Dubai is now one of the most popular family holiday destinations in the world today. With its numerous world-famous tourist attractions, it’s definitely be a great idea to bring the whole family here for a short getaway.
But before you start looking forward to a relaxing stay at, say, the best resort in Dubai, make sure you prepare well for this family holiday to avoid hassles and headaches. Here are some tips to help you along.
1. Make sure everyone has all the proper documentation
Go online to see if you and your family need visas to enter Dubai. Citizens of certain countries will be given visas upon arrival in the UAE. Find out if you and your family are covered by this regulation. If not, make the necessary arrangements for everyone to obtain the visa 10 to 12 weeks before your planned holiday.
Make sure everyone’s passports have not expired yet as well. To be on the safe side, ensure everyone’s passports are valid at least six months or longer beyond the dates of your trip.
2. Book an evening flight
Once you’re ready to book your flight, choose one scheduled in the evening if you’re flying intercontinental. This is because flying at night will help avoid disrupting your kids (and your) sleep schedule. Also, if the little ones are asleep, you don’t have to entertain them every minute or so.
3. Get sufficient coverage
To have peace of mind during your trip to Dubai, get health and travel insurance for everyone. Find out it if your credit card provider can offer coverage. You can also ask a travel agent to give you names of carriers that can provide you and your family temporary coverage.
4. Prepare an itinerary
Dubai isn’t a huge city to navigate, but you and your family can make the most of your holiday here by visiting famous landmarks and other places of interest that are near each other in one go. You can do this by creating an itinerary before your trip. Of course, you have to make sure you choose activities and places to visit that the whole family will love.
For instance, if you want your family to go on a desert safari, make sure everyone enjoys the full experience. Go dune bashing, ride the camels and take a hot air balloon ride – all fun, family-friendly activities. You can book a tour package to ensure everyone enjoys the complete safari experience.
If you’re going to The Dubai Mall, aside from shopping and eating, include these places and things to do on your list to make the most of your visit there:
- The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
- SEGA Republic
- Dubai Ice Rink
- Reel Cinemas
- The Dubai Dancing Fountain
5. Select a family-friendly type of accommodation
Whether you choose to stay at a hotel, resort, or at one of the holiday apartments in Dubai Marina, make sure you pick out one that has basic amenities and more. It should have all the usual facilities and provide the necessary services that will turn your family vacation into your dream holiday.
If you want the whole family to stay in just one unit or flat and you or your spouse plan to do some cooking, it is best to stay in a holiday or serviced apartment.
6. Arrange for airport transfers beforehand
You can reduce the stress of traveling with your kids by arranging your airport transfers before your actual flight. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about lugging your heavy baggage and your children, and waiting for a taxi or bus.
With pre-arranged transportation, you and your family can go straight to your accommodation from the airport for the official start of your holiday. You will also appreciate this service at the end of your vacation when you will probably have more bags full of goodies to bring back home.
7. Pack well
Lastly, make sure everyone brings outfits that are suitable for the Dubai weather (depending on which month you are going) and respectful of local sensibilities. This means bringing light, cool clothes and some swimwear if you are going just when the weather begins to cool around October.
However, remind everyone that they can’t wear skimpy clothes in public areas since this is considered disrespectful to the city’s Muslim population. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen as well.
When packing, make sure you put your kids’ favorite stuffed animal, blankets, small toys or anything that will help keep them busy and remind them of home in your carry-on while they are in a different country. If anyone is on medication, get a note from your doctor which you can show (in case you are asked) explaining the medicine has been prescribed by a specialist.
Pack some food and water or juice for your kids in a carry-on so that they can munch on and drink something before the in-flight meals or snacks are served.
With sufficient planning and preparation, everyone in your family, including yourself, will enjoy the perfect holiday in Dubai.
Thomas Grundner is the Group Director of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury”.