Family vacation in Dubai: Excursion destinations, hotel and savings tips!
If you give me up Instagram You already know that I will be doing the Pentecost holidays this year with the children in Dubai spent. Today I want to tell you how we liked it, which one hotel i can recommend you for dubai which ones ventures we made, how the Ramadan has affected our trip and how much a week Dubai with children tasted Has.
First of all, I have some general information for you. The town Dubai has about 3 million inhabitants and is the capital of the emirate of the same name, which together with the Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ra’s al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain the United Arab Emirates forms. Dubai is located on Persian Gulf and is due to the short flight time (6 hours) and the low time change (2 hours) also perfect for a short break suitable. The official language is Arabic – but you can communicate well with English everywhere. The national currency is: AED or (Arab Emirates) Dirham. 10 dirhams are approximately € 2.33 (as of May 2018).
Dubai is a city of superlatives! You will find here: The tallest building in the world (currently: Burj Khalifa, from about 2020: Dubai Creek Tower), the largest water fountain show, the largest ferris wheel, one of the largest aquariums – and there is no end in sight. Everywhere is being built and the city is changing daily. The development of recent years has become particularly clear to us when we talked about Spice Souk (Spice market) in the “old Dubai” towards Dubai Marina to lead. The drive along the Sheikh Zayed Road (= Main traffic axis of Dubai) lasted only about 25 minutes, but led us into another world: while we were in Deira still felt like in an Egyptian bazaar, the skyline reminded us of the Marina or the JBR (= Jumeirah Beach Res >New York district, as at a desert town on the Persian Gulf.
The view from our hotel room &# 128578;
The perfect travel time for a Dubai vacation
For me that lies > Sand dunes in the Lehbab desert
Our Dubai trip in the Whitsun holidays
We chose a trip in the Whitsun decided because it is not quite as hot at the end of May, as in the summer holidays, but much emptier than in the Easter holidays. That’s our trip to the month of fasting Ramadan To be honest, at the time of booking I was not clear – in retrospect, however, it turned out to be more of an advantage than a disadvantage: it was TRUE EMPTY everywhere! We did not have to go in the Wadi Water Park still at Burj Khalifa pending and also the desert tours were spontaneously available at the offer price. Nevertheless, it was quite a change at first, that even tourists before sunset (-> Iftar = about 19 o’clock) was not allowed to eat or drink in public and many restaurants and cafes had closed. In the big shopping malls and hotels, however, there were specially screened areas where food was allowed. Children under 10 are exempt from the scheme.
Excursions and Attractions in Dubai – 12 Things to Do in Dubai:
1.) Look over the city from Burj Khalifa! The Burj Khalifa with its 828 meters since 2008 is the tallest building in the world! Access is via the Dubai Mall. It makes sense to book the tickets online in advance (best in the peak season a few weeks in advance). I would drive up about 1 hour before sunset to see the city from above, both day and night. Here, however, you should allow for the possible waiting time in front of the entrance. Prices: 124./125. Floor: from approx. 30 € or 50 € at prime time, 148th floor at prime time: approx. 80 €. If you need tickets at short notice, you can also order them quickly and easily via the Getyourguide app, which I link to you here: -> Burj Khalifa Tickets * Affiliate link. Advantage: You can cancel the tickets up to 48 hours before the appointment free of charge. Only the “VIP tickets without waiting” you can save yourself according to various reports.
View from the Burj Khalifa to the area where later the water show took place.
2.) Strolling through the Dubai Mall: The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the world with a sales area of 350,000 square meters. In the mall you can with children:
- the gigantic basin of the Dubai Aquarium look (you have a good look, for example, before H&M in the 1st floor)
- Ice Skating (ICE RINK)
- Sweets in the Candilicious shopping (-> 1 kg of sweets cost 131 AED, 200 g. So about 6 €)
- Activated carbon-ice eat (In addition to the ice rink, there is a small stand that looks like a telephone booth, there is the Yuki No Hana ice cream) Price: 7 €
- in the Rainforest Cafe (next to the aquarium) eat. For kids the atmosphere is great. You can take money with you -> Groupon coupons save – how exactly that works, you’ll learn below. However, I would first ask for an appointment, and then order the groupon. Sometimes the restaurant is booked 4 weeks in advance (-> so for Goroupon customers).
- Next time I really want the Joe’s Crab Shack, Level 1, try behind the Dubai Aquarium. Here you can eat overlooking the aquarium “Crab Buckets”, burgers and nachos.
- VR Experience (next to the Rainforest Cafe): For about 7 € you can watch here for about 20 minutes 3 animals of your choice with a VR glasses. My kids liked it a lot. You buy the ticket at the cash register of the aquarium.
- Kidzania Kidzania is a miniature city where children aged 4-11 can role-play different professions – from pilot to cleaner. They are paid for their work with a special currency. The idea sounds interesting, but the ticket price is quite expensive :: 45 € for children, 17 € for adults. During Ramadan there was an online offer: 23 € for children. I would have tried that if we had more time.
Dubai Aquarium in the Dubai Mall
3.) Look at the water features of the Dubai Fountain! The water light and sound show starts daily at 18 o’clock. Every 30 minutes the music and the play of the fountains changes. Between the water shows there is a short laser show. We had a table in the Serafina restaurant Reserved in the Souk al Akbar. There were delicious burgers for about 23 € and pizza from 18 €. The portions were not very big, but the atmosphere on the terrace was great. Also good is the view from Joe’s Cafe, where you should reserve early. A cheap alternative would be a table in the Five Guys, here are the burgers not only cheaper, you also have “free refill” included. Pizza Hut and Vapiano will soon open branches overlooking the water features.
Water Fountain Show in front of the Burj Khalifa
4.) Take an abra (= wooden boat) over the Dubai Creek. The crossing from Bur Dubai Abra Station (323 A Street) to Deira Old Souq Station costs only 1 AED = 20 cents per person. Alternatively, you can rent for 120 AED (about 30 €) a whole boat for an hour and drive up the creek. We did that and on the way back on the Spice Souk let settle.
Abra boats at Dubai Creek
5.) Buy Saffron on the Spice Souk The atmosphere on the spice market is not for everyone – vendors can be quite persistent. Here it helps to stay polite and consistent and NEVER feel obliged to buy. If you act skillfully, you can buy cheap saffron here. At any rate, our activities were fun and the children also learned a lot while shopping their souvenirs. Tip: small change = 1, 5 and 10 dirham bills take!
Spice Market – Spice Souk
6.) Desert Safari incl. Dune Bashing & camel riding! The desert safari or the Dune Bashing is one of the absolute highlights of our trip. I was particularly fascinated by the vast sand dunes of the Lehbab Desert, which were so much nicer than the deserts that I have seen in Egypt so far. I have the trip spontaneously at the small provider arabianadventures.com (-> new website: arabiandubaisafari.com), as it offers us a very special deal for you private car has made. That was important to me again, because my daughter does not like roller coaster and the Dune Bashing (= in the jeep rushing over the dunes) in a group should be quite extreme – so not for the faint of heart or people with neck or back pain. Our “light” version was perfect for the kids! The subsequent waiting at the quad track was superfluous for us, the camel riding funny (about 5 minutes, enough time for a photo), the food in the camp and the show were o.k. Overall, the price / line ratio matched due to the low price. The communication (pickup time etc. ran over Whatsapp). PS: The organizer is not to be confused with the well-known provider Arabian-Adventures.com, which is e.g. at the airport for excursions advertises.
Desert Tour Dubai
7.) Swimming at “The Beach” The beach at JBR is just perfect: Shallow, with turquoise blue water! Everywhere there are small beach cafes and modern changing and shower rooms. Tip: After the beach on the “Walk” to the marina stroll and make a tour there -> Marina Cruise. In between a piece of cake in the Cheesecake Factory eat! &# 128578;
8.) Marina Cruise The skyline of the Dubai Marina is really impressive and surprised me positively. I can recommend you an evening stroll along the marina. If you want to explore the marina from the water, you can book a small boat tour. This costs about -> Captain Jack Tours only about 16 € for adults and 8 € for children and takes 1 hour (including soft drinks!). We have them right at the counter at Dubai Marina -> Purchased Marina Walk, Bristol Charter Kiosk near the Starbucks branch.
Dubai Marina skyline
9.) Drive The Palm on the Palm by monorail train The man-made island “The Palm” is one of the top attractions in Duabi. To visit them, take a ride on the monorail train. For 20 AED = about 6 € you can from the monorail station at the foot of the palm to the Hotel Atlantis The Palm drive at the top of the palm. On arrival you have a great view of the Aquaventure Waterpark. Tip: Access to the train is via a parking garage (the Monorail Parking Building). If you are traveling by train and would like to change to a public taxi, you must first leave the car park (level 3). In the parking garage, there are only the expensive “private” taxis. Therefore, we decided against a round trip ticket for about 9 € and drove from the Atlantis hotels by taxi.
Monorail ride over “The Palm”
10) Spend a day in the water park Wadi Waterpark, Aquaventure or Legoland Waterpark – the selection in Dubai is great (prices though!). We chose the older one Wild Wadi Waterpark decided because it was included in the price of our hotel (see below). We enjoyed it a lot and spent hours driving through the park in the tires of the lazy river. However, I have to say that it was also extremely empty during Ramadan and the visit during the week. Next time, I really want to try the Aquaventure water park. This is included in an overnight stay at the Hotel Atlantis, The Palm and should be much better, according to my Instagram followers.
Wild Wadi Waterpark
11.) Drink a cocktail in the Burj Al Arab! On -> my bucket list stood the point for a long time: In the underwater restaurant of the Burj Al Arab eat. I spontaneously put that point on my list after seeing a reportage about the temporarily most luxurious hotel in the world. In the meantime a meal was not that important anymore – but I really wanted to watch it.
Burj Al Arab
The problem: Without reservation one does not pass the gatekeeper. So how do you get cheap into the Burj Al Arab? The solution: Reserve a table in the Scape restaurant on the terrace of the Burj al Arab Hotel. There is a happy hour from 4pm to 6pm, which means snacks and cocktails cost 70 AED and 16 €, respectively. In any case, we really enjoyed our cocktails including sea view and were also absolutely impressed by the hotel lobby! #bucketlistcheck
Lobby of the Burj Al Arab
Tip: If you want to spend a little more money, the “High tea in cream Eddar“From 19 – 20 o’clock one >here
12.) Take a day trip to Abu Dhabi! Abu Dhabi is only about 1.5 hours away from Dubai – a visit can be well combined. We have short photo stops at the Ferrari World, the Abu-Dhabi Louvre and the luxury hotel Emirates Palace inserted-but really worth the visit of the Sheikh Zay >here discovered.
The Dubai Parks
Unfortunately, we did not make it to the Dubai Parks. There are 3 themed parks, 1 water park, 1 hotel (Lapita) and more than 100 rides & Atrractions on the visitors.
- Motiongate Dubai (Hollywood-inspired amusement park)
- Bollywood Parks Dubai
- Legoland Dubai
- Legoland Waterpark Dubai (20 water slides and attractions)
In 2019 the park Six Flags Dubai will be added! I will test the parks on my next visit and complement my experiences here.
Recommended hotels in Dubai
Our hotel (or our hotels)
Since we are not between one City – and a beach hotel decided, I just booked both. The first 3 nights we have in Jumeirah Emirates Towers spent, then we are in for 4 nights Sofitel Jumeirah Beach changed. Both hotels have liked us in their own way. If I had to choose a hotel, the choice would fall on the Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers
The hotel is centrally located between the airport and the Dubai Mall (including Burj Khalifa access). The journey time by taxi is just under 10 minutes. The rooms are large, very luxurious and more reminiscent of suites – the absolute highlight was the huge window front, through which one from the bed from the 38th floor over the whole city could look! (-> Room 3810).
Beach Hotel next to Burj Al Arab) including shuttle service for free. Considering that the entrance to the water park about 60 € p.P. costs (= 180 € for 3 people) is the offer price of 150 € per night for our room including breakfast for 3 people a real bargain.
The shuttle to the Dubai Mall and the Souk Madinat (a beautiful, air-conditioned bazaar near the Burj al Arab) is included in the price. Free beach tickets are available from the concierge – access to Wadi Waterpark is sufficient if you name your room number + name at the entrance. There is a separate queue (fast-lane) at the water park for guests of the Jumeirah hotels. In addition, you get 25% discount on food etc. Price: We have 113 € per night (2 adults, 1 child) including breakfast. I found the offer here -> booking.com * Affilate Link
Advantages at a glance: Central location, short airport transfer, great rooms (including views over the city), great breakfast, Wadi Waterpark and beach or shuttle to the mall included (alternative: taxi for about 4 €), a few minutes from the metro, good price – / performance ratio. Disadvantage: No direct beach location.
The Sofitel Jumeirah Beach
The Sofitel Jumeirah Beach is a classic beachfront hotel located in the south of Dubai in close proximity to Jumeirah Beach, which is also called “The Beach”. We had from our room direct sea view and could as well “The Wheel” see that soon the biggest Ferris wheel in the world will be. On the far right we could just that Hotel Atlantis which is located at the end of the artificial island “The Palm”. Funnily we found the large shutters in the bathroom, which one could open, and so from the bathtub on the sea could look. Bottles and coffee or tea in the room were also included. Of the Infiny pool The hotel had a great view of the beach (beware: there is no pool for children) and the proximity to Dubai Marina Convenient – so we could cozy in the evening on “The Walk” (-> 1.7 km long promenade, which is right next to the hotel or the JBR *) to our Marina tour walk and admire the impressive skyline.
Infiny pool at Sofitel Jumeirah Beach
There are many restaurants on the boardwalk (from the Cheesecake Factory to Pizza Hut, Five Guys, KFC, and more) and some shops. Price: We have 119 € per night (2 adults, 1 child) including breakfast. I found the offer hereen -> booking.com * Affiliate Link
Advantages at a glance: A few meters from the beach “The Beach”, rooms with sea view available, promenade “The Walk” is right in front of the hotel, Infiny pool, close to Dubai Marina. disadvantage: Approx. 30 min. Transfer time to the airport and 20 min. To the Dubai Mall, no separate children’s pool, chairs on the beach are not included, no metro station in the immediate vicinity.
By the way, JBR stands for Jumeirah Beach Residence and is the name of 36 residential towers, which together make up the largest residential complex in the world.
The Walk at JBR
Which hotels were still in the shortlist / Hotel tips from readers:
- Atlantis The Palm, Luxury hotel on the man-made palm, entry to the Aqaventure Waterpark and in’s Lost Chambers Aquarium are included in one night. Swimming with dolphins is possible (Dolphin Bay -> costs extra). Special highlight (but le>Anantara Hotel on “The Palm”: children’s pool with its own lifeguard, children’s buffet, theme restaurants with very good food, during the day there is a cocktail boat. Room price from 180 € for 2 adults / 1 child (regular price: 280 €) Premier room with direct pool access from 250 €, villas above the water incl. Glass floor from 580 € (regular price: 1180 €).
- JW Marriott Marquis Central location between the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates (Business Bay subway station) Rooms from 179 € including breakfast (2 adults, 1 child)
Professional saving tip: Popular hotels are often fully booked. Sometimes there are also “last minute” bargains. To be on the safe side, I do it this way: I secure myself as early as possible a room in the hotel of my choice. This I book, for example. about booking.com * Affiliate Link in a tariff that can be canceled free of charge until the day of arrival. A few days before the trip, I then check back in and decide whether to stay at my hotel or change at short notice. In Dubai, for example, I have a 5 * hotel for 35 € per night for 3 persons (!) Discovers – but then due to the reviews but still remained with my first choice.
Cheap Food & Drink in Dubai:
In Dubai there are many good (and expensive) restaurants – but also many ways to eat cheap with the family. Due to the price-performance ratio I would advise to book a hotel incl. Breakfast. At lunchtime you can get some snacks in the supermarket (bananas cost about 40 cents, bread snacks € 1) and in the evening for example. at Planet Hollywood, Jamie’s Italian, Cheesecake Factory (Salted Caramel Cheesecake !!), GBK, Nandos, Wagamama, etc. If you pay attention to offers, you can save a lot of money:
KFC: Chicken Burger, Pommes + Coke: 10 AED = 2.30 €
Pizza Hut: pizza or lasagna, bread and drink: 25 AED = about 6 €
Tip: Another way to save a lot of money is the Entertainer App (Orange Smiley) with many 2 for 1 coupons.
Activated carbon ice cream from Yuki No Hana!
Worth the Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off City Passes?
You can not judge that. For a comfortable and quick overview of the entire city, it is certainly a good option. We preferred to explore the individual areas of the city individually by taxi, which was even cheaper in the end. To Big Bus: There are 3 routes – the red one City Tour (Dubai Mall, Dubai Museum, God Souk, Spice Souk, etc.), The green Beach Tour (Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Public Beach, Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat, Mall of Emirates etc.) and the Blue Marina tour (Mall of Emirates, Marina Wlak, The Beach, Atlantis The Palm etc.). Tickets cost 273 AED (about 64 €) for adults and 174 AED (about 40 €) for children. With the Big Bus App, the buses can be tracked live!
My saving tips for Dubai
- Use the free offers, Dubai for Families: Watch the Waterfountain Show, stroll through the mall and watch the fish in the Dubai Aquarium, sunbathe on the free section of Jumeirah Beach (eg “The Walk”), strolling over the Spice Souk or the Souk Madinat and ride the Abra boat (20 cents = almost free).
- Uses necessarily the state taxes (beige with colored roof). I could not believe it at first, but both the private taxis and alternative providers like Over and Careem are significantly more expensive. Advantage of Careem for families: Here you can per app a taxi with one Child seat order (“Careem Kids”). About my referral link ->here you get 5 € start credit.
- Look up Groupon for current offers in Duabi (-> groupon.ae).
- Look up ->GetYourGuide * Affiliate link. for tickets that you can reserve long-term, but can cancel at short notice if necessary.
- Use the metro for long distances! The metro is self-driving, there are separate wagons only for women and children.
- Calculates if a hotel with free Waterpark entry worth *
* If staying at the following hotels, the Wild Wadi Waterpark is included daily: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel and Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The Wild Wadi Waterpark is one night staying at the following hotels: Jumeirah Living World Trade Center Residences, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Royal Residences
Other Dubai tips:
- Buy one at the airport Simcard (Etisalat counter near the rental car, 1 GB for about 20 €). Although there are free Wi-Fi in the malls and on many beaches, I found it very comfortable, also in between Google Maps and TripAdvisor to be able to use. In addition, I was able to help the taxi drivers twice. PS: Whatsapp and your social media apps you can use the way, despite the new cards with your usual number, if you confirm after the map change by clicking.
- Includes one Overseas Health Insurance sure – for sure!
- Pack one Adapter plug for the socket (if necessary you can charge the phone via the USB plug on the back of the TV – but that’s annoying, because this must be on.
- On rental car Due to the child seats it can be worthwhile for families with small children – with older children the combination of metro and taxi is ideal.
It makes sense to travel to Dubai during Ramadan?
Now I would like to briefly touch the subject: Dubai during the Ramadan received. Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink during Ramadan from sunrise to sunset. Tourists are also not allowed in public (children under 10 are exempt from this rule). As a result, many restaurants do not open until 7pm (sunset = Iftar) and you do not get food or drink at every corner and at any time as usual. After a week, I have to say: With a little improvisation, that’s no problem. We are e.g. drove a taxi through the McDrive counter or got us five Guys burgers “to go” and ate at the hotel. If necessary, we have drunk on the way to the toilet (I always have a water bottle in my backpack anyway). Wadi Waterpark also had food during the day. The Dubai Mall has some restaurants open both in the food court on the Burj Khalifa and in the food court on the second floor. In the Battuta Mall there were some takeaway counters in the food court at the metro station (1st floor). The food could then be eaten in a screened area. The very quiet atmosphere and the lack of queues have more than offset the disadvantages.
Dubai is highly recommended – and in the off season not that expensive, as you might think. We have three (1 adult, 2 children) about 450 € per flight paid (Emirates), one night in 5 * hotel has p.P. 40 € including breakfast (120 € per room – there were also much cheaper offers!) cost. All in all, including the trips for a week spent just under 3200 ¬ – but we have also really ALL points deleted from our list and had an extremely great time. My conclusion: There are so many possibilities, the people are friendly and you feel absolutely safe as a single woman traveling with children. We enjoyed it extremely well and we will definitely come back.
So, that was my very detailed Dubai report. I hope he liked you. If you have any questions, feedback, tips or your own Dubai contributions, write me a comment.
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