Fam- Tastic nights out in the UAE: 17 wonderful things to do for the whole family

Excellent time out for the entire family…Family time is precious, but excellent family time is the stuff of long thoughts. So parents, take this as a sign to put down your phones, and lock your eyes on the horizon because where we’re going … we wo n’t need screensThe Great OutdoorsHattaHigh away in Dubai’s swathe of the Hajar mountains the, then confirmed as record- breaking, large white Hatta sign serves as a beacon to the UAE’s adventure- seekers and escapade- interested. Come for the day and practice desert- hikes, kayaking trips, animal riding, mountain biking, flap- lining, axe- throwing, archery, zorbing, climbing, bodyboarding and a rucksack more ambient fun. There is a lot to do, so if you fancy taking a weekend getaway, there are everything from camping to star-gazing-enabled bubble domes. There is also luxury on offer at JA Hatta Fort Hotel, mountain lodge lodge at Damani Lodges Resort, and vintage Sedr trailers for a little rustic” Gram-fit glam”. visithatta.comHudayriyat IslandJust a short drive away from Abu Dhabi city’s Al Bateen Beach, over the humpback bridge, lies Hudayriyat. The island-sized activity hub from Modon, which features an obedient collection of fun outdoor activities, including the brand-new Trail X, a 15km long mountain biking trail. Some are paid attractions, such as the Circuit X skate park, splash park and OCR Obstacle Course. Others such as the bike parks, public beach, outdoor gym, Heritage Walk and overwater cycling track, are free. Staying for longer? There’s a mega cute glamping experience, Bab Al Nojoum, with beachfront pitches and AirStream trailers. hudayriyatisland. aeDubai Safari Park*David Attenborough voice*” Here, all of the animals are kept safe in their own enclosures, all except the world’s most fearsome predator… Man”. Dubai Safari offers close-knit and cuddly encounters with an incredibly diverse diaspora of wildlife if you enjoy getting right up in the whiskery face of the natural world. The 119- hectare site houses 3, 000 animals. There are 78 species of mammal, 50 forms of reptile, and more than 100 brands of bird. Admission packages start at Dhs50 for adults ( Dhs30 for under 12s ), it’s divided into four different villages and offers immersive experiences, such as a Kids ‘ Farm and the on- rail Safari Journey, to help you live your best Our Planet life. Al Warqa, daily 9pm to 5pm. Let us expat-splain one of the many reasons why it should be, even though it might not be on everyone’s list for weekend exploration. Khorfakkan, found along the picturesque eastern coast of the emirate, offers up a collection of attractions that blend culture and nature, alongside a dusting of artisanal farm- to- mouth grandeur. Trail-trapping is a top priority among the recommended activities in the UAE, along with horseback riding and biking ( check out Shees Park and the Rabi Trail ), but if your little feet get too tired, you can always head to the beach, dine out at upscale restaurants like The View by Wave, or take a trip to Shark Island, which sounds ominous. Too sharky? Al Rabi Tower, Al Rafisah Dam, and the renowned amphitheatre offer attractive trip pivots for entertainment under the stars. And you’ll soon be able to take a well- deserved chill stop at Khorfakkan Hotel, Autograph Collection. It’s set to be an absolute stunner. visitsharjah.comJebel JaisIf Ras Al Khaimah had a spirit animal, it would be a bear. More specifically, it would be Bear Grylls– not least because there’s a survivalist camp there ( majoring in such key life skills as wadi treks, bushcraft and ravine- rappelling ) with his name attached to it. Try Jais Adventure Parks for something that retains the same quota of outdoorsy “arrrgh” vibes but with a more family-friendly edge. There you’ll find the Jais Sledder (adult and child combo from Dhs60 ) – a white- knuckle, 1, 840m mountainside toboggan ride, that squeaks through the peaks of the Hajar range at up to 40kph. After, we recommend recalibrating at 1484 By Puro. At one and a half kilometres above sea level, it’s the UAE’s highest restaurant, they do a banging Thai beef salad, and the views are n’t half bad either. visitjebeljais.comMushrif ParkLong time top pick for picnics, Dubai’s Mushrif Park is all about wide open spaces and ghaf tree- shaded places. The Park’s 20 km cycling loop and 10 km hike feature impressive sculptures, finish line reward for Al Khawaneej Walk, a leisure area filled with Last Exit food trucks and flashy shopping detours. Aventura offers opportunities to work your way around challenging rope courses ( from Dhs165 ), scramble like a spider monkey, and dangle from zip lines. Mushrif is well known for its winter stargazing credentials and population of indigenous wildlife, which make for eye-seen ramblers who are far enough away from city lights. aventuraparks .comSnoopy IslandSnoopy Island is one of Fujairah’s best- loved landmarks and is named after the famous dog, the cartoon, not the rapper, which the island is said to resemble. It’s a true maritime paradise with some of the best” sight-searing” opportunities in the UAE. A kaleidoscopic clique of fishy friends, visiting turtles, and the odd white-tip reef shark can be found among the natural reefs. The entire family can mask up for a team snorkeling excursion to Snoopy Island, or stay above the surface for an afternoon of paddle boarding or kayaking; all of the gear can be rented from the shore. Those looking to make the most of a weekend can check-in to Sandy Beach Hotel, the infamous Fujairah resort that is directly in front of Snoopy Island. sandybeach. Kite Beach Umm Al Quwain, aeKite Beach, Umm Al QuwainOriginally a dedicated kitesurfing school, as is often the case with UAE beauty spots, has capitalized on its good looks and simple charm, evolving into something so much more. The aesthetic is a laidback fusion of Bali and Tulum, complete with mismatched sun loungers and solid wood sitting under traditional thatched beach umbrellas. Families can rent a rustic double level beach hut for the day to enjoy the sand in style. Up-cycled doors placed in the sand provide a dream Instagram backdrop. For off- piste activities, you can hire a kayak, tour the mangroves or book in a team surf lesson and make the most of the waves. You need to pay for access, which starts from Dhs45 in the week and Dhs75 on weekends. Daily 6am to 10pm. kitebeachcenter. This theme park hub, which is home to the family-oriented adrenaline thrill rides available in Dubai, currently offers three distinct avenues of adventure within its walls. And that does n’t even include the whimsical central Riverland shopping and dining district, which reads like it was straight out of an old European fairy tale. Legoland Dubai, Legoland Waterpark and Motiongate Dubai, each offer their own genre of attractions, with the two Lego- based parks tailoring to younger children, and Motiongate, with its movie- themed rollercoasters ( Madagascar: Mad Pursuit is in the running for best UAE ride ) taking care of everyone else. A two-park combo pass ( Dhs395 ) is currently available that gives families with a wide age range the option of not having someone sulk on the way home. On- site Lapita and Legoland hotels, also open up the option of an overnighter. Legoland, Mon to Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 7pm. Legoland Waterpark Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10am to 5pm, Sat and Sun 10am to 6pm, Weds closed. dubaiparksandresorts .comJubail IslandSandwiched between two of Abu Dhabi’s most famous island idylls, Yas and Saadiyat, sits the humble and meek, but oh- so deep, Jubail Island. Jubail Mangrove Park is located on a quiet outcrop of the still largely undeveloped isle. It has a meandering 2.3 km boardwalk that figuratively plunges you right into nature. And there are plenty of ways to explore the capital’s serene green Everglades including boardwalk meditation sessions ( Dhs120 ) ranger- led, guided tours ( from Dhs50 ), kayaking ( Dhs100 ), and e- dragon boat excursions ( from Dhs80 ). Jubail Island, 7am to 9pm. jubailisland. This Dubai-renowned world fair was on the international pavilion tip way before the ground had even broken on the Expo site. aeFamily fiestas under Dhs120 per personGlobal VillageNow open after its annual summer slumber. GV began enthralling visitors as a set of kiosks in 1997, and has since ballooned in size, adding all sorts of attractions and shows, rides and dining experiences, scares and thrills, markets and exhibits, hosting concerts and periodically setting off extravagant fireworks displays. But do you realize what has n’t changed significantly along with it? The admissions cost. Unlike Freddo bars – Global Village has resisted the temptations of inflation, and as of right now – ticket prices start at just Dhs27 ( booking online, in advance ). Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road E 311, Mon to Thu 4pm to midnight, Sat to Sun 4pm to 1am. globalvillage. Another alfresco favorite in Dubai’s sweltering months, this pixelated utopia really leans into the eye-twitching visual aesthetic. A park stroll through a city full of glowing sculptures made of more than 10 million energy-saving light bulbs is what the experience entails. As you travel toward the light, looming lit-up polar bears and fluorescent floral fractals guide you. There’s also an adjacent animatronic dinosaur park, magic park and ice park. From Dhs70, combo tickets are available. Zabeel Park Gate Six and Seven, Sun to Fri 5pm to 11pm, Sat 5pm to midnight. Sharjah Planetarium: The stars have converged in Sharjah, giving visitors a fascinating view of the remote and local reaches of our cosmic manor. There is more than enough awe to inspire any knee-high deGrasse Tysons. Educational exhibits, a collection of meteorites, laser shows, and dome-projected theatrics covering topics like black holes and the birth of planet earth are provided. University City, Mon to Thu 9am to 3pm. saasst. The Ripe MarketAs annual event takes place from October to May at the Academy Park. Founded as a way of sourcing seasonal and local products, Ripe was originally very much a farmer’s style market. It now goes far beyond that, holding stalls filled with a variety of handmade knick knackery, including heavy metal graphic tees, organic bamboo bongos, sustainable macrame teepees, and sustainable bamboo bongos. Saturdays and Sundays are the days ‘ and Sundays ‘ markets, which cost Dhs5 for the entrance fee. There’s a range of food truck eateries, workshops, a petting zoo, live entertainment, a children’s park, and more. Academy Park, Al Sufouh, 9am to 9pm Sat, 9am to 7pm Sun. ripeevents .comKite Beach, DubaiA day out at the beach does n’t initially sound like the most creative or varied adventure, but Kite Beach is n’t your average beach. In addition to the definition- necessitated sand and proximity to the sea, you’ll find a bunch of cafés and food trucks, skate haven XPark ( daypass Dhs75 ), the wonderland of nature exploration that is XPark Jr. ( entry Dhs85 ), sports courts ( including padel and volleyball ), and the occasional kite. @kitebeachdubaiTr88houseYou might also like 57 ways to have a pumpkin smashing fun Halloween in Dubai 64 alternative things to do in Dubai if you’re doing Dry January Bluewaters ‘ sprawling 65, 000 square foot indoor jungle is decorated with 12- metre- high treetops. Munchkin Monster’s soft play area ( from Dhs45 ) is for the littlest bugs, Skyfall’s trampoline park ( from Dhs65 ) is for tweens, and laser tag ( from Dhs65 ) is for teens. Wait, wait, there’s more – the whole family can get stuck in with a round of mini golf ( from Dhs45 ), which is located in a glow- in- the- dark tropical rainforest, for an Amazonian tonne of neon- bogey fun. Bluewaters, Mon to Thu midday- midnight, Fri midday to 12.30am, Sat 11am to 12.30am, Sun 11am to midnight. The Shard Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, a literal desert oasis, has 67 different bird species in its green embrace, just a few minutes ‘ drive from Dubai Mall. Its most famous resident is of course, perennial Barbiecore ambassadors, the flamingos. Three viewing hides are located around the perimeter of the sanctuary in the reserve. The sanctuary is most impressively completely free to enter. Ras Al Khor, daily 7.30am to 5.30pm. dm. gov. aeImages: Supplied