Fill your family sand bucket list in Dubai
A sand bucket list is a number of experiences or dreams that you hope to accomplish together as a family. It might be taking the time to experience simple pleasures together, or it could be a once-in-a-lifetime shared adventure. Sand bucket lists are fun to plan, fun to do, and leave you with cherished memories that you can reflect on as a family for years to come. And it’s never too late to start!
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is a location where you can tick off a number of your bucket list items, or add some exciting new ones – here’s 10 of the best for families:
- Watch the sun rise over the desert in a hot air balloon. As you climb to 6000ft, you can spot oryx, gazelles and wandering camels that call the rippling sand dunes of the desert their home. Make sure you bring your camera to catch the amazing palate of colours that appear as the sun rises.
- Look out from the dizzying heights of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. At 828 metres tall, it’s three times as high as the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. It’s a fascinating feat of human engineering!
- Eat a traditional Emirati meal and chat to a local at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. It’s a great opportunity to try some traditional cuisine, and learn more about the Emirati culture. Read our review here!
- Take a skiing lesson or get up close to a penguin at Ski Dubai. This completely indoor ski field has cafes, ice sculptures, ski lessons, ski runs of various difficulties, rides and penguins! Read our review here.
- Slide through shark infested waters or swim with a dolphin at Aquaventure. Spread over 42 fun-filled acres at Atlantis, The Palm Resort, Aquaventure has everything from thrilling slides, splash and play areas for younger kids, and a sanctuary for sea lions and dolphins. There’s also a gorgeous beach, aquarium and numerous restaurants.
- Ride a camel or 4WD through the sand dunes of the desert. Arabian Adventures offers a range of amazing sunset tours which include dinner under the stars. You can even camp in the desert. Read our review here.
- Spend a day at one of the many family-friendly beaches – hire a cabana at a private beach club, or claim a patch of sand at one of the public beaches, and overlook the stunning Persian Gulf. We’ve outlined the best spots in our review.
- Shop till you drop at the Dubai Mall. With more than 1200 shops, and open until midnight each night, Dubai Mall has something to interest every member of the family. There’s even an ice skating rink, cinema, indoor play centre, aquarium and dinosaur display, in case you tire of the shopping!
- Watch the Dubai Fountain music, water and light show at night. These dancing fountains are spectacular, and run at regular intervals each day. After a family meal in one of the many restaurants in Downtown Dubai, this is the perfect way to finish the evening.
- Haggle with a shop keeper at the Dubai Souks (Arabian style markets). Breathe in deeply as you make your way through the delicious spice markets, look for the world’s largest golden ring in the gold markets, and pick out your favourite fabric in the textile market. This is a great place to pick up a souvenir of your time in Dubai. You can finish the experience with an abra (traditional water taxi) ride over the creek, for just AED 1.
What’s on your family’s sand bucket list?