Family fun in Dubai

Bollywood fun, Ben 10, superstar sport and more of the best family fun the city has to offer this week

Thursday 18

Mahim Junction (04 341 4777; A sort of Romeo and Juliet stage tale (only Bollywood-style and with a happy ending), Mahim Junction tells the story of two lovers whose differing faiths and disagreeable families refuse to accept their desire to marry. Desperate to help his sister find happiness, Radha’s brother is determined to help her be with Rahim, whatever the cost. Expect plenty of singing, dancing and melodrama combined with a 1970s sense of style, and lots of dastardly baddies who attempt to thwart the course of true love. The show runs ’til February 20 at Ductac theatre in Mall of the Emirates.

Friday 19

FREE! JESS Spring Fair at Arabian Ranches (050 103 0343) Spend a fun afternoon playing Loop the Duck, rolling the tombola and tucking into lots of refreshments while strolling around the craft stalls at JESS Spring Fair in Arabian Ranches. Open from 3.30pm to 7pm, budding footballers can put their talents to the test at the Football Skills Challenge, while older kids will also enjoy the Teen Vogue stall. Little ones can get their fingers sticky at the cake decorating and everyone will love getting stuck into the home-made goodies.

Saturday 20

Latitude family brunch Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 262 5555, Lots of good food and a fair amount of magical entertainment for the little ’uns, Latitude offers a good array of cuisines to suit all palates. Choose from Indian curries and freshly baked rotis and naans through to excellent sushi and sashimi, a carvery and an absolutely splendid dessert section. It’s a weekend family treat at Dhs185 per person with selected soft drinks and Dhs340 with selected alcohol. Kids aged five to 12 are Dhs85, and under fives eat for free.

Ben 10 at The Palladium ( Ben 10’s new stage show, The Power of Omnitrix, features Grandpa, Max, Gwen and lots of other ‘out of this world’ characters. Perfect for Alien Force fanatics, the 90-minute show is performed twice daily at The Palladium, Dubai Media City at 4pm and 7pm until February 26, although there are no shows on February 22. For tickets, call 800 4669 or see

Sunday 21

Mums and tots skating session at The Dubai Mall ice rink (04 448 5111; Get your little ones (aged under seven) on the ice as soon as they can walk with the mums and tots skating sessions, daily from 10am to noon at The Dubai Mall. With a skating instructor on hand to teach you all the tricks (or just how not to fall over), it’s great exercise for both of you – and is excellent for helping balance and coordination. The sessions cost just Dhs50 for two, including skate hire.

Monday 22

Dubai Tennis Championships men’s tournament ( If you were lucky enough to grab tickets for the men’s finals, you’ll know how popular this event has become in Dubai’s annual sports calendar. For your chance to see tennis’s biggest stars – including Roger Federer and Andy Murray – take to the court, check out for passes to the earlier days, or just head to the Irish Village to soak up the vibe.

Tuesday 23

Sharjah Aquarium (06 528 5288; Submerge yourself in a colourful, underseas world that is home to more than 250 species. Like its big brother at The Dubai Mall, the Sharjah Aquarium has an impressive walk-through tunnel so visitors can get really close to the action. Take a journey underwater and discover everything from the larger ocean creatures to smaller marine animals that can be found in rock pools, coral reefs, lagoons and mangroves. Adult entry costs Dhs20, while families can get in for Dhs50. Under-fives go free.

Wednesday 24

FREE! Heritage Village (04 393 7151) Not only an ideal spot from which to view the fabulous Dubai Shopping Festival fireworks (kicking off at 8.30pm every evening), Dubai Heritage Village is also a perfect place to explore the history of the Gulf. Traditional handicrafts, restored houses, Bedouin snacks, birds of prey, camel rides, horse-riding demonstrations, cultural dances and a festive atmosphere make it one of the most enjoyable venues Dubai has to offer. Stroll along the creekside promenade, watch the boats go by or settle down for supper under the stars. Open Saturday to Thursday 8am-10pm, and Friday 8am-11pm and 4pm-10pm.

Thursday 25

Watini Desert Camp, Al Warqa (600 545 555; Perfect for those who love the great outdoors, visitors to this DSF family camp at Al Warqa 4 have the option of renting tents overnight to take maximum advantage of the activities. Designed for adventure enthusiasts, these include camel rides, quad bikes and horse riding, as well as barbecue facilities, a food court serving local cuisine and a souk selling traditional clothes and handicrafts.

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