For sandy feet days and Arabian nights – The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai
Set right on the JBR beachfront and with 400,000 square feet of landscaped gardens and pools, this luxury resort has it all, and the Ritz Kids’ Club is the cherry on top. Junior lifeguard courses, kite flying, making photo frames from seashells, there’s a huge range of activities, while your V.I.K (Very Important Kid) enjoys their own personal check in, with a welcome pack that includes clues to a scavenger hunt, a Ritz Kids door handle, a colouring book and crayons. In the rooms, there’s kids’ shampoo, body lotion, shower gel, soap and refreshing wipes along with a kids’ bag. With the endless entertainment of the JBR strip, there’s no chance of hearing the “I’m bored” whinge, and no need to go to the desert for an Arabia fix – simply flag down the camel ride man on the sand!
For a “something for everyone” stay – Madinat Jumeirah Resort
Choices, choices – families are spoilt for choice on the accommodation front with three grand hotels: Jumeirah Al Qasr, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam and Jumeirah Al Naseem, as well as traditional Arabian summerhouses at Dar Al Masyaf or palaces at Malakiya Villas, but choices truly abound at this enormous resort. Threaded with three kilometres of waterways (the kids will adore riding along on the abras) children will run riot throughout the ample gardens, pools and the beach, with stacks of complimentary toys in case you forgot to pack the bucket and spades. It’s safe to assume your fussy eater will find something appealing at one of the resort’s 50 restaurants, while all guests receive complimentary access to Sinbad Kids’ Club (with a great splash pool with slides for the little ones) and KiDS at Jumeirah Al Naseem. The club at the newest hotel to the stable has lots of planned fun and games, plenty of crafts and an outdoor playground with a splash pad, swing sets and a jungle gym. Then of course there’s Wild Wadi Water Park – guests staying at Jumeirah hotels receive free entry.
For a tiki time with theme parks galore – Lapita™ Autograph Collection® Hotels
Styled with a subtle Polynesian theme, Lapita is in the heart of the Dubai Parks & Resorts development and for a family holiday, it’s almost a no-brainer with several billions of blocks of colourful Lego and themed rides waiting for kids at Legoland; waterpark fun at the adjacent Legoland Waterpark; movie-themed rides at Motiongate and Bollywood Park – all just a short buggy ride away. Guests can also take advantage of a free Q-fast pass thrown in, meaning no lengthy waits at any of the parks. The hotel’s landscaped gardens are dotted with Polynesian tiki statues, with two lagoon-style swimming pools, a lazy river and spacious rooms and suites overlooking the riverThe next phase will include riverfront three-bedroom villas. The Luna & Nova Kids and Teens Club is situated near to the all-day dining buffet restaurant, which also has a kids’ set up with toys, Lego and a pool table, and staff that go out of their way to entertain the little ones with pizza making.
For a winter wonderland in the desert – Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
There’s nowhere in the world quite like Dubai, and no hotel in Dubai quite like Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, which has cleverly maximised its position adjacent to Ski Dubai with its Aspen Ski Chalets. These one-, two-, and three-bedroom butler-serviced “chalets” overlook the wintry scene of the slopes with cosy living rooms complete with cracking fireplaces, fur throws and marble bathrooms with freestanding tubs. With a separate entrance to the main hotel – and even a signature Alpine fragrance scenting the air – the duplex chalets span two floors with two rooms for the family. The kids’ shrieks will hit new decibels once they spot the slopes, and you might join them because the hotel has just announced it will offer chalet guests free Ski Dubai passes from this month – along with preloaded Magic Planet cards and a brand new mall privilege pack, crammed with discounts at the adjacent Mall of the Emirates – everything from Vox cinema tickets to fashion discounts and access to Little Explorers, a fun haven for toddlers.