Kids stuff in Dubai

Waterbabies, literacy for kids, hotel kids clubs, entertaining iftars and much more fun for the family this week

Thursday 3

Has an abundance of TV and choc ices taken its toll over the summer? Want the kids to be fit and healthy before term starts? Granted, you may have left it a wee bit late, but a few speedy laps round the Mall of the Emirates (one lap equals one kilometre) will get the blood pumping in time for school. Mall-walkers welcome kids, just make sure you’re all up, dressed and at the Carrefour end of the mall in time for warm-up stretches at 8.15am.
FREE! Mall-walking (

Friday 4

September is here and swimming is very much back on the agenda so make sure your nippers know how to keep safe in the water by signing them up for lessons. Active Sports’ term starts today for toddler and baby splashing lessons out at Wafi Pharoah’s Club, but Louise and her colleagues have swimming classes and coaching programmes for kids aged four months to nine years and above running at various venues across town.
Waterbabies (050 625 9740;;

Saturday 5

Teens aged 13 to 16 years are welcome to go along and strut their stuff on the Ductac stage. Just 15 students will be accepted into the 13-week course, which ends with a musical production, is run by Natasha Kemball, a British actress who has performed in many West End Musicals.
Drama Scene (050 454 1713; holds auditions today for its musical theatre production.

Sunday 6

Head down to this Bastikaya institution just before the sunset prayer and join volunteers as they break their fast with dates and Arabic coffee. Join in a traditional Emirati Iftar dinner while presenters explain Ramadan traditions. Take a tour of the Bastakiya mosque before returning to the centre for lugamat (deep-fried dough balls), other desserts and coffee. Children over five are welcome – it’s a great introduction to local culture. Dhs75 per person.
Iftar at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (04 353 6666;

Monday 7

Get back into the swing of things with this friendly group for mums and pre-schoolers. Ann hosts the mornings (on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays) at Wafi Encounter Zone which include toys and snacks for the little ones, coffee and biscuits for mums, and end with a half hour of raucous music-making. 9.30-11.30am, Dhs20 per mum.
Mum & toddler group (050 656 5837;

Tuesday 8

Celebrate World Literacy Day with story-telling, face-painting, a treasure hunt and book quiz at the Dubai Festival City branch. The fun kicks off at 4pm and lasts all the way through until 8pm. Or why not try your hand of writing a book review? Open to kids aged five-eight years, nine-12 years as well as teens and adults, selected critiques will be plastered across Magrudy’s stores, on the website and in the newsletter. The competition closes at the end of October and you can submit your entries direct to the store or to
FREE! World Literacy Day at Magrudy’s (04 344 4009;

Wednesday 9

This summer’s hot trend of pool-based movies continues with this family favourite at Desert Palm. When the notorious husband-and-wife spy team, Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugino), is kidnapped by the evil Fegan Floop, the two Cortez kids are the only ones who have the skills and insider know-how to help. Together they set out on their first spy mission to find Floop and rescue their parents. Catch this high-wire family adventure while chilling out by the pool with a bowl of popcorn. It costs just Dhs30 per person and other snacks are available at an extra charge.
Spy Kids at Movies & Munchies (Desert Palm, 04 323 8888).

Thursday 10

This month, the Kids’ Club at Atlantis invites children from ages four to 12 years on a creative journey into local Arabic Islamic culture. Kids can have a go at writing their names in Arabic, make traditional paper lanterns, have a bash at moon and star origami plus the usual daily arts and crafts, animated movies and educational activities. A traditional gift and 50 per cent discount on Iftar and Suhour set menus are also included at the hotel’s Kaleidoscope, Saffron and Levantine restaurants. Dhs95 for one hour, Dhs280 for the whole day. Please note that the Kids’ Club will close at 5pm instead of 6pm during Ramadan.
Atlantis Kids’ Club (04 426 1295;

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