Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo

Best family hotels in Dubai for a sun-soaked holiday

With ample beaches, world-class attractions and epic shopping malls, the emirate has lots to offer for the entire family. Here’s our guide to the best family hotels in Dubai to help you plan your trip. 

By Rebecca Roberts | Last updated Jul 5, 2022

Best family hotels in Dubai

Family and hospitality are two significant values in the Emirati community, and as a result, the United Arab Emirates on the whole is considered a family-friendly country.

While the city of Dubai is famed for being expensive and lavish, tourists visiting here may be surprised to find lots of family-focused activities and things to do across the emirate. 

From palm-fringed beaches like The Beach at JBR and Kite Beach, to huge shopping malls filled with world-class attractions like Ski Dubai and Dubai Aquarium, and award-winning theme parks and water parks like Dubai Parks and Resorts, Aquaventure and Wild Wadi - there’s enough to do in this expanding city to entertain young minds. 

And if you really want to treat yourselves, a ride on the world’s largest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, and a trip to At The Top of Burj Khalifa areworth your while. 

To help you plan your trip, we’ve handpicked some of the most recommended hotels for families by Mumsnetters to bring you this roundup of the best family-friendly hotels in Dubai. 

What are Dubai's best family-friendly hotels?

  1. Best overall: Atlantis, The Palm on Palm Jumeirah
  2. Best budget: JA Beach Hotel, Jebel Ali
  3. Best all-inclusive: Rixos The Palm Hotel, Palm Jumeirah
  4. Best 5*: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah
  5. Best for theme parks: Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts

1. Best overall: Atlantis, The Palm on Palm Jumeirah

Atlantis The Palm

Atlantis, The Palm | Check availability

“Has a couple of pools, beach right there and the water park [is] onsite [and] is free to guests. Mine toddled in small kids water fountains etc. It's expensive if not on site as small ones don't want to stay all day but good if [you’re] in [the] hotel as [you] can go in unlimited for however long. Also has onsite aquarium.” Recommended by Artandco

The award-winning Atlantis, The Palm is set on the outer crescent of Palm Jumeirah - one of the city’s several man-made islands. This shimmering pink palace overlooks the Arabian Gulf, and its sea-theme is deeply rooted throughout. 

Aside its clubs for children and teenagers, young guests will also enjoy access to a specially-designed playground, play areas, shallow pools and child-friendly water slides, and an abundance of evening entertainment. And for nights where you fancy some adult-only time, the hotel offers a professional babysitting service. 

The hotel also offers a daily ‘Meet the Experts’ programme, designed for young, inquisitive minds, which offers kids the chance to meet the hotel’s team of aquarists, divers, and caretakers of the 65,000 marine animals and habitats in the hotel’s own aquarium, The Lost Chambers

Let’s not forget the hotel is home to the famous Aquaventure Waterpark (access is free and unlimited when you stay in the hotel), plus over 20+ onsite dining establishments, including Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, and the award-winning Nobu. 

Rooms are spacious and usually interconnecting, so you’re bound to find accommodation here that’s suitable for your family.

2. Best budget: JA Beach Hotel, Jebel Ali

JA Beach Hotel

JA Beach Hotel | Check availability

“The JA Beach Hotel is in a similar area and also has big 2 bed apartments.” Recommended by notasausage.

Situated on JA The Resort, the JA Beach Hotel offers visitors an affordable option. It has its own private marina and lush hotel gardens filled with plant life and wildlife. Parents have access to the hotel’s creche and kids club, and there’s a shooting club, equestrian centre, tennis academy, mini golf, watersports, and seven swimming pools - so the kids won’t find themselves bored during your stay here. 

Due to its location, the resort is around a 40 minute drive from Dubai International Airport - and a 45 minute drive in the opposite direction to Abu Dhabi’s famous Yas Island. On days when you’d like to venture out, JA Beach Hotel offers daily shuttle buses into the city. It’s just a short 10 minute drive to Dubai Marina and approximately 20 minutes to Mall of the Emirates and Madinat Jumeirah.

3. Best all-inclusive: Rixos The Palm Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

Rixos the palm

Rixos The Palm Hotel | Check availability

“Atlantis would be fun for kids that age or the Rixos if you dont mind being far out from the central attractions (fortunately its 10min from the Atlantis, so they could go to that water park/ aquarium etc).” Recommended by OnlyFoolsnMothers.

This multi award-winning family beach destination is located on the Palm Jumeirah, and offers panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai Marina, and the Palm Jumeirah itself. Thanks to its prime location, some of the emirate's most popular attractions are just a short distance away like Aquaventure, Nakheel Mall, The Pointe and the hidden gem that is Club Vista Mare. 

Families travelling with younger children will benefit from the hotel’s kids club, which offers a variety of entertainment and leisure activities - including access to their own private swimming pool. Kids can enjoy magic shows, cooking classes, handicrafts, treasure hunts, pool games, talent shows, and so much more. There’s even a children’s movie theatre, an amphitheatre, a disco, seascape painting, and archaeological digs. 

Rooms are spacious and all have unparalleled views. If you’d like something a bit more roomy, the hotel offers suites that are sure to fit the entire family comfortably. 

4. Best 5* family hotel: Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah

jumeirah beach hotel

Jumeirah Beach Hotel | Check availability

“The Jumeirah group have lovely hotels. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel is the one more geared to families.” Recommended by Mookie81.

This iconic hotel has always been famed for how family-friendly it is. This 5*, luxury hotel has its own private beach, features over 10 restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, and residents have unlimited access to Jumeirah’s own Wild Wadi Waterpark. The resort offers incredible views of Burj Al Arab, its neighbouring hotel, and is a short 10 minute walk to the nearby Madinat Jumeirah.

You can choose from hotel rooms, suites and villas to find an option that suits your family’s needs. Understandably though, the larger the room, the bigger the price tag - and this popular family hotel in Dubai is known for being more expensive than other options.

Unsurprising, though, when you take into consideration the facilities and activities you have access to while staying here. Especially as the hotel has been recently renovated and so public spaces, rooms and some of the restaurants are all brand new.

Little ones between the ages of 2 and 12 will no doubt enjoy the resort’s kids club, which offers activities like balloon bending, arts and crafts, kite building, a jungle gym board games, gaming, trampoline, and more.

5. Best hotel for theme parks: Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts

Lapita dubai

Lapita | Check availability

“Also, look at the Lapita Resort in Dubai Parks & Resorts, you get free access to Lego Land, Lego Land water park, the Bollywood theme park and the Motiongate theme park.” Recommended by CrazyExIngenue.

Situated within the Dubai Parks and Resorts complex is Lapita, a family-friendly hotel that is just a stone’s throw away from the nearby theme parks. It’s a Polynesiam themed hotel, and offers over 500+ spacious rooms, suites, and villas with private balconies and terraces. There are four dining options to choose from and a number of spa and wellbeing facilities to enjoy after a long day at the parks. 

Riverland, Legoland Water Park, Legoland, Motiongate, and Bollywood Parks are all just a short walk away from Lapita, and it’s the only hotel located within the theme park resort. Jumeirah Lake Towers and Dubai Marina are just a short 10 to 15 minute drive away from the resort, so if you want to venture elsewhere in the city, you have the metro close by. 

6. Best hotel in walking distance to attractions: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina

le royal meridien

Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa | Check availability

“Probably the presidential suite at le royal meridien in Dubai. We had a butler called Lionel. Every room in the suite was filled with white roses. It was very nice.” Recommended by MrsBungle

If you’re seeking somewhere to stay that means less public transport, and more sunshine, then you should consider Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. 

This huge hotel resort is located at the edge of Dubai Marina and is just a short, two minute walk from the beach, JBR and Dubai Marina, and is walking distance to the metro when you want to explore other parts of the city on foot. A stay here means you have Bluewaters Island and Ain Dubai on your doorstep, as well as Skydive Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah and Emirates Golf Club.

There’s a supervised family kids club that’s dedicated to entertaining and engaging younger guests. Kids from 4 to 12 years old will enjoy things like mask-making, junk sculpture, arts and crafts, games, and more - all while you enjoy relaxing poolside. There’s also crazy golf and beach volleyball on offer as activities you can enjoy as a family.

7. Best for brunches: The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina

westin mina seyahi dubai

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi | Check availability

“I've stayed at the Westin on the marina loads and it's always looked nice for the kids too, the pool is great.” Recommended by KimchiLaLa.

Similar to its neighbouring hotel Le Royal Meridien, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi is a 5* beach resort that is in a prime location. With a stunning five resort pools, 550 yards of private beach, eight restaurants, and a Jungle Play waterpark that’s complimentary for guests, there’s plenty to do for the entire family. 

The hotel is walking distance to Dubai Marina and metro stops, and is just a short drive away from Jumeirah Lake Towers and Emirates Hills. You’re also closer to Palm Jumeirah here, as well as Mall of the Emirates and Madinat Jumeirah. If you venture in a little more inland, you'll come across a hidden gem, Dubai Miracle Garden, that is a great place to visit with kids in tow and is a beautiful butterfly garden with stunning floral displays. 

Be warned though, nearby Barasti Beach is loved by party-goers, and evenings here can get particularly busy on a weekend as both residents and tourists flock to the popular beach bar. You may catch a glimpse of the party from your sun lounger in The Westin - but with babysitting services available on request, you can always go and join the party, too. 

The Westin is also home to one of the most famous weekend brunches in Dubai. The hotel's Bubbalicious brunch spans its three restaurants, providing an array of international cuisine. Plus, with ample children's entertainment and play areas, it's hailed as one of the emirate's best family brunches in Dubai. 

It’s also worth mentioning that kids stay free with an adult in the room (under 12 years old), and you may even be lucky enough to grab a 50% discount on a second, adjoining room for your kids to sleep in. 

8. Best for a private beach: Caesars Palace, Bluewaters Island

Caesars palace dubai

Caesars Palace | Check availability

Nestled on Dubai’s Bluewaters Island, Caesars Palace sits along a pristine, 550 yard private beach and serves guests, young and old, with an unconventional playground of family-friendly activities and iconic hospitality. 

Families are recommended to stay in the family-fun Julius Tower, but there’s also the energetic Palace Tower to choose from. Suites in the Julius Tower offer a blend of comfort and fun, and access to the hotel’s kids and teens club is within easy reach. Younger guests can enjoy two outdoor temperature-controlled pools, beach activities, and dining entertainment. 

Ain Dubai is right next door - and it’s worth booking a ride on the world’s largest observation wheel. Other attractions like IMG World of Adventures, The Green Planet, Dubai Opera and Burj Khalifa are all within a 30 minute drive away from the hotel. 

Venturing out of the hotel, Bluewaters Island also offers plenty of dining options and The Beach at JBR is also within walking distance, offering panoramic views of Dubai Marina. 

9. Best in Downtown Dubai: Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Downtown Dubai

sofiten downtown dubai

Sofitel Dubai Downtown | Check availability

“We went to Sofitel on the palm island. Really nice hotel and great pool for the babies and young kids. My Ds wants to go back.” Recommended by user1474462227.

Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, and connected to The Dubai Mall, this family-friendly option blends urban sophistication with refined luxury. For guests seeking a balance of city vibes and beach relaxation, a complimentary shuttle bus is available to nearby Kite Beach.

The hotel provides easy access to Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s Museum of the Future, the Dubai Fountains, Souk Al Bahar, and City Walk. In fact, as it’s connected to The Dubai Mall, just a few steps out of the hotel will lead you to the famous Dubai Aquarium and the mall’s huge indoor ice rink. Not forgetting the 1,200+ luxury and designer retail stores and 200 food and beverage outlets available. 

For guests aged 4 to 12 years old, the hotel offers the brightly themed Le Petit Prince Kids Club located on the hotel’s fifth floor. Story books, toys, and various games are sure to keep younger guests endlessly entertained. 

Far from other beachside resorts listed, Sofitel Dubai Downtown offers pools with a unique view of Downtown Dubai and its skyscrapers, and of course, a stunning view of the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa. 

10. Best luxury family hotel: The Ritz-Carlton, JBR

The ritz carlton dubai

The Ritz-Carlton | Check availability

Nothing spells luxury quite like ‘The Ritz’, and this one located in Dubai’s JBR exceeds your expectations. Centrally located and nestled on its own private beach, The Ritz-Carlton offers all you want from a secluded getaway but is still steps away from popular attractions like JBR’s The Walk, Bluewaters Island and Dubai Marina.

Designed to emulate the low-rise buildings of the Mediterranean, the luxury resort features sea-facing guest rooms and suites with incredible views of the Arabian Gulf, a dedicated Club Lounge, a wealth of culinary experiences, and leisure facilities that offer something for every family member. 

As far as kids clubs go, The Ritz-Carlton offers a programme that allows young guests to discover the UAE with their own eyes. The hotel’s family-friendly program features activities based on four concepts - water, land, environmental responsibility and culture. Suitable for guests aged 4 to 12 years old, they can enjoy art and crafts, play areas, sand castle making, and much more. 

Babysitting is also on request, so if you fancy a night to yourselves enjoying one of the many dining options available nearby, at least you know your little one is in safe hands. 

Is Dubai suitable for families?

Combine the Emirati values of family and hospitality, and the result is a country that is naturally family-friendly. 

Arguably, as a younger city, Dubai has been designed with families in mind since hundreds and thousands of expatriate families have chosen to make this destination their home over the last few decades. 

Speak to any expat living here and they'll of course answer “yes” to whether Dubai is a suitable destination for families. But as with any holiday location, there are pros and cons of travelling here with your family and it’s up to you to decide whether it’s the right place for your next trip together. 

When is the best (and worst) time to travel to Dubai?

This sun-soaked desert city is an excellent choice for a family holiday due to year round hot weather. But it’s up to you to decide how hot is too hot for you. 

October to March are the coolest months, offering up a great place for your winter destination holiday. Winter temperatures are as low as 19°C between December and January, and arguably the best time to visit with children. 

Be mindful of booking a trip in February to April, though, as the emirate has a habit of cloud-seeding to entice rainfall. It’s great when you’re living there and you crave some rain, but as a Brit abroad? It’s the last thing you want. 

May is when the mercury really starts to rise and in June, July, and August, you’re looking at highs of 50°C. Then with September comes a lot of humidity. 

Should you travel to Dubai during Ramadan?

When booking, it’s worth checking when the Holy Month of Ramadan falls. The month moves forward by 15 or so days every year. These days, restrictions during the Holy Month have relaxed, so a stay here during Ramadan shouldn’t be too much of a challenge with children. 

Instead, it’s worth knowing as there are cultural norms and etiquette that should be observed throughout the Holy Month and as a tourist, it’s a nice opportunity to experience Iftar, visit one of the many shopping malls and witness the Dubai Police cannons located throughout the emirate. 

Is Dubai safe for families?

In terms of safety, Dubai is an incredibly safe holiday destination to travel to with families. Incidents of petty theft and any incidents against tourists or families are extremely rare. In fact, the UAE has frequently been placed as one of the safest countries to visit in the world. 

Do I need to rent a car in Dubai?

If you’re brave enough to face driving on a 12 lane-wide motorway at speeds of 80+ mph, renting a car could be a suitable option. Rental companies offer an array of options to choose from, and you can rent baby and toddler car seats for a little bit extra per week. 

But if driving isn’t for you, you can get around the emirate easily via public transport if you stick to the main routes and destinations. Public transport is affordable here. For taxis, you can use the emirate’s national taxi service, RTA, for cheaper rates. Or for a few extra Dirhams - and a bit more luxury - you can easily book a private cab through apps like Uber or Careem. 

Depending on where you stay, you may be within walking distance to or a short drive away from the Dubai Metro. There’s also the Dubai Tram in Dubai Marina and the Dubai Trolley in Downtown Dubai to help you get around these popular locations. Riding gold class on the Dubai Metro is a must, and definitely an easy, cheap fun thing to do with kids in tow. It's worth mentioning that Dubai Metro also offer women and children only cabins, too. 

What is the time difference between the UK and Dubai?

Despite being a seven hour flight away, Dubai only has a three or four-hour time difference from GMT depending on the time of year. Meaning minimal jet lag for you all.

Where is best to stay in Dubai with kids?

When choosing your hotel, it’s wise to consider transportation links nearby. There’s a reason why locations like Dubai Marina, JBR, Downtown Dubai, and Palm Jumeirah prove popular with tourists every year - and it’s because they’re some of the most well-connected places in the emirate. 

JBR is a superb spot for families as you have Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Bluewaters Island, JLT all within walking distance or a very short drive. Plus, there’s access to The Beach as well as the many, many dining outlets - hello Cheesecake Factory! - and shops along the promenade that we’re sure you’ll love to wander through on an evening. 

What is the most iconic hotel in Dubai?

Burj Al Arab of course. This luxury hotel is the world’s first, self-proclaimed 7* hotel and is the epitome of indulgence and Arabian opulence. 

Don’t be fooled, though. While it might be a 7* luxury hotel, there’s are things to do for children and families here. Including a visit to the hotel’s Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary (this is a must), as well as Wild Wadi Waterpark and a dedicated kids club. 

Is Dubai expensive to visit for families?

Flights can be expensive depending on what time of year you travel, and unless you’re okay with a standard double room, you’re looking at spending a bit more for some extra space to fit you all. 

When it comes to food options, there are thousands of dining outlets and brands to choose from across the emirate. From your low-budget, Western fast-food brands, to mid-range local cuisine restaurants and buffets, to your more expensive a la carte offerings and luxury restaurants.

With this in mind, lots of Mumsnetter’s recommend booking and paying for all inclusive in your Dubai hotel resort to remove the hassle of trying to budget for your meals and drinks each day. 

What are the best flights to Dubai for families?

When booking your flights, unless your children are older and could handle a transfer, it’s best to select a direct flight. Emirates is the most popular airline here, and their cabin crew are brilliant with babies and young children. In fact, you may even leave your flight with a photograph in hand as a memory of your experience. 

Virgin and British Airways also offer flights, and are both great options if you’re travelling from London or Manchester. 

Must-visit attractions in Dubai

As mentioned, there’s endless possibilities for fun with the kids here. From the unusual Museum of Illusions in Al Seef, to the jaw-dropping views of a ride on Ain Dubai, it will be easy to fill your schedule with things to do. Just don’t forget to allow for some sunbathing and pool time! 

Here’s some of the top, must-visit attractions in Dubai to add to your list of things to do:

Do’s and don’ts when visiting Dubai

As an Islamic country, a more modest code of behaviour is required when visiting the UAE. Although these days, many would argue that the majority of tourists and expats don’t observe them as strictly as they should - particularly in Dubai. 

Despite this, there are a few etiquette do’s and don’ts to be wary of. Including avoiding public displays of affection, no bad language or obscene gestures in public, and absolutely no use or possession of drugs. 

When it comes to dress code, you’ll often see exceptions, but a good rule of thumb to follow is modest dressing. Cover your shoulders, cleavage and legs above the knees when in public areas, and away from the beach or pool. Oh, and topless bathing is illegal. 

Another thing worth noting is that it’s illegal to be drunk in public. Despite what those images and stories on Instagram may show, being inebriated in the emirate can lead you to being fined, or worse, imprisoned. It’s always best to have your wits about you. 

Lastly, taking photographs of another individual without their consent is unacceptable and considered highly offensive. Photographs of government buildings, mosques or military installations are also huge no-nos. 

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations by real parents

Before choosing any destination for our roundups, we first consult the Mumsnet forums. With over 10 million users per month, there’s a lot of suggestions by real parents who have been there, done that when travelling to Dubai with the family. 

We’ve also picked the brains of our resident ex-UAE expat, Rebecca, to provide you with a detailed guide and advice on where to stay with the kids in the emirate, the best places to see, and even tips on some of the unusual activities you may enjoy with the little ones in tow. 

Expert guidance and traveller reviews

After we’ve collated our hotel picks, we then turn to the experts and consult the likes of TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia to see what their recommendations include for family holidays here. 

Here we’ll also check what travellers are saying about the UAE on these sites, taking into consideration both the positive and negative points of their trip to bring you a well-rounded and honest guide. 

Celebrated hotels

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best Dubai hotels for families that had won the most awards and recommendations across the board. We feel there’s something here for everyone, to suit every budget.

Why should you trust us?

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

;