www.madinattheatre.com) Wake up! There aren’t many more chances to catch the drowsy damsel in pantomime at the Madinat Theatre. Shows run every day at 3pm and 7pm except December 25 and January 1.
Outdoor fun at Safa Park (04 349 2111) Get them running around after all that gingerbread and mince pie malarkey with a trip to Safa Park. With its wide open spaces and plenty of well-maintained adventure playgrounds, they can tackle a game of football or hire a four-wheeler to blow those cobwebs away before dashing off to the next festive activity. Entry costs Dhs3 per person. Little ones go free.
Pure Fitness (055 811 9120/050 659 4376) Contemplating those New Year resolutions but wondering how you’ll fit it in with your bump or bub? Check out Pure Fitness classes designed by mums, including antenatal and postnatal exercise, with baby and without. Various locations throughout Dubai.
Al Ain Zoo (03 782 0121) Escape Dubai for the day with a trip to Al Ain Zoo. It’s a perfect time of year to catch all manner of monkeys, gorillas, giraffes, reptiles and more in action, and it won’t break the bank – it’s just Dhs15 per adult and Dhs5 for kids aged six to 15. Open 10am-6pm.
Full Moon Desert Drumming (email@example.com; www.dubaidrums.com) Say cheerio to 2009 and welcome in 2010 with a bang (on your own drum). While you’re not making music with the rest of the drummers, kick back in a majlis, feast on an Arabian barbecue, ride a camel or just burn off that Christmas excess with a run or two up and down the sand dunes. A real atmospheric treat, the fun starts at 8pm. Tickets cost Dhs425 for adults, Dhs185 for children (up to 14 years), free for kids aged six and under.
Capitala World Tennis Championship (www.capitalawtc.com) Little smasher in your midst? Head down to Abu Dhabi to watch the pros of the tennis scene, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Nikolai Davydenko, battle it out in the first tournament of the new year.
Dig out your dancing shoes (04 362 6385; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.coredirection.com) A new dance school is opening in Dubai, offering junior ballet, hip-hop, mums and tots, street dance and musical theatre classes. The Core Dance Academy at The Waves Tower, Dubai Marina opens its doors on January 10, so sign up now and get jiving.
Deira fruit & veg market Determined to get back on the right track after the festive feasting? Kick-start your new year, new you programme with a trip to the fruit and vegetable market. Get the kids to pick out some fresh ingredients, pop next door for a look at the ‘sleeping’ fish (almost as good as a trip to the aquarium) then head home to cook up a healthy feast.
Picnic at the polo (04 361 8111; www.poloclubdubai.com) Pack a picnic basket and head off to the lush green grounds of the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, where you can watch the game for free. From 3.30pm.
Kings’ Parade (www.espanarab.com) Take the kids down to Souk Madinat Jumeirah to witness the three kings as they return to the Middle East. This spectacular display of colour and music sees volunteers dress up in bright costumes, winding their way through the alleyways before ending at the amphitheatre overlooking the water, where a host of musical acts entertain the audience. Kids get to meet the kings and receive a free gift. The event is run by Espanarab, a UAE organisation that provides medical equipment to children’s hospitals in Africa and Asia.
Covent Garden Market (050 244 5795) Okay, so you’ve probably had your fill of shopping by now, but even if you’re only browsing, the whole family will enjoy this atmospheric evening stroll around the stalls down at The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence. Open 5pm-midnight.
Dubai Ladies Club fun day (04 349 9922; www.dubailadiesclub.com) Head down for the start of this three-day event, featuring kids’ activities and entertainment, fashion shows, fairground rides and carnival parades, plus international food stalls. Free for members, Dhs99 for non-members, ladies and children only.By Karen Iley
Time Out Dubai,