Dubai is a city that stands head and shoulders above many others in its ability to cater to both indoor and outdoor activities, meaning there is no shortage of fun ideas to keep kids busy over the hot summer months.
Whether you’re a resident in Dubai or just visiting, you’re bound to find something here you’re kids will enjoy with this listing of 90+ kid-friendly indoor activities in Dubai.
We’ve broken it down into a few categories and provided you with this handy map you can save to keep track of all your favourites and discover something new:
- Keeping active – indoor sports and recreation in Dubai
- Theme parks in Dubai
- Interactive museums for kids in Dubai
- Indoor animal interactions in Dubai
- Getting wet! Indoor water activities in Dubai
- Edutainment & pretend play centres in Dubai
- Crafty kids activities in Dubai
- Soft play centres in Dubai
- Chill time and fun family cafes in Dubai
- Pampering time for kids in Dubai
- Playing tourist – indoor attractions in Dubai
See the map for locations or keep reading to find out more
Heading down the road to neighbouring city Abu Dhabi? Click here to be taken to our Abu Dhabi Indoor Kids Guide!!
Keeping Active Over Summer – Top Indoor Sports Activities in Dubai
Many centres are multi-purpose, including sporting activities for your older kids and more edutainment/soft play for the younger ones – we have tried to fit them into their best category!
Dubai World Sports
Returning for another summer season at Za’abeel Halls 4, 5, 6, Dubai World Trade Centre, there are over 20 sports to choose from in this fabulous initiative to keep Dubai residents active.
A popular choice with kids is the Ninja Warrior course in the 1500sqm Just Action Area – you can purchase a Just Action Pass for 50 AED an hour, including Rockwall Climbing and other sports such as Parkour and Trapeze.
These entirely indoor seasonal spectacular runs from 1 April to 22 September 2023.
A brand new state-of-the-art football facility located in Ibn Battuta, Precision Football is the perfect place for your football-crazy kids to perfect their game this summer. With UEFA-qualified coaches on hand as well as indoor and outdoor smart pitches and tech-driven training zones, Precision Football has everything for the aspiring soccer star.
Bounce & X Park
Located in Al Quoz, not just trampolining, you can also enjoy the X-Park freestyle playground, an obstacle course for adrenaline junkies. The challenges can be completed standalone or as part of a circuit and include Parkour, a boulder wall and a zip line. Note the minimum height for X-Park is 125cm.
Bounce Dubai is also perfect for your junior bouncers as young as 3 to enjoy getting their bounce on; there is differential pricing over/under 110cm with some restricted areas.
Jump Boxx Indoor Trampoline Park
Defy gravity, flip, fly, and jump through more than 120 interconnected trampolines over 25,000 feet! There are also dodgeball courts, slam-dunking hoops and a foam pit to enjoy. The trampoline area is open to those over 5-years-old, while the Jumping Jaxx soft play is for those under 5’s.
You’ll find Jump Boxx in Uptown Mirdiff.
Adventure Zone by Adventure HQ
You can join in the fun and interactive indoor experiences at their Times Square and Galleria Mall branches in Dubai as an extension to their popular retail stores for outdoor adventurers. Activities on offer include obstacle courses, climbing pinnacle, and a cable climb course. Galleria also has a low ropes course and Fun Climb Wall.
Bouldering at Rock Republic
Free-range climbing without the ropes, bouldering is all about your own body strength, an entire body at the largest venue of its type in the Middle East.
Open to kids aged 8 years old and up in Dubai Business Park.
Experience indoor climbing in the largest facility of its kind in Dubai, with 60 bouldering and 70 climbing routes. They run kids’ classes on weekends suitable from 4+ in Capital Golden Tower, Business Bay.
Not just skiing and snowboarding on the 400m slope, you can also try zorbing and zip lines at one of Dubai’s classic sub-zero experiences (ok, it’s about 1c!)
Dubai Ice Rink
A classic favourite in Dubai Mall, an Olympic-sized ice rink! Make no mistake, you can build up a sweat still floating along the ice with skates available to rent. If you haven’t been on your skates for a while, try out the IceBykes, a fun new edition to public and Freestyle sessions.
Discover the extremely physical discipline of Parkour with classes from as young as 3 years old, through to birthday parties and camps as well as private training, located in Al Quoz 1.
Includes a trampoline park and Ninja Warrior course and at their permanent location in Al Quoz (also part of the Dubai Worlds Sport mentioned above over summer).
Think warrior courses, a wipe-out zone, a trampoline park, and zip line all within the shopping mall Ibn Battuta. Found at the far western end of the Metro system, it’s close to JBR and Dubai Marina if you’re seeking an activity entirely indoors.
Dubai Bowling Centre
Found in Al Quoz, Dubai Bowling Centre is 16 lanes of action-packed fun. The centre also includes a gaming area, trampolines, VR Zone, and a Little Stars edutainment area (because nobody in Dubai wants just one sport, right!?)
Another good bowling option, if you’re on the west end of the city, can be found in Ibn Battuta Mall. Switch Bowling is a fun way to spend a hot day in Dubai, combining bowling, billiards, karaoke and a cafe.
Enjoy karting to laser tag at this fun multi-purpose venue in Sports City. On a Wednesday evening, you can also enjoy free entry to run, walk or cycle the outdoor track. There is indoor karting available as well as a virtual experience Race Room.
A huge inflatable indoor playground, Air Maniax is designed for kids 2 years plus. It includes a Mini Warrior Assault course, an interactive warrior assault course for your older kids, and the inflatables arena with tones of games, ZipZag and Lazer Frenzy – arcade-style laser tag.
Located in Al Quoz, there are various packages, from 1 or 2-hour park access passes to family passes and Lazer Frenzy of ZipZag only.
Bought to you by the team behind Air Maniax, this one is specifically for your older kids. Warrior courses, parkour, Jump Towers, Cable Way and much more. They will definitely work up a sweat here in one of the best new interactive kids’ sports centres in the Al Quoz area of Dubai.
Looking to perfect your ski skills in the desert? You heard right! No need to fight the crowds at Ski Dubai; when it’s all about learning and technique over snow, Infinite Ski is the first ever Maxxtrack indoor ski slope in the Middle East. The Al Quoz location is the perfect place to learn some skills before hitting the slopes – no need for your full winter wear its a great place to keep active in Dubai, ready for hitting the real slopes in winter.
Set in the brand new Dubai Hills Mall, this entirely indoor family entertainment park has certainly been built to the size and scale you come to expect of Dubai. From rope courses to climbing walls and super slides, there are 11 different active experiences for kids to enjoy at Adventure Park.
Indoor active entertainment in Dubai, this is where to come with your older kids for some high-adrenaline indoor action. A virtual combat experience using laser tag technology and paintball, this is perfect for beginners through to pros with incredible simulated battlefield experiences.
Do your teens fancy skydiving, but you’re not too keen on the part where they jump out of a plane? Then perhaps book a visit to iFly Dubai. Here you can experience the feel of skydiving just 4 meters above the ground. Under 18s are allowed to participate but must have the permission of their parent.
(There are a few more very active options that we’ve classified under soft play centres below).
Find out here how to get discounted tickets to popular Dubai attractions – often cheaper than the venue!!
Theme Parks & Interactive Games Centres
Play DXB (formerly VR Park)
Take a virtual reality journey with interactive rides, VR Games and arcade-style amusement. Free to enter, but you need either a games card for the “Super 7” favourite rides or get credit loaded to join in. Located at the Cinema car park end of Dubai Mall.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
Dubai’s only entirely indoor theme park includes thrilling rides with Marvel experiences through to Powder Puff girls in the Cartoon Network zone. Enjoy the Velociraptor and Predator roller coasters in the Lost Valley.
Due to height restrictions best suited to your older school-aged kids. In Dubailand off the E311.
Dubai Parks & Resorts – Legoland & Motiongate
Dubai parks and resorts is home to Legoland Dubai, the Legoland Dubai Water Park and Motiongate Dubai. The parks are connected by the Riverland entertainment district.
Whilst the parks are classified as outdoors, large parts are actually inside – Dreamworks at Motiongate, particularly, is a great indoor retreat with many thrilling rides, best suited to your 105cm+ crowd.
Note that the third theme park on the site, Bollywood Parks, is now permanently closed.
You’ll find Dubai Parks & Resorts based in the Jebel Ali area of Dubai (near the Abu Dhabi border).
The good news is that a new indoor neon space-themed adventure play centre has just opened at Dubai Parks and Resorts! Neon Galaxy combines ninja courses, rope climbing, slides and rides in an exciting and invigorating zone for kids and teenagers.
The Storm Coaster
A roller coaster in a shopping mall? Only in Dubai, of course! The newly opened Dubai Hills Mall is packed with sensational family entertainment options (more below!) but the Storm Coaster is worthy of mention alongside theme park attractions. Combining an immersive pre-ride experience with an inverse coaster and serious vertical drop, thrill-seekers hold on! Minimum height 1.3m.
TEPfactor team adventure
A unique indoor experience. An indoor cave with 21 challenges to complete that will test patience, fitness, logic and skill. All you need is 2 to 6 players. There are 16 basic challenges that need to be completed before you can unlock the final four challenges and the ultimate final chest.
Teams can take as long as needed to complete. You are charged only for the time taken, usually between 2 to 4 hours. Suitable from 8 years plus and located in The Walk, JBR.
One of the coolest escape rooms in Dubai, Hungarian Games in Al Quoz offers six different challenging escape rooms. Escape Hunt Dubai and Studio 113 are among their most popular. There’s also a cafe here, board games and team-building activities.
Brain Game in Jumeirah 1 offers 6 different escape room challenges varying from 1 hour to 2 hours of interactive indoor fun. There’s also a board game cafe here that you can combine with your escape room experience.
Phobia Escape Games
But wait, there’s still more! Phobia can be found in two locations in JLT, offering 6 different challenges suitable for 2 to 5 players. Some of the most popular here include Battle of the Wizards and Sherlock vs Jack the Ripper.
It’s hard to describe Tr88house other than an all-rounder family entertainment centre for all ages. Found on Bluewaters Island, this massive 65,000 sqft venue has all your dining and entertainment on a hot Dubai day wrapped into one place.
It has some of your typical soft play options and trampolines, plus Mystic Golf, Laser Rush and several more interactive games. In addition, there’s the fun and interactive Hive dining hall, giving families several dining options for a complete fun family day out entirely indoors.
Museums and Interactive Indoor Fun in Dubai
Museum of the Future
If you’ve not had the chance to see inside the otherworldly Museum of the Future yet, get this one on your bucket list! Incredible from both outside and in, journey to Tomorrow Today to learn more about near-future technologies; what will the world look like 50 years from now? Next up, explore Future Heroes, an exhibit specifically intended for kids, “future-proofing” their skills.
The master of waxworks has made it to Dubai with their first Middle East museum. Found on Bluewaters Island, adjacent to Ain Dubai and Tr88house, enjoy the interactive galleries of famous politicians to pop stars. Even a live DJ will greet you at their A-list party with the stars.
A new opening in 2023 at Wafi Mall; step into the beautiful, futuristic AYA Universe, a mystic journey to a new dimension using cutting-edge VR technology for a fully immersive experience in a new dimension.
OliOli Children’s Museum
On the surface, it may seem like a soft play, but OliOli is actually an interactive children’s museum. Journey through eight highly engaging galleries with 40+ exhibits that will allow children to explore their engineering skills, splash their way through interactive displays or even build their own life-sized forts. The highlight for many is Toshi’s Nets – a giant swinging climbing frame.
Another children’s museum that’s designed to be completely interactive. Woo-hoo is for your curious young kids with an exciting program of summer events as well as 11 permanent galleries. Every detail has been thoughtfully put together, from Toddler’s Treehouse to Cave Explorer, making this one of the most pleasant indoor family days out in Dubai.
Museum of Illusions Dubai
Based in the new Al Seef waterfront district, beat the heat by heading into the Museum of Illusions for some mind-bending optical illusions and plenty of instagrammable moments!
Infinity Des Lumieres – TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE – 2023
This incredible 2,700-square-foot immersive digital art space in Dubai Mall is the most advanced digital art gallery in the GCC. Presently showing four different galleries, enjoy Cosmos, a journey through space, Van Gough’s famous artworks brought to life, the virtual reality of Dreamed Japan, or a hypnotic journey through Verse. A sight, sound and sensory experience for the 21st century sure to engage the kids in modern art.
Advance book your tickets online here | Learn more at infinitilumieres.com
3D Selfie Museum
Maybe a dubious claim to classify this as a museum, but it definitely has some indoor fun to be had with the kids. If you love your fun photo maker moments, this is the place to head on a hot or rainy day in Dubai. Enjoy 185 gravity-defying creative artworks using the traditional art technique Trompe-l’oeil – three-dimensional trick art.
Home to what was once Expo2020, the major pavilions Alif (Mobility) and Terra (sustainability) are now permanent exhibitions. Packed full of hands-on learning opportunities, this is the perfect place to keep hands and minds active on hot and rainy days in Dubai. Open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, entry is free for your under 12’s (AED 50 for adults)
Animal interactions in Dubai indoors
Being stuck in the desert doesn’t mean we are short on animal action, with many encounters taking place entirely indoors. A strong focus on education, but kids will be too busy having fun to realise.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Found in the heart of Dubai Mall, little ones can enjoy seeing the giant 10 million litre suspended tank for free, or head inside the aquarium and through the 48-metre-long tunnel as sand tiger sharks and rays glide overhead.
There are educational displays and presentations throughout to learn more about the marine habitats of its residents. You can also add on experiences, including cage snorkelling with the sharks or taking the glass-bottomed boat.
The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis
Offering a different experience to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, at the Lost Chambers, you step into a sci-fi-esque underwater world. Technically the largest aquarium in the UAE (but watch out, SeaWorld in Abu Dhabi is on its way!) Best paired with a day at Aquaventure to cool off on your way out. They also offer dive experiences for your older kids.
The Green Planet Dubai
Explore the great outdoors, entirely indoors! Based around the world’s largest man-made life-sustaining tree, the Green Planet biodome takes you on a journey through three distinct sections of a tropical rainforest. This indoor ecosystem is home to more than 3000 species of plants and animals, including the ultra-popular sloth!
Dubai Butterfly Garden
Whilst neighbouring Dubai Miracle Garden shuts over the hot summer months, you can continue to enjoy The Butterfly Garden throughout the year. A tropical indoor environment with over 18000 fluttering creatures to keep you entertained and rare fish. You’ll find it in Dubailand (near Arabian Ranches/E311).
The Dubai Dolphinarium
See the Dubai Dolphin and Seal show at Dubai Creek Park. Dolphin encounter experiences are also available.
Far more than just skiing and snowball fights, you can extend your experience at Ski Dubai to include a Peng-Friend encounter. A small colony of Gentoo and King Penguins have their own VIP enclosure with direct encounter experiences available.
Getting Wet! Indoor Swim & Splash in Dubai
The paths might be scorching outdoors, and the walk from the car park too much to bear for water parks; so where can we still have a good splash when the outside water temperatures are hotter than a spa?
Splash Island Water Park at Blue Wave
Entirely indoor fun, kids can enjoy all the fun of slides and splash pad activities in the temperature-controlled Splash Island. Blue Wave also offers swimming lessons that run over the summer too.
Deep Dive Dubai
The world’s deepest indoor swimming pool, only in Dubai, of course! Learn to dive sessions through to advance dive courses take place entirely indoors as you reach depths up to 60 metres. Recommended from age 10+ you’ll find this incredible new Dubai indoor attraction in Nad al Sheba.
Edutainment and Pretend Play for Younger Ones
(This section can also be combined with crafty kids and soft plays below – it’s rare to find a centre these days that doesn’t have more than one speciality with a strong emphasis on trying to combine simple soft play with more edutainment experiences).
A real-to-life city built just for the kids inside the Dubai Mall. Children are issued boarding passes then embark on a journey through the real world where the Kidzos currency rules and you need to earn a living undertaking different “careers” in order to spend your Kidzos on leisure activities.
Kids are fully supervised during each activity as they learn new skills and manage their funds for an extremely rewarding and educational day out.
An edutainment activity centre as well as soft play, this has a huge three-story soft play area with a ball pit and trampolines as well as a racing track; it’s one of the best that combines activities and free play.
Based in Umm Suqeim Road, Al Barsha 2.
More than just soft play, they run playgroups, arts and crafts sessions, and classes.
Located in the Souk al Bahar and The Market Mall.
Fiafia kids play and cafe is interactive fun for little kids found in DIFC and Al Ferdous. From drop and shop services to group play dates and parties.
Any budding builders will love Dig it! Located at The Springs Souk, Dig It provides an opportunity for children to dig, move, tunnel, build and create. As well as mechanical arm diggers and remote control trucks, there’s a full-size digger to try out! In addition to a large soft play area with slides, there’s a mini soft play for children under three.
Learn more at digitdubai.com
Found in Nakhell Mall, the Palm, the perfect drop in and play centre for your little Lego fans. Enjoy a fun city play, construction experience as well as a program of Lego workshops.
The very successful Abu Dhabi edutainment centre now has three branches in Dubai. Located at Town Centre Jumeirah, Dubai Digital Park – DSO, and also in Nakheel Mall, each branch is a little different but all have soft play and pretend play facilities. The facilities are clean and well maintained and there’s decent coffee for parents too!
Crafty Kids in Dubai
Great places for you and the kids to indulge your creative side while keeping cool:
Wild Paint House
Unleash your wild side and get creative using splat, spin, swing and pour techniques to create a masterpiece you can take home – or simply get in some seriously messy fun! Located in Al Quoz, they also offer neon nights and, in the cooler months, get creative on their graffiti wall.
Cafe Céramique Dubai
Found in Town Centre Mall on Jumeirah Road, part cafe, part art studio enjoy the ambience of the cafe and produce your own stunning artwork to take home.
A winner with your creative kids, this great little studio spot found in Uptown Mirdif Mall includes the “Expression Room”, where even the walls and floors become part of the canvas!
Found in Alserkal Avenue Al Quoz – Dubai’s home of art and creativity – this art community space includes a studio, workshops, and DIY painting sessions. A family-friendly space and welcoming of newcomers, there’s no age limit.
Dubai International Art Centre
There are no shortage of indoor art classes on offer in Dubai; Dubai International Art Centre is just one provider. Courses include drawing and painting for children aged 4 and over, as well as Manga workshops for children over 8. In addition to visual art courses, the centre also offers students the chance to develop their creative writing skills.
Soft Play in Dubai
Simply need them to burn off some energy and interact with other kids? Dubai has a plethora of indoor play centres. Some of the biggest and best not already listed above include:
Giant 5-level play structure with trampolines and climbers plus ball pit for the toddler. Also includes a kid’s salon. You can find them dotted over the city including Arabian Ranches 2, J3 Mall, The Pointe on the Palm and in the JBR/Marina area.
A real combination centre it was hard to categorise! Play structures to arcade-style games make it appropriate across different age groups. Found in Union Coop, Al Wasl Road, Motor City and Centro in the Villa.
Ready Set Go!
Enter the Wild! Mixed Jungle-themed soft play, trampoline park, pretend play town and cafe all in one site in their giant warehouse setting in Al Quoz.
Your typical UAE fun mall with everything from soft play to arcade styles rides and games You will find branches across the city, including Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdiff, City Centre Shindaga, City Centre Me’aisem, Arabian Ranches and Burjuman.
Funky Monkeys Playland
One of the city’s largest indoor soft play centres with both indoor and outdoor edutainment. Explore the Lego land, craft stations, cooking class and laser games. Found in Al Wasl Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Indoor play structure with ball pit designed for 6 months to 9 years. Found in Sustainability City.
Get ready to jump, climb and explore whilst parents can enjoy the cafe. Climbing frames, colourful ball pools, crawl tunnels and giant slides. also includes trampolines and a climbing wall. First Avenue Mall in Dubailand
La La Land
La La Land offers two Dubai locations with soft play, arts and crafts, summer camps, and storytelling sessions. You’ll find it in Mirdif Uptown Mall and Jumeirah City Walk.
Cuckoos is a good soft play and indoor edutainment option if you’re staying with kids in JBR. You’ll find it in the popular beachfront entertainment strip the Beach.
Shaoob Recreation Halls
A fun little touch indoors for the toddler-aged kids to burn some rubber in Dubai! A city renowned for its luxury cars, your little ones can spin their own wheels at this cute little indoor play centre with electronic cars and bikes found on the Palm Jumeirah.
Have we missed your favourite? Let us know email@example.com and we’ll add them to our list.
Chill time in Dubai – Shows, cafes & lounges
More for your tween and teen crowd try these awesome ideas for movies and relaxation with your friends.
The Point & Reel Cinema
Newly opened The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah includes Guy Fieri’s Dine-in Cinema. Meanwhile, your younger ones can be kept active and engaged at Cheeky Monkeys play centre.
ThEATre at Vox (formerly known as ThEATre by Rhodes)
All the cinema-watching luxury you could expect only in Dubai! You will not only get an exclusive private lounge and a meal to enjoy with your movie but a blanket, pillow and footrest, too. You’ll find it at Vox Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates and City Centre Mirdif.
Chillout Ice Lounge
Get coated up to experience icy mocktails or hot warming cocoa inside the Chillout Ice Lounge in Times Square. Admire the ice sculptures while taking part in one of Dubai’s most unique sub-zero experiences. Goats, gloves, socks and boots all provided!
Wavehouse at Atlantis
You don’t need to be staying at Atlantis to enjoy this fun family all-rounder venue. Think pizzas, burgers and a bowling alley with an interactive kids’ gaming zone attached. The perfect spot to come if the adults want to cool off with some beverages whilst the kids burn through their gaming credits
(Top tip – come for Happy Hour and not only are your drinks cheaper you’ll get double gaming credits too!)
It’s the perfect pairing if you’ve checked out the Aquaventure water park during the day and want some airconditioned chill time to finish your day.
La Perle by Dragone
Prepare to be stunned at Dubai’s number one live stage show! Whilst the storyline isn’t particularly easy to follow, the variety of acrobatics, aquatic and other visual effects in this show are sure to wow. Family, hotel and dinner packages are available. This is the perfect night out in Dubai if you’re looking for something to please all age groups, from kids to grandparents!
Brightly coloured cinemas that show family-friendly movies in an environment you can feel comfortable your children aren’t playing up. There are multiple Dubai venues hosting these brightly colours theatres, including Burjuman, City Centre Deira and Mall of the Emirates
A cafe stocked with over 500 board games! Game Masters are on hand to help you learn something new in this socially interactive environment for both adults and kids. Found in Hessa Street, Al Barsha
Another cool gaming cafe to try for some chilled-out time indoors in Dubai is Charade. Found in Wasl 51, grab some burgers and shakes and enjoy your board games for free alongside your meal. They offer a separate kids’ menu, only adding to the welcoming vibe of this fun community cafe.
The Six Cafe
Another fab family choice for a chilled cafe afternoon indoors in Dubai is The Six Cafe. Offering over 1000 board games for families to choose from, you’ll find this gem in Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed Boulevard.
A little more interactive than chilled, it’s hard to place exactly where this one belongs! Best for your teens, enter an immersive VR world. Choose from MIB First Mission, The Blu Deep Rescue or Curse of the Lost Pearl. Conveniently found in Mall of the Emirates, it’s a great one to add for a full summer day spent indoors at MOE.
The Smash Room
OK, paying to smash stuff up might seem like a weird idea but the therapeutic value of whacking things with a mallet has its place – especially during the long summer holidays! Sessions are 30 minutes long and full protective equipment is provided.
Pampering Kids Day Spa
Spoil your little princess (or prince!) with a day of pampering designed just for little ones.
Hello Kitty Beauty Spa
Posh pampering for all ages but an especially fun element if you’d like to take your little princess with you for some pampering. They cater to both Queens and Princesses for kids aged 11 years and below. They can be found at Town Centre Jumeirah
Spa Cenvaree – Centara
A spa where you can all relax and unwind as a family? Yup, that’s what you get at Spa Cenvaree. Enjoy traditional Thai treatments in the fun, and playful vibe Centara is known for. Treat your kids to something extra special with a 90-minute Kid Candy experience where masks and scrubs are scented in playful flavours, including bubble gum, toffee apple and blueberry candy!
You could combine this with a Centara daycation package – a great summer deal running through until 30 September where you can get weekday access to everything the hotel has to offer, including a day-use room, lunch, access to Camp Safari Kids’ Club and Ezone (indoors), outdoor adventure playground, lazy river and splash pad, in addition to the spa treatment. Sign us up! Centara Mirage Beach Resort is found in Deira Islands.
Playing Tourist in Dubai
Whether you’re a tourist in Dubai looking for fun indoor family attractions to keep kids happy on a summer stopover, or you live in the UAE and you’ve never had a chance to explore the highlights, here are our top picks for indoor attractions in Dubai to beat the heat.
At The Top Observation Decks, Burj Khalifa
Experience the world’s tallest tower on the 124th/125th-floor observation deck of Burj Khalifa. Far less crowded than during the cooler months, but advance bookings are still essential.
Found in Zabeel Park, the giant gold frame that recently joined the Dubai skyline transports you between old and new Dubai. A glass elevator raises you 150m into the sky before you take on the glass-floored walk across the frame.
You are treated to 360-degree views of old Dubai and Sharjah to the east and new Dubai and the towering skyscrapers of Downtown to the west. There are also educational displays on the ground floor from the Dubai of yesterday on your way up, and a 3D presentation on the Dubai of the future as you exit – one of Dubai’s best new indoor tourist attractions!
Learn more about the UAE’s modern history. Based on the historic Union House site, this shiny new museum steps you through the country’s journey to unification. Lots of interactive displays and an important history lesson.
Fancy taking a see-through slide over the skyscrapers of Downtown Dubai? Little daredevils will love this thrilling new experience. Offering birds-eye views of the Burj Khalifa from the observatory, a glass walkway or try the Edge walk, this is the latest utterly instagrammable installation in the city.
The View at the Palm
A new kid on the block is bringing us spectacular city views, and in the absence – for now – Ain Dubai is where you’ll get the best views of Jumeirah and the Palm. The observation deck sits 240 metres above Palm Jumeirah and offers 360-degree views that you won’t otherwise see from The Frame or Burj Khalifa.
Dubai Opera – not only has a sensational show lineup covering everything from musical classics to comedies and kids’ stage shows, but you can also take an architectural tour.
The largest observation wheel in the world! It would have got our top billing as the best new indoor activity to enjoy in Dubai this summer, except no sooner did it open, it closed again, oh dear! We await further news of the “enhancement works” they’re undertaking – it doesn’t look promising it will open again in 2023.
Further Dubai & UAE resources
Don’t forget to check out these other great posts with family information about the UAE
- Abu Dhabi Best Indoor Activities for Kids
- Best Water Parks and Splash Parks in the UAE
- Seeking out the best areas to stay in Dubai with kids
- Best of Dubai with toddlers
- What should you expect taking a baby to Dubai?
- Can my child fly to Dubai without a parent? Unaccompanied minors explained
- The UAE’s best outdoor adventures for families
- UAE’s best eco-tourism spots
- UAE’s best summer staycation spots
- What to do with long Eid-breaks – Dubai & beyond
What do you have planned for this summer? Any indoor gems around Dubai you think we might be missing?
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This post has been compiled by our editor Keri, a travel writer and mum of three with over a decade of UAE summers under her belt. You can see more of her UAE and overseas adventures on her personal blog Our Globetrotters and on Instagram. Updated annually in May along with our contributing writer Lynette Fortey-Burnett.