Think pink: Who wouldn’t want to just take a peek inside the sandy pink façade of Atlantis? Summer is the perfect time to be nosy because from just Dhs800 per room per night (two-night minimum stay on weekends), guests can enjoy complimentary access to Aquaventure, the Lost Chambers, and a free day pass to the Atlantis Kids’ Club.
(04 426 1000; reservations @atlantisthepalm.com)
Mad as Hattas: Head to Hatta from Dhs880 per room per night, including breakfast and dinner, and you can sign the kids up for 101 activities – literally. From hula hoop games to fish puzzles to sudoku and frog races, the kids won’t be bored and you can chill out by the pool and enjoy the spectacular Hajar mountain scenery.
(04 852 3211; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jebel Ali jaunt: It might seem odd taking a break down the road, but The Peaco Club has amazing activities seven days a week for kids aged three to six and seven to 11 years – from seashell painting and camel rides to beach volleyball and banana rides. The Palm Tree Court and Spa is offering a half-board weekend promotion of Dhs1,300 per double room including breakfast and lunch or dinner, with kids under 12 staying for free. Jebel Ali Hotel can do the same for Dhs1,000. Both have a minimum stay of two nights.
(04 883 6000; email@example.com)
Do Dhabi: Less than a couple of hours away by car, enjoy Abu Dhabi’s stunning mosque, boat trips along the corniche and the Summer In Abu Dhabi festival. The Hilton has a special weekend rate of Dhs650 per room with kids under 18 staying for free. It runs a great complimentary kids’ club, plus water babies can try out the banana boat, windsurfing, snorkelling and kayaking.
(02 6811900; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sandy shores: Apparently, the pure white private beach at the Kempinski hotel in Ajman is one of the most beautiful in the UAE, which, combined with excellent kids’ activities, is reason enough to check it out. Treasure hunts, lego competitions, swimming lessons and more ensure happy kids at the summer camp (Sun-Thu from Dhs110 per day), while the Kempi Kids’ club (Mon-Sat) is free for guests and will entertain little people from two to 12 years old with baking, storytelling and dancing. Book a minimum two-night stay online and save 10 per cent on the best available rate.
(06 714 5555; www.kempinski-ajman.com)
Jumeirah joy: A night at the Burj Al Arab is only for the rich and famous, right? Well, yes, but maybe this is the summer to splash out, with the Jumeirah group offering kids under 15 years the chance to eat and stay free of charge at some of its top hotels, including the icon itself. Other participating hotels include the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Bab Al Shams, Emirates Towers and the Madinat Jumeirah.
Fujairah fever: Brave the beaches in Fujairah with some great-value summer deals. The Fujairah Rotana Resort and Spa has a daily kids’ entertainment programme, as well as access to sandy beaches, gardens and a pool. Until the end of July get two nights for the price of one (from Dhs439 per person), including free non-motorised watersports, waterskiing, snorkelling trips and glass-bottom boat rides. Kids under 12 stay and eat for free.
(09 244 9888; email@example.com)
Animal antics: Known as the Garden City, Al Ain is reportedly a few degrees cooler than Dubai, which is why we’re excited about the new Night Zoo at Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort. Spotlights reveal beasts lurking in the night shadows, plus there are family activities aplenty, from bird of prey shows to chilling with the penguins or hanging around with the monkeys. Go for the evening or stay at the Al Ain Rotana, which is has rooms under its ‘Summer just got brighter’ deal at Dhs495 per night.
(Night Zoo 03 782 8188; www.awpr.ae; Dhs15 for adults, Dhs5 for kids, free for under sixes; Sat-Thu 4pm-10pm, Fri 10am-10pm. Al Ain Rotana 03 754 5111; firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is the One & Only: Stay a minimum of two nights at the beautiful One & Only Royal Mirage from Dhs875 per night and kids under 12 will stay and eat for free, plus get complimentary access to Aquaventure and a ride on the Palm Island Monorail when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
(04 399 9999; email@example.com)
Oh, man!: Not strictly the UAE, but bits of Oman are driveable so it counts as local in our book. The Grand Hyatt in Muscat is luring families with a 50 per cent discount on a second room with every grand room. Kids eat for free and are welcome to join the Busy Bees summer club (+968 2464 1234; www.muscat.grand.hyatt.com). Six Senses Zighy Bay on the Musandam Peninsula has a range of kids’ activities including nature walks, plus a ‘two nights for the price of one’ offer until the end of July, from Dhs1,499 per person.
(+968 2673 5555; firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information on any of these deals contact Dnata Holidays (800 8118)