As the winter breeze graces the UAE, seize the opportunity to weave cherished moments with your family.
From hiking to enjoying delectable treats and exploring hidden gems, to experiencing the thrill of toboggan rides down from the highest mountain peak in the UAE, there is no dearth of things to do with your family. Tuck away the buzzing phones, skim through inspiring ideas, and immerse yourself in the comforting world of family planning.
Here are the things to do with your family in the UAE this winter:
It’s camping season everywhere, and in the UAE, the desert nights come alive with the warmth of bonfires and the joy of family gatherings under the starlit sky. Dubai’s Al Qudra Lakes stand out as an excellent camping destination, gaining popularity among tourists and suitable for beginners. Ideal for families with children, this spot offers a tranquil escape from the hustle of city life in Dubai. Moreover, the convenience of washroom facilities enhances the overall camping experience.
For those seeking a breathtaking mountain vista, Wadi Shawka in Ras Al Khaimah beckons with its stunning scenery. On the other hand, if the allure of desert camping captures your imagination, the Liwa Desert near Abu Dhabi stands out as the ultimate choice.
Take a Hike
If you ask me, hiking is my personal favorite during this beautiful weather. The UAE is packed with wilderness and is home to a number of breathtaking hiking trails. Not only are they picturesque and distinct, but they also encourage you to step outside and relish the season.
For beginners, consider exploring Wadi Abadilah or Wadi Shawka, which is safe for families with children. Another favoured destination among friends and families is Dubai’s largest national park, Hatta. This locale is also known for its numerous hiking trails, offering opportunities to discover the beauty of the Hajar Mountains.
You might also like: 11 Must-Try Hiking Trails in the UAE
Kayaking / Boating
The charm of the water is calling, beckoning you to experience delightful moments on the waves. You can either embark on kayaking or choose other boating activities in the UAE, perhaps a donut boat; the choice is yours for a water-filled adventure.
Plan a Family Picnic
With clear skies and pleasant temperatures, enjoy a relish a perfect picnic with your loved ones, surrounded by the unique charm of UAE’s outdoor spaces. Consider a leisurely picnic at one of the parks scattered across the UAE or choose a picturesque coastal spot for a pleasurable outdoor experience.
Visit Dubai Safari Park
Take a visit to Dubai Safari Park with your family, where you can immerse yourselves in the enchanting themed villages of Africa, Asia, and Arabia. Explore diverse habitats such as the sprawling savannah, the arid desert, and the lush Arabian forest. Attend captivating live shows that showcase majestic animals like birds of prey, elephants, and sea lions, creating an engaging experience for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in interactive educational activities tailored for both children and adults, making your visit both entertaining and enlightening.
Located in the middle of the desert in Al Warqa’a, the wildlife facility houses an expanded community of 3000 animals, including 78 types of mammals, including 10 different carnivores and 17 primates, 50 types of reptiles, 111 kinds of birds, plus amphibians and invertebrates, from across the world living in climate-controlled environments similar to their natural habitats.
Take a stroll at Jubail Mangrove Park
Spanning 5,000 hectares of coastal estuaries and mangrove forests, Al Jubail Island presents a variety of family-friendly activities, perfect for a day out with family and friends during the winter period.
Visitors can leisurely stroll along the 2.3 km boardwalk weaving through the majestic mangroves, offering glimpses of terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna. Additionally, guests can participate in activities such as yoga or soundbites healing. The park’s well-known kayaking experiences are also available during sunrise, sunset, night, and full moon, offering a unique and refreshing outlook of the park.
Jubail Island Park timings: 09:00 am to 09:00 pm
Indulge in a full family fun experience at Global Village Dubai
The beloved family-friendly destination, Global Village Dubai is now back in full swing for a fresh season. With a six-month window, you have ample time to explore, shop, indulge in global delicacies, and enjoy various new attractions – making multiple visits a definite must.
Experience Desert Safari
Embark on a guided desert safari and elevate the thrill with your family. Traverse the golden sand dunes in a 4×4 vehicle, experiencing the excitement of dune bashing as your skilled driver maneuvers over the undulating terrain, creating unforgettable moments for everyone.
Afterward, you can try sandboarding, gliding down the dunes on a board, or opt for a camel ride to explore the desert at a more relaxed pace. As the sun sets, witness a breathtaking view and capture memorable photos before heading to a traditional Bedouin-style camp, where you can enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner, shisha smoking, belly dancing, and cultural performances.
Curious about whether little ones or toddlers can join a desert safari ride? Absolutely! There’s no minimum age requirement for desert visits. However, for children aged 3 to 11 years, an adult companion is needed during the camel ride and dune experience.
Refresh yourself in the natural pools of the UAE
Uncover the hidden oases of the UAE by indulging in the tranquil allure of natural pools or wadis. Offering a refreshing escape, these pristine waters invite you to unwind and appreciate the beauty of nature. Take a soothing dip in the midst of the serene surroundings within the heart of the UAE’s landscapes.
Feel the thrill and adrenaline rush on the region’s longest toboggan ride
Jais Sledder at Jais Adventure Peak, a 885-metre toboggan ride that runs down the Hajar Mountains, is the region’s longest toboggan ride.
Jais Sledder is an alpine coaster, that sits comfortably on a low-slung track and capable of reaching speeds of up to 40 km/hr, with each rider having their own braking system. As you sit close to ground, it feels like the speed is multiplied ten-fold. The total ride takes about eight minutes to cover 1,840 exhilarating metres of hairpin curves and undulating waves.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Monday closed)
- Adult Ticket: AED 50 (Single Ride) | AED 120 (Three Rides)
- Adult+Child Ticket: AED 65 (Single Ride) | AED 140 (Three Rides)
Note: All guests must be at least 3 years old and at least 135 cm in height. If you purchase a three ride ticket, you need to complete all three rides on the same day.
Go for a Dhow Cruise ride
Sail through the historic heart of Dubai abroad a traditional wooden dhow with your family and friends. You can choose to ride in a dhow cruise along several locations – Dubai Marina, Dubai Creek and Dubai Water Canal.
From outside, the lit-up ship sparkles like a mirage on the sea under the starry night sky, and inside, it’s just as amazing.
Dhow cruise packages usually have vegetarian and non-vegetarian buffet dishes, barbecues, drinks and starters, desserts, entertainment options with live music performances, Tanura dancing, magic shows etc.
Price starts from AED50 for Dubai Creek and AED120 for Dubai Marina.
Time: 8:30PM – 10:30PM