Dubai – Top 5 Activities for Teens

Teenagers and older children are particularly tricky customers to please. I should know – we have both in our house. It is ridiculously difficult to find a holiday that will fulfil both their need for adventure, adrenaline and consistent WIFI as well as our love of the warmer weather and maybe, just maybe, a touch of culture (shock horror!) If you have teenagers then you will no doubt be nodding along in agreement but fear not, I have the perfect holiday solution for you…


Dubai is our favourite holiday destination not only for it’s year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and affordable, high-quality hotels but also for the endless array of activities on offer to keep the eye-rolling and “whatever’s” at bay. I could probably wax lyrical about the joys of a holiday in Dubai for pages and pages but instead I will sum it up with my pick of the top five things to do in Dubai with your not-so-lovely teens:

Top 5 Activities For Teens in Dubai


Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark


A waterpark is one of those rare and perfect activities that pleases the whole family. As is so often the case in Dubai, Aquaventure takes the meaning of waterpark to a whole new level. You can choose to get up close and personal with sharks and rays, stoke up your adrenaline on record breaking slides, lie back and relax on the 700m of private beach or my personal favourite, simply float around on the lazy river. With shopping (obviously, I mean this IS Dubai) and great places to refuel, this is a must do day out for all the family.


 Desert Safari


For kids (even big ones) and adults alike, this is a once in a lifetime experience to get out into the desert and experience camel riding, sand boarding or even a spot of falconry. For the adrenaline junkies amongst you, I recommend a ride across the sand dunes in a 4×4 with a trained safari guide followed by a more leisurely Arabian BBQ in a traditional Bedouin tent. You might just sneak in a bit of culture after all!

Ski Dubai


No seriously. Dubai is hot. Really, really hot and whilst this can be fantastic, sometimes you need to step indoors and out of the sun for a while. Admittedly, skiing probably isn’t the first thing you would think of in a desert country but then anything is possible here! The Mall of the Emirates is home to a mountain of ski slopes just waiting for you and your restless brood. All levels of ability are catered for from the bunny slope for beginners to the black slope for the more experienced skiers amongst you. In addition, there is an amazing snow park with toboggans and tube slides. If this isn’t really your thing but your kids are keen then happy days, there is also a convenient alpine style café where you can sit back and watch the action with a hot chocolate.


Dubai Gold Souk


Had your fill of thrills and adrenaline? Time for a bit of that culture I whispered about earlier – you are in a foreign country after all. There is nowhere better to experience Dubai than in amongst the riot of colour, noise and smells that make up the souks. Spices, textiles, perfumes and gold are amongst just some of the colourful wares on offer and a walk amongst the stalls will be sure to please even the fussiest consumer. My favourites are the gold souks. Even if you are not in the market for gold, this labyrinth of jewellery stores is worth a stroll around just to gawp at the glittering spectacle. If something does catch your eye, the subsequent haggling that would engulf you would probably be enough to scare off even the most persistent teenager so this could well turn out to be a free activity – bonus!


Sea Fishing


Fun, sun and excitement. Our boys absolutely love to fish so for them, deep sea fishing in an ocean that is absolutely teeming with wildlife, is the ultimate day out. There are endless possibilities for what you might pull up out of the deep blue in this part of the world. This, combined with the inevitable element of competition and a day at sea, is a winning formula for an all-round brilliant day out – just don’t forget to pack the sunscreen!



Dubai is a glittering and heady combination of luxury, glorious weather and endless and varied activities for all ages. There are so many things to see and do but my top five is a fabulous place to start.

Has this post inspired you to make your own dream Dubai list? Well, this post is an entry in to the Tots100/Dubai Dreams blogger challenge. Why not write your own post for a chance to win a 4 night holiday for 2 adults and 2 children to Dubai.

Until next time my lovelies









  1. Julia
    May 14, 2016 / 07:51

    I’ve never thought of visiting Dubai before, but you make it sound so exciting & great fun for teenagers & families alike

  2. May 16, 2016 / 10:31

    Dubai really does sound like the most amazing destination. My children are young and I thought perhaps it wouldn’t be suitable, but research has proven me wrong. With a wealth of activities for all ages, and all budgets, Dubai really has jumped up in priority on my bucket list. And just how great it would be to have a tick beside that! Good luck.
    Mel @mydaysni recently posted…Why I Want to Win A Family Trip to Dubai, and You Could Too!My Profile

    • Fi
      May 16, 2016 / 19:53

      I think Dubai is one of those destinations that has something for all ages! They really have thought of everything havent’t they! Thanks for commenting x

  3. May 16, 2016 / 16:53

    You are so lucky to have been and you can’t beat tips from a real life mum! Sounds amazing

    • Fi
      May 16, 2016 / 19:52

      It is a seriously good holiday! Hope you find the tips helpful if you get there one day x

  4. May 16, 2016 / 20:17

    Wow, I’ve always fancied Dubai and now I want to go even more. I’ve got a little while until my daughter turns into a teen, around 10 years, so I’m hoping we can go before then. I’ve always liked the idea of the restaurant that is underneath the sea in the Burj Al Arab (I think it is called). One day, one day. #KCACOLS
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  5. May 17, 2016 / 10:01

    I have a tweenager, and feel the pain of lack of WiFi! So it sounds like Dubai could certainly keep my active boy busy. With a mix of water parks and even snow ( mad as it sounds) I think we could keep him entertained. I think the gold souks sound like my kind of shopping, and Fishing for dad! Dubai sounds like the destination that could make us all happy. Good luck with your entry.
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    • Fi
      May 17, 2016 / 11:53

      Thanks – it certainly is a brilliant place to take them 🙂

  6. May 17, 2016 / 15:16

    A place I really want to go! Although I’ve heard you can’t stay in the same room as your partner in hotels there unless you’re married! And I don’t think he will be “putting a ring on it” anytime soon! I would love to go to that waterpark though! #kcacols
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    • Fi
      May 17, 2016 / 17:36

      Technically you are correct, it isn’t allowed but in reality it isn’t enforced. Tourism is such an important industry and I’ve never heard of anyone having trouble so long as they don’t obviously point out they aren’t married. In Dubai, married females often keep their own surname so having different surnames wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. You should go – you will have a fab time! x
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  7. May 18, 2016 / 06:59

    Oh thank you for sharing this – I’ve been to Dubai for a girly treat but never with hubby and kids – think they would love it – the waterparks is a definite and I think they’d love the desert too – I’m going to get on the case and see if I can sort something! #KCACOLS recently posted…The Teenage Chronologues: Part One ‘Boyfriends’My Profile

  8. May 18, 2016 / 13:33

    It’s not easy to find places where you and your teens can genuinely enjoy doing the same thing – but Dubai is that place! This is where precious memories are made and Mum proves that she can tackle a water park with the best of them! The sea fishing sounds like a fab activity – you get to see the beautiful coastline and find out who lands the biggest fish. I hope you and your family get there this summer! 🙂

  9. May 18, 2016 / 17:38

    That watermark sounds epic! It reminds me of a lagoon/Eco-park that I went to in Mexico before kids. It’s just the sort of place I’d love to return with children. Mine are real water babies and would love swimming with the fishes! #KCACOLS
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  10. May 18, 2016 / 20:20

    I love Dubai and as a family of skiers the fact you can ski there too really appeals. We normally have to sacrifice a holiday in the sun for a skiing holiday as it is too expensive to do both but in Dubai you could do both in one holiday and that would tick all the boxes for us. It’s such a wonderful holiday destination for families.

    Good luck with your entry!

  11. May 19, 2016 / 07:52

    We love Dubai (we should we’ve been here 3 years!) I love the glamour side, the wonderful tourist attractions and the hustle and bustle. I also love th greenery of the parks, the miles of beaches, the history in the Old Town. We are headed back to the UK on the 25th May to become resident again and I will definitely miss Dubai. It’s been home. It will always be the birthplace of my youngest. I would urge anyone to come and stay!

  12. May 19, 2016 / 11:27

    Who knew you could Ski in a place that was so hot. Ski Dubai looks fantastic, I’m not really a fan of the cold but I guess when it’s that hot outside it would be a fun way too coll down x

  13. Pete C
    May 19, 2016 / 12:26

    I would love to visit Dubai. It is an international hub of culture, adventure and a little bit of luxury. I would most look forward to dining al fresco, swimming in warm seas and having adventures. Some of the top activities for me and my family would be the beach, the waterparks, Dubai Fountain, Dubai Miracle Garden and the Aquarium. And I couldn’t leave without taking a safari. The world is becoming a smaller place and I love that it means places like Dubai are becoming a much more practical family holiday destination. I have been doing my own research on the Visit Dubai website and they really have listed everything and made it so easy to work out an itinerary before you go, so you don’t miss anything on your ‘must do list.’ Good luck with your competition entry. Whoever wins really is going to have the opportunity to make dreams come true for their whole family.

  14. May 19, 2016 / 13:55

    Oh wow that all sounds amazing! And I think there would be something really fun about going skiing somewhere really hot like that! x #KCACOLS

  15. Samantha Mann
    May 20, 2016 / 09:23

    Dubai is one of those places on my bucket list to take the children before they’re too grown up and no longer want to travel with us, as you say its not really a destination that a lot of people think of but our next door Neighbours daughter lives there with her two young daughters and when she visits her mum its great to hear of her adventures, it always sounds so exciting!

    The water park looks amazing and something my kids would adore…. although there is NO WAY i would be tackling that slide. Oh my word that looks scary lol
    The thought of the heat in Dubai does bother me a little but knowing that there are indoor activities to do makes it a little easier on the mind. The ski place sounds and look amazing! We have never been skiing before so that would be another tick off the list of things to do in life… although I’m not sure how many people would believe us that we’ve been skiing in Dubai 😉

    We would just love to go to Dubai and make some AMAZING family memories to treasure forever… memories are made from these amazing experiences and those experiences are something i intend to give my children for as long as possible.

    • Fi
      May 20, 2016 / 18:29

      I hope you get there lovely, it really is an amazing place! Thanks for your comment x

  16. May 20, 2016 / 21:54

    I’d love to visit Dubai one day! I don’t have any teens to keep sweet but that water park still looks pretty fab!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  17. May 21, 2016 / 11:19

    Oh my goodness that Gold Souk has mine and my daughters name on it! We could spend hours in there trying on various pieces of jewellery.

  18. May 21, 2016 / 14:40

    Oh Dubai!! I love it!! It brings back lovely memories. We went there for our honeymoon. It is beautiful. But so bloody hot and humid! The nights were much better but you do need AC every where! We didn’t do all the activities you mentioned because we didn’t stay too long as it was more like a stop by on the way to go to Seychelles. We used to work with a company that had a HQ there so we met all the staff over there and they took us to a few fun nightclubs. It was a lovely trip. I would love to go back but this time with the little ones. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I hope to see you again tomorrow, 🙂 xx
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  19. Anita C.
    May 22, 2016 / 16:00

    Dreams of Dubai!

    I have never been to Dubai before but I’ve been dreaming of visiting for a few years. Here’s my dream itinerary for a fabulous four day holiday!

    Day One: I always like to spend my first day taking it easy after the journey there and try to get a feeling for the local area. So we would spend day one having a relaxing swim in the sea and then a exploratory walk. Later, we would take the 90 minute Yellow Boat tour (Dubai RIB Boat Cruise: Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina). It’s an exhilarating ride around the bay for the kids (but not too tiring) and a great way to see the Palm Atlantis, Burj Al-Arab and the royal palaces.

    Day Two: The second day would begin with a once-in-a-lifetime deep-water dolphin encounter at Atlantis The Palm – something all the family would love and remember forever. The dolphin experience also gives you free entrance to the Atlantis’ Aquaventure Waterpark and 25% off your visit to the Lost Chambers Aquarium, so that’s day two covered!

    Day Three: After a couple of child-focussed activity days, my children are usually more open to a more adult-orientated sightseeing tour so we would spend our third day with Tour Val, a highly-recommended sight-seeing tour of the old and new city so we can learn more about the beautiful city of Dubai.

    Day Four: You can’t visit the desert without riding a camel so we would spend our final day on a Platinum Heritage tour, offering a Camel Safari followed by a Land Rover Safari in the desert where you are taken for a meal and entertainment at a bedouin camp!

    You see, Dubai is so magical. You would think you were dreaming, even when you’re there!

  20. May 22, 2016 / 20:06

    Oh the Dubai safari looks incredible and Atlantis could keep us happy for days, the mix of old and new would be incredible to witness and the Dubai Gold Souk looks fascinating I am like a Magpie so would love this. Ooh the more you think about Dubai the more appealing and exciting it becomes, the best of luck xx

  21. May 23, 2016 / 21:28

    I have a teen and two toddlers so I know exactly how tricky teens can be, long gone are the days where they were happy just sitting on the beach with a bucket and spade. That slide at Atlantis Aquaventure waterpark looks like nothing I have ever seen before, genies! The desert safari really does sound like such a truly amazing experience that I am sure you will remember forever. Ski Dubai also looks immense, my teen would love this – best of all you don’t need to worry about the cold as there will be glorious sunshine outside. Dubai really does sound like the best place for a family holiday with teens as theire is so much to see and do, it sounds like the holiday of a lifetime. Good luck xx
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  22. Debs @ Super Busy Mum
    May 24, 2016 / 12:02

    I think the Atlantis waterpark would so photographable that my inner tog just got giddy! I can see a gro pro video being made going down that EPIC pyramid slide!

  23. Carmen Bateman
    May 25, 2016 / 15:44

    Our family loves Dubai and believe it is the best family holiday destination ever! An inspirational place, with so much to see and do, not just its year round sunshine and gorgeous beaches. The warm, unsurpassable hospitality you receive will guarantee it a place in your family’s heart. Dubai has the World’s best of everything, including horse racing, water parks, cuisine, shopping mall – complete with ice rink and aquarium inside, tallest building and must see musical fountain. There’s no poverty, and the public transport is easily accessible and inexpensive. Give it a go; the entire holiday will be the best family thrill ride they’ve ever been on! You’ll also be pleasantly surprised by what excellent value it is.

  24. Bernadette Cooke
    May 25, 2016 / 17:22

    I would love to take my grandsons on a Dream Trip to Dubai – a clean, safe, family-friendly holiday destination, with plenty of activities to choose from for any age range. As well as relaxing on the beautiful golden sand of JBR Beach with its warm, calm and shallow waters we would all enjoy a dune-bashing safari followed by a camel ride and BBQ dinner in a Bedouin desert camp.

    We would visit the Dubai Museum in the Al Fahidi Fort to learn about life from a bygone era as a contrast to the amazing architecture of the modern city which we could view from the front or rear carriages of the driverless Dubai Metro system and then take it all in from the At The Top observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

    The free and impressive Dubai Fountain water, light and music show can be watched from one of many waterfront cafes just outside the Dubai Mall. The malls in Dubai have many family attractions to choose from. The boys could try ice-skating, helped by the ‘penguin pals’, visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and also see the giant 155 million year old dinosaur skeleton (DubaiDino), all in the Dubai Mall.

    The boys love theme parks and this summer Dubai will open the world’s largest indoor theme park – IMG Worlds of Adventure with four themed zones inside including Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley – Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard. This will be completely enclosed and temperature-controlled with 1.5 million square feet of entertainment space!

    Our only problem will be going home with so much more left for us to see and do in beautiful Dubai.

  25. May 25, 2016 / 17:53

    Dubai is great at any age but after we went, I said to my husband that the boys would love it as teenagers. I think teens can be hard to please but Dubai just has everything. Infact they could probably just go a tour of the water parks and beaches and be quite happy! They could hit the malls and go for a ski. Dubai is cool for teens. I would love to go back and go to the desert, I imagine it takes your breath away.
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  26. Richard Beesley
    May 25, 2016 / 22:23

    Dubai looks simply amazing. So much to do, so many different worlds all wrapped up in one gorgeous place. Looking at what Dubai has to offer, I’ve been really impressed by the range of family-friendly options – theme parks, indoor fun sessions, skate parks – as well as sports, stunning beaches, and entertainment. And that water park – wow!

    What I hadn’t realised was how much variety there is in Dubai in terms of food and culture. Our son is a huge foodie, despite being only 10, and would love visiting some of the restaurants and tasting the new flavours.

    As a family we would love to be able to visit Dubai, and experience just a taste of what is on offer. Our elder son loves nature, so would enjoy the different wildlife on show. And dad… well, quad-biking in the sand dunes would suit him perfectly. As for mum… of course Dubai is a shopper’s paradise! And I’m sure we would all enjoy a tour of historic Dubai, as well as the many museums. There truly is something for everyone.

    The hardest part will be choosing what to do. It really does seem that Dubai has it all, a wealth of opportunities to explore and experience.

    Dubai really is the city of possibilities and I want to ‘Discover All That’s Possible In Dubai’.

  27. May 26, 2016 / 06:15

    Dubai has been at the top of my bucket list for many years now and reading you post has made me want to visit so much more!

    Souks, skyscrapers, sand and sea, Dubai really has something for all the family and the possibility of visiting this incredible city is making me super excited.

    I’d love the opportunity to win our perfect family holiday in Dubai; a holiday for the four of us, that combines unlimited opportunities for fun and adventure. We’d be able to
    escape the ‘day to day’, making memories and recharging our batteries. And it would give us the chance to simply spend our days together as a family, enjoying each other’s company before Jack starts school in September.

    There are so many amazing adventures we’d like to experience, but our top 3 would have to be:

    1// A day of aquatic fun at Atlantis’ Aquaventure Waterpark to cool off in the Dubai heat. Aquaventure caters for all the family with its record-breaking rides and slides for thrill seekers and the Splashers’ Children’s Play Area, which is a haven for little ones with water cannons, slides and climbing frames.

    2 // A once-in-a-lifetime experience at Dolphin Bay. As there’s no age limit, we could enjoy this amazing experience as a family and I can only imagine the joy on the children’s faces when they get up close to these amazing creatures!

    3 // Experience the heady heights of Burj Khalifa. We couldn’t visit Dubai without venturing up the tallest building in the World, and although I’m afraid of heights, I’d still feel compelled to visit the observation deck on the 144th floor. As long as I don’t stand too close to the edge, nor look vertically down, I think I’d actually enjoy it.

    I’m now off to spend the day daydreaming about Dubai and all it has to offer…

    Best of luck with your entry! X

  28. May 26, 2016 / 08:15

    We would definitely be up for the waterpark and safari! And that ski centre looks brilliant – but defeats the object a bit for me. I want it hot, hot, hot! Good luck with your entry x

  29. Zoe
    May 26, 2016 / 09:08

    Wow the Dubai fountain looks absolutely amazing! I would love to go to Dubai just to see that yet there is so much more all in one place – it is almost too hard to imagine so I will have to go there to find out for myself The beautiful beach beckons me, incredible concerts and entertainment, retail heaven and then relax and unwind by trying out traditional spa therapies at the hammam! The food in Dubai looks divine and I bet it is delicious. My husband would love the adventure sports, golf courses and falconry. There is something here for everyone. Dubai is my dream destination.

  30. May 26, 2016 / 10:31

    Wow that gold souk is something else! The more I read about Dubai the more I realise there is to do there. I’m not sure one holiday would be enough to fit it all in!

  31. May 26, 2016 / 12:13

    Good luck with your entry! The Gold Souk looks like nothing I could even imagine…what an experience to be able to visit. I think your choices all sound perfect for older children and teenagers, you definitely can’t go wrong with a water park and the camel trekking across the desert too. Just amazing.

  32. Rebecca Beesley
    May 26, 2016 / 13:23

    I love your unique ideas about the fishing and visiting the gold souks and that you have kept in mind the needs of teenagers. My son is rapidly getting to the age that I wonder how much longer he will enjoy family holidays so I am determined to find destinations that will appeal to him whilst meeting the needs and desires of the rest of us too. It certainly sounds like Dubai has it all and the Visit Dubai website has such a wealth of ideas to choose from. Truly the ultimate dream holiday!

  33. May 26, 2016 / 14:48

    Wow that Ski Dubai place looks so amazing! I am desperate to visit Atlantis too and my dream is to swim with Dolphins also. Although sitting on a Beach with a cocktail in hand whilst building sandcastles would be amazing too 🙂 I bet their beaches are so nice!

  34. May 26, 2016 / 15:56

    Wow, it’s all so sparkly and luxurious isn’t it? Let’s not forget about the sunshine too, so much of it! I just need to be there right now (currently wrapped in a blanket, on the couch, contemplating putting the heating on and it’s May!) My fingers are crossed for you and here’s hoping we’ll both feel the Dubai sand between our toes soon x

  35. May 26, 2016 / 20:40

    Sea fishing?! Wow I had never thought of that in Dubai! I think there are so many hidden treasures you could spend a month there and not do them all. You are totally right it – I can see why it’s your favourite holiday destination. Our boys are still quite young but up for any adventure! Good luck with your entry – a great round up of what Dubai has to offer xx

  36. May 26, 2016 / 20:42

    I dream of going to the Souks, I would probably come home with suitcases filled with fabric, I can only imagine what beautiful fabrics I would find. I think my husband would be a fan, he would enjoy the sea fishing though, so at least we would both be happy.

    Going Skiing would be quite a surreal experience I’m sure.

    The desert safaris sound great and the I can imagine the arabian BBQ would be quite the taste sensation(and of course another reason for me to go to the Souks to stock up on spices)

  37. November 25, 2020 / 07:33

    Dubai is the best tourist place. No case of holiday illnesses has been reported in a survey by British consumer Magazine, all thanks to the UAE government.
    I totally agree with these suggested attraction spots though it will be a great experience if you would manage to enjoy these because I experience them all 5 by myself last year – Hatta Mountain Safari, biggest Gold Market, Hummer Desert Safari, Big Bus Tour, the balloon adventure, Dhow Cruise Dinner in those memorable days with my friends. Dubai is a fun place and I am appalled by its beauty and my friends love Dubai ski. There are so many attractions and the BBQ in the desert is the best experience one can ever have. your suggestions are perfect.

  38. February 21, 2021 / 11:02

    This Awesome Post! Dubai seriously awesome place to explore & day-by-day new activities are emerging all over UAE.

    I’m glad u shared such an awesome post

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