Dubai: It's the weekend again and the weather is just right for an outdoor family picnic. Dubai has some great budget-friendly outdoor play areas and parks, where you can enjoy with your family without burning a hole in your pocket. Here’s a list of five places you can explore with your family this weekend.
1. Explore the past at Al Fahidi District
Starting with a personal favourite, Al Fahidi is best explored during the winter. Walk through the old lanes of Al Fahidi’s historical neighbourhood. The area houses restored buildings built in the 19th century. Children can see architecture, which was typical to the region – including high wind towers called Barajeel. The houses were built with traditional building materials such as stone, gypsum, teak, and sandalwood. Children will love exploring the old alleys, pathways, and public squares, which used to serve as a marketplace for communities living in the area. It also makes for some wonderful shots “for the gram”.
This district, owing to its strategic location at Dubai Creek, played an important role in Dubai’s commercial relations overseas.
2. Experience the old-Dubai charm at Al Seef
Not too far away from Al Fahidi, is a wonderful family destination, where you can explore old and new Dubai. Al Seef is tucked away on the banks of Dubai's creek. It has gorgeous restored buildings, which have been turned into cosy restaurants, cafes, and shops. When visiting with toddlers over weekends, it is advisable to secure them in a stroller or hold their hand at all times, as it tends to get crowded during winter, especially in the evening.
3. Have a picnic by the Dubai Marina Promenade
One of the best places to enjoy a day out with family is the Dubai Marina Promenade. It's also the perfect excuse to take the Dubai Tram with your kids, they will love it, and you don't have to worry about parking. Get off at the Jumeirah Beach Residence 1 Tram stop and the promenade is a five-minute walk away. It even has a small play area with swings, slides, monkey bars, and gym equipment for fitness-focused parents.
Pack some sandwiches and drinks for an outdoor snack by the Marina or stop at one of the cafes on the promenade for a quick weekend brunch. The Dubai Marina Mall is also close by if you want to stop for some shopping.
4. Get artistic at Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz
From chocolate factory visits to a slime-making studio, parkour to a painting studio – there's plenty to do with the kids at Alserkal Avenue.
The area used to be an industrial compound hosting warehouses in the industrial zone of Al Quoz. But, from 2008, it grew into a vibrant community of contemporary art galleries, visual and performing arts organisations, designers, and artisanal spaces. Today, the Avenue is a well-loved space for the UAE’s emerging artists and cultural practitioners, creative entrepreneurs, and home-grown initiatives. It also has a warehouse where you can see classic and vintage cars, a great spot for children who love cars.
5. Stroll by the sea at The Walk, JBR
The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is a popular promenade where you can shop, dine and stroll by the sea. The buzzing beachside boulevard is also a great place for parents looking for some relaxation and retail therapy, after children are done making sandcastles and running along the beach.
The area hosts a variety of outdoor pop-up markets where you can check out stalls offering jewellery, food treats, homewares, and performances by street entertainers.
Don’t miss the adjacent open-air cinema. Or head to a nearby cafe or sit down for a meal at one of the numerous restaurants dotted along the strip.