ALL IN THE FAM­ILY

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - NEWS -

SAND BY ME: This is worth go­ing on for the dune bash­ing — driv­ing at speed over the sand in a four-wheel drive. There’s a chance to try sand­board­ing, as well as din­ner in the desert, with wine and belly danc­ing, un­der the stars; ara­bian-ad­ven­tures.com.

SLOPE OFF: It may seem counter-in­tu­itive to go ski­ing in Dubai, but this is bril­liant fun. As well as a pretty good ski slope with ar­ti­fi­cial snow on two pistes, there’s tobog­gan­ing, zip wiring, tub­ing and the chance to meet the res­i­dent pen­guins; the­p­lay­ma­nia.com/skidubai.

WA­TER WORLD: If you go to only one, make it Aqua­ven­ture at At­lantis the Palm, which has the best lazy river (where you float around in in­flat­able tubes) I’ve been on, with sev­eral sets of (not so lazy) rapids. There are some cool rides, in­clud­ing one that takes you through a shark­filled aquar­ium and the nearver­ti­cal slide off the Tower of Nep­tune. The other wa­ter­park, Wild Wadi at Jumeirah Beach, has bet­ter raft rides but isn’t quite as thrill-tas­tic, al­though the Jumeirah Scream wa­ter slide (pic­tured) lived up to its name. En­try is free at both for ho­tel guests; at­lantis­thep­alm.com.

IT’S A MALL WORLD: One of the world’s largest shopping malls is housed in the tallest build­ing, Burj Khal­ifa (en­try fees ap­ply for view­ing plat­forms), with amaz­ing views. There’s also a mini theme-park taster at Sega Repub­lic. If you want to see the danc­ing Dubai foun­tains, chore­ographed to mu­sic, they start at 7pm; the­dubaimall.com.

STAY IN STYLE: Jumeirah Beach Ho­tel is my favourite fam­ily-friendly place to stay in Dubai. Its pre­mium fam­ily prod­uct gives you ac­cess to a sep­a­rate lounge and games room, with com­pli­men­tary drinks and (sub­stan­tial) snacks. Built to re­sem­ble a break­ing wave, it’s one of the most recog­nis­able build­ings on the Dubai sky­line, along with Burj al-Arab just in front. There’s a fam­ily pool, a kids’ club and free ac­cess to the Wild Wadi wa­ter park next door. The food is ex­cel­lent, from the Lat­i­tudes buf­fet to the shore­side restau­rant Villa Beach; jumeirah.com.

LOST WORLD: At­lantis the Palm of­fers prob­a­bly the most full-on fam­ily ex­pe­ri­ence but it is mas­sive, with 1500 gue­strooms. It comes with a stun­ning 10m-deep aquar­ium that you can walk around and peer in, but it’s even bet­ter if you dive in, or ex­plore it with spe­cial air-filled hel­mets. There’s free ac­cess to the Aquad­ven­ture wa­ter park too. At­lantis also has a pre­mium fam­ily prod­uct with a lounge of­fer­ing drinks and free snacks. There’s a host of on-site restau­rants, in­clud­ing Nobu and Gor­don Ram­say’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar; at­lantis­thep­alm.com.

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