Having just been named the number one most popular destination in the world by TripAdvisor, Dubai is the place to be in 2022. Combined with the UK’s new pre-departure rules easing the pressure for travellers, February half term is the perfect opportunity to escape the gloomy winter months for some much-needed sun and vitamin D.
Entry requirements to Dubai are simple – travellers to Dubai from the UK must hold a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate taken no more than 48 hours before departure, and there are direct flights from key cities in the UK including London (Heathrow and Gatwick), Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
With a whole host of different activities and places to visit from a hot air balloon trip across the desert dunes or learning about the incredible history of the city, this selection of holidays has everything needed to create a memorable family getaway.
For the world travellers
Expo 2020 Dubai unites the world in one place by providing a global experience dedicated to bringing together people, communities, and nations. Open until 31st March 2022, the ground-breaking edition of the World Expo looks to build bridges and inspire action, making it a must-visit for families looking to educate themselves about the different destinations across the world.
Full of immersive experiences and incredible live performances, Expo invites families to travel the world’s cultures and cuisines in one amazing place including a special Kids Zone complete with a waterfall and edutainment. This is perfect for families looking to add a touch of learning into their holidays while still keeping the fun alive. Families who fly with Emirates can make the most of the free one day pass available with their boarding card.
For the adventure seeking families
Witness the incredible landscape that makes Dubai from up high with a once in a lifetime experience in a hot air balloon. Watching the sun rise and washing the incredible topography in golden light as you float across the desert dunes is a truly unique experience. Visitors will be able to admire the incredible duality between Dubai’s glittering cityscape and the natural beauty of the Hajar Mountains in the distance. Families will particularly enjoy spotting the multitude of gazelles and oryx from up high as they traverse across the dunes.
For the foodie families
Time Out Market Dubai is the first market in the region to showcase the city’s food and cultural scene in one place. Spanning over 30,000 sq ft, Time Out Market offers a selection of 17 eateries that cover food from across the world as well as authentic local cuisine. Even the pickiest eater will be satisfied here thanks to the incredible diversity on offer. Families looking to try out Emirati flavours should head to Al Fanar which showcases delicious Emirati seafood dishes with locally sourced fish from the coast.
For the family fun activities
With temperatures around 25C in February what better way to enjoy some fun time together than at one of Dubai’s world-famous waterparks? The Legoland Waterpark is the most popular for families with children between the ages of two and 12.
Young ones can build their own rafts out of LEGO which they can then take with them to conquer the thrilling slides across the park. For teenagers and up, Atlantis Aquaventure is the place to head to for some adrenaline pumping fun. With 28 record-breaking waterslides including the world’s tallest waterslide and the longest family water coaster in the world, there is bound to be hours of endless water-based fun to be had.
For the culturally inclined families
Dubai is known for its incredible traditional markets called souks. To this day, the souks are an ingrained part of Emirati culture and daily life. A day spent wandering through the markets and discovering the incredible offerings is a true insight into the country. The Spice Souk, with its stalls piled high with pungent and earthy spices delivering a blend of aromas to entrance senses, will be sure to intrigue big and littles as vendors introduce to visitors all the incredible benefits and ways of incorporating them into everyday life.
For the hotel connoisseurs
As one of the most visited cities in the world, Dubai has accommodations to fit every budget and taste. The newly opened Legoland Hotel at Dubai Parks and Resorts will unlock new possibilities for families looking to build cherished memories.
Aimed at kids aged two to 12, the fun starts as you enter the hotel as a full-sized Ollie the Dragon greets guests as they walk in. This 250-room hotel has five different room themes to choose from, each of which comes complete with a set of LEGO DUPLO bricks to ensure that kids’ imaginations are fully captivated during their stay. Combined with the impressive LEGO models that can be found throughout the hotel, kids are sure to be wowed by the experience.
Hotel Riu Dubai, a four-star all-inclusive, beachfront hotel located on Deira Islands is the perfect base for families. With a dedicated children’s pool with waterslides and a variety of water sports and water-based activities on offer, which include stand-up paddle surfing and kayaking, kids will never be bored. The hotel features ten restaurants and dining experiences for a round the world culinary tour.
Recently opened on Palm Jumeirah’s West Crescent and set in expansive curated landscaped gardens, Th8 Dubai features 162 rooms and suites as well as resort-style facilities including an infinity pool, signature beachfront restaurant, and alfresco dining and entertainment spaces.
For the beach bums
Some of the best memories can be made whilst enjoying the golden sands at the beach. Water sports, beach bites and fun in the sun can be found at Kite Beach. One of Dubai’s most popular beaches, it is perfect for sun-seekers, foodies and sports enthusiasts. For those with teenagers glued to Instagram, La Mer is home to beautiful graffiti and murals, cafes and restaurants and Laguna Waterpark.
For the history buffs
One of just two mosques open to non-Muslims in Dubai, Jumeirah Mosque offers daily guided tours. The Jumeirah Mosque is a key pillar of activity for the Open Doors, Open Minds program which aims to build cultural awareness, understanding and tolerance between different nationalities and cultures from all around the world.
The Jumeirah Mosque also happens to be a stop on the Heritage Express, a trolley that takes visitors around historical areas to showcase heritage sites through a fun and informative journey. This combined experience is the perfect introduction into Emirati culture for families wanting to learn more about the history and heritage of Dubai.
- Spend five nights at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, from £2,162 total, based on two adults and one child. Price includes bed and breakfast, Grand Room and return flights from Gatwick. Book until the 23rd February. To book, visit Kenwood Travel.
- Spend five nights at Atlantis The Palm, from £1,439pp based on two adults and two children sharing. Price includes full board with soft drinks with meals, Palm Room Queen, AED100 resort credit per person to be redeemed at Wavehouse Arcades or ShuiQi Spa. Return flights from London Gatwick. Travel between 19th and 27th February. Book up until 31st January. To book, call 0208 972 8949 or visit Emirates Holidays.
- Spend five nights at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Waterpark, from £799pp based on two adults and two children sharing. Price includes half board room, Deluxe Skyline Room, complimentary unlimited access to Jungle Bay Waterpark and return flights from London Gatwick. Travel between 19th to 27th February. Book up until 3rd February. To book, call 0208 972 8949 or visit Emirates Holidays.
- Spend five nights at Lapita Dubai Parks, from £2,232 total based on two adults and one child sharing. Price includes half board room, Deluxe Twin Resort View Room and return flights from London Gatwick. Book up until 23rd February. To book, visit Kenwood Travel.
- Spend five nights at Fairmont The Palm, from £2,717 total based on two adults and one child sharing. Price includes half board room, Fairmont Heritage Room King and return flights from London Gatwick. Book up until 23rd February. To book, visit Kenwood Travel.
- Spend five nights at Centara Mirage Beach Resort, from £729pp based on two adults and two children sharing. Price includes all inclusive, Family Room Double and return flights from London Gatwick. Children up to 11 years old eat and stay free between 9th and 21stFebruary. Travel between 19th to 27th February. Book up until 31st January. To book, call 0208 972 8949 or visit Emirates Holidays.
For more information about Dubai, visit visitdubai.com.