It was our 2nd family trip, and we planned it as a surprise gift for the kids so the excitement level was super high. The best time to visit UAE is during winter between October through April. You will be guaranteed with blue clear skies, refreshing weather, perfect for outdoors, and a slightly chilly nights.
United Arab Emirates (or UAE) has long been on my mind since I last visited it almost 5 years ago. It's an amazing place, full with lots of out-of-this-world attractions.
I can’t say I have been disappointed. Hence, sharing with you our personal family trip!
Thanks to our amazing and smooth 1st time experience with #emirates airlines. First of all, they have a very attentive, professional, & staff,. Very comfortable seats and amenities. Second of all, they're extremely family oriented! They provided a variety of fun entertainment from the coloring books, to the cute gifts, and last but not least to the tasty and fullfining food trays.
I personally believe, #happykids = #happyparents and It was such a pleasurable experience that I had to share it with you!
It's a great destination for a city escape, a perfectly family oriented place packed full of fun activities for the kids, guaranteed with lots of fresh air and outdoor adventures!
Due to the lack of time, Christmas occasion, and family gatherings we couldn't see all of AL-Ain sites. And trust me, there's a lot to see (which hopefully we will be able to cover if we ever had the opportunity to visit again.)
One thing my kids enjoyed the most is the open space to bike, and run add up to the endless FREE PUBLIC parks.
A very important spot that we terribly lack in Lebanon.
However, for now I'll be sharing with you the places we had the pleasure to visit and enjoy.
Jebal Hafeet & Green Mubazzarah
Green Mubazzarah: A hot spring oasis found at the foot of Jebel Hafeet. A huge public park with stretches of greenery that is a stark contrast to the surrounding desert. We had a quick stop here and my little ones were mind blown!
It has recently renamed itself due to its expansion to include a safari (additional charges apply) as well as on-site lodgings. The spacious enclosures are inhabited by some indigenous and exotic species such as the Nile Crocodile, Arabian Oryx, the big-horned Barbary sheep, rhinos, giraffes, tigers and lions and much more...
Our other fascinating but very quick experience was visiting "Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre". It is a sustainably built multimedia exhibition that features 5 interactive galleries: Sheikh Zayed Tribute Hall, Abu Dhabi's Desert over Time, Abu Dhabi's Living World, People of the Desert and Looking to the Future; a variety of cafes and restaurants and a Children Discovery Garden, among others! If not for lack of time we could have definity stayed much longer.
Ticket: 50 Dhs / adults. 20 Dhs / child.
(Expect a long que during high season).
Estimated time around 2hrs +
Hili Archaeological Park
Hili Archaeological Park is an amazing combination of archaeological sites and a huge public park designated only for families!!. This is one of the four UNESCO World Heritage in Al Ain. The main attraction here is the Hili Grand Tomb, constructed in a circular fashion and dates back to 2000 BC.
But my little ones were mostly facinicaed by the huge open space, the endless greenery, the variety of trees and flowers offering lots of shades and adding an extra comfort and scents to this beautiful quiet place.
Tips: Grab your hats, a ball, some light snacks and enjoy this place.
But, Avoid the bathrooms at all costs!
Full Day in Dubai!
We took off at 9:00 a.m and reached our first stop around 11:00 a.m.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The second you reach the entrance door you'll feel the magnificent beauty of this place. Our very first impression was, "What a creative man-made Masterpiece!" It is so breathtaking! The dedication & perfection of all the displays can't be described.
You have to see it and experience it to feel it.
Flower lovers this is a great destination to spend your time. It is a beautiful serene garden laid out optimally. The displays are great and very innovative- from horses- airplanes - twirling ladies -a lovely swan to a majestic castle and,of course, wonderful flower displays. culminating in a superb heart shaped walkway with many heart arches. You can easily stroll through the garden which has several seating zones scattered strategically across the plan. The seating variety from benches, swings, hammocks, etc... offers you the space and comfort to enjoy the beauty of this place. Our favorite spot was the benches under a gazebo facing the fountains, the kids enjoyed the swings facing the flower studded Emirates plane and my daughter loved the oversized round bed swings tucked behind a canopy of trees and twinkling lights.
There are ample food options. The grounds as well as facilities are well maintained.
Entrance fees: 55 Dhs / Adults and 44 Dhs / Child.
We took an estimated time of 2 hours to cover it all, however, if we weren't squeezed with time we could have definitely spent hours indulging in this absolute beauty.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Located at @thedubaimall the largest mall in the world, offering a memorable journey for the whole family!
Unfortunately we went on the opening day of Dubai Shopping festival; thus the mall was extremely overcrowded and we had to wait inline for 45 minutes to purchase our tickets
205DHs/Person (covering both Aquarium and the Zoo!) Hence, sharing with you my personal review:
* Aquarium: It's a very small tunnel that you will get done in 5- 10 minutes and it's the same fish/ creatures that you would otherwise see from outside the mall area. However, it is a very fascinating experience to stroll through the pedestrian tunnel and watch a stingray floating right above you... or a shark next to you, or to see some divers swimming inside the tank!
Kids were mind blown with such a close up sea life experience!!
The Zoo on the other hand was simply a brilliant experience. It has a really interesting diversity and a mix variety of different colorful creatures such as: beavers, otters, lots of reptiles and amphibians, freshwater fish as well as salt.
Piranhas, crabs, water rats, sea horses, jellyfish and plenty more! The king Nile crocodile was creepily awesome too.
We couldn't stop taking pictures at each of the 'tanks'. You can easily spend up to 3-4 hours but like most attractions in #Dubai it’s better to get there earlier especially in high season and expect a long queue for ticket purchasing.
All in all it's a very fascinating, educational, and mind stimulating experience especially for the kids! .
Dubai Dancing Fountains
A big crystal clear man-made lake with the world’s tallest building as the spectacular backdrop, is the mesmerising Dubai Fountain Show. They run every half hour for about ten minutes in the evening and there are two shows during the day.
We got to see the city by the night and enjoy rays of endless lights before ending our long day trip in Dubai.
(Bawadi Mall and Al-Ain Mall).