Dubai is full of expensive kids’ entertainment options but, when they’re little, all they really need is some space to run around, a bit of fresh air, and a few swings and slides.

While there are many parks dotted across the emirate, it’s not always easy to tell what they’re going to be like: Is there ample parking? Are there toilets? Is there anywhere to buy food? Does it charge an entry fee? Is it good for my toddler or better for an older kid?


We’ve tried and tested the city’s best parks to give you the lowdown on everything a parent needs to know...

Al Khazzan Park

This well-maintained, centrally located park opposite City Walk features a striking blue-and-white-striped water tower at its heart, and the Burj Khalifa for a back-drop. It has two shaded play areas with climbing frames, swings and slides - one suited to toddlers and one for older children.

There’s a peaceful little library here, with walls built from UAE coral, and it’s also home to one of the UAE’s oldest trees. There is also a Hapi cafe here, serving up trendy artisanal food, from pancakes and breakfast items to grilled steak, bone marrow and array of gourmet coffees.

  • Parking: Street parking directly outside
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Toilets, shaded seating and play areas
  • Opening times: 8am - 10pm Saturday to Wednesday
  • 8am - 11pm Thursday and Friday

Umm Sequim Park (aka Burj Beach Park)

A stunning location near Kite beach, looking out across the sea with the Burj Al Arab close by, this small park has a play area at the back with a climbing structure that is ideal for those confident on their feet and older children. With a small café and toilets on site, in the late afternoon the sea breeze can be a welcome relief from the heat. This is a great park to keep everyone in the family happy – you can do beach day and park play in one visit without needing to move the car. This park is for women and children only during the week and families at the weekend. It can be busy due to its location so go early, especially at weekends.

  • Parking: Paid parking
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Toilets, small café
  • Opening times: 8am - 10pm ladies and children during the week. All family members welcome on Thursday to Saturday

Al Barsha Park (aka Barsha Pond Park)

This medium-sized park has a European feel to it, featuring manicured lawns, tree-lined avenues and a large man-made pond. You can hire peddle boats on the water, or mini peddle quad bikes on land, and there are also large shaded play areas, with one area for under 3-year-olds and the other more suitable for older children. There are plenty of trees and grassy areas that are perfect for picnics, plus a running track, should you fancy a jog with the buggy. Gets busy at weekends.

  • Parking: Free, just outside the gate
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: There’s a Circle Café kiosk selling breakfast, healthy snacks and food, plus toilets
  • Opening times: 6am - 11pm daily

Safa Park 2

A hidden gem, this small park is a green oasis just off Al Manara Street. With three different play areas within the park, there is plenty to keep the kids amused – just running between the different zones will tire out little legs! Lots of trees provide shade for picnics, the small kiosk in the middle sells simple snacks and drinks, and there are toilets within the park. Lovely and quiet on a weekday morning, pre-pandemic it was popular with kids’ parties at weekends.

  • Parking: Free, roadside
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Small kiosk and toilets
  • Opening times: 8am - 10pm

Al Ittihad Park (aka Palm park)

With small play areas dotted throughout, this long, thin, spread-out park under the Palm monorail appeals to younger children who will enjoy the slide, wooden play houses and seesaws. Although it doesn’t have swings, there are water fountains that come on periodically throughout the day and are great to splash in. Restaurants and coffee shops have outside seating facing into the park, so parents can grab a meal or a hot drink, or pick up a few essentials in the supermarket while letting the kids scoot through the park.

  • Parking: Free
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Toilets, restaurants and coffee shops in Galleria Mall
  • Opening times: Open all hours

Al Sufouh Park

Located in a quiet area near the intersection of Hessa Street and Al Sufouh Road, parking on the sand at the back of this park means you will have direct access to the two shaded play areas. More geared towards toddlers and younger children, with small slides, swings and roundabouts, this cosy park is compact but still has a cushioned running track, football, basketball and sand volleyball courts as well as a small window coffee shop, serving a selection of items from snacks to ice-cream.

  • Parking: Free, at the front or back of the park on sand
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Toilets, window coffee shop
  • Opening times: 8am - 10pm Sunday to Wednesday; 8am - 11pm Thursday – Saturday

Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT Park)

Hidden behind JLT’s skyscrapers and formerly a lake, this community park is divided into three zones, one for babies and toddlers with a great set of swings. Another is for children from four onwards, and there is a zone for older children with a huge black spider’s web climbing frame and zip line. There are toilets and baby changing facilities within the play area, and a security officer. There are plenty of grassy areas to put down a rug to eat. It’s a sun trap in the morning, so hats and sun-cream are advisable, but the towers offer shade from the sun in the late afternoon.

  • Parking: Paid roadside parking but only via text - there are no ticket machines
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Toilets and baby changing, eateries open in the afternoon and evening
  • Opening times: Open all hours

Some of our other favourite parks worth checking out are:

Zabeel Park

Home to the Dubai Frame, this huge park (Dh5pp entry via Nol card only) is popular with people of all ages, whether for a walk or a game of cricket. While park entry is free with a ticket to Dubai Frame (gate 4), if you just want to use the park then use the other entrances. Near gate 1 there is a vast children's play area, featuring a massive hill of large slides, a selection of roundabouts and rocks to climb, as well as multiple mini playgrounds dotted about. The pathway up and down to the grassy amphitheatre nearby is excellent for a scoot or rollerskate, and if you get there for sunset then you can sit on one of the amphitheatre ledges with a picnic, watching the Frame reflect the stunning golds and oranges of the setting sun - breathtaking.

Dubai Creek Park

Next to the Creek, this vast park (Dh5pp entry with Nol card) is great for watching abras and boats splash past or for a family barbecue. As one of Dubai’s oldest parks it can get very busy. Playground facilities are dotted about, while on warmer days a visit to Children’s City indoor entertainment is a must.

Read more: '10 unique ways to entertain kids in Dubai when it's too hot to go outside'

Mushrif Park

Toddlers and children will love the Small World replica houses in this sprawling park (Dh3pp or Dh10/car - bring your Nol card) – ideal for games of hide and seek and imaginative play. There is enough shade on offer from trees for picnics and barbecues to be an option.

Although not technically parks, these are some other play areas:

The Greens

At the heart of the Greens, this is a fully shaded park perfect for children of all ages. There are slides, four swings and a giant spider’s web climbing frame – plus plenty of sand to dig for hidden treasure! Next to the ponds in the Greens, why not grab a scooter and make use of the shady pathway around the lakes (1 km)? You can walk to The Greens Village where there is are a selection of neighbourhood cafés and a supermarket.

  • Parking: Paid
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Coffee shop (with toilets and baby changing)

Business Bay/Bay Avenue play area

Fenced off and with a gated entrance, this play area is handy for little ones whether you are visiting friends in the area, need a break from shopping in Dubai Mall, or just fancy somewhere different. Best for younger children, there are plenty of swings, slides and climbing frames. Parking is usually easy, and there is the chance to grab a coffee and any essentials from the supermarket opposite. Come on a weekend morning to enjoy the organic farmer’s market.

  • Parking: Two hours free then paid after
  • Entrance cost: Free
  • Facilities: Cafés, supermarkets and toilets in the promenade of shops opposite.

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