Best days out in Dubai: Mum's picks

From secluded beach resorts to perfect parks, mothers select their favourite day trips in the UAE.

At last, the weather is balmy and perfect. Now that it’s safe to venture outside your air-conditioned front door, what’s there to do in the UAE? We asked three mums for their favourite spots to take the kids and spend a day outside.

Ras Al Khaimah
Cindy Padgett of downtown Abu Dhabi swears by this nearby getaway:
‘We had the most fantastic time. It’s right on the Arabian Sea, and we stayed at the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah (07 228 8888;, which has this enormously long private beach. And the best part was that we could sit in our room and watch Tyler playing in the pool right outside our door. Plus they have a kids’ club and a fabulous spa. You know, it’s nice to go away and stay in a hotel, but because these were villas, it felt more like we were at home. In South Africa, we’re used to living in a huge bed and breakfast, so our flat here in Abu Dhabi can feel a little cramped. This place is just gorgeous and so convenient. We wanted to go to Sri Lanka for Eid, but decided in the end to go back to Ras Al Khaimah instead.’

Mamzar Park
Bonnie Scott-Laws of Mirdif loves this tranquil spot just north of Dubai:
‘My favourite place to spend the day out with my kids is Mamzar Park; it’s a 15-minute drive from Mirdif through Qusais towards the port and it is clearly signposted all the way. You can see Sharjah across the waters. My family love this beach because it is so conveniently close, it is very clean (if you go early morning on Fridays the tracks from the sand sweeping machine are clearly visible) and very quiet. We sometimes go with another family or two at most, and we all have great fun. The water is shallow and clear, so the kids love playing in it. They enjoy finding shells and keeping them in a pocket dug out of the sand – until the next big wave washes everything out again! There are changing facilities and shops, plus beautiful greenery if you decide to set up a barbecue, and the fee is Dhs10 per vehicle to enter. It is a huge place and we have only used a fraction of the facilities. We plan to hire a chalet next time to make the most of our day out there.’

All around Dubai
Dina Morrow of Jumeirah knows all the best outdoor venues in town:
‘There are so many fantastic things to do outside in Dubai. Some of our favourites are going for camel rides at Creek Park and pony rides at the Nad Al Sheba Equestrian Centre, playing on the paddle boats at Safa Park and in the water fountain at the Marina, or just swimming in our complex pool. We also love Jumeirah Beach Park, Safa Two and Umm Suqeim Park. I love to take a picnic and just let the kids run, run, run. The parks and beaches in Dubai are clean, safe, shaded and have nice playground equipment. And some even have ice cream stands, which is a bonus.’

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