Surprise partying

We've unearthed the top things for kids at this year's summer surpirses

In his own world

Modhesh World, at Dubai Airport Expo, is the region’s largest indoor theme park. Featuring a funfair, stage shows, educational exhibits and more across three zones, there’s something at Modhesh World for kids of all ages. Here’s a taster of what you’ll find inside:

West Zone
Learn traditional Arabic dancing or discover how to save the planet, join in a pillow fight or take a drum class in the giant playroom, have a blast in the In- Motion Kids’ gym or go horse riding.

Central Zone
Try your hand at drawing, painting, weaving and furniture making in the art and craft zone, while girls can escape to their own area for a spot of knitting or sewing. Tear yourself away from the mini-rollercoasters and bumper rides of the funfair to see if you can spot the ‘yella fella’ himself, shop at the Modhesh store and world souk. Dads will be relieved to hear they can put their feet up in their very own father’s majlis.

East Zone
One for toddlers, you’ll find a 500 sq m soft play area as well as a sand and beach zone, and lots of opportunities to expend energy at the inflatable bounce and adventure park or at the Disney bouncing area. Let the kids run around the mystical maze while you watch them on the TVs and talk to them via a microphone. For some relative down time, check out the book bazaar with its library and storytelling sessions.
Check for up-to-date details. Entry is Dhs10 for adults, Dhs15 for kids and many of the activities are free. Open every day until Aug 14 (Sun-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri 3pm-midnight; Sat 10am-midnight). Late afternoons, evenings and weekends are busiest.

Fruity facts

We’re intrigued by the ‘all about fruits’ area. In a bid to get little fans munching through their five a day, Modhesh and Unifrutti have set up fruit-shaped tables, installed a huge fruit dispenser and will dedicate each week to a different fruit, explaining the benefits of the healthy stuff.

Crafty business

Three cheers for Dubai Outlet Mall, which is very kindly hosting a raft of kids’ craft activities throughout the summer, so we neither have to rack our brains for ideas nor clean up the mess afterwards. Good times. There’s a different activity every week throughout the summer. Turn boring plates into works of art (Jul 2-8), make finger puppets from a variety of items (Jul 9-15), go green and fashion a braided clothes hanger from recycled goods (Jul 16-22) and create a fabulous carnival mask (Jul 23-Aug 7). August sees cupcake making (and eating) and jewellery art, plus kids will get to create their own ‘back to school’ notebooks using recycled paper, and design their own front covers.
Dubai Outlet Mall, Dome area, 04 423 4666, daily 4pm-7pm

Fitness freaks

If you think the Dubai summer is a time to close the blinds, head for the couch and veg out, then think again, lazy bones. With Kids’ Olympics at Dubai Marina Mall, even the tiniest tots can compete in the likes of baby crawling, baby marathon and a tricycle race. Clock up the kilometres at Mall of the Emirates as the Mall Walkers welcome mini-marchers over the summer, while Ibn Battuta Mall has a host of activities to get the blood pumping. We’re dying to try out the extreme roller zone at India Court, where a DJ and interactive games played on roller skates will zap the energy of even the most bouncy kiddies and teenagers.

If it doesn’t, try out the rainforest-themed crazy golf and penalty shootout area behind the China Court stage. And there’s the summer health festival, with its themes of healthy eating, physical fitness and beauty. Various activities are scheduled from 10am-10pm every day of the festival at both the BurJuman and Times Square shopping centres, with plenty of activities such as colouring competitions, quizzes, on-the-spot creations and golf games for little ones.

Kids’ Olympics: 04 436 1000, Dubai Marina Mall, Jul 16-22, daily 4pm-9.30pm. Mall Walking for Kids deborah@stridefor, every weekday, meet at 8.15am at the ground floor information kiosk, East Court, Mall of the Emirates, until Aug 14

Extreme Roller Zone: 04 362 1901/02, Ibn Battuta Mall, Sun-Wed 1pm-10pm, Thu-Sat 1pm-midnight, Dhs30 Sun-Thu, Dhs40 Fri-Sat. Until Aug 14

Sports Zone: 04 362 1901/02, Ibn Battuta Mall, daily 10am-10pm. Until Aug 14

Summer Health Festival:, venues vary, daily 5pm-10pm daily. Until Aug 14

Show time!

What with the Modhesh Theatre at Modhesh World plus mini-stages around most malls, shows and performances will abound this summer. Our favourites include the House of Illusions – a spectacular show with music, magic and mirrors held in the giant Spiegel tent – and The Great Sea Adventures, a one-hour stage spectacle featuring gymnastics, juggling and more, centring on the fishy tale of a young girl who travels to the depths of the ocean.

House of Illusions: 04 232 8382, Dubai Festival City, Fri-Sat 1pm, 6.30pm; Wed-Thu 6.30pm, 9.15pm; Tue 6.30pm, tickets Dhs125-250, dinner included, until Aug 14

The Great Sea Adventures:, Modhesh Theatre, Dubai Airport Expo, Thu-Sat 9pm, Fri 6pm, 9pm; Mon-Wed 7.30pm. Free with entry into Modhesh World, until Aug 14

Make friends with Modhesh

The Modhesh Friends Club is basically a DSS-themed summer camp for kids, held daily at Modhesh World from 10am-4pm until August 13. Children will get to try a range of activities, including martial arts, cooking, dancing and reading, and there will be regular field trips to places like Wild Wadi and Ski Dubai. It’s a positive and constructive experience for children (and also a great way to get rid of them for a while). Cost is Dhs1,500 per month, including transportation and trips, or Dhs1,000 without (prices exclude meals, but include free entry to Modhesh World on weekdays). Register at the DSS office front desk in the Dubai Economic Dept Building, Deira or call 04 220 0874.

More from the malls

Your shopping trips will be brightened over the next few weeks by jugglers, musicians, stilt walkers, acrobats and dancers – and maybe even Modhesh himself. Don’t worry, he’s not off duty, you can approach him and ask for photographs. Check his schedule at

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