1. Global Village
A seasonal destination, Global Village’s focus on culture sets it apart — you can shop (and eat) your way around the world while learning more about different countries.
Wow: There are events everywhere, in the country pavilions or on the main stages. Best of all are the fireworks on Thursdays and Fridays at 9pm and the parade on Fridays at 8.30pm.
Meh: Cheap Chinese products somehow find their way into every pavilion.
2. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
The only Ferrari theme park in the world has motor sport-inspired rides and experiences for all the family.
Wow: Formula Rossa, said to be the world’s fastest roller coaster, goes from 0-240km/h in just 4.9 seconds.
Meh: It features G-force adrenaline rush, but is limited to thrill seekers.
Price: From Dh275 (Dh230 for kids)
3. Sega Republic
From traditional fun including trampolines and arcade games to new-age VR games and rides, you determine your level of entertainment here.
Wow: The Giant Slider is a must — it’s billed as the largest and tallest indoor slide in the region.
Meh: Kids must be accompanied at all times, so you can’t deposit them here while you go shopping, tempting as that might be.
Price: From Dh200 (Dh125 for kids)
4. Ice Land Water Park
If global warming is on your agenda, this penguin homeland in the desert is for you. There are thrills for the adventurous and more gentle attractions for when you want to chill.
Wow: The slides. They come in various heights and configurations and you want to try them all.
Meh: The park is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Price: Dh160 for anyone taller than 1.2m; Dh95 for those shorter
5. Wild Wadi
With 17 slides and three pools, there’s a reason Wild Wadi has been featured on The Amazing Race. You can also learn to surf, float down a winding lazy river or experience an 18m waterfall.
Wow: Reach up to 80km/h on Jumeirah Sceirah, the tallest, fastest free-fall water slide outside the US. It offers great views of Dubai too — don’t blink!
Meh: The park’s closed from January 14 to February 9 for maintenance.
Price: Dh275 for anyone above 1.1m; Dh230 for those shorter
6. Yas Waterworld
The park features 45 rides and slides, and has the region’s longest suspended roller coaster and the largest sheet wave in the world.
Wow: Free fall on the Jebel Drop water slide.
Meh: The Dawwama tornado water slide for groups is closed until further notice.
Price: From Dh250 (Dh210 for kids)
7. Bollywood Parks Dubai
This is the first theme park in the world dedicated to all things Bollywood. From the potboilers to item numbers, the flavour of Mumbai’s film industry is translated into rides, live entertainment and more.
Wow: Catch the region’s first Broadway-style Bollywood musical at the Rajmahal theatre.
Meh: Spread over 1.7 million square feet, you’ll have trouble enjoying everything in one day.
Price: From Dh285 (Dh245 for kids and senior citizens); Dh45 over UAE National Day weekend, December 1-3
8. IMG Worlds of Adventure
The world’s largest indoor theme park, it’s home to Marvel superheroes, Cartoon Network friends, dinosaurs and more.
Wow: Channel your inner Avenger and take on Ultron alongside Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain America and Hulk.
Meh: The Ultimate Fast Track pass doesn’t include the Haunted Hotel experience.
Price: From Dh300 (Dh250 for kids and Dh150 for senior citizens); Dh225 for the UAE National Day weekend, November 29-December 3
9. Dreamland Aquapark
One of the largest in the region, it features everything you expect from a water park as well as go-karts, arcade games and more.
Wow: Maximise your fun in the sun by camping on-site overnight.
Meh: Fridays and public holidays are strictly reserved for families, holders of season passes and pre-approved groups.
Price: Dh160 (Dh100 for kids and senior citizens; Dh450 for families of four)
10. Hili Fun City
Referred to as the Disneyland of the GCC when it opened in Al Ain in 1985 as the first theme park in the Gulf. It was refurbished in 2009 and features more than 30 rides and attractions.
Wow: Geared towards families, this is great for those with younger children.
Meh: Even after the makeover, it can feel dated.
Price: From Dh55