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Clockwise from top left: Maya Christine Ryan, Privaan Hirani and Valentína Jiménez De Con.

Dubai: A getaway during the summer, whether at a nearby destination or halfway across the globe, always kicks up excitement. There are several worthwhile extracurricular activities available to students in the UAE, both inside and outside of the country.

Every moment off from school provides a chance to take a well-deserved break, whether it is engaging in summertime activities, traveling, or simply going on vacation with family.


Travel, exploration

For one, Indian expat Privaan Hirani, 8, who attends the Ambassador International Al Khail Academy, has been making the best use of his break.

Like his parents, Privaan enjoys travelling, exploring new cities around the world. And that is exactly what he has been doing this summer.

“We travelled to the Swiss Alps, Lausanne, Geneva, and Paris. I went to many castles, museums. Of course, the Disney World in Paris was one of the best experiences I had,” said little Privaan.

He is now back from his holiday and will utilise the summer break to learn tennis at the Irish Village.

“I am also interested in theatre classes at The Hive. My parents know I love swimming so they are planning to take me to waterparks, play areas and amusement parks like Atlantis Aqua Venture, Sea world Abu Dhabi and Yas waterworld.”


Brazilian expat Helena Trespach da Silva, a six-year old student of Dubai América Academia, is enjoying her break with her little brother Lucas, 4, and their parents, back in Brazil.

Brazilian expat Helena Trespach da Silva, a six-year old student of Dubai América Academia,
Helena Trespach da Silva, 6, with her brother Lucas Trespach da Silva, 4.

Her mother Francielli Trespash said Helena, who is now staying close to relatives in Brazil, loves fashion. “She is busy at home in Brazil braiding her in purple.”

Helena said: “I love coming back home to Brazil. I have met my grand-parents, aunties and uncles. My sister and I are having a good time every day.”

Diverse activities

Canadian expat Maya Christine Ryan, Grade 1 student of Raha International School-Abu Dhabi, is having an exciting summer doing a diverse range of activities.

“The idea is to make sure she has a memorable break,” her father Mark said.

Maya travelled first to Hong Kong to visit her extended family and friends. While there, she also visited to Hong Kong Disneyland as well.

“The trip to Hong Kong ensured she had loads of entertainment and a cosy bonding time with extended family and friends,” Mark added.

After her Hong Kong adventure, Maya returned to Dubai — only to set off again to Paris. In between, she explored Dubai with a visit to Burj Khalifa and the Palm Jumeirah.

Next on her summer journey, Maya is visiting Paris. “I am so excited I saw the Eiffel Tower,” she told Gulf News.

Maya will also explore the Louvre, France’s rich history, art, and architecture. “My parents will take me around Paris. I am also excited to meet my grand-parents in Ottawa, Canada.”

Her father Mark said: “This will be a valuable opportunity for her to spend quality time with her family, strengthen their bond, and create lasting memories. Maya’s summer adventures wouldn’t be complete without some relaxation and outdoor fun. She will spend time at a cottage in Quebec, where she will indulge in fishing and paddle boarding.”

Amid all this Maya is setting aside time to practice esports, specifically Mario Kart, to prepare for the upcoming Raha esports tryouts in September.

New pursuits

Tomasz Barcicki, 10, is a Year 6 student at GEMS World Academy - Abu Dhab. He saidi: “Our family had a great chance to visit Spain this summer. I was invited to represent UAE in the Costa Blanca Cup with the Regional Sports Academy.

"My family led the cheering squad for my team. We enjoyed picturesque landscapes and the wonderful weather of Costa Blanca.”

Tomasz Barcicki with a teammake and coach in Spain.
Tomasz Barcicki (right) with a teammate and their coach in Spain Image Credit: Supplied

Alahnah Martin, a Year 5 student at GEMS World Academy - Abu Dhabi is in the UK to visit her extended family.

“I am enjoying with my family and the weather is so cool. My family and I will stay in Paris before returning to the UAE. We have planned to visit Disney, PSG Stadium.”

Alahnah Martin with her family.
The Barcicki family.

Mexican expat Valentína Jiménez De Con, who loves fashion, is enjoying her break before starting Grade 4 at GIS in September. She has different activities lined up this summer break.

Braiding her hair is one of them. Visiting key landmarks in the UAE, the museums, to parks and indoor activies, is also on her summer bucket list.

While parents schedule activities around fun and new experiences, there’s always an urge to over-schedule.

It is best to set aside time each day and encourage your child to try something new this summer.

Parents should also consider sending their children with friends or groups, but it is best to keep your children within your sight or another adult’s whom you trust.

Psychologists also advise limiting gadget use, creating structure and setting boundaries.