Family fun in Dubai

The top stuff for kids to do this week in Dubai...

Thursday 10

RAK’s Iceland waterpark opens today!
With its snowy pistes, army of fibreglass penguins and glacial-themed rides, the latest addition to the UAE’s waterpark portfolio should elicit shrieks of delight from anyone under the age of 18. Parents may be a bit more wary considering the rising summer temperatures, but if you’re surrounded by polar-style slides, pools and play areas while being sprayed with cold water, chances are this could be the ultimate place to cool off this summer.

Friday 11

Wiggles live at the Palladium
Yes! They’re finally here! The all-singing, all-dancing Antipodean troupe, complete with Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Captain Feathersword and Henry the breakdancing octopus, make their Dubai debut this weekend. Expect lots of old favourites, including ‘Big Red Car’, ‘Can You Do the Twist?’ and ‘Monkey Dance’. The show opens at 11am today, with another performance at 2pm and a final show at 11am on Saturday. Tickets start at Dhs190, but there’s a fair chance that this will be a sell-out, so if you haven’t already bought tickets you may be out of luck. Well, you could always try online…

Football fever at Emirates Golf Club
In case you weren’t aware, the long-awaited football World Cup starts today. If dad is desperate to catch the opening game, rock up to the Emirates Golf Club from 4pm, where a braai (that’s South African for barbecue) and lots of footie-themed snacks for kids await, as well as bouncy castles, face-painting, penalty shoot-outs and, naturally, the opening ceremony broadcast live in the club’s luxurious, air-conditioned fan zone.
(04 380 2222;

Saturday 12

Indoor beach soccer at Dubai Festival City
In the spirit of the season, Dubai Festival City is going football crazy. Check out the indoor beach soccer pitch, as well as all the other football-related shenanigans around the mall. Not only are there shopping promotions for mum, but energetic little tykes can try all sorts of cool activities in the special soccer tent. Games, arts, crafts and more are all being laid on for free, and are perfect for kids aged three and over. Meanwhile, older kids and parents can get in on the action by signing up for a game of beach soccer in the Dubai Festival Centre tournament. Games continue all month (until July 11) and are being played every day at various times, so there’s no excuse for sitting at home all weekend because it’s too hot to take your football to the park.

Magrudy’s Little Learners’ Morning in Jumeirah
The Little Learner sessions promise lots of stories plus arts-and-crafts activities for kids aged five to eight. Running from 10am to noon, each class costs Dhs150 and children receive a copy of the book featured in the session. Contact Doreen Skinner on the above email to book a space.

Sunday 13

Aquaplay at Mirdif City Centre
Perfect for kids aged two to eight, Aquaplay is an indoor mall entertainment area with a difference. Expect lots of fun water rides, including bumper boats (instead of cars), a mini
log flume and a fantastic stand-and-play wet area called Murial’s Aquatraptions. For a more exuberant session, you can also book them into the fishing village-themed jungle gym, or they can try the various arcade-style water games and rides. And with many activities starting at just Dhs5, rising to Dhs30 for the more expensive activities this day out won’t break the bank. Open daily 10am ’til 11pm.

Monday 14

Water Magic Show at Dubai Dolphinarium
A show with a difference, this one promises to be fun for mum and dad too. The Water Magic Show is described as a breathtaking performance where dolphins and seals show off their acrobatic and comedic skills. It also boasts a troupe of professional acrobats, who perform a variety of tricks both in and out of the water, alongside pyrotechnics, lots of laughs and plenty of wow-moments. The shows run daily at 3pm and 6pm, except Sunday. VIP tickets cost Dhs140 for adults and Dhs120 for kids, with standard tickets at Dhs100 for adults and Dhs70 for kids.
(04 336 9774;

Tuesday 15

Reiki classes for parents at Synergy Integrated Medical Centre
Learn the art of relaxation – ‘energetic therapist’ Cathy Darnell (we believe that’s her title, and not just a reflection of her personality) explains that it can help the healing process too. This two-part course, which costs Dhs1,000, (and concludes on Thursday 17) is pricey, but you get eight hours of tutorials for your money – each class runs from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
(04 348 5452;

Kids’ dance classes at Core Dance Academy
If your little groovers are going stir-crazy cooped up indoors, get rid of some of that pesky energy by enrolling them in a dance class at Core Studio at The Waves Tower in Dubai Marina. From mums-and-tots sessions to baby ballet, street jazz to musical theatre and hip hop to contemporary and freestyle, there’s something for all ages.
(04 362 6385;

Wednesday 16

Posh nosh at Rivington Grill
This upmarket British restaurant has just revamped its kids’ menu: the perfect excuse to treat the whole family to some fabulous grub. With not a chicken nugget in sight (other Dubai restaurants, please take note), the new tasty repertoire consists of soup, chicken breast served with mash and sugar-snap peas, traditional fish and chips, baby Caesar salad and some seriously lip-smacking puds, such as sticky toffee pudding and strawberries and cream.
(04 423 0903;

Thursday 17

Dubai Summer Surprises starts today!
Get ready for plenty of summer fun! You’ve probably already spotted Modhesh loitering around town and, love him or hate him, the yellow fellow marks the start of six weeks of shopping-related activities. Apart from the usual fun and games in Modhesh World at Airport Expo, many malls will be packed full of the sort of stuff little people love: jugglers, musicians, stilt-walkers, acrobats, dancers, face-painting, arts, crafts and more. Keep an eye on the Summer Surprises website for the latest goings-on.

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