On the few occasions that Dubai has ever come up in conversation, I have to admit that I’ve always pictured young couples on honeymoon, luxurious hotels and an intense heat that means you spend the whole holiday floating on an inflatable with a cocktail in your hand. It’s just never crossed my mind that it could be a destination that a child would enjoy. It was only when I recently joined in with a Twitter party hosted by @tots100 and @visitdubai_uk (#DXBDreams) that I found myself extremely excited by the prospect of taking our 4-year old there for a holiday. Fellow bloggers were tweeting about the things they’ve done whilst on holiday in Dubai, and it all sounded wonderful. In fact I was so inspired that I found myself browsing hotels and attractions on travel agency websites, and had to remind myself that we weren’t in a position to press the ‘book now’ button.
The first thing that I know our daughter would absolutely love, is a day spent on Kite Beach. She has been asking about ‘mummy’s old kite’ leaning up against the coat rack for a good few months now, and a few weeks ago we actually had enough wind for her to take it out. Seeing her run around shouting ‘Look! It’s flying, it’s flying!’ with a high-pitched, over excited voice was such a wonderful reminder that children love even the most basic things. The fact that Kite Beach also boasts outdoor trampolines, a play area, and a chance to collect shells is just the icing on the cake. I would have to remember to pack an extra suitcase for all the ‘treasure’ she would want to bring back though. We recently spent two nights on a pebble beach in Selsey, and have two buckets full of shells and stones that simply had to come home with us.
The second place I think we would all love to visit is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Now I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with aquariums after I did a sponsored shark-dive for charity – despite having a massive fear of water! The sharks didn’t actually bother me. I was hugely uncomfortable with the way my lips shrivelled with the taste of salt water, that every breath in the mask felt unnatural and forced, and that I couldn’t simply say ‘get me out!’ I distinctly remember looking at my husband through the thick wall of glass which made up the tank, and staring into his eyes as he looked back at me with that look – he just knew I was hating it. I would personally love to visit the Dubai Aquarium so that I could put that terrified memory to rest, and replace it with the wonderful feeling you get when you see your child experience something wonderful for the first time. Our daughter would stare at the world’s largest suspended tank simply waiting for a mermaid to swim past, or skip through the 48-metre tunnel trying to count every fish. It would be a fantastic relief from the midday heat, and a beautiful way to introduce our little lady to life under the sea. One thing is for sure though – mummy won’t be going for a snorkel or scuba dive this time!
Having taken our first trip to a theme park when our daughter was just under 3 years old, I think she is definitely ready to experience something on a much larger scale. The new IMG Worlds of Adventure looks right up our street, and I can’t wait to see some more photos once the place opens in a few months. It sounds absolutely amazing, and I’m sure we would spend at least a few hours in the Cartoon Network zone – especially on The Ride of Ooo with Finn & Jake. I love that theme parks offer a safe, fun and jam-packed break from reality, although I’d want to make sure we all got a good night’s sleep beforehand. Theme parks are always so exhausting!
I don’t think any trip to Dubai would be complete without at least one visit to Madinat Jumeirah, although if I had it my way I think this is where our hotel would be located! The resort just looks utterly incredible, and I can happily see myself floating down the waterway on a traditional abra, as I build up an appetite for lunch. Our daughter would be happy talking about all the sights, sounds and smells and I would love to take her to an Arabian spice market so she can see all the different ingredients we talk about in the kitchen. Every photo I’ve looked at looks truly beautiful. I can almost smell the cinnamon already.
The wonderful thing about holidays through the eyes of a 4-year old is that they honestly don’t really mind where you are or what you do. There is still so much for them to see and learn and I believe the sooner they can appreciate other cultures the better. Everywhere is a new experience for young children, but I can see now that Dubai would be a truly amazing place for a family holiday.
This post is my entry to the Tots100/Dubai Dreams blogger challenge. Why not share your own Dubai Dreams for a chance to win a holiday of your own. The best reader comment on the winning blog post will also win their own family break, so comment below and keep those fingers crossed!