Planning a Family Trip to Dubai

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Would you think of Dubai, the UAE metropolis known as a Middle Eastern playground for the rich and famous, for your next family vacation? The city may be known for its night life and exclusivity, but as it is quickly becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world, you'll find plenty of attractions for all ages on a family trip to Dubai. From stunning beaches to amazing man-made attractions, you'll have the time of your lives on your Dubai vacation. Here are some ideas to help you start planning.



Things to do in Dubai with your family

Aquaventure
: Everything in Dubai is done in a big way, and this water park is no exception. Sure Aquaventure has pools and water slides like any other water park, but it's also got a private beach, some of the tallest, longest water slides you've ever braved, and sharks. It's the perfect place to beat the heat on your Dubai family vacation.

Ski Dubai: The water is a great way to get out of the heat (which can reach the 120's Fahrenheit!), but snow is better! Ski Dubai is the Middle East's first indoor ski resort, with five slopes of varying difficulty and a 3000 square meter snow park. It may be oppressively hot outside, but the temperature inside hovers just below freezing. You'll need basic skiing skills before you can take to the slopes here, but lessons are available for first-timers.

Burj Khalifa: In January 2010, the Burj Khalifa opened to the public as the tallest building in the world, standing 2,625 feet high. Purchase tickets to the124th-floor observation deck for incredible views from the top of the Dubai skyline. The Burj Khalifa is a must see on your family trip to Dubai -- really, you can't miss it!

Balloon Adventures Dubai: The only better views of Dubai than you can get from the Burj Khalifa are from the sky. Take your family high above the majestic city on a hot air balloon ride that will thrill and impress everyone.

Where to stay on your family trip to Dubai

Atlantis, The Palm: This Dubai resort is situated on Palm Jumeirah, a majestic man-made island paradise. The super-luxe Atlantis is home to the Aquaventure water park, The Lost Chambers and Ambassadors Lagoon, where the myth of Atlantis comes to life, Dolphin Bay, where guests can swim with dolphins, and many more marine-themed attractions for all ages.

Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa: This contemporary high-rise Dubai hotel overlooks the inviting waters of the Arabian Gulf. Grownups can take advantage of the hotel's world class spa facilities while kids enjoy daily activities with the Kid's Club.

Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates: You'll be right in the heart of the city when you choose the Kempinski Hotel for your family trip to Dubai. Adjacent to Ski Dubai, this hotel bills itself as a luxury alpine retreat -- modeled as your desert winter wonderland.

Things you should know before your family trip to Dubai

When you travel to Dubai, you are visiting an Arab country, and even visitors are expected to conform to certain customs. Western attire is fine for beaches, nightclubs, and in most hotels, but when you are out in the city, dress conservatively.

You will likely find Dubai much hotter than you're accustomed to -- pack lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers most of your skin.

The weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday and most local businesses are only open half a day on Thursday. However, shopping malls and most stores are open seven days a week and some stay open as late as 11 p.m.

In Dubai, the residential electricity is 220 V AC, 50 Hz. You will need a voltage converter if you are planning to plug any Western appliances in, like cell phones or MP3 players.

Restaurants in Dubai add a service charge to your bill, so tipping is not expected; however, you are expected to (generously!) tip your hotel bellhops.
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