If every family member has a different suggestion to the “Where shall we go?” question every time the school hols roll around, you might want to consider a destination that’ll satisfy everyone. Indeed, Dubai has got much more to offer than just The Dubai Mall, the world’s second largest shopping mall. The temperature is a very pleasant 16 to 26 deg C if you visit Dubai ― a 7½-hour flight from Singapore ― during the year-end holiday period, when it’s winter.
After all, where else in the world can you bask by the pool or beach; enjoy water-theme park ride thrills; admire the vast expanse of the Arabian desert; and take ski lessons or go toboggan racing in the snow ― all within a week?
Wear thermal swimwear in winter
A visit to the iconic Palm Jumeirah ― which looks like a giant palm tree from the air and is the world’s largest man-made island ― is a once-in-a -lifetime experience. Staying in glitzy Atlantis The Palm gives you complimentary and unlimited access to the Aquaventure Waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium.
Be warned though that winter water temperatures of 24 to 26 deg C may be a tad too chilly for us Singaporeans, who are more accustomed to swimming in 30 deg C temps. So, thermal swimwear or wetsuits are the order of the day!
Page 1 of 3
Visit the world’s tallest building
A visit to Dubai isn’t complete without checking out the world’s tallest building, the 160-storey 829.8m high Burj Khalifa, as well as The Dubai Mall. Fortunately, since these are next to each other, you can cover both within the same day.
Time your visit right and you can also catch the Dubai Fountain show, the world's largest choreographed fountain system. If shopping is not your kids’ thing ― duh ― a large ice-skating rink and aquarium at The Dubai Mall will pique their interest.
BYO beanie to ski
Visit sand dunes and ski on snow-covered slopes? Yes, you can do both in Dubai! Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort at the Mall of the Emirates that features an 85m-high indoor “mountain” boasting five slopes of varying steepness and difficulty. Sign up for ski lessons and you’ll be enjoying the slopes in no time.
Your kids will also dig the 3,000sq m Snow Park play area located within this attraction. It features sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and even an ice cave. While snow boots, pants, jacket and gloves are provided, you’d want to bring along a beanie or a hoodie to protect your head from the minus 1 deg C chill!
Page 2 of 3
Mind the sand!
Last, going on a desert safari was by far the most memorable part of our trip. We drove across the sand dunes, watched a falcon show, admired a desert sunset, and even enjoyed dinner and entertainment in a Bedouin camp during our half-day tour.
Do pack a windproof jacket as it can become rather chilly when the desert temperatures drop at night. Be warned that you will get sand EVERYWHERE, too. So, before you return to your room, make your kids empty the sand from their pockets, shoes, socks…!
Elaine Goh is mum to Isabel, 6, and Jason Gopal, 9.
Page 3 of 3