02 January 2018
Fly off to Abu Dhabi and enjoy a standout getaway with your family. You’ll be greeted by pleasant temperatures, gorgeous sandy beaches, a range of exciting attractions and captivating cultural sites, allowing you to experience the kind of holiday which makes the family photo album!
The sun shines on cosmopolitan Abu Dhabi year-round. This is the ideal place to visit for winter sun as average temperatures rarely fall below 18°C even in January. Make the most of this spectacular destination by soaking up the sun on Saadiyat Island’s beach. This long stretch of shore features 9km of golden sands, a public beach where you’ll need to pay a small entrance fee of (25 AED, which is approximately R85, while children 5 and under go free), and you may spot dolphins or even turtles in the warm Arabian Gulf. Head to Yas Waterworld for 45 water rides for all the family, you can relax by the wave pool in your own cabana or on the lazy river or get soaked on some of the exciting slides.
Yas Beach is great for thrill-seeking families with water sports like jet skiing and catamaran sailing and activities including volleyball. You will receive complimentary access to Yas Beach if you’re staying at a Yas Island hotel otherwise, there’s a 50 AED (approx. R170) admittance fee for adults and children under 12 go free. The blue flag Corniche Beach is ideal for families with younger children, as it has plenty of lifeguards and floating fences which will stop your kids from swimming out too far.
You can enjoy an exclusive experience by visiting the recently-opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, one of the Emirate’s finest cultural attractions. This building was designed by acclaimed architect Jean Nouvel, who structured the Louvre’s dome to ensure it creates a spectacular ‘rain of light’ effect when hit by the winter sun. The entrance fee is 60 AED (approx. R205) for adults half price for 13 – 22 years old and free for under 12s. Inside you’ll discover objects and artworks of cultural, historical and sociological importance from various civilisations throughout time. The Louvre even hosts a Children’s Museum, where your kids can learn about artistic ideas and techniques through English language workshops, and you can enjoy family-orientated exhibitions.
Abu Dhabi hosts a range of family-friendly dining options. For a unique experience dine under the stars al fresco on a thrilling desert safari, where you can also try exciting activities like dune bashing. Treat your children by taking them on a Dhow Dinner Cruise, where you can sample local Emirati sweets while sailing in a traditional dhow boat.
There is a range of other intriguing attractions awaiting you in this glittering Emirate, beginning with Abu Dhabi’s natural wonders. The Al Ain Oasis is a must for your itinerary with its sun-dappled lush palm groves. It’s also home to spectacular fortresses like the Al Jahili Fort and Qasr Al Muwajji, which both host exhibits chronicling the UAE’s past, providing great educational experiences for your kids. A natural highlight in Abu Dhabi is the Mangrove National Park where you can go kayaking and see more than 60 bird species. For a real desert adventure, take the family on a 4 x 4 desert safari into the Al Dhafra desert; you will go dune bashing, enjoy an Arabian barbecue and perhaps have a spectacular Falconry display!
You can also treat your family to a spot of shopping while holidaying in Abu Dhabi, as you’ll find a range of both traditional and modern goods. Stop by the Emirate’s time-honoured ‘souks’ for authentic items; the Carpet Souk sells beautiful handmade Persian rugs while the while the World Trade Centre souk is known for its traditional handicrafts that your children could take home as souvenirs. The city also boasts a selection of malls for you to check out. Two of the most popular is the Marina Mall situated on the Corniche, and Yas Mall on Yas Island connected to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Both malls have hundreds of stores with big-name brands, restaurants and cafes as well as multi-screen cinemas, providing fun for everyone!