Kids' clubs in Dubai
Community centres and clubs where families can meet
Family and Friends, Dubai Marina
The Friends and Family Community Centre has something to offer everyone looking for new activities and opportunities to socialize. The facilities include an indoor play area for children as well as a number of fitness studios for classes, and rooms to accommodate courses in languages, baby signing, slimming clubs, first aid and more. In short, there is a wide range of programmes to choose from that will suit children and adults of all ages. Family and Friends has a children’s birthday party service and also runs Early Years educational courses for children as well as all manner of fitness classes for busy mums. We especially like the fact that you pay-as-you-go in terms of classes – there is no annual membership or registration required. And, included in the price of adult classes is a ‘play and stay’ option for you to leave your kids in the supervised play area while you enjoy a guilt free class. Cool!
No annual membership. Dhs30-50 per class (depending on the programme) or you can buy them in blocks of five or ten. Family and Friends Community Centre, Dubai Marina www.dubaifamilyandfriends.com (050 3164025).
Al Areesh Club, Dubai Festival City
With facilities that include a Spinneys supermarket, a hair and beauty salon, two swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, soccer and basketball courts, a kids’ playground and a well-equipped gym, it’s hardly surprising that the Al Areesh Club scores high marks with its members. Unfortunately, you can only make full use of the facilities if you have friends who are already members of the club. This is because Al Areesh is so popular that its membership list is currently closed to new applicants. You can, however, sign up to any of the classes without being a member. These range from tennis and kids swimming classes, to women’s self defense, Zumba™ fitness and Arabic lessons.
Annual membership not available for newcomers. From Dhs40 (per class). Open 6am-10pm daily. Dubai Festival City, www.dubaifestivalcity.com/alareesh (04 232 5670).
The Lakes Club (formerly Hayya, now Fitness First), Emirates Hills
This popular community centre in The Lakes has a good mix of sporting activities, personal training services, children’s classes, like Boogie Babies, swimming lessons and racquet sports on offer. While Fitness First has recently taken over Hayya’s facilities across Dubai, it’s the Lakes Club Junior programme that is especially appealing to parents with hyperactive children, thanks to its summer and Spring camps, and a variety of activities with nippers in mind. Think teen gym timings, karate, ballet, Thai kick boxing, piano, dance and guitar classes. There are also spinning, yoga, Zumba™ and body combat classes for kids in the pipeline. While members have obvious perks, like using the facilities as and when they like, classes are also on a pay-as-you-go basis. Another added bonus is you can pop into any branch and use the facilities. This will come at a price if you are not a member, but it still offers you the chance to try all the facilities before you commit to an annual membership.
Annual membership available. From Dhs20 per class (members). Open 6am-10pm daily. The Lakes Club, www.fitnessfirstme.com (04 438 0338).
Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha
A Dubai institution, Al Nasr LeisureLand is an all-encompassing place located behind the American Hospital. Built on 48-acres of land, this community complex epitomizes old-style Dubai. There’s a full-size ice rink, a bowling alley, a proper lap swimming pool, tennis courts and squash courts galore, a gymnasium, and all manner of fitness training classes to get you sweating. LunaLand is also a fairground full of amusements for kids – and it’s very reasonably priced too. In terms of community events, Al Nasr Leisure Lounge has excellent facilities and is home to the Mogul Room – a veritable Dubai must-dine offering superb Indian fare. There are also catering facilities for off-site and on-site functions. In short, this place is an all-singing, all-dancing, all-doing kind of community centre in the heart of Oud Metha, and you don’t have to be a member to get involved in all the activities. It’s definitely one to investigate if you’re in the neighbourhood or live nearby.
Annual membership available. Classes from Dhs65 (for non-members). Open daily 9am-12 midnight. Oud Metha, www.alnasrll.ae (04 337 1234).
Time Out Dubai,