| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Activities

Family picnic spots in Dubai

It’s time to shake out a blanket, pack up a feast and head outside

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Dubai is awash with green spaces, from urban sanctuaries and compact leafy parks, to lush, sprawling spaces, which leaves us no excuse not to get out and about. And with the sun taking a break from being a burning ball of fire, we’re using the opportunity to fill a picnic basket full of treats and head to the park. We’ve had a good look around to find out where the grass is greener. No bears allowed!

Al Khazzan Park

This small but perfectly formed park is the first spot of its type in the UAE to be totally solar-powered. Popular with families for picnics and kids’ parties, the park has two well-equipped playgrounds, a cute little path to cycle and scoot around on and plenty of little hills to roll down. Entry is free.
Open Sat-Wed 8am-10pm, Thu-Fri 8am-11pm. Al Safa Street, Satwa.

Creek Park
Many visitors to this sizeable space make a beeline for the Dubai Dolphinarium to admire its playful inhabitants, but there is much more to Creek Park than some aquatic acrobatics. The Children’s City lets little ones explore the world around them and, if you fancy something a bit simpler, the botanical gardens and green lawns are perfect for a spot of lunch in the mild sunshine.
Open Sun-Wed 8am-10pm, Thu-Sat 8am-11pm. Umm Hurair 2.

Safa Park

Despite being downsized for the arrival of the Dubai Canal, the green space off Sheikh Zayed Road remains one of the most popular in the city. On any given day you’ll find happy families enjoying the leafy environs as well as getting a good work-out at the playground. With over 200 species of birds and more than 16,000 varieties of trees and bushes making this park their home, it’s a great choice for nature lovers.
Open Sun-Wed 8am-10pm, Thu-Sat 8am-11pm. Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Safa.

Zabeel Park

At just Dhs5 a pop, a visit to this vast expanse is a total bargain, and the Gulf region’s first technology-themed park strikes the perfect balance between fun and education. Along with a wide range of sporting activities on offer, including a full-size cricket ground, you can head up the Panoramic Tower for a great view of the surrounding area, catch an IMAX film at Mega Bowl or visit Garden Glow. But we love nothing more than hiring a boat and lazing away the day on the lake.
Open Sat-Wed 8am-10pm, Thu-Fri 8am-11pm. Off Al Majlis St, Al Kifaf.

Al Barsha Pond Park

Set around the edge of a pretty man-made lake, this is a great park to ride your bike (or scooter), with the playground and its little climbing wall a big hit with mini adventurers. Along with an outlet of Park House and a stand selling snacks, the park also hosts the Ripe Night Market in the cooler months. Entry is free.
Open Sat-Wed 8am-11pm, Thu-Fri 8am-11.30pm. Al Barsha 2.

Mushrif Park

This Deira venue is notable for several things, including the replica mini models of traditional houses that can be found in its International Village – the perfect spot to play “mums and dads”. This desert park has plenty to offer families thanks to the swimming pool, barbecue areas, playgrounds, sports courts, camel and pony riding, and the Mushrif Equestrian Centre. Add to that the recently opened Aventura outdoor adventure park and you’ve got a fun day out for everyone.
Open Sun-Wed, 8am-10pm, Thu-Sat, 8am-11pm. Al Khawaneej Rd, Mushrif.

Umm Suqeim Park
With the Burj Al-Arab towering above it and the gorgeous seascape of the Gulf visible throughout, you’ll be glad you decided to head here for a lazy afternoon. This is definitely one for families with young children, especially with the all-important toddler swing area.
Open daily 8am-10pm. Jumeirah Rd, Umm Suqeim 2.

By Emer O’Doherty
Time Out Dubai,

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