London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Dubai with baby and Christmas in UAE are quite a no-brainer: 7 hours flight from London to warm weather, blue skies, luxurious hotels and great services. How could that be more appealing ? 4 hours time difference has been easily adapted to, explorer buds and urges ticked, between the Palm, Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa we all had a blast. And yes, Dubai with toddler is also a dream and UAE caters beautifully all sorts of Christmas celebrations and fun for young explorers and bigger ones equally: more Christmas trees here than what we counted in Europe; Santa’s everywhere, markets and even Gluhwein!
As cosmopolitan and festive London is, late falls tend to be on the dark side, with plenty of germs and versions of flu going round. So December 12th we embarked on first longer journey with baby, which turned up into one amazing holiday, consisting mainly into parents hopping around great hotels, restaurants and lounges. Baby on cloud no 9, all of sudden two parents around, just one layer of clothes, lots of dips and nice walks in the sling and in the pram, breastfed by the pool and balcony. So all in all, Christmas in UAE and Dubai with baby for us have been a recipe for a very happy family.
Our tested hotels in Dubai? We stayed at a number of hotels, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and W Palm included. We chose Jumeirah Lakes for the value for money offered by their serviced flats and the heated pool. Their one bedroom apartment proved to be very convenient, with room service providing excellent late breakfasts and late snacks – taking into account the 4 hours difference our breakfasts were around 11 or 11:30am and dinners close to midnight. The pool proved great for a 16 weeks old, with water over 32 degrees at all times and many areas in the shade. Location wise also ok, 15 minutes walk to Dubai Marina. So Dubai with baby in here was a great choice.
Friends also swear by Fairmont by Palm West Beach, there are also serviced flats in addition to the hotel and if one loves the buzz of so many eateries and clubbing options in here, than this is the place for you! Also Jumeirah beach is popular with friends and so is Atlantis, so many great options in UAE!
Dining & wining favourites over the years, Dubai with baby, sans enfants or family and Dubai with toddler:
– One & Only Royal Mirage, Jumeirah – the buffet lunch at Olives has been one great treat. Their swimming pool and seaside area lovely to chill and play after one long lunch, sipping tea while watching sun going down. Lots of cosiness and charm versus the newer and slightly posher sibling on the Palm.
– One&Only The Palm, Dubai – birthday lunch. Delicious food in quiet and elegant surroundings. Parents enjoyed the Michelin star cuisine at ZEST while baby took his lunch nap, while in the afternoon we sipped exotic teas in the outside LOUNGE area facing the swimming pool – baby and parents loved it.
– Palm West Beach: Koko Bay cuisine won us all, between fantastic sushi, Thai and ceviches, great staff and cocktails! Surf Club also great food and parties, fab DJ lists and all; KYMA a great adults only beach club (until 7pm when they open up their doors for kids!); Lucky Fish another great spot for lunching in Dubai with toddler; so many great options to unwind, swim, eat and relax on the beach!
– W’s Palm sunset spot at Sobe and dining at Akira Back – between a rooftop Art Deco-style playground, to contemporary street art gorgeous views of the Dubai skyline and Arabian Sea and exquisite Japanese-fusion cuisine, one is truly spoilt! And yes one can make the most of W Palm pool parties and brunches sans enfants if they wish, the Little Disruptors Club (aka KidsClub) is great an d opened 10am to 10pm!
– Atlantis of course for the Aquarium experience but also for fantastic Lebanese food at Ayamna! And for one MICHELIN star progressive fine dining cuisine bear in mind the kids need to be 10 years old (booking also recommended weeks in avance)!
– Ritz Carlton, Arabian night, baby friendly and good to chill after a long walk in the Marina over a beer and some mezzes. Great service, accommodating us just with some dishes as the buffet looked too rich and overwhelming.
– Jumeirah Beach Hotel. A beach day on the pricey side if you don’t use the facilities (with access to their beach and pool at over £50 per person). Prime position facing Burj Al Arab very appealing, 2 bays and one beach bar.
And right after the winter sun Dubai with baby, we headed to Abu Dhabi; about an hour drive, for further treats and fun and Christmas in UAE – you can find all about in here. For more inspiration in the Middle East with kids, head to our 10 days Oman adventure holidays around Muscat, Al Hajar mountains, the wadis, dessert and Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve. And for best of road trips from Dubai, head to our dedicated article in here.