August 2011 for families in Dubai

Ramadan, family food, waterparks and more summer fun for kids


Mini staycations
Get away – even if it’s only for one night at some of the great hotel deals on offer to families. Spend a night at Atlantis (two adults and two children) for a bargainous Dhs895 per room per night. The deal includes complimentary tickets to The Lost Chambers and Aquaventure waterpark, shuttle service to the shopping malls and discounted rates for Dolphin Bay.
Valid until September 30, 04 416 0000;

If you like this try a break at the Crowne Plaza Deira, where a family of four can book a mini-suite (one bedroom) for Dhs840. The deal includes tickets to Aquaventure (two adults and two children) or a dinner dhow cruise (two adults and two children) and a trip to the Dolphinarium, along with shopping discount vouchers for Mirdif City Centre, Dubai Mall, Al Ghurair and Deira City Centre.
Valid until August 31, 04 262 5555;

Sprogs eat for free!
Save your dirhams and still have a great family meal out at Toscana’s at the Souk Madinat Jumierah (04 366 6730) until August 31. This stylish Italian restaurant, with an alfresco quay-side terrace, serves up a delicious array of tasty pastas and pizzas that will keep the little ’uns happily tucking in at the table. And, if you don’t fancy a bulging pasta belly, why not pop down to The Westin Mina Seyahi Marina and Beach Resort (04 511 7136)? The‘Mum’s night off’ meal deal, running every Monday evening until September 30, means no washing up or trying to convince annoyingly picky children to eat what you’ve put in front of them. This ‘kids eat free’ deal is valid for Blue Orange, Spice Emporium, Hunters, Waves and Barasti.

Brunch bunnies
The Movenpick Hotel in Deira is running a family brunch every Friday throughout August. There’s a supervised kids’ corner full of activities for little ones, including learning games, bouncing balls, a drawing area and much more. Relax with the family and enjoy the international buffet in Jigsaw restaurant. There is also the option to brunch in Wok, which serves a mouthwatering array of Asian cuisine.
12.30pm-4pm, Movenpick Deira. Dhs119-149 (adults), Dhs50 (kids aged 7-12), and children under six go free. 800 33472;

Iftar sunset suppers
Make the most of the season and take the family out for a traditional Iftar. The evening soirees start at sunset (when the daily fast is broken) and all manner of delicious hot and cold mezze, along with traditional Emirati dishes, can be experienced. We especially like the Iftar at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, because it specialises in serving typical UAE dishes, as well as regional ones. It’s best to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
Dhs135 (adults). Kids under 12 eat for free. August 5-30, daily at sunset. 04 353 6666;

If you like this try Al Boom Tourist Village, which serves up a spectacular Iftar every Ramadan, boasting a repertoire of over 200 different dishes.
04 324 3000;

Alternatively, why not visit the double-decker Ramadan tent at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi? Open daily during Ramadan, families can enjoy fabulous Iftars and Suhour at the traditional buffet.
Dhs140 (adults) Dhs100 (children under 12). 04 318 1398;

Cool pool nights
Catch a movie under the stars and cool off in the chilled pool at the Arabian Ranches Polo Club every Thursday and Friday. You can order fab food from the a la carte menu for a supper time treat too. The double bill of kids’ movies runs from 7pm until late.
Dhs35 (adults) Dhs20 (children), 04 361 8111.

Donate to charity
Enter into the spirit of Ramadan, which is all about giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. Rummage through your drawers and cupboards, have a jolly good clear out and gather up all those items you can live without. Pack them into a box and take them down to your local charity tent. Throughout Ramadan, these large, white tents are placed on most street corners. Failing that, Feline Friends, K9 Friends, St Mary’s Church and Holy Trinity (Oud Metha Road) are always open to donations.

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