Emirates Miracle Garden

Dubai with kids

For Easter this year we headed to Dubai with the kids. We stayed at some amazing properties, did some wonderful things and created lifelong memories together.  It’s an amazing destination for couples and families alike so here’s my top tips and family hotels we loved… enjoy!

Disclaimer: although all the pictures are of us all smiling and having the best time, traveling with young children is no joke! There were times of getting cross, irritated and even tears. Just keeping it real here you know?!

DubAI with kids

  1. Travel time from the UK is just 7 hours (from Gatwick & 6h55 from Heathrow) and Emirates offer a wide variety of departure times. We chose to fly the daytime flight (both ways) and it worked really well as we arrived in (Dubai) the evening and had a good sleep before starting the next day.
  2. Time difference (over Easter) was just 3 hours ahead of UK so it meant that we could have meals out in the evenings and kids slept later in the mornings which is blissful! The boys generally went to sleep around 10:30/11pm Dubai time (which is 7:30/8pm UK time) and woke around 9:30/10am each morning. By the end of the trip they had adjusted to Dubai time and were going to sleep around 9:30pm and waking at 8am. Still good times to enjoy meals out in the evenings.
  3. If you’ve never flown with Emirates I encourage you to try them. The service is amazing and you get complimentary strollers in the airport which, when you have a tired 3 year old who weighs 16kgs, is so useful as they can be pushed around. The boys also got activity packs which helps on the flight.
  4. When traveling with kids, it’s easier to include breakfast in the hotel price. Kids are hungry early and don’t want to mission around looking for hideaway cafes for breakfast (as much as that’s totally our vibe!)
  5. Miracle Garden was a great day out with the boys. It’s only open seasonally as it’s flowers & plants and they don’t survive in the summer, obviously! Lots to see and do and would recommend a half day trip. We did it when we were staying at Palace Downtown and it took about 25 minutes by taxi.
  6. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater ZooDubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo in the Dubai Mall is a great activity for the family. We did the penguin experience with the boys which they loved. You can spend the whole day there as your ticket allows you to come & go throughout the day so I suggest you go in the morning so you have the whole day to enjoy the experience.

family friendly hotels

palace downtown

Palace DowntownThe Palace Downtown was our first stop. We had the royal suite and included breakfast daily. The positioning of the suite could not have been better; we were on the ground floor, water side so had an uninterrupted front row seat to the Dubai Fountain every evening. The kids absolutely loved it as did we!

This photo is the view from our patio across the Burj Khalifa lake.

Location: perfect for Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa
Star rating: 5
Recommended: absolutely
Good for kids: yes

one & only royal mirage

One & Only MirageOne & Only Royal Mirage was hotel number 2 for us. This property is based very close to The Palm and offers an amazing kids club, private beach and a wide variety of restaurants. We stayed in 2, inter-connected superior deluxe rooms on the ground floor, ocean facing.

I didn’t love the location as there’s a small harbour opposite the beach so not the best views and I think the water is probably a little dirty from all the engines in the water. However, the rooms were great and the family pool was perfect. It even had a little waterslide that meant the boys had such fun swimming and sliding.

The kids club was great (the small interaction we had with them); the boys even received a cap & polo shirt when registered to attend one of the activities. There’s a daily itinerary for kids activities which looked great fun! Kids can even dine with the club before coming back to you you in the evening.

Location: perfect for visiting the Mall of the Emirates
Star rating: 5
Recommended: absolutely
Good for kids: yes

legoland dubai

If you’ve been to Legoland Windsor then you’ll have a small idea of what Legoland Dubai is about. However, Legoland Dubai is quite different. We had booked 2 nights here, but in hindsight we only needed 1 (and actually only stayed 1 night). The park is split into 2 sections; water park & Legoland proper.

Legoland Hotel DubaiThe waterpark is great for the whole family; however it would have been better if Grayson was a little taller as all the rides are based on height. Having said that though, there was 2 areas dedicated to smaller children and he had an absolute ball! Shaun & I took turns taking Tristan to different rides. They were all fantastic and super fun for all of us.

I would highly recommend booking a cabana is you’re going to be in the waterpark the whole day. You pay extra but we found it beneficial as you had a base where bags & towels could be left (and towels not ‘stolen’)!


  1. You can buy a ‘fast pass” to skip queues but found this wouldn’t be necessary (at the time of year we visited)
  2. Tristan was the perfect age (7) as he could go off and explore alone. There are plenty of lifeguards but you must be confident in your child’s’ swimming abilities
  3. You will not be allowed to enter any of the water rides without the proper swimming gear on; so not t-shirts or normal clothes allowed.
  4. Buy pool shoes as the ground is quite rough and both our boys had really sore feet by the end

Location: perfect for visiting Motiongate
Star rating: Not rated
Recommended: I personally don’t feel you need to spend a night there, however 1 night max if necessary
Good for kids: absolutely


Grosvenor House Dubai with kidsGrosvenor House is located in the Dubai marina and was a laundry stop for us! We have actually stayed here before so knew the best kept secret in Dubai… Sloane’s! We needed to visit again whilst we visited Dubai with kids this time! Non-negotiable! Sloane’s is open for all meals through the day, however we only went for dinner on our arrival day and breakfast the next morning.

I am not the biggest fan of buffet however, Sloane’s knows how to do it perfectly. There’s literally everything available and nothing is too much trouble for them! You don’t have to stay in the hotel to visit Sloane’s but you have to book.

Grosvenor House poolGrosvenor House’s amazing location at the Dubai Marina means you can walk to the marina for a wide variety of dining options and (of course) great shopping. The hotel itself is in the form of apartments so a great base for families needing cooking & laundry facilities. I need to point out at this stage they have the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in!

Location: perfect for visiting the Dubai Marina
Star rating: 5 star
Recommended: yes
Good for kids: yes

atlantis, the palm

Atlantis, The Palm (probably) needs little to no introduction. It’s location is one of a kind and the facilities… so many that we didn’t even get to explore them all.

Our main reason for choosing Atlantis, The Palm was because of the Aquaventure waterpark. When you stay at the hotel you get complimentary daily access to the park and there are regular buggies to take you the short distance to and from the park.

We stayed in interleading queen ocean view rooms which were great. We were on the 22nd floor with views over the gulf which was so impressive. The resort is a destination by itself and when we go back to Dubai with the kids, we will definitely spend time here again.


  1. Buy a fast pass for the waterpark; it gets incredibly busy and having the fast pass means you jump queues which is very useful
  2. Children who are unable to swim must use their life jackets so don’t take your own along
  3. Depending on room type, rather book the imperial club breakfast and avoid the hotel buffet; it’s huge but not impressive
  4. Book childcare before arriving as they require 24 hours notice. But they aren’t allowed to take children into restaurants or swimming; they can only look after kids in their rooms or kids club.
  5. For adults; book any restaurants you want in advance as they get booked up fast. We loved Nobu
  6. There is so much to do that we felt we could have actually spent longer here. My suggestion would be 7 nights
  7. Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen was our least favourite dining experience and the Mexican, En Fuego our favourite.
  8. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at The Royal was definitely not worth it. Nice restaurant and great to visit The Royal but food was average.

Location: perfect for visiting the Aquaventure waterpark
Star rating: 5 star
Recommended: yes
Good for kids: yes


  • When we travel, we like to visit more than 1 property for a variety of reasons including experience, location and amenities.
  • I fully respect that some of these are luxury properties and not suitable to every budget or suitable for each persons taste.
  • These are my experiences expressed in my own words.

Much love xxx


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