Day 1 : Home at The Grand Hyatt!
Flying into Dubai is an experience in itself. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt as we have enjoyed our trips in the past and the Hyatt has very competitive rates and excellent service. It has all the heart and cosiness of a resort, without the risk of sleeping in as there’s so much to do!, even within the hotel!
The Grand Hyatt, nestled and nurturing in the centre of Dubai, is a leafy oasis with awe-inspiring views for our restless family to slow down and relax. I am forever grateful for the fantastic stay-cation here. It was our luxurious soft spot with evenings of togetherness and much-appreciated hospitality and we felt we were recharging in a hub of milk and honey.
Meals Galore and Energetic Eats!
Although The Grand Hyatt has plenty of amazing restaurants on site - 13 award-winning ones, to be exact; we’re explorers, we wanted to explore more in Dubai, the platter of opportunity! Our Zomato Pro subscription put a big smile on my face. I didn’t want to lose the buzz with that toe-curling feeling of checking the bill. As a working mother, up to 40% off the final price is always the best dessert I could ask for.
Satisfying stretches for rumbling tummies, here are my top picks for dining in Dubai: daytime.
The Golden Ticket: Oompa Loompa
If you’ve got an appetite for fun and fantasy this is your go-to! Perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Oompa Loompa is a refuge for us busy parents as the playground on site allows you to relax while the kids are kept occupied.
The food here is scrumptious, with plenty of bright and boisterous mouth-watering delights; not to mention the wacky milkshakes bold enough to outdo Mr Willy Wonka himself.
Less manic, more organic.
A healthy and happy start to everyone’s day with beautiful breakfast options the best coffee in Dubai – a quality I can only define as the UAE’s ultimate gifts to parents for their holiday devising duties.
Baker & Spice is everything nice.
All their produce is fresh, served with an ethos that satisfies the needs of the even most meticulous of health-conscious mothers out there.
Locally sourced and cheerful, treat the family to some European bakery favourites.
Graceful Night Delights
No tech at the table for this cultural extravaganza.
Dubai is highly and happily experiential with cuisine as the city loves to play with the cultural infusion. All the best for inspiring little ones to be open-minded: engaging with and learning as much as they can on cultural customs and traditions– not to mention the exciting versatility and languages of food!
All in one, the best culinary experience to sample tastes and textures from all over the world- Indian, Chinese, European, Emirati, you name it! ‘Feast’ is the best buffet around!
A feast it was. The whole family was quiet for once; too much munching on ‘a world of flavours’ – the restaurants’ motto lives up to its claim.
High-class evening entertainment for the whole family to enjoy -- eee is the sweet resonance of winding down.
‘Little Miss India’ certainly can’t be missed, as it is a splendour of astonishing Indian artworks and priceless ceremonial jewellery.
With all the glitz and glamour of Bollywood in an intimate, beautifully curated setting, this dining experience had the whole family in awe.
Astonished and at ease by not only the character of this place and her wonderful hosts – but the aromatic infusion of Indian specialities: a perfect menu for our picky families’ range of appetites! Veggie options for our eldest – once preoccupied with getting the perfect Instagram shot – finally diverted her attention to tuck in & connect with the family in Mohini’s heart-centred herb garden.
This was a night we’ll reminisce fondly for years to come. and we went to bed happy and so full!
Day 2 : Dubai Mall & Kidzania - A Family Day to Please Us All!
The Dubai Mall is crazy, in the best way. The size of 50 football pitches, peeking my husband’s sudden interest as he hoped football would be involved (at this rate, probably) we were all keen to go. Unique experiences you’d never first think of when considering visiting Dubai all presented itself here and it was hard to choose. And, when you’re with the kids – “Mum can we go here?!” “But I want to go there!” it can get a bit nuts, in a good way though! All the excitement is contagious. To please everyone, we found some key attractions to keep everyone happy. If a deal presents itself, and the experience is just as wacky as us, we’re there. One of which was ideal for my mini-bosses: a universe ruled by kids in this very mall!
Kidzania, where parents go free – all thanks to our DT essentials – and kids have to pay their way! I’m kidding ~ slightly~ Catering to kids between 4-16 years, our littles ones unleashed their imagination by hours of role-playing more than 40 different real-world professions across genres of Education, Healthcare, Police, Entertainment, Hospitality, Retail + more! They even have their own currency which they can swap for goodies at the end of the day! We all loved it and I hope they learnt a lot.
Day 3 : iFly Dubai and Skiing in the Desert
Located in the City Centre Mirdif, the kids were ready for some mid-air karaoke, passionately singing
“we believe we can fly; we believe we can touch the sky!” [much to bystanders’ dismay] our lucid dreams materialised in ‘iFly’ Dubai.
Gentle on the kids, this was a great way to introduce them to the sensation of flying within a well-controlled space and without the shakes and phobias of full-on sky diving.
I had to giggle here – little do they know about my hubby and I’s extreme past of sky-diving during through our 20’s. I’m just a boring mum to them - just they wait until they see all the tricks I’ve got up my sleeve.
This place is great bonding for the whole family. Full of laughs!
After Flying, we went Skiing, in the Desert!
Overwhelmed by the heat; Christmas came early with this rare gem: Ski Dubai! in the Mall of the Emirates. It was a clear yes.
We were ready for snow, glorious snow! We did receive the fake kind, but boy was it worth it.Full of gratitude and merry children, 'tis the season for our favourite winter pursuits! Skiing, snowboarding, bobsledding and tobogganing! Shakily trudging down a picturesque mountain-themed setting on skis, as we squeezed onto one another in uncontrollable laughter. What were we doing? Who cares!
Five slopes were ours, available to conquer once we let go of clutching onto the nearest solid divider. The kids especially loved seeing the pretty penguins on site and smooth-rolling in giant ‘zorb balls!’ After taking many hilarious pictures, suited and booted in all the necessary winter garb the park provided: jackets, helmet and gloves to socks & boots, mementoes to home were a plenty; including our gloves and socks we were given as gifts! What a day!
Day 4 : Water fun at Atlantis Aquaventure and the Lost Chambers
Citizens of the lost world of Atlantis and the Atlantis Aquaventure
Ahh, the fun we had here! Our family can’t get enough of waterparks. Thankfully, Dubai loves them too! They’re a much-needed escape from the heat. Squealing with joy en route the Middle East’s largest water kingdom on the palm: Dubai’s Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
The world was our oyster, and the ‘Master Blast’ was our first gulp. This beast propelled the bravest of us in rapid motion on streams of water and long tunnels to finally jut us into the river - ultimate euphoria.
Taking the leap of faith’ – quite literally – on the master ride at Aquaventure: an empowering plunge into a veiled water-world of sharks!
Fast forward to a slightly dizzy yet dazzling accomplishment, our bucket list of all 18 thrilling rides was complete. 10 out of the 20… one day we’ll return for the rest! The splash play area was great for the little ones, we finally sat back to watch them go wild and make loads of new friends.We were champions, Aquaventure warriors, as we posed for pictures against the stunning sunset view of the water kingdom and its divine golden backdrop of Dubai from the royal heights of the temple on site.
I needed a breather.
Unlocking the Lost Chambers
As huge aquatic life lovers, this was the perfect place to wind down and end the unforgettable Atlantis Aquaventure chapter well; better yet, we were incredibly excited to discover that with our essentials package, admission to the Lost Chambers Aquarium was free! We’re savvy thrifters, proudly so.
We like a good deal – but this, was one of the best!
Wandering aimlessly and cooling down from our intense pursuits under the scorching summer heat, we were entranced by this aquatic wonderland in perfect vision. Its quirky theme was fun for the kids and contributed to how unique this aquarium truly was. Also, fun little fact - it’s the largest aquarium in the Middle East and Africa, pretty cool.
Great for my eldest who is passionate about our seas, we delved into learning about the ocean’s organisms on a walking tour by 10 beautiful chambers on-site; luckily too, we had the opportunity to explore up to 21 diverse exhibits stocking extraordinary aquatic fauna, all saturated by deep blue and bold design.
After exploring a few hidden gems, Dad took the reins leaving me to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation of my own: ‘Hatha Yoga’, known as ‘the yoga of balance’: a sacred session welcoming guests from all levels of ability to feel even more connected to the beautiful ethereal world we were in– it felt like yoga in the transcendental Atlantis itself! The practice of ‘Asana’ was in full effect, and this particular session has always stayed with me as I transport back occasionally during practice at home.
This trip truly mirrored the easy-going ethos of the ocean. It's one the family and I remember fondly, whenever we may bicker, or life gets a bit busy and we need to remind ourselves to go with the flow.
This was the end of our fam jam extravaganza and we promised the kids we will return to the magic of Dubai to explore more and more adventures such as the Laguna Water Park and LegoLand Dubai!