Sun setting over The Marina, Dubai
Sun setting over The Marina, Dubai

Our second visit to Dubai was as new parents. We wanted to test the waters of travelling with a baby and with a new direct flight we thought Dubai would be perfect to ease ourselves into it – we were right, it is extremely family friendly.

Who were your travel companions? – Husband and Miss 3 months
How did you get there? – Flights with FlyDubai
What time of year did you travel? – April
Length of stay? – 5 nights
What was the weather like? – Perfect low-30s, lovely time of year to visit.

The Marina, Dubai
Talking a stroll along The Marina, Dubai

STAY

Accommodation – Nuran Serviced Residences
Style (Hotel, Apartment, B&B) – Serviced Apartments
Room type booked – One bedroom apartment
Facilities – Kitchen with dishwasher, washing machine, Wifi, gym, pool, Costa Coffee within the building

Pro’s

  • We loved the location of these apartments. Right on the marina and only a short walk away from the Dubai Marina Mall.
  • The Dubai Marina is a great spot for families with wide walkways snaking around the water and lots of dining options. There are a few overpasses across the water and in these shady spots they have installed some kids play equipment.
  • A short walk away was a metro station – we found this to be an easy option to get around.
  • The room was a good size with a separate bedroom. We took our own travel cot and set it up in the lounge area. We really enjoyed having the balcony, lovely to sit outside and take in the view, cold drink in hand.
  • Having a kitchen and washing machine is always a bonus when travelling with children. Within an easy walk, there was a Carrefour and another supermarket within the Dubai Marina Mall to stock up on snacks and supplies.
  • The pool was a good size and had a separate shallower kids pool. There was a lifeguard on duty during the day.
  • On the ground floor, there is a Costa Coffee

Con’s

  • Limited utensils in the kitchen

Would you stay there again? Yes – always my first choice when we visit.

Coastline views and nap time on-board the ferry from The Marina, Dubai
Coastline views and nap time onboard the ferry from The Marina

My third visit to Dubai was shortly after the birth of my second little traveller and I was travelling back to our Middle Eastern home. I was unable to do this leg solo as I had two children under two, so my Mum kindly travelled with me to Dubai, where we spent a few days exploring.

Cayan Tower at the mouth of The Marina, Dubai
Cayan Tower at the mouth of The Marina, Dubai

Who were your travel companions – Mum, Miss 20 months and Miss 6 weeks
How did you get there – Flights with Emirates from Australia
What time of year did you travel – October
Length of stay – 3 nights
What was the weather like – Hot with high-30s and humid

STAY

Accommodation – Sofitel Dubai Downtown
Style (Hotel, Apartment, B&B) – Hotel
Room type booked –  Premium Luxury Twin Room with Coastline View
Facilities – Twin single beds, wi-fi, and large bathroom with huge bath.

Pro’s

  • The location was good, there is a metro station just across the road and from there you can walk along the footbridge in air-conditioning to the Dubai Mall
  • It was an easy trip to and from the airport
  • We had an early morning arrival into Dubai and a lot of baggage, so I had pre-booked an airport transfer through the hotel and this worked out really well for us. Eliminating this stress upon our arrival was invaluable.
  • The room was a great size with plenty of space for our 2 travel cots and all our luggage (and there was a lot of it!)
  • The bathroom was beautiful with a large freestanding bath and full-length windows with views to the coastline
  • The breakfast buffet was fantastic, with lots of different options to suit everyone. They provided high chairs, children’s plastic bowls and cutlery and a colouring pack.

Con’s

  • There weren’t a lot of easy dining options within the area of the hotel, we had tricky walk across a few roads as there was some construction going on nearby and there were no footpaths. Otherwise, we went into the Dubai Mall
  • The pool was really cold.

Would you stay there again? Yes! Especially if I was in Dubai purely to do some shopping.

Water Fountain within the Dubai Mall
Water Fountain within the Dubai Mall

I dropped Mum at the airport to return to Australia and collected my husband who had just flown into Dubai and would take me the rest of the way home. Sadly the Sofitel weekend rates were a little out of our budget, so we did a hotel swap for the weekend.

Who were your travel companions – Husband, Miss 20 months and Miss 6 weeks
How did you get there – Flights with Emirates from Australia
What time of year did you travel – October
Length of stay – 2 nights
What was the weather like – Hot with high-30s and humid

Swimming pool at Al Murooj Rotana
Taking a break from shopping and cooling down in the pool at Al Murooj Rotana

STAY

Accommodation – Al Murooj Rotana
Style (Hotel, Apartment, B&B) – Hotel
Room type booked – Classic King Room
Facilities – Pool, WiFi

Pro’s

  • The location of the hotel was good. A quick walk across the road (at traffic lights and pedestrian crossings) from the Dubai Mall
  • Easy trip to the airport
  • The pool was a great size, like a lagoon
  • Buffet breakfast had a good selection. No pork products available.

Con’s

  • The room was a tight squeeze with two travel cots and lots of luggage
  • Friday afternoon and into the night, there was a band playing somewhere within the hotel complex that was quite loud – struggled to get the children to settle for afternoon naps.

Would you stay there again? It wouldn’t be my first choice, but would if it met my requirements.

Dubai Fountain
Dubai Fountain

EAT

Could you recommend any restaurants/cafes/bars for eating out with children?

Rainforest Cafe – Watch the jungle come to life while you eat your meal. With sounds, light effects and moving animals there is lots to keep your little traveller entertained.

The Cheesecake Factory – Within the Dubai Mall and opposite the aquarium is The Cheesecake Factory. The food and service are fantastic. The staff were very attentive of the children and when my little traveller was getting restless, they packed up our dessert to take away and enjoy back in our hotel.

Le Pain Quotidien – within the Marina Mall, they offer a beautiful healthy breakfast.

Yo Sushi – for a quick and easy lunch option, a sushi train is perfect.

Dubai Aquarium in Dubai Mall
First aquarium visit – Dubai Aquarium in Dubai Mall

DO

Things to do?

  • To get around, we found the Metro very easy to use. It has stops at both of the large malls so you never have to leave the comfort of the air-conditioning
  • Shopping – so many options! You can easily spend the whole day at the 2 large malls; Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates
    • Dubai Mall has an aquarium, water fountains, The Souk, large food court and KidZania (full of rides, games and entertainment for children)
    • Mall of the Emirates has in the indoor ski park, cinemas and a large food court.
    • In both of these malls, I found dedicated breastfeeding rooms.
The Souk, Dubai Mall
The Souk, Dubai Mall
  • Take a boat ride – Enjoy a different view of the Dubai coastline with a relaxing boat ride from the marina out to Atlantis and back.
  • The aquariums within Dubai Mall and Atlantis are one of my favourite things to do

    Jellyfish at Lost Chambers Aquarium, Atlantis Dubai
    Jellyfish at Lost Chambers Aquarium, Atlantis Dubai
  • Dubai Fountains were spectacular with a water, light and music show. It can get crowded so try to arrive early to get front row views.
  • Waterparks! We went to Aquaventure at Atlantis in October and felt it was a good time of year to visit as it wasn’t too hot. Water slides and areas for all ages. So much fun!
  • The Hop on – Hop off bus was a great way to see the city with the children. It has three different routes to different parts of the city. We visited the older part of Dubai which included the gold and spice souk.
Old Souk and Textile market, Dubai
Old Souk and Textile Market, Dubai

Dubai would be a favourite city of mine to visit. It is very exciting with its amazing architecture, endless entertainment, world class shopping and many delicious eating options. Is it never short of things to do!  Most of all it is very family friendly – children are always welcome. Looking forward to my next visit.

Have you been? We would love to hear about your experiences and always feel free to ask any question below in the comments.

One Comment
  1. It was my first stay in Dubai and I loved everything about my stay Awesome city I’m going back

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