Family fun in Dubai

A trip to the races, family picnics, group spa and more things to do

Thursday 11

FREE! Take the kids to the races at Meydan
The racing season starts at the swanky Meydan course today. Kids aged four and above are allowed into the grandstand area, which also features plenty of food outlets in case you get peckish.
Free. From 6pm. Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba,

Camp it up at Al Awadi Field Study Centre
Take the chaos out of camping with an overnight family adventure to Ecoventure’s recently-opened Al Awadi Field Study Centre campsite. Gather up some friends (minimum 10 people) and hire the site’s safari tents (or kids may prefer the boarding school-style bunk-bed dormitories) and spend a tranquil time in this untouched and pristine part of the desert. Take a guided walk, kick a ball around on the footie pitch, then fire up a barbecue, before sitting round a bonfire beneath the stars. You also get breakfast, nature-based activities within the Field Study Centre and access to showers and toilets.
Dhs250 for adults, Dhs100 for kids under 12. Near Dhaid, contact for detailed directions,,

Friday 12

Picnic at the polo at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
Pack up a picnic and potter on down to the polo field for some posh family fun. Kids will be mesmerised by the on-field action, while parents will enjoy the sideline socialising. It’s a great opportunity to tuck into some grub – bring your own or buy a Deluxe Picnic Box (think strawberries and cream, duck rillette and smoked salmon on rye bread).
Dhs90-135 per person for picnic boxes, Dhs50 parking. From 10am. Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, near Arabian Ranches, (04 361 8111).

Enjoy an al-fresco barbecue brunch at AOC French Brasserie
The latest brunch on the block, AOC French Brasserie at Sofitel is offering a splendid spread of barbecue classics, including mixed grills, seafood and a live patisserie on the breezy outdoor terrace. Kids have their own little corner with plenty of fun finger food and entertainment.
Dhs195 for adults, half price for kids, under fives free. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Sofitel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk at JBR (04 448 4870).

Saturday 13

Get a bargain buzz at iFLY
Adrenaline-seeking sprogs (aged three to 12) should sign up to the iFLY kids’ club, where every Friday and Saturday morning they can feel the thrill of flight with an indoor skydiving experience. Safety gear is provided, and instructors are on hand to make sure it all goes smoothly.
Dhs95 per child. 9am-10am. Mirdif City Centre (800 534 7873).

Sunday 14

Bring out the superhero in you with new movie Megamind 3D
From the studio that brought you Shrek comes the latest creation, Megamind 3D. A supervillain epic in typical Dreamworks style, it’s full of witty jokes, oddball characters and fantastic voice talent, including Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt. Big baddie Oobermind creates a new super-rival after killing off his arch nemesis, Metro Man, and must decide whether to defeat his own creation or switch sides and become the hero of his own story.
In cinemas across Dubai.

Monday 15

Enjoy a family spa break at Hyatt Regency
Mums and dads can indulge in some relaxing ‘me-time’ without feeling guilty, courtesy of Hyatt Regency’s family spa break special. While parents are pampered with a sensory aromatherapy experience (including a 60-minute full-body massage) to help relieve tension, splash-happy offspring (up to three kids) can improve their swimming strokes with complimentary private swimming lessons. You all get free full-day use of the Club Olympus fitness facilities, including the outdoor pool, 200m jogging track, whirlpool, steam sauna, gym and plunge pool, before enjoying a free drink of choice.
Dhs400 per parent or Dhs600 per couple. Until November 30. Club Olympus, Hyatt Regency, Deira (04 209 6802).

Tuesday 16

Cook up a storm at Favourite Things
Book your budding bakers (aged four and above) into this weekly cooking class, where they learn the basics of baking and following recipes, before cooking up a dish to take home.
Dhs85 (members), Dhs120 (non-members) per session; 10 per cent discount when you book five sessions. 3.30pm-5.30pm. Favourite Things, Dubai Marina Mall, 2nd floor (04 434 1984).

Wednesday 17

Pick up an Incr-Edible family food book
Feel good, have fun and feed your family by investing in this fabulous family activity book, with all proceeds going to charity. You’ll find loads of stuff on cooking and eating and it’s also packed with fun games, puzzles, pictures, facts, recipes and crafts for the whole family to enjoy – including fashioning objects from recycled food packaging.
Dhs25 (proceeds go to Gulf for Good-supported children’s charities). Available at ELC, Bookworm, Lime Tree Café, Organic Foods and Café, thejamjar, Dubai Garden Centre and Harvest Home.

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