Last month, on Monday September 25, we celebrated our fourth annual Time Out Dubai Kids Awards, crowning the best family businesses, experiences and individuals in the city. These awards are different from any other because they are wholly independent. There’s no advertiser influence, no external nominations and no public vote. Just 12 months of anonymously checking out the best the city has to offer the families within it, and reporting back to you. That's our mission, we take it very seriously, and this year competition was fiercer than ever. So, let's get stuck in and talk this year's results...
Best Online Kids' Store
This online kids’ store, founded by a mum of two, sells toys, games and crafts, and burst onto the marketplace last year to resoundingly positive feedback from parents. In no small part because of their price promise: that no product would retail at more than Dhs100 – yet quality would never be compromised. And they have delivered ever since. A brilliant example of innovation fulfilling a genuine gap in the market made Kidore the clear winner.
Last year’s category winner continues to be a hit with time-poor Dubai families looking to shop the fastest, most convenient fashion. Mumzworld’s prices are competitive, their range of child-centric products is impressive and they continue to deliver great service, especially on speed of delivery.
This first organic online store in the Middle East was founded by two mums looking for non-toxic, eco-friendly products for their children, and it has continued to go from strength to strength this year. Their baby gift must-have ideas are the reliable go-to for many parents.
Best Maternity Store
This specialist lingerie company was founded by mum of two Kate Kikano, who was frustrated by the lack of choice and range here in Dubai. But it’s their at-home maternity bra-fitting service which has become a life-saver for new mums that really got our attention this year. Kikano only employs experienced bra-fitters and regularly consults her customers, listening to what women actually need from their lingerie.
Town Centre Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 754 0136).
With a following of so many mums-to-be as well as new mums, BabyShop provides a calm space to go in search of all those little somethings needed for the littlest somethings.
Across Dubai, www.babyshopstores.com
This US import is a well-established hit with mums in the city who know they can pick out designer maternity wear from brands all over the world for just about every occasion their bump may need. Their secret weapon is their range of super-stylish maternity nightwear.
Dubai Marina Mall (04 284 0135).
Best Toy Store
Toys R Us
This toy store had the edge this year with the widest product range on tricky-to-source brands and a reliable customer service promise around special orders and deliveries. Children are encouraged to try out the slides and play structures, and who doesn’t love a cuddle with mascot Geoffrey the giraffe on the way out?
Various locations, including Dubai Festival City (04 206 6568).
Back to Games
Determined to encourage families to unplug the tech and connect over boardgames, this shop is a real find here in Dubai. You won’t beat them on choice and they pride themselves on stocking hard-to-source games parents love finding to relive childhood memories with their own kids. A true local treasure.
Times Square Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 323 1336).
Klug Educational Toys & Play
So much to love about this boutique toy shop owned by a mum who carefully researches everything they stock to make sure it's made with safe materials and organic sources wherever possible. Fans of natural materials will love their vast wooden ranges from European brands such as Hape and Fagus.
The Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 7755).
Best Kids’ Entertainment Centre
State-of-the-art gaming mixed with retro classics, this is every child’s dream, and the adults will love it too. With 18,000 square feet of indoor entertainment for the kids to run wild in, high tech racing simulators, digital football games and thrilling rides, this is the perfect place to get in on the game.
Citywalk (700 637227).
Sky Trail/Climbing Wall
Challenge yourself to scamper up an eight-metre climbing wall, or climb high above the mall as you complete an aerial obstacle course. And if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground while hanging onto your seat then give one of Magic Planet's thrilling amusement rides a whirl. This is play for the whole family.
Mirdiff City Centre (04 231 6257).
A cinema experience designed with the littlest movie buffs in mind, the brightly coloured seats, funky interior and fun movies makes this an extravaganza not to be missed. Kids will love an afternoon watching some of their favourite shows on the silver screen.
Mall of the Emirates (600 599 9905).
Best Kids’ Edutainment Centre
The Green Planet
Imagine a rain forest right in the heart of Dubai, with colourful flora and exotic fauna all existing in an ecosystem expertly put together by botanists, zoologists and scientists. The Green Planet has been enthralling visitors since it first opened its doors and the knowledge of the staff on every living detail within makes this something very special.
City Walk, www.thegreenplanet.com.
Little people take over the world in this interactive city that's built to pint-sized specifications. Here they get a view of the world from their level and investigate and explore across a number of zones from the Human Body to Space. A great place to while away the day at very reasonable prices.
Creekside Park (04 334 0808).
At Orbi Dubai you can go trekking with elephants in search of water, laugh along with cheeky meercats and explore the jungle with gregarious gorillas, and that’s just for starters. This is a space where BBC Earth’s awesome nature content is given a technological twist to bring you inside the world of some of the greatest animals and ecosystems on Earth. Prepare to be amazed.
Mirdiff City Centre (04 231 6252).
Best soft play venue
This soft play has everything to keep babies to tweens amused, with a gigantic soft play area, complete with trampolines, slides, mazes to get lost in and tunnels to climb through. But not only that, its owner is constantly looking at ways to enhance the experience so it’s not only the kids who get a workout. The team are always on hand to entertain the kiddos so that mum can get some work done, have a coffee or simply relax. A worthy winner.
Umm Suqeim Road, Al Barsha (04 379 4233).
With a soft play area where the kids can disappear for hours on end (while you enjoy a coffee and chat in the airy seating area and coffee dock), this is a space that never gets old. There is plenty to keep toddlers to tweens entertained for a super-active playdate.
Arabian Ranches 2 (04 422 1553).
A trip to town, kids style! Kidz Palooza has everything a little one needs to enjoy a day at the shops, from the market where they can get to grips with healthy eating to the block factory where they can get busy building their own dream city, this is a space where kids can run wild, burn energy and make some friends while you relax and have a well-earned tea break.
Times Square Centre (04 330 7101).
Best Theme Park
IMG Worlds of Adventure
There is something terrifically thrilling about IMG Worlds of Adventure, jam-packed with rides and spread over 1.5 million square feet – that’s 28 football fields! With no less than five zones to discover, all under one amazing roof (making this the world's largest indoor theme park too, meaning it's visitable all year round), thrill-seekers can enjoy rides such as Thor Thunder Spin (a great video experience), The Velociraptor (a lightning-fast roller coaster) or The Haunted Hotel (no prizes). For mellower moments head on down to LazyTown, catch a live show or kick back with some bites at the Marvel Dining Experience.
Dubailand (04 403 8888).
From November through to April every year, the masses throng to Global Village, to seek out a cultural experience like no other. Because where else can you shop, eat and drink in the magic of so many countries in one spot? With stage shows, music and fireworks, this is a day or evening out you will never forget.
You can’t help but smile as you wander the streets where “everything is awesome” and every day is a block party. From visiting the buildings of the world at mini-land to taking to the road at the LEGO drivers' school and scaling new heights on the Dragon roller coaster, this is a day you never want to end.
Dubai Parks and Resorts, www.legoland.dubaiparksandresorts.com.
Best Water Park
LEGOLAND Water Park
Aqua fun for the whole family at this water park where the rides are great, the water is cold and the sun always shines. The Joker Soaker kids’ area has the perfect amount of tumbling buckets of water, water shooters and slides, and with 20 water slides throughout the park to enjoy, there is no excuse not to get wet.
Dubai Park and Resorts, www.legoland.com.
Appealing for all ages, this one has a huge array of places to slip and slide with varying levels of terror – not least the ride where you slide down a tube surrounded by sharks! The shaded kids’ area is a winner as little pirates battle it out with soakers and the gigantic water tipping bucket adds to the mayhem.
Palm Jumeirah (04 426 0000).
Fancy a traipse with Sinbad through a park packed with cool rides, high powered jets and gravity defying roller coasters? Wild Wadi has plenty of thrills in store in this well laid out water park and for those after something a little more mellow, try out the lazy river.
Jumeriah Road (04 348 4444).
Best Party Venue
Flip Out Dubai
You’d be hard pushed to find more energetic, enthusiastic party hosts than at this popular trampoline park. Parents love the attention to safety and close supervision and the kids love charging around this vast space which even includes archery tag and wall running zones. The food is top notch and the packages are great value for money, too.
Al Quoz 3, Warehouse 5, www.flipout.ae (600 567 568).
An easy, very popular party can be had at the UAE’s original indoor trampoline park, including free-style bouncing, well-run games, food for all (including the option to upgrade to Freedom pizzas) and a cake-cutting ceremony. Every party comes with a Bounce host to guide kids around the various jump zones, plus there’s easy parking and access to the new XPark for the more adventurous.
4B Street, Al Quoz (04 321 1400).
Splash ‘n’ Party
Since it opened in last year, Splash ‘n’ Party is consistently viewed as one of the most popular party options in Dubai for the under tens. Splash pads, water slides and big water buckets alongside a healthy juice and snack bar to cool down at makes this a winning, wet and wild formula.
Al Safa 2, Street 8A, Villa 1, Jumeirah (04 388 3008).
FOOD AND HOSPITALITY
Best Family Cafe / Restaurant
This quirky family restaurant always offers an interesting menu, filled with tasty, healthy bites to entice little ones. The delightful book corner is the perfect spot for mini bookworms to spread out and enjoy a story, too. The team is always waiting with a smile and the brunch, packed with all sorts of wholesome treats, is an absolute family delight.
Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road (04 388 4006).
Park House Café
This place simply breathes beach life with its bright and breezy interior opening straight out onto stunning views of Kite Beach. And don’t even get us started on the menu! Healthy salads, perfectly-whipped cappuccinos, generous, homemade kids’ meals and healthy ice lollies to-go. We love it.
Various locations, including Kite Beach, www.parkhouse.com
Reform Social & Grill
Reform raised the bar this year with its family sharing feast, and letting children loose in the ice cream parlor made it even more appealing for a laid-back supper. The restaurant is constantly looking at new ways to make eating out an even better experience for its customers and the kid-friendly menu is a favourite in homes across Dubai.
The Lakes, Emirates Living District (04 454 2638).
Best Family Brunch
Bread Street Kitchen brunch
This year’s winning family brunch edges it over its rivals thanks to a combination of superb grub (it does come courtesy of Gordon Ramsay, after all) and lovely cute touches. Food-wise there are delicious mini-pizzas, sliders, roasts, fresh seafood and a host of great desserts to boot. And there’s also a bouncy castle and face-painting out on the lovely lawn plus a make-your-own-cookie station and sweet shop inside. All that plus the kids get free tickets to Atlantis The Palm's (for that is where the restaurant is) The Lost Chambers too. It's a bargain, and a brilliant day out.
From Dhs225 (adults), Dhs95 (kids). Atlantis The Palm (04 426 2000).
Kaboom! Here’s a brilliant brunch where all the staff are dressed as all your favourite superheroes, keeping the kids entertained with face-painting, a magician, an indoor bouncy castle and a competition for the best superhero-dressed kid. All that plus amazing sushi, curries and tons more for the adults plus a dedicated food station for the kids. This is a terrific afternoon from both a food and an entertainment perspective.
From Dhs315 (adults), Dhs160 (kids aged 6-12), free (kids under 6). Mazina, Address Dubai Marina.
West 14th Brunch
There are more things for kids to do at this brunch than at any other in the city. Activities include – deep breath – a bouncy castle, face-painting, sandcastle-making, five-a-side football on the beach, an outdoor trampoline, cupcake decorating, a kids’ club with a Playstation and movies on loop, an outdoor play area with climbing frames and a jungle gym, a kids’ pool and a lazy river that winds down idly from the back entrance of the hotel. Brilliant. And the food – especially from the grill station – is great too. What more do you want?
From Dhs195 (adults), Dhs97.50 (kids). Dukes Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 447 7601).
Best Family Beach Club
Talise, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Nine hundred metres of private beach access. A six-metre-high rock climb. Four swimming pools. Six tennis courts. And, let’s not forget, free access to one Wild Wadi when you buy your ticket. Jumeirah Beach Hotel is an iconic family hotel in Dubai, and its beach club is – appropriately enough – this year’s winning entry. Terrific stuff.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 406 8800).
Club Mina, Le Meridien
Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
This top class family beach club boasts five pools to choose from – including, importantly, a shaded children's pool – one of the city’s longest stretches of private beach, and Sinbad’s Kids’ Club, which features plenty of activities and an array of family friendly eating options too. Come here for a guaranteed chilled afternoon out.
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, Al Sufouh Road (04 399 3333).
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
When you walk into the stunning Sofitel on the Palm, so impressive is its romantic architecture (massive windows at the end of the lobby looking out over a palm-tree-lined pool), you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a place for honeymooners only. Far from it. Yes, this Sofitel is romantic indeed but it’s also a brilliant place for families, with a cool kids' club, slides, multiple pools and some of the friendliest staff you’ll find in the city.
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort and Spa, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 6677).
Best Family Hotel
Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts
A family hotel needs to have all sorts of key aspects to win one of our awards, whether that’s amazing service, food, amenities or more. This year’s winner has all of those things with bells on. Basically, it’s brilliant. Oh, and it just so happens to be slap-bang next to a theme park. So, it’s like being in Orlando, without people saying “Have a nice day” all the time. Bonus.
Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 810 9999).
Atlantis The Palm
Aquaventure water park. The Lost Chambers Aquarium (complete with actual sharks). Dolphin Bay (where you can actually swim with them). Sea Lion Point. An amazing kids’ club and babysitting service to boot. Atlantis The Palm lays on a world-class offering for families. There’s also our award-winning Family Brunch at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen. It's an essential Dubai experience.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 1000).
Jumeirah Beach Hotel
A true hotel icon in Dubai, this cracking five-star family getaway spot also includes in the price of your stay unlimited access to the neighbouring Wild Wadi water park, complimentary breakfast, great family-friendly food outlets and a whole host of leisure activities so you can burn off all those calories. That’s if you can drag yourself away from the picture-perfect pool, with awesome views of the Burj Al Arab, in the first place, of course…
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 438 0000).
OUT AND ABOUT
Best Local Theatrical/Music Event
Mary Poppins, Turning Pointe Youth Ballet
How does the magic of Mary Poppins transfer to a ballet show in a little theatre in Dubai? With a spoonful of sugar, for sure. The children of Turning Pointe Youth Ballet danced like pros as they pirouetted across the stage and brought the story to life. A worthy winner!
Various locations, www.turningpoint.ae (800 32623).
Little Shop of Horrors, Dubai Performing Arts Academy
The first performing arts school in the Middle East to buy the performing rights for Little Shop of Horrors from New York, this extravaganza saw students of Dubai Performing Arts Academy perform their first ever full-length musical, a first also in Dubai. Anyone who knows the story will know it's hardly one for shrinking violets, and the cast stormed the stage with an appropriately energetic singing, acting and dancing display and succeeded in winning the hearts of everyone who was lucky enough to see it.
Various locations,www.dubaiperformingarts.com (04 424 5195).
Turn Up The Music, Diverse Performing Arts Academy
Every year we are wowed by the talent and dedication of the students of Diverse and this year was no exception. A feast for the eyes, this show boasted so many stars well on their way to the hall of fame that we were bowled over. Both the students and teachers put huge amounts of studio time into preparing for Turn up the Music and it was apparent as they hit the perfect notes and pulled off complicated dance moves with ease. A real joy to watch.
Diverse Performing Arts School, The Curve Building (Entrance A), 4th Street (04 330 7338).
Best International Theatrical/Music Event
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Popular Productions
Little ones were in for a real treat with this retelling of some of Eric Carle’s most enchanting stories, including that of a greedy little caterpillar who eats and eats until he turns into a beautiful butterfly. With the help of 75 puppets and lots of colourful props, children were captivated from start to finish. A beautiful afternoon’s entertainment that was a real treat for children of all ages.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Popular Productions, Ductac Theatre.
Impossible, Dubai Opera
Dubai Opera raised the bar on the performing arts scene in the UAE since it opened its doors to great anticipation last year. Death-defying stunts, incredible acrobatics and full audience participation made Impossible one of the standout shows of the year. This was edge-of-your-seat drama at its finest and a slick performance from start to finish. Just, wow.
Dubai Opera House, www.dubaiopera.com.
Mr. Stink, Art for All
Bringing David Walliams' hilarious book to life might seem like a tall order but Art for All got it just right with a lovely mix of comic timing, a script scattered with empathy and a cast who brought warmth and depth. The first David Walliams play to come to the UAE, this smash-hit contained all the hilarious gags that has made Walliams' books beloved with all ages.
Mr. Stink, Art for All, Madinat Theatre.
Best Family Day Out
Where in the world can you buy a Pashtun dress of Afghanistan, enjoy some sweet honey from Yemen or play some traditional drums from Africa, all on the same evening? Global Village is an evening out like no other as you wind your way across the globe soaking up the atmosphere of the world in all its ethnicity.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Eat, sleep and breathe the written word. This festival brings some of the greatest writers from all over the world onto a Dubai stage. This year we enjoyed saying goodbye to Horrid Henry with Francesca Simons and baking a story with Nadiya Hussain. Food for the soul!
InterContinental Dubai Festival City, www.emirateslitfest.com.
Winter Wonderland, Madinat Jumeirah
Where Christmas in the desert gets a whole lot more festive, with a seasonal snow fest in the heart of the city. The Madinat Jumeirah transformed its outside space into a magical North Pole, complete with a park to throw snow balls and make snow angels, stalls to enjoy hot apple juice and even an abra ride with Santa Claus himself. It put us right in the holiday spirit and conjured up endless festive cheer for the whole family.
Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim.
SPORT, HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Best Competitive Sports Organisation
This popular club just keeps on going from strength to strength, adding training venues and new coaches, and they’ve even extended into Abu Dhabi, such is the strength of their brand and reputation. They now train hundreds of kids with a focus on fun as well as competition and the atmosphere at their Race Nights has a real buzz. All abilities are welcome to take part and newcomers are encouraged to put on their trainers and get involved. A great way to have some fun whilst being active and a clear winner for a second year in a row.
Dubai Sports City, www.ultimateathleticsuae.ae (04 382 7813).
Training in one of the coolest competitive sports on the planet, DuDive take kids from the poolside to the high-boards, honing their gymnastic skills outside the water as well as building confidence and serious skill to compete at extraordinary levels in the water both in and outside the UAE.
Hamdan Sports Complex, Emirates Road, www.dudive.ae (050 147 0360).
Their mantra is that they believe in sport for all, and IFA has been delivering first class football coaching across a range of leagues for boys, girls (and grown-ups!) in Dubai since 2004. But it’s the girls’ football team focus that got our attention this year and showed IFA are standing out from their competitors and are serious in their support for female soccer talent. Bravo.
Various locations including Emirates English Speaking School, www.ifasport.com (04 454 1683).
Best Kids’ Sports experience
Pitching itself against fierce competition in the marketplace over the last 12 months, BOUNCE has continued to expand and innovate with the addition of the newly-opened XPark – an impressive space entirely dedicated to the jaw-dropping skill that is parkour. The coaches are friendly, and always have a close eye on safety.
4b Street Al Quoz, www.bounce.ae (04 321 1400).
Dubai Ice Rink
This Olympic size rink in the heart of Dubai Mall offers that little bit of icy magic for sandpit residents and tourists alike. They’re consistently adding new classes such as the popular ‘Ice Tots: Learn to Skate with your Kids' sessions and families also love the Dubai Snowfall and Disco skate sessions.
The Dubai Mall, www.dubaiicerink.com (04 448 5111).
Anyone new to Dubai can’t quite believe you can learn to ski here, but the good folk at Ski Dubai have been kitting us out and guiding us down the slopes since 2005. Little ones love the snow play sessions and meeting the penguins – and there’s literally nowhere better in the city to meet Father Christmas.
Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (800 386).
Best Outdoor Adventure Experience
We love this business set up by outdoor adventure-obsessed couple, Mustafa and Lizzie Sahin, who are passionate about helping families explore, experience and enjoy the mountains, mangroves and oceans of the UAE. Their action-packed camps turn camping novices into real-life Huckleberry Finns who can climb, mountain bike, shoot arrows, build dens and slack line with the best of them.
www.challengingadventure.com (056 665 1481).
Tree-surfing and zip-lining through a real-life forest in the middle of Dubai? Yep! This is the thrill of Aventura Nature Adventure Park. It genuinely feels like a challenging, outdoor activity catering for all levels of confidence and ability and is already popular with families looking for something different to do at the weekend.
Mushriff Park, Gate 1, Mushriff, www.aventuraparks.com (052 178 7616).
Surf House Dubai
These guys live and breathe the ocean and can catch waves better than anyone. The team have been surfing since 1992 and their love for the water is infectious. Founder and Managing Director, Scott Chambers, graduated from a degree in Surf Science and Technology (the worlds only bachelor of science in surfing) in 2005. Since then the team have taught countless kids (and grown-ups, to be fair) to paddle out and stand up again. And again. And again. Their instructors are friendly and engaging, meaning even the most nervous
first-timer is in safe hands.
Jumeirah Street, Umm Suqieum, www.surfingdubai.com (04 321 1309).
Special Recognition for Pre- and Post-Natal Care
Joanne Hanson-Halliwell and Lala Langtry White, Small & Mighty Babies
Supporting families on the journey with their babies who were born a little too soon, Joanne, Lala and their team provide hands-on help as well as empathy and kindness at what can be a very emotional and stressful time. This year, they have launched ‘Upon a Star’, a memory box for families who suffer neonatal loss, stillbirth and miscarriage. In their own words: “Grief is just love with no place to go.”
Elaine Luck & Catherine Williams, Pure Fitness
These two ladies set up the brilliant Pure Fitness with mums in mind as they saw the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for yourself all the while that you're caring for someone else. Yes, you have to – and love – looking after your own little ones, but your wellbeing is also crucial to the both of you. Elaine and Catherine have also designed their smart and fun classes to fit in with your busy life. You can even bring baby along! Make time for yourself and your body, and your baby, will thank you for it in the long run.
Dru Campbell, Health Bay Clinic
Countless mums-in-waiting have been cared for by Dru over the years in Dubai. Overseeing family and women’s care at Health Bay Clinic, she is a nurse, midwife and lactation consultant with a wealth of experience for new and expectant parents to take full advantage of. Her ante-natal classes help new mums navigate the whole new experience, and her knowledge and guidance on breastfeeding, baby care and more really is second to none in the city.
www.healthbayclinic.com (800 4272).
PEOPLE AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Parent Blog of 2017
The Mothership, Helen Farmer
We all feel we know Helen Farmer and that’s testament to her writing style, which is fun, open and, always, real. Her blog, The Mothership, is a great place to discover what is happening in Dubai as well as root out the places to pick up all those bits and pieces so crucial to family life. She's also a joy to read.
My Little Loves, Helly O’Brien
Helly is an Irish/Australian blogger who has captured hearts with her emotive style and gorgeous images. Soon to add another little love to her brood, Helly has lots of tips and tricks for mums to be on morning sickness, buggy buys and much more. Her two little girls are her muses and she tells us all about the lives of a soon to be tween and a vivacious pre-schooler, making us chuckle along the way. One to watch!
Seashells on The Palm, Edwina Viel
Blogging since 2014, Edwina has made her writing space the go-to place for so many mummies, not only in Dubai but all over the world. Created around her four children and husband, Edwina lives the busy life of so many of us. From her very real accounts and frequent photos, we can find out the newest tasty places to eat, fun places to play and interesting places to visit. All from the comfort of our sofa!
Time Out Kids Family Entrepreneurial Award
This father of three wanted to rid his home of toxic pesticides, hormones and artificial preservatives and travelled the world to find the best-tasting organic milk to supply in Dubai – and Koita milk was born. Mustafa constantly consults his passionate, loyal customers to ensure he’s delivering what they want, too.
Mums@Work has done more for working mothers in the last 12 months than anyone else in the UAE. Louise and her team are committed to unlocking the untapped professional female talent in households across Dubai. And we couldn’t back them more. www.mumsatwork.ae.
Last year’s category winner, Olivia Manner has continued to grow and innovate Hello Chef's exciting food delivery service, helping homes across Dubai cook easy, healthy meals. She also caters for gluten-free, paleo and vegetarian diets.
Recognition for Special Needs Education
Stepping Stones Centre
Stepping up to address development delays in children in the UAE, Stepping Stones Centre offers evidenced-based practises to treat diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Downs Syndrome and Sensory Integration Disorders. A huge part of its work is to teach children how to learn through acquiring academic skills, with the end goal being a more independent life.
www.steppingstonesca.com (04 363 5433).
Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai
A unique therapy programme for disabled children, Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai (RDAD) works with children and young adults, giving them a unique opportunity to gain confidence from physical therapy on horseback. The organisation relies on a team of volunteers and fundraisers who are enthusiastic to make a difference.
Desert Palm, Al Awir Road, www.rdad.ae.
Senses Residential and Day Care
A non-profit organisation, Senses Residential and Day Care is the first and only residential care facility for special needs in the UAE and the Middle East. Through its specialised programmes, it combines speech and music therapy, art, life skills, sports and physiotherapy for children from the age of two to 19 with mild or severe physical disabilities and Downs Syndrome. The nurturing environment it has created helps these children to have the confidence to develop new skills while getting the care they need.
Umm Suqeim 3, Street 21 , www.sensescentre.org (04 394 8765).
Time Out Kids Outstanding Contribution
Team Angel Wolf
The Time Out Kids Outstanding Contribution award is our most important award of them all, and every year goes to a person who truly inspires us. That's what happens normally, anyway. But this year it didn't go to one person but to four. A family of four, in fact.
That family is The Watson Family – mum and dad, Delphine and Nick, and son and daughter, Rio, who is 14, and Tia, who is about to turn 11. Rio was born with Q44 Deletion De Novo, a rare chromosome disorder that the family have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of through a punishing series of massive races and triathlons across the UAE.
Stair Climbs. Marathons. Half Ironmans. This family has taken part in some of the most arduous physical challenges on Earth, and Rio has been with them every step of the way, his family carrying, pushing or pulling him across harsh terrain and tough obstacles to the finish line. And, last year, Rio went one better – completing his first race on his own.This year, under their team name, Team Angel Wolf ('Angel' being Rio and 'Wolf' his little sister), this incredible family unit will tackle no less than 50 races, as well as visit schools to teach the children the importance of being open-minded and accepting to others who are not the same as them.
They are a true inspiration, and we are honoured they were there on the night with us to receive their award.