We suggest the best things to do for families in Dubai this week
GI Joe According to the powers that be, today sees the release of GI Joe, a spin-off from the popular US ’80s cartoon series. GI Joe is a special anti-terrorist organisation with hi-tech weaponry, enhanced speed and strength, and cool codenames like Duke, Ripcord and Snake Eyes. They’ve been tasked with taking on the equally equipped (and cooly named) bad guys called Cobra. The trailer reveals lots of jumping around, explosions and slow-mo fights (plus token British baddies Christopher Eccleston and Sienna Miller). This’ll be a great one to take little action men to.
The Westin Dubai (04 399 4141) Dubai would throw a party for a set of house keys lost and found, so perhaps it’s not fair to judge the Westin for getting in on the act: today, it celebrates 10 years of having Heavenly beds in its hotel rooms. Er… Anyway, the good news is that this means that for just Dhs992 (because it’s sponsored by 92FM) per room – which includes up to two adults and two kids under 12 – you get brunch at Blue Orange, a cocktail party at Oeno, a night’s stay, plus breakfast and use of the pool/beach the next day. Babysitting is available at an additional charge, and over-12s in a family room pay half price. Hooray for Heavenly beds, we say.
L’Atelier des Chefs (www.atelierdeschefsdubai.com) Le Méridien Dubai’s in-house cookery school is offering family classes for mums, dads and kids aged seven to 12 during which you are taught how to make a simple, nutritious yet delicious three-course menu conceptualised by ‘the debonair Chef Gregory’ (the mind boggles). After the hard work’s done, enjoy in the kitchen or take it home for some more intimate family bonding time (or to eat in front of the telly).
Dhs350 per person, 10.30am every Friday. Book online.
Kidzart (050 551 5928, email@example.com) Pack the little ones off to Emirates Golf Club for a two-day Go Green Smart workshop. The creative arts programme is aimed at kids aged seven to 13 years, and promises a unique, confidence-building experience.
Dhs450 per child, 5pm-8pm each day. Next weekend: Caribbean Adventure workshop, also two days.
Soccerkids (050 356 0960, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.soccerkidsdubai.com) Head along to the Hayya! Club in the Meadows between noon and 1pm for the Soccerkids charity coaching programme. In conjunction with the All 4 Downs Syndrome group, kids aged four to 19 are taking part in coaching sessions to help them keep fit, have fun and stretch their coordination skills. The sessions involve a range of activities, including a penalty shoot-out. Go along and volunteer to help or simply offer your support to this commendable activity.
Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club (04 361 8111) Get up bright and early and enjoy a guided tour of the equestrian club’s facilities at 8am sharp. Horse lovers will be able to watch the trainers do their thing and gain unique insights into the hard work that goes into keeping their world-class horses on top form. The tour ends with breakfast at the Epona Lounge, overlooking the riding arena.
Dhs185 per person, daily.
Ronda Locatelli (04 426 2626) In our opinion one of the most family-friendly restaurants at Atlantis, the Italian eatery is offering two courses for Dhs145 through the summer so there’s never been a better time to treat teens with adventurous palates. The dishes on offer, which are apparently favourites of the restaurant’s namesake, two-Micheline-starred Giorgio Locatelli, include minestrone soup, oxtail ravioli, chargrilled tuna and coconut pannacotta. Salivating just reading the words? We are.
Book now by calling Atlantis the Palm reservations. Open daily, noon-midnight.
Bowling City (050 396 0811, email@example.com) The Dubai Festival City-based Bowling City is offering kids aged six to 12 years an incredible 100 games of bowling for Dhs400 – and for the less mathematically inclined among you, that works out at just Dhs4 per game, a whopping 80 per cent cheaper than the regular price. The game card can be shared by more than one child, although only one player per game may use it. There are even staff on hand to demonstrate how to bowl, hopefully meaning little nippers don’t lose any toes.
Valid 10am-3pm, Sun-Thu.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and Dubai Ice Rink (04 437 3155) If you’re itching to hit the summer sales but know the kids will never stand for it, help is at hand if you go to The Dubai Mall. Splash out Dhs99 per sprog and they will get to while away a good few hours, starting at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo then painting some chilly shapes at Dubai Ice Rink. Lunch is included too, so you don’t need to hit the food court.
Open 9am-2pm, Sun-Thu till Aug 27.
Cine Splash (04 361 8111) Reward your brood for their (hopefully) good behaviour all week by taking them to see whale-themed adventure movie Free Willy 3 at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club’s swimming pool-based open-air movie night. The show starts at 7.30pm but get there early with your inflatable chairs to reserve the best spot in the water. Food and drink are on sale, too, for peckish little’uns.
Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade is showing afterwards (at 9.30pm) if you’ve got older kids. Dhs35 per person, different movies showing every Thursday and Friday through summer.
Time Out Dubai,